Before heading out for a night on the town, you spend hours creating the most perfectly coiffed hair, using juuuust the right amount of hair gel to achieve your ‘look’.
All night long, you relish in the steady stream of compliments you receive regarding your stylish ‘do.
Finally, you head home feeling pretty darn good about your impressive hair styling skills and grateful that you decided to buy that new, fancy hair gel.
In fact, you’re so proud of your spot-on hair style that you just can’t bring yourself to wash out your hair gel before heading to bed. You think to yourself:
“Maybe the gel will keep my perfect hair in place overnight and I can rock this look again tomorrow!”
Sleeping with hair gel in your hair is not a good idea. Here’s why…
Hair Gel Can Clog Your Scalp Pores While You Sleep
Pores don’t just exist on your nose. You have pores all over your entire body – including on your scalp.
And where there are pores, there’s the potential for them to get clogged. Especially when you sleep.
Airborne dirt and dust as well as natural oils produced by your body are the most common pore-cloggers – and both pretty tough to avoid.
But you can avoid clogging your pores further depending on the products that you put and leave on your scalp.
Which brings me to sleeping with gel in your hair – a surefire way to clog those pretty little pores on your head.1
If the pores on your scalp are clogged, your hair can’t properly regenerate and grow as it should.
Just as you (hopefully) wash your face at night to clean the daily grime out of your facial pores, you should pay the same respect to the pores on your head.
If you use gel on your hair during the day, be sure to wash it out and scrub your scalp prior to turning in for the night. Clean pores on your scalp mean healthy, shiny hair.
Could Sleeping With Hair Gel Lead To Hair Loss?
Can sleeping with gel in your hair cause hair loss?
It’s a pretty straightforward question with a not such a straightforward answer.
Let’s break it down…
We just discussed how sleeping with hair gel in your hair can clog the pores on your scalp. This relates to hair loss because some believe clogged pores on your scalp from sleeping with hair gel in (among other things) is a direct precursor to hair loss.2
I say somebelieve because this claim is largely debatable and not backed by any scientific proof.
So, why do so many hair professionals believe that clogged scalp pores lead to eventual hair loss?
- Over time your scalp develops a layer of sebum – a combination of dead skin cells, hair products like gel, and other pollutants.
- If you don’t regularly scrub your scalp, this sebum builds up, fills the pores on your scalp, and hardens.
- This can eventually cause hair follicle miniaturization – a process where hair follicles previously producing healthy hairs start to yield thinner, shorter, weaker, more brittle hairs – which contributes to the APPEARANCE of hair loss.
Back to the original question – can sleeping with gel in your hair cause hair loss?
Short answer – no.
But it can contribute to the over-all appearance that you’re losing your hair. Overly clogged pores on your scalp will likely cause you to grow thinner and weaker hair follicles making you look as though you are losing your hair.
And who wants to look like they’re losing their hair when they’re actually not?
Wash your hair gel out before bed, scrub your scalp, and avoid looking like you’re balding before your time.
Sleeping With Hair Gel Can Cause Acne
Do you wash your pillow cases every single day? Probably not – who has time for that?
But if you sleep with gel in your hair, you should.
Our bodies produce sweat when we sleep – especially on our heads.
While it may not be enough sweat for you to wake up needing to towel yourself off, it’s enough to make the hair gel your never washed out sweat off all over your pillowcase.
Aside from dealing with unattractive stains and an uncomfortable sticky residue, gel that bleeds onto your pillowcases can cause skin irritations and breakouts on your face. Not to mention all the small dried gel flakes that fall from your head.
Think about it – you go to sleep one night with a head full of gel. You sweat and the gel spreads onto your pillowcases.
The next night, you lay your nice, clean face down on your gel-covered pillowcase. Now that same gel that was clogging your pores on your scalp last night, is clogging the pores on your face tonight.
Hellloooo acne and irritated skin!3
Let’s recap – how do you avoid dealing with clogged facial pores, stubborn acne, and irritated skin?
- Wash your hair gel out before going to sleep each night
- Wash your pillowcases every single day
For me, this one is a no-brainer. One of those options takes a lot more effort than the other!
To keep your hair healthy, your pillowcases clean, and your complexion clear – simply avoid sleeping with hair gel in your hair whenever possible.
Sure, you may wake up with less messy hair…but sleeping with hair gel in your hair will present you with far greater problems than a messy ‘do.
Do you sleep with hair gel in your hair? Let me know in the comments below!