There are two types of people in the world, those who shower in the morning and those who shower at night. (Yes, I know there are a few eager people out there that will fall into the two-showers-a-day category, but you guys might want to read this.)
I myself am an evening showerer. Having never been "a morning person," the nightly washing ritual allows me a few extra minutes in bed come sunrise, and for that, I've always been grateful.
However, after reading claims that evening hair washers could be unknowingly damaging their tresses, I started to get paranoid. I've put my hair through a lot. As a natural brunette-turned-platinum blonde, my strands have suffered through bleaching after bleaching and the damage is starting to show.
After looking into the claims, I found that the damage isn't necessarily linked to the time of day that you wash your tresses; the problems start when you go to sleep with wet hair—something I'm 100% guilty of.
Yup, if you go to sleep with wet or damp hair, your movements throughout the night are likely to cause knotting and this can lead to long-term damage. Why? Because hair is prone to breakage when it's wet.
Sally-Ann Travers, Consultant Trichologist at The Cotswold Trichology Centre & Theradome, helped shed a bit more light on the subject.
"The main issue with going to bed with wet hair is that the cuticle (outer layer) of the hair is more raised when wet—which is why often some women find their hair is impossibly knotty when wet but not so when dry. Sleeping with wet hair could cause it to tangle more, particularly if you move a lot in your sleep, and come morning, it could be difficult to comb through. There is also the fact that as your hair dries in the night, kinks and shape will set into it as it dries. Who knows what you may wake up looking like in the morning!" explains Sally.
So what's a morning hater to do?
"You can still wash your hair at night, but either dry it before getting in bed, or loosely braid it. This will prevent it knotting and becoming tangled as you sleep, and when you take it out in the morning, your hair will have soft waves."
The thing is, it's not just the damage we have to worry about. "The second issue with going to bed with wet hair is fungus. Fungus likes moist warm conditions to grow, and consistently sleeping with wet hair could contribute to an overgrowth in fungus or scalp 'yeast,' potentially leading to scalp problems or dandruff. Spores could also develop in your pillow due to the same damp warm conditions, which could contribute to breathing issues, rhinitis, and allergies," explains Sally.
Moral of the story, you can wash your hair at night, but it's probs best to dry it before getting in bed.
Enjoy your lie-in, peeps.
This article originally appeared on Cosmopolitan.co.uk. Minor edits have been made by the Cosmo.ph editors.