Is Going to Bed with Wet Hair Bad for You?

(Last Updated On: February 22, 2022)

Have you ever taken a shower and then immediately gone to bed with damp or wet hair because you were too tired and couldn’t be bothered? Maybe you remember being told by a parent or something, probably along the lines of you getting real bad headache the next morning if you were to go to bed with wet hair. Now we’re all adults who probably know what things are bad for us–and continue to do things that are bad for us. But is going to bed with wet hair one of them?

If you care about your hair

You’ve probably figured out very quickly that going to bed with wet hair is probably not the best for your hair. But what actually happens to your hair?

Well for starters, you’re probably going to get up with some mad bed head–that you might have to spend more time fixing up than if you just dried it before going to bed. Bed head is frustrating, but it’s not dangerous or anything.

Hair is at its most fragile when it is wet–as well as when it’s hot. Sidebar on heat and hair dryers, if you don’t hold it up against your head, you’re probably fine. Anyway, hair absorbs water–though how porous your hair is differs from person to person. On the high end, hair can absorb around half its own weight in water. What this does to your hair is exploit weak points, and make it easier for your hair to break. 

Leaving your hair wet can also cause your hair to lose its natural oils faster–though that’s more of a thing when it comes to overwashing hair. Letting your hair dry out into your pillow, though, will soak out those oils faster and–maybe counterintuitively depending on how you think about it–dehydrate your hair. 

Can you get sick?

If you’re kind of whatever on hair care, then you’re probably wondering if the whole “you’ll get a cold from going to bed with wet hair” thing is true. It’s not, by the way. 

You might feel colder when you’re walking around with damp hair, since you’re losing heat from your head. But you can’t get a cold by the simple virtue of being cold, though. Being outside in the cold does put you at greater risk, but that’s different from feeling slightly colder because your head is wet.  

There’s the next assertion though–having wet hair makes your pillow wet. Fungus and bacteria like damp environments, so having a wet environment on your head is going to be a bad time. Dust mites and other microorganisms do like damp pillows, so there is some credence to the concern. Typically these microorganisms cause symptoms in line with allergies–like a stuffy nose or itchy eyes. If you’re waking up feeling like that, you might want to wash your pillow. More specific to your wet head though, you can give yourself excessive dandruff. Which isn’t fun for anyone involved.

See if you can pick out common hairstyles here.



About Kyler 704 Articles
Kyler is a content writer at Sporcle living in Seattle, and is currently studying at the University of Washington School of Law. He's been writing for Sporcle since 2019; sometimes the blog is an excellent platform to answer random personal questions he has about the world. Most of his free time is spent drinking black coffee like water.