How do I sleep with SO MUCH HAIR?
December 13, 2020 11:21 AM   Subscribe

How do people sleep with long hair?

I have very fine hair that’s usually just above my shoulders, but I haven’t gotten a haircut since February, my hair is now several inches beyond my shoulders, and I have embraced the ponytail. I am actually loving having longer hair during the daytime, because I don’t have to spend time styling it—I just pull it up into a ponytail and I’m good to go. Even when it’s safe to get haircuts again, I’ll probably keep it long.
However—what do long-haired people do with ALL THAT HAIR when you go to bed? I feel smothered in hair every time I turn over. I can’t sleep in a ponytail because it hurts to lay on it. I guess I could tuck it in a watch cap—but what do I do when the weather gets warmer? Please help me sleep with long hair!
posted by bookmammal to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (49 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
My long-haired partner wears a silk-lined beanie with her hair tucked into it; it's like a comfortable shower cap, but for sleeping. This is the one she purchased, and is perfectly happy with it. She uses it in warmer weather too, and it didn't bother her really; report was that its better to wear the cap than to have hot hair everywhere.
posted by furnace.heart at 11:25 AM on December 13, 2020 [3 favorites]

Fellow fine-hair person: I lay it so it falls over the top of the pillow. I don’t tie or braid it, and hate having it under my head.
posted by computech_apolloniajames at 11:27 AM on December 13, 2020 [9 favorites]

I have very long, very thick hair and have found it is better to sleep with it tied up somehow. You are right, a traditional "back of the head" ponytail makes it hard to sleep, but either in a very high (top of the head) bun or a very low side ponytail/braid works fine.
posted by mjcon at 11:27 AM on December 13, 2020 [11 favorites]

There are many options, you can put it in one or two french braids, or put it in a bun on top of your head (I recommend using a scrunchie instead of an elastic). I grew up with long hair and I kind of learned to fan it out over the top of the pillow and it would kind of stay there as I toss and turned. Like imagine a troll doll lying on its back.
posted by muddgirl at 11:29 AM on December 13, 2020 [8 favorites]

I tie it up on the top of my head, like I'm a pineapple. I find a scrunchie rather than a hair bobble is better, doesnt pull it as tight so it doesn't hurt or pull my hair.
posted by stillnocturnal at 11:29 AM on December 13, 2020 [17 favorites]

I'm dealing with the same issue, I haven't had hair past my ears in years and now it grazes my shoulders.

I also got a satin lined beanie.
posted by phunniemee at 11:29 AM on December 13, 2020 [1 favorite]

I put my hair in a VERY high pony, practically on top of my head, but I don't complete the final turn to make it a full pony. I sort of pull the tail through with my fingers on the third twist of the ponytail holder. VERY IMPORTANT: this is an INCREDIBLY loose ponytail, using VERY SOFT ponytail holders so I'm not feeling tension from pulling and it's not breaking when I pull it out in the morning.
posted by cooker girl at 11:29 AM on December 13, 2020 [13 favorites]

Top-of-head/pineapple pony, and yes to the pull-through on the third twist once it gets long enough that the pony alone isn't enough anymore. I always used the biggest stretchiest scrunchies I could find for this, so it wouldn't pull or crimp.
posted by Lyn Never at 11:44 AM on December 13, 2020 [1 favorite]

When I had very long hair I put it in a low, loose braid for bed.
posted by confluency at 11:46 AM on December 13, 2020 [13 favorites]

I was taught to braid my hair for bed when I was little and had long hair.
posted by fingersandtoes at 11:51 AM on December 13, 2020 [3 favorites]

I tie my pony as usual but push the band down the ponytail so that it nestles where my neck is. That also means there's a lot of slack between it and my head and no pulling.

If you're finding it sprawls from there, you can use another band or two lower down the ponytail to keep it from fanning out.
posted by How much is that froggie in the window at 11:54 AM on December 13, 2020

I just let it lie across the pillow behind me, because yeah, it hurts and gets pulled when it's in a ponytail, and if it's in braids, I feel like it gets rubbed across the pillow and all fuzzed up. Now that it's really long, just letting it lie on the pillow tends to work just fine to keep it out of the way. It was only when it was in that in-between state, just past my shoulders, that it would move around more. It's also about discipline, to lie more still and at certain angles.
posted by limeonaire at 11:55 AM on December 13, 2020 [4 favorites]

A braid works well for me!
posted by mkuhnell at 12:04 PM on December 13, 2020 [1 favorite]

Behold: the pineapple.
posted by DarlingBri at 12:07 PM on December 13, 2020

When I had long hair as a very unstylish child I would do a low braid.
posted by sepviva at 12:14 PM on December 13, 2020

I sleep in a loose, very high topknot.
posted by geegollygosh at 12:21 PM on December 13, 2020 [1 favorite]

I have thick hair to my waist and I really don't like my hair touching me while I'm sleeping. I just pile it up on the pillow above my head and this works well enough. (at least until my cats decide to walk across the top of the pillow and step on my hair)
posted by supermedusa at 12:21 PM on December 13, 2020 [4 favorites]

High braid I flip up over the pillow.
posted by wwax at 12:22 PM on December 13, 2020 [1 favorite]

Two braids; left and right
posted by gt2 at 12:26 PM on December 13, 2020

I so understand. I used a stretched out headband so I can control how tight I want it, on top of my head. Bonus: morning volume.
posted by TWinbrook8 at 12:27 PM on December 13, 2020

I've always had waist length hair, and over the years it's usually been in a ponytail or braided over my shoulder. These days, I wear it in braided pigtails day and night (yes, seriously, think Laura Ingalls) - but I've been doing it for ten years, while it's only recently come back into style around here.

My daughter varies - it's loose, it's in a ponytail, it's in a loose bun, it's in some sort of braid or braids... it's always different.
posted by stormyteal at 12:31 PM on December 13, 2020 [1 favorite]

Yeah, I've been sleeping warm lately , and doing a very high , very loose ponytail. It keeps it off of my neck and away from my face.
posted by Sparky Buttons at 12:31 PM on December 13, 2020

Very loose ponytail right on top of my head. Loose in two ways - hair gathered loosely so moving my head on the pillow moves hair but doesn't affect root nerves. And loose in the sense that it's not held tightly by the holder. My holder of choice is a satin-ish scrunchie.
posted by MustangMamaVE at 12:40 PM on December 13, 2020

+1 for laying it up over the top of the pillow, away from the back of my neck, no pulling from a scrunchie or pony tail lump to avoid.
posted by penguin pie at 12:43 PM on December 13, 2020 [3 favorites]

I usually braid it or put it up in a super loose bun at a comically high angle on my head. Once every few weeks I put a hair treatment on my damp hair, braid it, put the end of the braid on the top of my head, wrap it in a turbie twist and sleep in that.
posted by pazazygeek at 12:48 PM on December 13, 2020

One long loose side-braid for me.
posted by jessamyn at 12:51 PM on December 13, 2020 [1 favorite]

I had to actually go lie down and see, because I have never noticed a problem. My bra-strap-length hair just lies sleekly against my ears and down my neck, and I like it that way for warmth. Was trying to envision how other people were being smothered in hair while sleeping. Then I realized that having bangs has probably eliminated much of the issue of hair in the face for me.

So, bangs? Or maybe pulling the front part of your hair straight back off of your face and clipping it on top of your head?
posted by Serene Empress Dork at 1:09 PM on December 13, 2020

I put my hair up on top of my head using a small scrunchie. Works a treat.
posted by bedhead at 1:09 PM on December 13, 2020

I have long, thick, frizzy hair and wear it in a braid, esp. for bed.
posted by theora55 at 2:00 PM on December 13, 2020

I'm rediscovering how to deal with this as my top knot grows ever longer. Back in the days of waist length hair I went with two braids - either from the top and down the back where they would curl under my neck and jaw. Or from the back to end in two 'star buns' as my kid called them. The braid helped the hair stay put, and not fluffing everywhere to bother me. The pineapple works for shoulder length hair for me, but beyond that (or if layers mean the top bun has hair escaping) braids. Also crown braids distribute the hair evenly and often not where sleep pressure is. Braids and plaits confine the hair which also makes it easier to position.

(I once managed to get my hair tied into a figure eight around my bed partner's arm, which was hilariously painful to escape, and when I realised I really needed a sleep system for the medusa like fuzzball I had going on.)
posted by geek anachronism at 3:05 PM on December 13, 2020

Team braid. (Well, right now, team buzz cut, but when I had long hair, team braid).
posted by joycehealy at 3:13 PM on December 13, 2020

Silk or satin lined beanie for me most nights.

I'm a side sleeper and I have found that two low buns (hair parted vertically) towards the center of my head also work. High pony/pineapple/bun is my last resort.
posted by sm1tten at 4:16 PM on December 13, 2020

My hair sounds similar -long, fine and tangles easily. I keep it in a high bun with one of those curly phone cord style ponytail holders. Out of my way, but loose enough not to damage my hair.
posted by peppermind at 4:38 PM on December 13, 2020

Fine long hair, here (mine is about waist length)

For a long time, I braided it loosely (enough to keep it out of my face) with an elastic on the end.

These days, I use a CPAP machine, and before I go to bed, I make a ponytail high on my head (put my hand on the top of my head, with my pinky at the center of my head, and the ponytail is about where my thumb is, right where my skull curves). I twist my hair and loop it to make a long O shape and use a silk scrunchy to secure it at the top (with a little tail hanging out of the top. I then put on a cotton sleeping cap. (I found I need the cap or the CPAP mask straps damage my hair too much overnight and I ended up with tons of frizzies.)

Bonus: it helps the straps stay in place (one usually goes on top of the scrunchy, the other goes below it) .

I thought this was going to make it hard to lie on my back, but once I got the angles right, the lump of the ponytail is above where my head hits the pillow, and the loop of hair (being flat and squishy) just shifts shape as needed.

With shorter hair, you could just do the ponytail (without looping it) at the top of your head. Or coil it up on the top of your head, with no fastener and use whatever kind of close-fitting cap you wanted to keep it in place. (I do really like not having wisps in my face now I have the cap.)
posted by jenettsilver at 5:12 PM on December 13, 2020

Two loose braids for me.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 5:59 PM on December 13, 2020

I have thick wavy hair. Currently I have bangs and the rest doesn't reach my bra band in back (yet). I've had hair long enough to sit upon multiple times. It's time to get a haircut when it gets blown about and caught when I shut the car door (ouch!)

1) I'm a side sleeper, so I turn over and sweep the mess over the top of my pillow (trying not to suffocate my husband in the process). I may gather it into a ponytail with both hands and twist it a few times to keep it contained as it curls along the top edge of the pillow.

2) Sometimes I use a plain cotton bandana to keep the stray annoying hairs out of my face. At some point it slides off in my sleep, but that's okay.
The easy way to tie it -- take a bandana, fold into a triangle. Tie the two corners into a small square knot. Slide the fabric over your head down to the neck and pull all the hair out of the bandana. Put the knot to the back of the neck and slide the bandana back up point side first, framing the face. The point should be at the back and the bandana somewhat loose.
Currently I also prefer wide Scunci headbands from Wal-Mart to the Buff headgear currently available, but I still enjoy the softer Buffs from a dozen years ago.

3) Usually I can't be bothered, but in hot weather I have made either two loose braids or two loose ponytails with extra covered rubber bands added every couple of inches along the length of the ponytail.

4) I sometimes section off just the hair at temple level around to the back as an upper ponytail, just to get it out of my face.

5) My hair is too thick and heavy for a topknot. I get headaches that way.
posted by TrishaU at 7:23 PM on December 13, 2020

I hate braids while sleeping. I find them very uncomfortable.

I tie mine like I normally would, bunched up on the back of my head, and just pull it hard so that the knot is really loose. Then I push this up, still in a loose knot, high over my head on the pillow.
posted by Armed Only With Hubris at 8:25 PM on December 13, 2020

Team braid also. Loose & low. Works for me as a stomach- and side-sleeper.
posted by Mary Ellen Carter at 8:43 PM on December 13, 2020

If you're a side sleeper and won't mind a small lump at the base of your neck, this strategy works great. Pull hair back into a low ponytail but don't put the elastic on it yet. Start twisting hair loosely until it twists back up on itself then wrap the ends tightly around the base of the twist. Now put the elastic on to hold the ends in place. Keeps it back and out of way while sleeping and gives your ends a nice wavy curl in the morning, no styling needed!
posted by platinum at 9:38 PM on December 13, 2020

I have fine hair too. If I make a bun it won't be as big or heavy as for some people. It also means a loose bun isn't as ... cushiony? And I could feel any fasteners/ties I used if I ended up lying on it. Uncomfortable!

So I put it in a bun at the exact top of my head, since I never lie on that. That worked fine.

A braid also wasn't too bad because my hair is fine enough a low braid wouldn't really be an issue. But it would crimp my hair oddly so it wasn't my favorite.
posted by Kutsuwamushi at 10:37 PM on December 13, 2020 [1 favorite]

You might try a chignon fork, which has a curve to follow your skull. Twist hair on top or in back of your head where it won't bug you, and pin it there.
posted by Scram at 11:21 PM on December 13, 2020

I just want to say thanks for asking this as I’m contemplating many of these ideas as I realized the other night that my hair is well past long enough to find it’s way into my armpits at night and then I’m all tangled up, taking my hair as I move.
posted by stefnet at 6:17 AM on December 14, 2020 [2 favorites]

Team pillow flip . I have fine long hair and just flip my hair over the pillow. I also go to bed with my hair wet usually so that weighs it down a bit more, this is not recommended b/c hair is delicate reasons but I hate hair dryers and prefer to wash my hair before bed.
posted by AlexiaSky at 7:03 AM on December 14, 2020 [1 favorite]

Loose ponytail almost at my forehead. If your hair would fall out because of the looseness, and you don't want the bend/breakage that you could get with an elastic, you can cut a sock to create a tube, make a ponytail by running your hair thought the center of the tube, then pull the tube to make it long, and use it to create a bun.
posted by Vaike at 8:59 AM on December 14, 2020

Silk scrunchie + silk pillowcase was a long hair game changer for me.
posted by thirdletter at 9:52 AM on December 14, 2020

I usually just pull it behind my back and sleep on top of my hair, but then I have coarse East Asian hair that's stick straight and doesn't tangle easily. If it's wet, I'll gently twist it and pull it up over the pillow because I don't like sleeping on a damp surface. If it's hot, I might put it in a loose braid so it doesn't stick to my neck.
posted by yeahlikethat at 11:19 AM on December 14, 2020 [1 favorite]

I wear my longish fine hair up in a bun on top of my head most days (because it helps keep me from touching my face), and have discovered that my buns actually stay in all night (and sometimes for the next day..and night). I also wear a sleeve/gaiter-looking thing on my head at night to protect my hair from rubbing against the pillowcase since my fine hair breaks easily.

Scrunchies do not stay in my hair AT ALL because it's so fine, and I disliked the feeling of the silk pillowcase I tried, so bun and gaiter-like thing it is.
posted by telophase at 11:23 AM on December 14, 2020

Since you mention your hair is just a couple inches past your shoulders, I wanted to note that it actually gets a bit easier the longer your hair is. When my hair is very long, it's much easier to just toss it over the top of the pillow (as others above have said), because the weight of it keeps it up there. When my hair is shorter, it often won't stay up because there's just not enough of it, it wants to fall back down on my neck. In those cases, definitely nth-ing a soft scrunchie or similar to hold it in a loose bun/ponytail on top of my head or to the side.
posted by jouir at 1:33 PM on December 14, 2020

I'm another pineapple person. I also do the thing cooker girl describes where I don't pull my hair all the way through the last turn. I use a soft scrunchy.
posted by kathrynm at 4:48 PM on December 14, 2020

« Older What is this casserole dish and how do I not ruin...   |   Actually fun educational games + Activities for... Newer »

You are not logged in, either login or create an account to post comments