9 Ways to Fix (and Avoid) Bed Head

Bed head can be prevented by tying hair up while sleeping, using a humidifier in the bedroom, avoiding sleeping with wet hair, brushing hair before bed, and avoiding hair accessories that can dent or tug on hair, according to stylist Raven Hurtado. To fix bed head, dampen the area with water, apply a pomade or cream, use a hair dryer to dampen cowlicks, and brush out the section in question. Hurtado recommends tying hair up in a loose top knot, loosely braiding it, or wearing a silk bonnet to keep it secure while sleeping. Recommended products include Pureology Color Fanatix 21 Essential Benefits Spray, dpHUE Color Fresh Dry Texture Spray, and Leonor Greyl Serum de Soie Sublimateur.

Nestling into those super soft sheets on that even more comfortable mattress might have seemed like a great idea last night…until you woke up with a serious case of bed head this morning. If you’re tired of waking up with a bad hair day—yes, pun intended—we’re here to help.

We sat down with Raven Hurtado, stylist at Chicago’s Maxine Salon, to find out not only how to fix bed head but how to prevent it in the first place! Read on for her top tips and some products to help too.

How to fix bed head in 4 steps

So, bed head got the better of you. Don’t worry—these tips from Hurtado will help get your hair back to normal in no time flat. (Again, pardon the pun.)

1. Wet it down

“If you do wake up with bed head, wet the area with water just enough so that it’s damp,” Hurtado suggests.

2. Apply product

Hurtado recommends applying a pomade or cream so that you can try and put those pesky out-of-place strands back where they came from.

3. Heat things up

Woke up with an annoying cowlick? “Dampen the section and use a hair dryer,” Hurtado says.

4. Brush it out

After blow drying the section in question, “brush it out with a paddle brush or round brush,” Hurtado says, which will help refresh your tresses.

How to avoid bed head in 5 steps

Want to make sure bed head doesn’t happen in the first place? Here are Hurtado’s top tips.

1. Tie your hair up while you sleep

Hurtado recommends tying your hair up while you sleep to keep your blowout in place. There are a few ways to do this:

  • Put your hair in a top knot—”but not too tight,” Hurtado cautions.
  • Loosely braid your hair to prevent frizz and keep waves intact.
  • Try a silk bonnet, which is great because “they keep the overall style in place, and the hair is also secure from any movement while you sleep,” Hurtado says.

2. Use a humidifier

Hurtado recommends using a humidifier while you sleep—not only because the extra moisture in the area is great for your sinuses “but also for skin and hair, which will make the hair look fresh.”

3. Avoid going to sleep with wet hair

“The hair is fragile when it’s wet,” Hurtado says. “As you sleep and move around, hair can break off and you can wake up with frizz.”

4. Brush your hair before bed

Whether you’re a restless sleeper or not, hair tends to tangle while you sleep, which can lead to the dreaded bed head phenomenon. “When you brush before bed, you’ll have less tangled hair in the morning,” Hurtado says.

5. Avoid hair accessories that may dent or tug your hair

Instead of a metal clip or elastic, which can cause dents in your hair while you sleep, Hurtado recommends reaching for a silk scrunchie.

Product recommendations to avoid bed head

Whether you woke up with your tresses in a tangle or you’re trying to avoid bed head altogether, these three products are here to help.

Pureology Color Fanatix 21 Essential Benefits Spray

This multitasking spray helps detangle, smooth hair fibers, prevent breakage from brushing and combing, control frizz, and more!

$34, pureology.com

dpHUE Color Fresh Dry Texture Spray

Treat your tresses to a little texture—the good kind!—with this spray that refreshes and provides lasting hold.

$28, dphue.com

Leonor Greyl Serum de Soie Sublimateur

Don’t let the French words keep you away from this serum, which helps smooth hair without weighing it down and controls frizz and flyaways.

$46, leonorgreyl-usa.com


What causes bed head?

If you’re waking up with hair that’s more tangled than tousled, you may be wondering why. It happens due to the friction between your hair and your pillow while your head moves around on your pillow. Going to sleep with wet hair is another way to pretty much guarantee a rat’s nest on top of your head come morning.

How do you get rid of bed head with short hair?

Not enough hair to pull up into a ponytail or bun? Never fear—you can still prevent bed head! Try sleeping with your hair wrapped in a silk scarf or with a bonnet.

How do I stop getting bed head?

Ah, the age-old question. While sleeping on a comfortable mattress will help you avoid waking up with kinks in your neck, there are other ways to keep the kinks from entering your mane. Try pulling your hair up into a ponytail or top knot or loosely braiding it. Be sure to use a silk scrunchie instead of metal clips or elastics, which can cause unsightly dents. Brushing your hair before bed also leads to less tangles when your morning alarm goes off.

Want more advice on what to do with your hair while you snooze? Check out our best tips for protecting your hair while you sleep.

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