Should you wash your hair at night, or in the morning? In an ideal world, I would wash my hair in the morning, let my deep conditioner sit for a half-hour, then allow it to air dry, no matter how many hours it would take.
However, unfortunately, that is not realistic for me right now.
So instead, I am currently experimenting with which time of day works better. Here are the pros and cons of washing your hair in the morning versus washing your hair at night.
Many of curlies get excellent Day 1 curls, and washing in the morning allows us take advantage of this. However, if you have to be somewhere and do not have time to air dry your wet hair, then a diffuser is required to speed up drying time. For some, diffusing can cause hair to be a bit frizzier.
Washing in the morning may also mean having to wake up earlier, which is not the best option for those of us who aren't morning people.
Going outside with freshly wet, washed hair in the winter also doesn't work for me (since temperatures below freezing may cause hair breakage). If you must wash in the morning and don’t have a lot of time, gently squeezing out excess moisture with a cotton or microfiber towel can help decrease drying time without making hair frizzy.
If you get home from your work day early enough, you may be able to wash your hair and have plenty of time to air dry before bed, which can be ideal but is not a realistic scenario for many of us. If not, you are left with the choice to wash and dry right before bed, or go to sleep with wet hair. Sleep drying, as I call it, is risky for me because I toss and turn so much. More often than not, I wake up the next day with curls that are frizzy and super wonky.
More often than not, I wake up the next day with curls that are frizzy and super wonky.
The other issue with sleep drying is that our hair is so much more susceptible to breakage when wet, so tossing too much can lead to damage, as well as tangles. One method that can help improve the sleep drying process is to overnight plop. Plopping helps the hair dry and set the curls, but tossing and turning too much can cause the plop towel to come off.
Some curlies find washing and diffusing at night to be beneficial because there is not as much mystery involved with waking up. You know what your hair looked like before bed and may just need to touch it up minimally, if at all. Sleeping with hair in a pineapple can help keep the shape of your freshly washed hair. Satin pillowcases and/or satin hair bonnets are good for sleep also regardless of when you wash because they help to keep frizz at bay.
To sum up
As with all steps on the curly hair journey, you will likely have to try both to see which one works for you. If you are not a morning person and don't achieve good results with a diffuser, then you may want to try washing at night.
If you have time to wash right after work, this gives you time to air dry your hair completely before going to bed.
If you like the way your hair looks best on day 1, then morning washing might be best for you.
I think it's important to note that most curlies can't wake up in the morning and walk out the door without touching up their curls at least a little bit. For some curlies that might mean fluffing out their hair after sleeping in a pineapple, for others that might mean re-wetting your hair to bring bounce and definition back to flattened curls.
Morning or night washing--which do you prefer?
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