Hate waking up to an unruly mop of a mane? No need to suffer from bad hair day syndrome.
Awakening to luscious locks may sound like a dream, but celebrity stylists insist you can achieve gorgeous hair in your sleep. How? Simple. What you do before bedtime will ultimately determine the condition of your hair in the morning and there are some easy tricks you can do tonight to save time and frustration.
“It is definitely possible to get beautiful hair in your sleep,” says Los Angeles-based Julia Papworth, who has worked with Hollywood actresses Cameron Diaz and Emma Roberts. “Not only do we all relish the extra sleep, but using heat on your locks in the morning causes extra damage that can be avoided by nighttime styling.”
“It is important to treat your hair like you would with your skin,” adds Frank Barbosa, a hairdresser for IT&LY Hairfashion who supervises hair departments on film sets. “Better yet, like a cashmere sweater that will be with us for a long time, so handle with care.”
We asked several celebrity stylists on how you can actually achieve touchable, silky smooth hair while getting your zzzs. They don’t call it beauty sleep for nothing.
Create Volume Overnight
Do your limp, lifeless locks need a major pick-me-up in the AM? While using the curling iron can give you bouncy ringlets in minutes, this can also take the time you need to head out the door. Instead, create your desired volume the night before when you can leisurely prepare. “After washing your hair before bed, apply a lightweight styling product with hold, like Aveda Volumizing Tonic,” suggests award-winning hairstylist Allen Ruiz, who has worked for Stella McCartney and Marc Jacobs. “Allow hair to air dry until damp and then, taking even sections, create small, many braids and secure. Sleep on it overnight, wake up, remove the braids, run your fingers through your hair, set with hairspray and voila, instant texture.” Ruiz also warns not to brush out your hair after releasing your braids as this will cause unwanted frizz. And if you prefer more subtle waves, create loose braids instead or twist sections of hair and secure them with pins.
Two Words: Argan Oil
Are your tresses on the dry, damaged side? Make them silky smooth by applying a nourishing hair treatment the night before. When your hair is soft to the touch, you’ll have minimal tangles to tackle, which means less breakage and easier styling on the go. “Comb an argan oil-based product through your dry or wet hair before bed and wrap your head in a silk scarf for an overnight hair treatment,” says celebrity stylist Sara Meddick of Beverly Hills-based Nelson J Salon. “The silk will prevent breakage while the oil strengthens your hair.” Meddick says it also helps to sleep on a silk pillowcase. “Cotton can make hair frizzier,” she adds.
Set Hair Using a Loose Bun
There’s nothing like the instant gratification of getting gorgeous hair with your beloved blow dryer, but turning up the heat too often can lead to damage and even hair loss. Fortunately, you can still obtain a lush mane with the help of a topknot. “After shampooing, towel dry your hair so it’s slightly damp and then style your hair in a high, loose bun,” says Papworth. “When you wake up in the morning, undo the elastic and enjoy the loose waves you have created.” If your hair falls straight naturally, simply spritz on a light hairspray to combat flyaways or apply a root lifter for extra volume.
Don’t Let Your Hair Down (Yet)
If you like to sleep with their hair down, it’s time to kick that bad habit to the curb. “It’s better to sleep with your hair contained,” says Barbosa. Tossing and turning causes an all-around mess. “Sometimes, this results in knots and tangles that add more stress to your hair when trying to brush it out,” he says. “Then you’ll reach for the hot tools, which causes damage over time.” Pull back your hair in a loose bun with an elastic that won’t tug or add pressure to your scalp.
Cut the Heat in Half
If you must reach for the heating tools in the morning, cut down on time with a simple trick. Stylists suggest washing your hair the night before and then gently using a wide tooth comb to make sure your tresses are tangle-free. In the morning, your hair will be dryer and softer, which means you won’t have to use the dryer as long, also cutting down on the amount of heat you’re using.
Can’t handle that unruly frizz? Chances are you’re missing one step before hitting the sheets. “Apply a small amount of leave-in conditioner evenly through damp hair, focusing on ends,” says Ruiz. “Run a wide-tooth comb through hair. Then twist into a loose bun prior to going to sleep. In the morning, release your bun and you’ll be left with hair that has frizz-free body and shine.”
Make Dry Shampoo Your Friend
If your mane is on the oily side, consider spritzing the grease away by using dry shampoo the night before. Spray about six inches away from the roots and let the product sit for a minute before styling your hair into a topknot. This will create instant volume on waves already created by the high bun and soak up excess oil, all while providing a fresh, clean scent.
Remember when your grandmother used to brush her hair with 100 strokes before nighttime? There’s no need to do all that work, especially since that much brushing can cause breakage. “Gently stimulate your scalp with your fingertips before bed,” suggests Barboda. “This moves blood flow to the scalp, leading to healthy growth patterns and dispersing natural, moisturizing oils throughout your hair.”
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