5 Ways To Sleep With Long Hair

In Educate by Trav White20 Comments

Why You SHOULD Protect Your Hair When Sleeping

It can be a mess to sleep with long hair. If you’ve ever woken up to a tangled frizz ball after tossing and turning all night, you know what I mean. But the damage can go much deeper than just tangled hair. Over time, not protecting your flow while snoozing can lead to weak hair and breakage.

Below you’ll find five methods to comfortably sleep with long hair without damaging your locks, so you can rest easy and snatch forty winks. First, a few tips before bedtime that can help set you up for success.

Brush Before Bed

Brushing before bed will detangle and spread oils evenly throughout your hair. This is a great way to be proactive about any frizz you might otherwise develop overnight.

Use A Silk Or Satin Pillowcase To Sleep With Long Hair

When you toss and turn at night, your hair rubs on your pillowcase threads. Cotton is rougher to the touch, which leads to more friction on your cuticles, stressing them out, and potentially leading to breakage.

A smooth silk or satin pillowcase reduces that friction, which also leads to less frizz in the morning. They’re also hypoallergenic, as opposed to cotton.

Don’t Sleep With Wet Hair

Hair is weakest when wet. Even a small amount of moisture and movement can tangle your tresses regardless of your pillowcase. Make sure your hair is 100% dry by bedtime.

Never Too Tight

Avoid sleeping with your long hair in a really tight bun or ball, which puts heavy strain on your follicles for hours on end. Over time this can weaken the blood flow to that follicle, and eventually cause those hairs to shed prematurely.

5 Ways To Wear Your Long Hair When Sleeping

The YOLO Method

If you don’t want to bother with a bun (or a "high ball"), you can leave your hair down, but don’t let it fall to your shoulders. Throw it up over the top of your pillow so it hangs off the front of the bed.

This method isn’t foolproof, especially if you’re an active sleeper, but if you’re exhausted and don’t want to worry about your mane, this is the quick and easy way to sleep with long hair.

Trav White sleeping with his head on a pillow and his hair draped over the back

Use A Sleep Cap For Your Long Hair

A sleep cap is a great way to keep your hair in place throughout the night no matter how much you toss and turn. A satin-lined sleep cap is preferred to minimize friction.

This is a great option in place of a silk or satin pillowcase, and if you happen to have wet hair for any reason, one of these caps will help protect your long hair while you sleep.

This is also a great option for men with curly hair. It helps keep your curls intact and you won’t wake up with a frizzy mess in the morning.

Man with long hair wearing a sleep cap to bed

The Forehead Bun For Sleeping With Long Hair

Basically it’s a backward bun, located on your forehead instead of your crown. Again, any time you tie your hair up for sleeping it should be as loose as possible (not loose enough to fall out, but just tight enough to hold your hair in place without pulling or straining your follicles). For me, Hair Ties For Guys are the perfect hair tie for this method.
Trav White laying on pillow with hair tied up in top bun

The Twist & Clip

For this style, gather all your hair like you’re about to make a high ball, but instead, twist your hair from roots to ends, then twist it around in a circle on top of your head. Use a claw-style hair clip to hold it in place.

If these instructions are confusing, you can see it in action right here. This loose method without the use of hair ties is effortless to release. When done correctly it should look something like this image.

Trav White with a clip in his hair

The Loose High Ball

For this method, you’re going to gather your hair like you did when making the forehead bun, but instead of being on your forehead or on your crown, it’s on the very top-middle of your head.

Again, the key is to keep it loose. You don’t want your hair pulled tight when sleeping.

When it’s finished it should look something like this.

Trav White wearing a clip and cmiling

Sleep Happy

With any of these methods to sleep with long hair, you can be confident your locks are protected and safe from damage, assuring optimal rest for all the hairwhips and high fives you have planned for the next day.

Trav White, founder of mannered manes, talking about hair type


Travis is a men’s style & grooming expert with a passion for helping guys look & feel their best. The founder of Mannered Manes, he believes that, like hair growth, life is a journey, and you’re most fulfilled when you’re always growing.

See all Trav White’s guest posts for The Longhairs.

Mannered Manes
The only app for men's hair products, advice, & grooming tips. Join the journey to hair confidence in the Mannered Manes app.


Lastly, with a slightly more dramatic approach, how to sleep with long hair from El Rubio’s perspective, circa 2017.

Don’t Risk It Another Night

If you have long hair, and you do, then you understand. Sleeping with long hair is risking your life. Whether by strangulation, suffocation, or asphyxiation, there is a real chance you’re not waking up tomorrow.

You need survival tactics for sleeping with long hair. So watch this video, or risk suffocating in your sleep tonight.