Long hair can be challenging in many ways —- it can be tough to wash and condition, and styling may take a long time. But one of the most difficult aspects of having long hair, particularly if it’s curly or fine, is getting through a night’s sleep without a mess of tangles to deal with in the morning. Spending a few minutes before bed preparing your hair can alleviate the trouble that can crop up overnight.


Brush or comb your hair before bed. The old-fashioned advice was to give hair 100 brush strokes before bed —- it’s not necessary to do quite that many, but ensure that hair is tangle-free. For straight or wavy hair, a brush will work best but with curly hair, a wide-tooth comb may be a better option.

Braid hair. People often put hair up in a bun or ponytail for sleeping, but that can lead to more damage. Braiding will keep hair tangle-free and will minimize damage to the hair during sleep. A simple English braid will work, but a French braid is acceptable too. (See resources for braid instructions.) Make sure the braid is loose. If it’s done too tight, it can damage hair at the roots or simply cause discomfort while sleeping. Thick hair can also be braided in two separate braids on either side of the head, tucked behind your ears.

Upon waking, undo the braid and brush through hair. Go ahead and style your hair or leave it down —- the braid will likely have left your hair a bit wavy.


Tips

  • Use a covered hair elastic to finish your braid; plain rubber bands will break and damage hair.

  • If braiding is a challenge, consider a night cap, with hair tucked up inside, or a simple silk scarf tied over the head. Both will reduce the amount of rubbing the hair will get on your pillow and reduce tangling.