Sometimes all you want after a stressful day is to take a bath or shower and then get immediately into bed. However, going to bed without drying your hair might have negative consequences for the health of your hair and scalp. Here’s why you should never go to bed with wet hair and how to protect and maintain the health of your scalp.
Why You Should Dry Your Hair Before Bed
1. Fungal Infections
Some fungi are edible, like mushrooms, and others are not, but what all fungi have in common is their love for warm and especially moist environments. If you keep your head wet and go to sleep, you may encourage the development of fungal infections, which can cause rashes, itching, and inflammation. (2)
2. Bacterial Growth
Like all forms of life, bacteria need water to survive and that’s why they thrive in moist environments such as the bathroom or kitchen. The moisture in your hair can easily become an ideal environment for bacteria to spread on your scalp and from there on your pillow and sheets.
The most known cause of dandruff is scalp dryness, but researchers have found that it’s actually caused by Malassezia globosa, a fungus that infiltrates hair follicles and settles on your scalp. The fungus causes irritation in the skin which sheds dead cells much faster than normal, and because fungi favour moist environments, a wet scalp can encourage them to grow. (4)
4. Hair Breakage
Wet hair is very flexible and if it dries off in a particular style, it’s likely to maintain that style until your next wash. If you let your hair dry off during your sleep, it might tangle as you turn around and it will be challenging to comb or brush it the next day. The harder it is to detangle your hair, the more damage and split ends you could create.
How To Fight Fungus And Dandruff Naturally
Fungus is contagious and can spread from other people, animals, or infected objects. If you put a towel on your pillow to keep your pillow dry from your hair, the fungus can infect the towel, pillow, sheets, and potentially other people that sleep in the same bed, so hygiene is critical in preventing and treating fungal infections.
Boost Your Immune System
Fungal infections are common in people with a weak immune system, so a healthy and nutritious diet that boosts your immune system can be helpful. Drinking herbal teas and eating foods with antifungal and antimicrobial properties such as calendula tea and garlic can also help. (1, 2, 3)
Don’t Scratch Your Scalp
It’s best to avoid scratching or picking your scalp when it’s itchy because it will only make your condition worse. Instead, try relieving the irritated area by applying Aloe vera gel which has a cooling effect and antifungal properties. (2)
Apple Cider Vinegar Rinse
If scalp itchiness is unbearable and dandruff flakes are excessive, you can get relief and cleanse your skin by doing a rinse with apple cider vinegar. ACV has antifungal properties, so it’s perfect for skin conditions caused by fungi, such as dandruff. (7) You can do a rinse with plain AVC or you can add a few drops of Tea Tree oil. (5)
Plain Apple Cider Vinegar
What You’ll Need
Apple cider vinegar
Cotton or cotton balls
- Wash your hair with plain water.
- Pour ACV in a container like a bowl.
- Dip cotton in ACV and massage it into the scalp until it’s completely coated
- Let it sit for 20-30 minutes and rinse with water.
- Repeat a few times a week to relieve itchiness
Before you try this method, dab some ACV on your hairline at the back of your neck and wait 10 minutes to be certain that it doesn’t irritate your skin.
Apple Cider Vinegar With Tea tree Oil
Tea tree oil also exhibits antifungal properties, so it can offer additional protection and relief to your scalp. (6)
What You’ll Need
1 cup water
½ cup apple cider vinegar
A few drops tea tree oil
- Mix all ingredients in a container
- Apply on scalp and massage gently
- Wait for a few minutes
- Rinse with plain water
If you don’t have time to let your hair dry naturally before you go to bed, the quickest solution is to blow-dry it. The heat from the hair dryer can damage your hair if you don’t use it correctly, so watch the following video to learn how to blow-dry your hair safely.
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This information is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and is for information only. Essential oils are very highly concentrated and potent and it is important to always check the specific safety data provided. Keep out of reach of children, the elderly, and pets. For external use only. Avoid contact with mucus membranes and eyes. If any essential oils have contacted your eye, wash out with a vegetable oil such as olive oil, not water.
Some oils may cause skin irritation in people with sensitive skin. It is recommended to perform a patch test before use. To patch test, place one drop on the back of your wrist and leave for an hour or more. If irritation or redness occurs wash the area with olive oil then cold water and do not use the oil.
We do not recommend the ingestion of essential oils except while under the care and direction of a qualified health practitioner.
(1) Abudunia, A. M., Marmouzi, I., Faouzi, M. E., Ramli, Y., Taoufik, J., El Madani, N., Essassi, E. M., Salama, A., Khedid, K., Ansar, M. & Ibrahimi, A. (2017). Anticandidal, antibacterial, cytotoxic and antioxidant activities of Calendula arvensis flowers. Journal of Medical Mycology, 27(1), 90-97.
(2) Balch, P. A. (2010). Prescription for Natural Healing: A Practical A-to-Z Reference to Drug-Free Remedies Using Vitamins, Minerals, Herbs & Food Supplements (5th ed.). New York: Avery.
(3) Burian, J. P., Sacramento, L. V. S. & Carlos, I. Z. (2017). Fungal infection control by garlic extracts (Allium sativum L.) and modulation of peritoneal macrophages activity in murine model of sporotrichosis. Brazilian Journal of Biology.
(4) Goodman, B. (2012). Defeating Dandruff.
(5) Home Remedies. (April 12, 2014). Apple Cider Vinegar for Scalp.
(6) Li, Y., Shao, X., Xu, J., Wei, Y., Xu, F. & Wang H. (2017). Tea tree oil exhibits antifungal activity against Botrytis cinerea by affecting mitochondria. Food Chemistry, 234, 62-67.
(7) Mota, A. C., de Castro, R. D., de Araújo Oliveira, J., & de Oliveira Lima E. (2015). Antifungal Activity of Apple Cider Vinegar on Candida Species Involved in Denture Stomatitis. Journal of Prosthodontics, 24(4), 296-302.
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