This Is Why I Wear My Hair in a Bun When I Sleep

A woman sleeping in white sheets with her hair in a bun.

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I'm always intrigued by what people can discuss in-depth on Reddit. Case in point, a man put a photo of his wife and dog sleeping on the r/aww thread — a thread for photos that make you go "Awww!" The conversation didn't focus on the cute dog, however. It turned into a discussion on why his wife was sleeping with her hair in a bun.

Why? She has long hair. That's why. As someone with long hair, I can attest that sleeping with it in a bun is the best. Here's why.

Prevents Hair-pulling

A woman sleeping and touching her hair in neutral bedding.


I don't pull my own hair when I roll over or turn my head. Once my hair gets below my shoulders, if it's under my body in the bed and I move, it's like someone pulled on it. Even just turning my head can cause an annoying pulling effect.

It's Cooler

A black woman with thick hair sleeps in bed.

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It doesn't matter what time of year it is, I sleep hot. Having all my hair down makes me hotter and it also makes my head and neck sweat.

Speeds Up Morning Routine

A young woman with her hair in a bun looks at herself in the bathroom mirror.

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I get ready quickly in the morning. If I sleep with my hair down, when I wake up, it's a matted, frizzy, curly mess. If I sleep with it in a bun, all I have to do is take it out of the bun, perhaps spritz it with a little water to bring the curls back to life, and I'm ready to go. If I have to be somewhere early in the day, sleeping with a bun helps me get where I need to go without spending too much time on my hair.

Requires Less Washing

A black woman pulls her hair back into a bun.

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I don't have to get my hair wet as often. If I wake up with a mess of hair on my head, I have to wet it down and condition it so I can style it again. Sleeping with the bun saves water, hair product and the electricity it takes to use styling tools.

Makes Blowouts Last Longer

A woman with a bun in her hair looks out a plane window.

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It preserves a blowout. With the help of dry shampoo, I can go a week (sometimes longer) with a professional blowout by putting my hair in a bun when I sleep. This is particularly helpful when I'm traveling. (I wear my hair in a bun on long plane flights, too.)

Keeps Hair Away From Others

Woman with hair in bun and her partner in bed.

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It doesn't get in anyone else's face. If there's someone else in the bed with me, my hair does not invade his space.

Hair Stays Healthier

Woman in bed with a bun in her hair on her laptop.

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It keeps my hair healthier. Constant washing and conditioning along with the heat from styling tools can dry out hair and damage it.

My Favorite Bun Holder

cut off crew sock band
It's dirty from scalp oils and hair dye, but this cutoff top of a crew sock is the best thing to keep my hair in a bun all night.

Robin Shreeves / Treehugger

This isn't the first time I've written about the advantages of putting my hair in a bun. I have my hair in one right now as I'm writing because I'm in the "messy bun gets stuff done" club, and I'm not alone. Many people find it easier to focus when their long hair is up in a bun, although the reason why isn't clear.

When I'm working, I can put my hair up in a clip or a ponytail band, but when I'm sleeping, there is only one thing I use to put it up — the cut off elastic band section of a crew sock. It works well because it doesn't have one single tight band that runs through it that will put a big line or dent in my hair. I don't make a tight, perfect bun, but rather a messy bun high on my head.

The band keeps my hair in place all night. I have thick hair, so I realize that it's easier for my bun to stay in place than for someone who has thin, fine hair, so I can't say this will work for everyone.

This tutorial below is very similar to how I do it. The tutor takes five minutes to show how to do a five-second messy bun, but you can skip to 1:45 to get to the basics of how to create this hairstyle for sleeping. Where she says to put the ends in with bobby pins, I simply tuck any loose ends back into the band.

Whenever I find that one of my boys' crew socks has lost its mate, I give that sock a new life. I cut off the band for my hair and I keep the sock as a rag. (Cotton socks are great for dusting.)