You’ve had a long day and before bed you wind down by having a hot shower.
While you kind of hate the feeling of sleeping with wet hair, you absolutely cannot be bothered drying you luscious locks so instead you decide to drape a towel across your pillow to keep your bed dry. It’s not perfect, but hey, it’s no big deal right?
Incorrect my friend. According to experts, going to bed with wet hair is seriously bad for your health and can lead to a range of health issues that are slightly terrifying.
While going to bed with wet hair will not give you a cold as grandma may have told you, it does have the ability to cause problems that are much more long lasting than having to take a day off work for your sniffle.
1. Bacteria growth
The disgusting truth is that your pillow acts as a breeding ground for a range of bacteria and fungi. When you sleep with wet hair your pillow gets damp and once your head hits the pillow, the warmth that your body generates helps to create the perfect warm and damp environment for nasties to breed. Considering that we spend around a third of our lives in bed, it’s slightly unsettling to think that sleeping with wet hair could mean that we spend a good chunk of our lives with our face resting on a prime bacterial breeding ground.
Struggling to get rid of dandruff? If you are regularly sleeping with wet hair you may find that your anti-dandruff products are not succeeding at curing of your flaky scalp. This is because the fungi that breed while you sleep can spread to your scalp and can actually cause dandruff. If this is you make sure that you are regularly washing your pillow cases and dry your hair fully before you hit the hay.
3. Ringworm of the scalp
Probably the most important (and disgusting!) reason you should never sleep with wet hair – you could catch ringworm of the scalp. The fungi that breed in your pillow can be transmitted to your scalp, putting you at risk of contracting this fungal infection that can lead to severe hair loss. If left untreated, ringworm will cause hair breakage near the surface of the scalp and you will be left with some pretty serious bald patches. Ringworm of the scalp is also highly contagious, so if you are sharing a bed with your significant other they are at a high risk of contracting the condition too.
4. Loss of hair shine and strength
Okay, so maybe this one is not quite as terrifying, but nobody wants dull hair or weak hair. When you go to bed with wet hair and your pillowcase gets wet the hydrogen bonds in your hair may start to break down, causing your hair to become brittle. What this means is that when you try to blow dry or style your hair normally, you hair is far more likely to break and become damaged.
Read next: Beauty Alert: Big Hair Is Finally Back
Image Credits: Instagram @chalmers.pyjamas