How “Bed Head” Prevents You From Retaining Length

Last updated on November 12th, 2019 at 01:16 pm

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 natural hair enthusiast. She's been natural for 20+ years and shares natural hair care tips and easy hairstyles for those with low density or thin fine natural hair. It's her joy to inspire you to live by faith in God while caring for your "crown."

This Post Has 21 Comments

  1. Marlow

    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.

    1. Michelle

      I used to sleep on my hair like crazy when I was relaxed. I don’t even think i owned a satin bonnet back then lol. It’s necessary

  2. Neosha-ItsRatedNGEE

    This is so me. I am very guilty. A lot of times, I would pull my hair up in a bun and not use a satin wrap or anything to protect my tresses. I’m learning my lesson and have been doing much better.

    1. Michelle

      at least you are pulling the hair into a bun and not allowing it to roam free! if you don’t want to wear a satin/silk bonnet/scarf jus sleep on a satin pillowcase

  3. SunShine Malone

    Yeah! I wear a bonnet most nights lol but I do forget πŸ™

    1. Michelle

      The past couple of days I haven’t. My head gets seriously hot but I sleep on my satin pillow case among other things πŸ™‚

  4. Sabrina R Perkins

    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.

    1. Michelle

      I think we all get a little lazy. I leave my bonnet off at least once every month lol.

  5. Ya know, I’m totally guilty of doing this with my own hair. I take great care of my daughter’s hair, we put it up and wrap it every night, she sleeps on a satin pillow case…I should really take better care of my own hair, too.

    1. Michelle

      Baby girl knows what’s up lol. It’s good that young girls learn early to take care of their hair.

  6. Donna

    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!

    1. Michelle

      It’s funny because it’s probably the easiest part of the hair regimen but if neglected can have the most impact on our hair

  7. nappy headed black girl

    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.

  8. Rorri

    This is great info! I will definitely be more mindful!

  9. Alison Hector

    Yep, bed head is a hot mess. Are you a fan of the baggy method? Looking forward to the tips you’ll be sharing next week.

    1. Michelle

      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.

  10. zainab1

    Great post with great reminders. Sleeping with a bonnet is a must at aiding in protecting our strands. Thanks for posting.

    1. Michelle

      You got it! It’s one of the tips I’m sharing next week πŸ™‚

  11. Lia

    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!

    1. Michelle

      you know we look like old mother hubbard with those bonnets LOL but it’s worth it!

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