Hygiene expert’s warning: Why you should avoid sleeping with wet hair

A hygiene expert has weighed in on why it's important to dry your hair before going to bed. Source: Getty Images.

We’ve all done it. Gone to bed with wet hair because the thought of getting the hairdryer out, especially during the summer months, seems like far too much effort.

But Canadian hygiene and cleaning expert Mary Further, known as Madame Sweat online, has revealed in a tell-all video why we really shouldn’t be sleeping with wet hair.

@madamesweat Why you shouldn’t go to bed with wet hair  #wethair #bed #sleep #hairtok #hair #fungus #scalp #breakagehair #breakage #fragile #bacteria #madamesweat #infection #dandruff ♬ Concerto for Clarinet & Orchestra in a-Major, Kv. 622: III. Rondo, Allegro – Mozart

In the video, Mary lists three things you should worry about if you’ve been laying your wet locks upon your pillow at bedtime.

Fungal infections can grow from moisture

The expert says going to bed with wet hair could give you a fungal infection.

She explained, “If you have dandruff, it’s going to make it even worse because fungus will grow from moisture.”

Nasties in your pillowcase

“If you haven’t already cleaned your pillowcase, you’d better get working on it after you go to bed with wet hair,” Mary said.

She divulged that pillowcases were already “a hot bed for fungus”.

“(So) you’re going to cause even more by putting that moisture into the pillow and letting it sit there and fester,” she said.

Hair damage and split ends

The third risk she mentioned was hair damage and the potential for split ends.

“When your hair is damp, it is in a weakened state, which means it has to be treated very gently,” she said.

“When you’re tossing and turning on your pillow, you can actually cause breakage at the shaft of your hair, which means you’re going to actually end up with a lot more split ends.

“So don’t go to bed with your hair wet.”

Many Tik Tokers were quick to react to Mary’s revelations about wet hair at bedtime saying they had done it their entire lives with no adverse effects to speak of.

“I’ve been going to bed every night for 30+ yrs and never had an issue,” one said.

“I’ve gone to bed with my hair wet since a kid, no fungus here.”

“Girl hair fungus is rare nothing to worry about.”

While others took Mary’s advice seriously and even channelled their mother’s advice while growing up.

“No worries us Mexican mom don’t let our kids go to bed with wet hair nor did my mom let us!”

“My mum also ,we had to hair dry our hair before bed.”

“Getting out of bed to dry my hair now.”

If you’ve been sleeping with wet hair, now’s the time to inspect the hygiene of your pillow as it can be a breeding ground for nasties such as bacteria, fungi, dust mites, and allergens that could trigger a whole host of respiratory problems and skin irritations.

To keep your pillows fresh, clean, and free of yellow stains that build up over time, domestic service entrepreneur Lily Li suggests the following: 

  • Removing hair products, and makeup and drying your hair before hitting the sack.
  • Use a pillow protector underneath your pillowcase.
  • Buy pillows made of fluid-preventing fabric.

For pillows that are already yellow and stained, she suggests using a stain removal spray or a paste of baking soda water before you put the pillow into the washing machine for smaller stains.

For stubborn stains, she says “use a combination of detergent mixed with soap. Keep in mind that you need to read the instructions on the care label to avoid any damage to your pillows”.



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