Woman sitting in bedWoman sitting in bed

How to Keep Your Hair From Getting Matted While Sleeping

A good night's sleep is a wonderful thing. After blissful hours of slumber, you rise feeling refreshed, revived and ready for the day. Unfortunately, if you twist and turn while in a deep sleep, you could wake up with tangled hair.

Whether you have long hair, thick hair, wavy hair or any hair type, friction caused while you rest can result in a morning spent trying to release painful knots and tangled strands. To help you avoid tangled hair in the morning, follow these tips and tricks for sleek, healthy hair — plus, discover the best products to encourage healthy, detangled hair, whatever your hair type.

What Is Matted Hair?

Knots, tangles, twists and rips — anyone working with thin, curly or long hair will tell you about the trauma of hair tangles in the morning. Unfortunately, it doesn't take much to create the effect. So, what is matted hair? The friction of your nighttime movement encourages hair strands to bundle together, making unmanageable knots often found towards the nape of the neck and back of the head. And it can happen to anyone with any hair type.

7 Tips to Avoid Matted Hair

De-tangling your mane can take up precious time and leave you feeling frustrated. Plus, too much tangling can lead to hair breakage and split ends. Thankfully, you can take steps to minimize tangles and prevent breakage.

1. Gentle Brush Strokes

A good hair routine begins before you sleep. It starts with your brush strokes. Whether you have straight or wavy hair, how you handle your hair before you wash matters.

"Remember to brush or comb your hair before bed; this will keep any strands that have started to get tangled from turning into a matted mess," said celebrity hairstylist Terra Harvell. "Always brush your hair starting at your ends and working your way up, especially if you have extensions!" A wide-tooth comb is an excellent idea to minimize tangles, regardless of your hair texture, and use a gentle touch — even if you run into a tangle or two.

Read: How to Sleep With Curly Hair — Protect Your Curls at Night

2. Check Your Water

Your hair is at its most fragile when it's wet. To protect the integrity of your strands and minimize tangles (damaged hai tangles moe easily), find out whether you live in a hard or soft water area. Hard water can contain minerals like calcium and magnesium that leave a film on the hair. The film can make it tricky for moisture to penetrate the hair, which dries the strands out over time, leading to breakage and dry hair. 

If you're living in a hard water area and want to improve your hair care routine, you could invest in a water softener for your home. If that's too expensive, a water softening shower head is a cost-effective way to resolve the issue.

3. Cleanse With Sulfate-Free Shampoo

Sulfates are used in shampoos to create the soapy lather that most people have come to expect from shampoo. They effectively remove dirt and oil from the hair, but if you're trying to minimize tangles in the morning and plump your hair with moisture, a sulfate-free shampoo is the way to go. If you have damaged, dry or fine hair, you might also want to avoid sulfates because they can strip the hair of its natural oils.

For tangle-free hair that's easy to manage, wash away the daily buildup on your strands and scalp with a revitalizing, sulfate-free shampoo. Look for a nourishing shampoo produces a gorgeous sudsy lather and is completely sulfate-free, keeping your hair more protected from nighttime tangles.

Shop: Shea Whitney VEGAMOUR Picks

4. Take Care of Wet Hair

Wet hair is always more vulnerable than dry hair. Your hair is made up of bonds and keratin fibers that create the texture. When these bonds get wet in the shower, the bonds break, which gives the appearance of length — that's why damp hair always looks a little longer! The bonds restore as soon as the hair drys, but you are prone to more damage and tangling if you don't take care of wet hair. To protect the strands, avoid using very hot water when showering. Rinse with cold water to close the hair cuticles and prevent breakage.

Those with super thick or curly hair will notice their hair takes longer to dry because the hair is more porous. To maintain your hair's health, always use a wide-toothed comb to gently rake the hair, squeezing rather than rubbing it. And if you do experience tangling, use a spray bottle full of water to very (very) gently tease out the knot.

5. Always Condition

"If you are really concerned about your hair getting matted while sleeping, be sure to use products designed to detangle and/or add moisture to your hair," said Harvell. Using a hydrating conditioner should be an integral part of your routine to prevent tangled hair. Whether you have long or mid-length hair, you're more likely to experience a hair tangle or two without conditioner. Well-moisturized hair is less likely to tangle than dry strands with split ends.

And you don't have to stop at a good conditioner. If preventing tangles is the goal, hair masks are a fantastic idea — especially if you can sleep in them. VEGAMOUR's deep conditioning hair mask is a deeply nourishing mask that hydrates hair and reduces frizz. Use the restorative hair mask to minimize tangles, moisturize hair and leave it feeling conditioned and healthy. For a more intensive treatment, use it overnight and rinse it out the next morning so you wake up with soft, gorgeous locks that feel and look healthy.

6. Secure Your Sleep Style

To prevent matted strands and difficult tangles, sweep your hair up into a protective style. "Protective styles are necessary when sleeping to prevent your hair from getting matted," said Harvell. Loosely braid long hair to prevent the hair from tangling. Or, try a french braid to encourage a beachy wave in the morning. If one thick, loose braid feels uncomfortable to wear, you could try two Pippi Longstocking-style braids or a simple low ponytail.

If braids just aren't your thing, prevent tangled hair with a loose bun on top of your head instead. Your tresses are far more protected from tossing and turning in this gathered style. And you can always add a restorative hair serum to the scalp before bed to encourage overnight benefits.

7. Change Your Pillowcase

The texture of your pillow can seriously affect the health of your hair. Moving your head from side to side during your slumber causes friction and creates matting. Opt for a pillowcase that's designed to protect hair for a more friction-free sleep. A vegan alternative to silk, bamboo cotton is gentle on strands and preserves volume and lengths. Plus, it's gentle on your delicate facial skin, too. So, if you're looking for a sustainable, machine washable option, this luxurious cream design will instantly upgrade your hair wellness routine.


Wake Up to Good Hair Days

A tangle-free morning routine doesn't have to be a thing of dreams. Whether you combine a low ponytail with a few hydrating products or you simply opt for a new pillowcase, keep tangles at bay with VEGAMOUR's collection of clarifying, cleansing and nourishing products. While you can't always control what you do while you sleep, you can take the above steps to keep your hair in peak condition.


Photo credit: Taisiia Stupak/Unsplash
    Disclaimer: Information in this article is intended for general informational and entertainment purposes only. It is not intended to constitute medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek professional medical advice from your physician.