The long-haired man’s journey is one filled with hurdles. Getting comfortable overnight is one of them. You’re about to learn some very simple, yet effective ways to sleep with long hair.
Before we do, however, it’s important to briefly talk about why it’s an issue in the first place. Once that’s done, the solutions will make even more sense.
Let’s get to it.
Why Is Sleeping With Long Hair Such A Problem?
Sleeping with long hair can often be uncomfortable, particularly in people who move around a lot in their sleep.
The hair can wrap around the face which can be uncomfortable and warm. It can also go into the mouth while you sleep – endlessly frustrating.
The integrity of the hair can also be affected as it rubs in between a harsh cotton pillow and your head. This can lead to split-ends, matting, and tangles.
As hard as you may work on maintaining the long hair during the day, all of those efforts could be ruined overnight.
That’s why people have put time and effort into devising so many different solutions for what is a pretty universal long-haired problem.
Let’s go through some of the main ones.
6 Ways To Sleep With Long Hair [Men’s Guide]
Here are some simple ways of sleeping with long hair without getting it tangled. You’ll notice that some are lower maintenance than others.
Because of this, you’ll probably find that you’re drawn to one or two of them more than the others. That’s fine.
Once you find something that works for you and that you’re comfortable with, stick with it.
1. Silk Or Satin Pillowcase
Using the right pillowcase can make a big difference to not only your comfort but also the integrity of your hair as well.
Men tend to shy away from the more “luxurious” items of bedding like this.
But long-haired men would do well to get to grips with why they could potentially lead to better sleep and better hair.
Here’s a silk one on
Both silk and satin pillowcases essentially achieve the same thing, but you’ll find that silk is generally more expensive. Satin would be a reasonable and more affordable alternative.
The slipperiness of the material will allow the hair to slide over it, even as you toss and turn in bed. This makes it less likely to tangle and cause breakage/split-ends.
It isn’t a perfect solution – there will still be some tangling. But it’ll be more comfortable and also be better for your hair.
It probably won’t be enough as a solution, however. You’ll still want to try out some of the other tips on this list.
But using a silk or satin pillowcase in addition to the other solutions will definitely improve the overall outcome.
2. Side Braid
Braids aren’t everyone’s favorite option by any means. They can be time-consuming, particularly considering how most guys won’t have learned how to do them in adolescence.
But a basic, three-strand braid really isn’t hard to learn. There are plenty of videos online showing you exactly how to do it.
A side braid is a braid that literally sits down the side of the head and neck. This is great for sleeping because it lies neatly out of the way.
Try to leave it on a side you don’t usually sleep on.
One thing to note about braids is that they can be quite uncomfortable to sleep with when they’re too tight. So, try to leave them comfortable.
Another problem commonly faced when sleeping with braids is that they can leave the hair quite kinked and crimped when they’re unwrapped in the morning.
This is especially true if your hair is on the thinner or finer end of the spectrum.
If you find that this is a problem, a bun or ponytail may be a better option.
3. High Buns And Ponytails
As you’re probably aware, there are many different types of buns and ponytails. One of the main ways in which they vary is how high up the head they sit.
Man buns are pretty common, but given the fact that they usually lie over the crown, they can be quite uncomfortable to sleep on.
Essentially, the key point here is that whatever bun or ponytail you choose to style, it should sit as high and far forward on the head as possible.
Literally – near the forehead. It might sound strange. In fact, it looks pretty strange as well.
But remember, we’re going for function over fashion here.
The point is to keep the hair tied away from the sides and the back of the head/neck while you sleep. It’s out of the way and comfortable.
Gently gather the long hair as you would do with any ponytail and pull it forward toward the forehead where you’ll tie it.
How you tie it will also vary and depend on your preferences.
Many men prefer a single, simple tie here to let it hang loose in a ponytail. The only difference is that the ponytail sits right above the forehead.
Strange-looking, but effective.
What you use to tie it is also important. Normal hair ties can be quite tight and uncomfortable to sleep with. They leave the hair under quite a lot of tension which isn’t great.
Good alternatives that are generally looser and more comfortable include scrunchies and “phone cord” hair ties (image below is an
These aren’t usually tight enough to be useful during your day-to-day activities. They’ll probably come loose.
But when you sleep, they’re great for allowing you to tie your hair in a way that’s non-restrictive.
If after you’ve tied your high up (above the forehead) ponytail you’re finding that it flops forward onto your face too much, you may need to take it a step further.
This will be the case for men with very long hair.
In these cases, you may need to actually tie it into a compact, yet comfortable bun instead. Using hair clips to keep the bun in place will allow you to still keep things loose.
4. Let It Hang Loose
This is really only an option for men who don’t move around much while they sleep.
If you can stay pretty still and on your back for most of the night, this option is by far the simplest and least time-consuming for you.
I’d still recommend using a satin or silk pillowcase, however. It’ll make this option a lot more realistic.
But letting it hang really just means flipping your hair straight back and to the side of the pillow. It’ll be toward the headboard of your bed and hopefully away from the back of your head.
This should reduce the risk of it tangling as you sleep.
But as you can imagine, men who toss and turn in bed will soon find that the position they neatly kept their hair in before they slept is nothing like what it’s in when they wake up.
I don’t want to dwell on this option for too long as it probably won’t be enough for most men, especially those with very long hair.
But for the minority of people who are able to sleep pretty still and on their back, doing this with a silk or satin pillow is a pretty reasonable and effective option.
5. Satin Or Silk Bonnet
A bonnet is a great way to keep long hair in place while you sleep. Once again, satin or silk are the best ways to go.
These materials reduce the risk of tangling, while also retaining moisture and reducing the risk of frizz.
They’re also smooth and comfortable to sleep on/in.
While many people get along with these bonnets perfectly fine, others find that they can sometimes leave the hair looking pretty flat in the mornings.
They aren’t great for retaining volume.
But if all you want to do is keep the hair compact, comfortable, and out of the way while you sleep, they’re perfectly fine.
They’re really simple to use. Simply flip the long hair forward and tuck it in under the bonnet.
You’ll find that most of the bonnets out there are marketed toward women, as you’d expect. But there’s absolutely no reason why guys with long hair can’t wear them – long hair is long hair at the end of the day.
Here’s a satin bonnet on Amazon you can check out.
6. Open-Ended Head Piece
I struggle to know what to call these, but they really are great for men who want to retain their volume or curls overnight.
Having said that, they’re pretty much great for anyone who doesn’t want to flatten their hair overnight – something a bonnet can often be guilty of doing.
Seeing it will make things simpler to explain. Check out Woven Royal’s Afrona for a great example.
The “double-ended tube” appearance of this headwear prevents the crown from flattening and will allow you to retain volume and the shape of curls overnight.
It’s also just more comfortable than wearing a headpiece that actively flattens your hair to keep it in place.
It probably won’t be necessary for men whose hair is pretty straight and flat usually anyway.
But for those who find that the alternative solutions on this list lead to flat hair and lifeless curls, an open-ended headpiece would be a potential solution.
How Do You Sleep With Long Hair In The Summer?
In the summer, sleeping with long hair tied into a comfortable ponytail or bun that sits just above the forehead is a good option. It keeps the hair away from the face and neck overnight, keeping the area cool during the warmer months.
Headwear such as satin/silk bonnets and durags can often feel quite warm overnight. During the summer, it may feel too uncomfortable when trying to get some proper rest.
Scrunchies and phone cord hair ties should provide a loose yet comfortable way of keeping the hair gathered and tied into a high ponytail or bun.
It isn’t easy by any means. But sleeping with long hair doesn’t need to be as complicated as some make it seem.
There are plenty of accessories out there designed as a solution to this very specific problem.
It’s just a case of finding the fix that works best for you and your hair.
Hopefully, this article has given you a great place to start.
Ready Sleek founder. Obsessed with casual style and the minimalist approach to building a highly functional wardrobe. Also a fan of classic, vintage hairstyles.