How “Bed Head” Prevents You From Retaining Length

retaining length no bed head

For years I would go to bed, laying directly on my hair without a second thought of what it would look like in the morning. When I woke up in the morning I’d have what’s commonly known as “bed head“. I’d have tangles galore and hair so dry that it could double for a pot cleaner. What’s that called again? A brillo pad!

Whenever I went to bed without attending to my hair I’d tell myself. “I’ll deal with it in the morning.” I was either too tired or too lazy to take the few extra minutes needed to deal with my hair so that I wouldn’t wake up with the dreaded bed head.

You’d think I’d learn from the day in and day out experience right? Well, why should I? My hair was relaxed and I never really cared if it got long. It was a decent length (although stuck at that length) and as long as it wasn’t frizzy when I was done un-bedheading, it was all good.

Sound familiar?

The problem with that train of thought isΒ the bad habit of going to bed on naked, unprotected hair is a habit that’s hard to break. Then, bed head occurs and you’re stuck with a tangled, matted mess. A vicious bed head cycle!

After going natural over 7 years ago, I also decided I wanted to see how long my hair would grow. When you do decide you want to gain some length, you can’t just go to sleep on your hair without securing and protecting it. You’ll get bed head and thwart all of your efforts for long luxurious here. Here’s why…

  • Going to bed with uncovered hair leads to bed head which leads to moisture deprivation. Whatever moisture is in your hair is rapidly sucked out and depleted throughout the night leaving you with dry hair that’s prone to breakage.
  • Bed head hair is tangled hair. Tangled hair needs to be untangled. If detangling is something you have to do day in and day out because you allow yourself to get bed head, you;re also over-manipulating your hair. This increases the likelihood of breakage.

The reason you aren’t retaining length is breakage. Your hair is breaking as much as it’s growing (and in some cases more). Hair breakage is caused by many reasons: illness, medication, over-manipulating the hair, dryness and damage.

Allowing yourself to get bed head results in over-manipulation, dryness, and/or damage. These can be prevented. All that’s required is a little diligence and some TLC for your hair. Stay tuned for next Monday’s post where I’ll share tips on preventing bed head.

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Michelle Smith
Michelle is a Christian special needs mom residing in the NYC area who shares useful tips to grow and maintain fine natural hair. She's a published author and Creator of Fine Natural Hair and Faith, inspiring others with faith for living along side knowledge on how to care for their "crown."

21 thoughts on “How “Bed Head” Prevents You From Retaining Length

  1. I can testify to this one! Once I started tending to my hair before I went to bed at night, I started to retain more length. It definitely makes a difference.

  2. I have to say this is a great article that can be a wake-up call when we become lazy and swear we will take care of it in the morning. I’ve still got my bonnet on my head as I type! I do the bonnet and the satin pillowcase but I also add oil to my hair if it appears dry. No bed head for me!!! Great post.

  3. I thought that of all things, this was the most ridiculous part of my regimen to incorporate and stay faithful too. Not only did I notice a difference in my hair but my girls too. My 5 year old now knows that the bonnet comes RIGHT after teeth brushing lol!

  4. Number one is something I had to get used to doing. I’ve never been a fan of sleeping in bonnets because they make me hot and always come off.

    I now compromise by using either a satin pillowcase or my Dreadsock and I can truly tell the difference in my hair’s moisture level.

    1. Hey Allison, I don’t bother with the baggy method because my hair retains moisture very well. On wash day, once I seal my hair, I don’t typically need to moisturize for 3 days or so. Then when I do, I just spritz a little water/conditioner and seal with an oil again. I have a lot of moisturizers but once I’m done with them I plan to just stick with my regular sealing method.

  5. Thanks for this post! Great insights and lessons learned–I may not look FAB when I go to sleep in my bonnet but I am protecting my hair. Looking forward to more hair tips!

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