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4 Protective Hairstyles To Sleep In That’ll Help You Avoid Breakage

Sleep is very important for the body. It rejuvenates us, and gives us the energy we need to start the day. Not only does the way we sleep affect our productivity and mood, but it can also affect our hair! If you’re not careful, you can easily damage your hair while you sleep. So how do you avoid hair breakage and damage while you’re in dreamland? Well with protective hairstyles, of course!

ICYMI: Protective hairstyles are hairstyles that guard against hair damage, heat, and environmental factors. Here are some of those protective hairstyles that are perfect for maintaining your beauty sleep.

Box Braids

Box braids are very popular to wear and easy to maintain. And don’t worry, you can definitely wrap your braids at night — just try @hairsdeiya’s great tutorial! And remember, by wrapping your braids, you’re protecting the fragile hair around your hairline and edges while maintaining moisture to your scalp and roots. All of that prep will help to prevent hair breakage, and will have your edges laid and fresh in the morning.

Loose pineapple bun

Creating a loose pineapple bun is a very protective hairstyle for women with curly hair, like @tatiannaselene! Try using a silk scrunchie to tie your hair up, so that it’s all kept in that position. If you have shorter or fuller hair, try a multi-pineapple by dividing the hair into multiple sections.

Bantu KNots

Bantu knots are another great option for bed. Originated in southern Africa,this style is where the hair is sectioned off, twisted, and wrapped so that the hair forms a spiraled knot. Not only will the knots hold up throughout the night, but you’ll also have pretty curls if you take them out!


Cornrows are a great hairstyle to sleep in! Wrapping your hair with a satin or silk scarf will help to prevent frizz and breakage. For my natural hair girls who want cute curls like @adenyilma, try loosening the cornrows the following morning, that way you’ll have both smooth and stretched hair.

There are so many types of protective styles, but remember, not all of them make it easy to sleep in. So here are a few quick tips of things to avoid, that way your hair is protected when you sleep. 

For one, don’t sleep with a cotton pillowcase! They dry your hair out and cause it to frizz! The friction created between the hair and cotton causes damage that makes it difficult to grow your hair out and keep it healthy. Use a silk pillowcase instead! I recommend the satin pillowcases from Kitsch.

If you can, avoid sleeping with wet hair! When you sleep with wet hair, you increase the risk of kinks and breakage. Instead, try taking a minute to dry your hair, or create a wash schedule that gives your hair plenty of time to fully air dry.

Finally, sleep with your hair covered! To protect it from frizz, try wearing a satin-lined sleep cap or bonnet, like these from LilySilk, to bed. This also prevents breakage or messing up a style you worked hard to perfect! 

Your hair is your crown, so it’s important to treat it like royalty and give it the love and care it deserves — even in your sleep!

Camille Birdsong is a Her Campus National Writer for the Style section. She writes weekly articles about all things fashion, beauty, lifestyle, and decor. Beyond Her Campus, Camille works as an Associate Producer for CNN Max. She previously worked at NBC News, where she produced heartwarming stories for the TODAY Show audience and viewers nationwide. Camille graduated in 2022 with a B.A. in Journalism and a minor in Leadership Studies at Hampton University. She was the Director and Line Producer of her university’s newscast and has interned at NBC Nightly News, the TODAY Show and the Weekend TODAY Show. Camille is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated and is passionate about sharing community-driven stories. In her downtime, she loves creating content, visiting new cafes, and obsessing over reality dating shows.