If you wake up and frequently find a lot of hair on your pillow, you’re not alone. Most people lose about 100 to 125 hairs in a 24-hour period – in hairbrushes, the shower, and bed. If you find clumps of hair, this might be reason for concern and could possibly signal the presence of alopecia. A simple test is to grab about 40 hairs with your thumb and forefinger, about an inch from your scalp. Tug the hair hard enough to pull at your scalp and slide your fingers all along the shaft to the end. Count the number of hairs that fall out – if more than six are in your hand, you may have an underlying health issue and should consult a dermatologist.
Hair Breakage Causes
Preventing Hair Breakage at Night
You may not even realize it, but while you are asleep, your hair may be subjected to unintentional friction and pulling caused by tossing and turning. Learn about additional causes and what you can do to curtail or stop hair breakage while you’re getting your Zs.
Although it’s tempting to wash your hair before bedtime and air dry it, wet hair is weaker than dry hair. Sleeping on wet hair increases the risk of breakage, so take a few extra minutes and dry your hair before you turn in for the night or take a daytime nap.
Elastic hair ties/bands put undue stress on your hair and damage the hair shaft. The same goes for tightly pulled back pony tails or high buns. This occurs when you wear these styles for extended hours during the day, however, the damage at night can be worse. If you wish to tie your hair back at night, opt for a low ponytail or loose single braid at the nape of your neck. Always use a scrunchie rather than an elastic tie.
You love your matching cotton bed set, but you may want to consider a silk or satin pillowcase. Cotton pillowcases can absorb moisture from your hair and lead to knots or tangles. Silk is non-absorbent, less stressful on the hair, and can reduce breakage.
Brushing your hair before bed is a good idea to ensure your hair is tangle-free. Tangled hair increase the risk of breakage when you're tossing and turning in bed. Use a wide toothed comb and brush your hair gently from the tips to the roots. This will help natural oils from your scalp move to the ends. Just remember, 1,000 brushstrokes is a beauty myth and excessive brushing or too much of anything else (e.g. shampoo, color treatments, etc.) can cause hair breakage.
A soft silk scarf is an ideal way to keep hair off your face. This provides the same benefits as sleeping on a silk pillowcase with the added benefit of keeping your hair back without an elastic band. Click here to learn how to tie a head scarf.
While sleep caps are perfect for people who have suffered hair loss due to chemotherapy or alopecia, anyone can wear them. Soft, light, and warm, these caps are made to keep your head warm and retain body heat while you slumber. As a bonus, sleep caps keep hair off your face and help prevent you from inadvertently tugging on strands while you sleep.
Like skin, hair regenerates the most during sleep. Moisturize your hair with an overnight solution to treat dry and broken ends. Put 4-5 drops of lemongrass or argan oil in your hands and apply it to the ends of your hair. You could also try a commercial masque designed specifically for periodic overnight treatment. Avoid a traditional conditioner because leaving this in for a prolonged period can damage your hair. Comb the masque through your hair, pulling longer pieces up to form a loose bun. Protect your pillowcase with a soft towel or well-worn t-shirt.
What are your favorite ways to protect your hair while you sleep? Please comment and share below.