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What Happens if You Sleep with Conditioner in Your Hair?


Have you ever rushed through your shower but yet taken enough time to condition your hair and then forgot to wash the conditioner out?

Maybe you left it in for a little while to follow the instructions on the bottle but completely missed the step where you are supposed to rinse your hair afterwards.

It happens from time to time, and you may be worried about how it will affect your hair. Can I leave conditioner in my hair overnight?

Maybe you did it on purpose because you want to see if it can condition your hair better and give you softer, more manageable hair. You may have been frustrated with your hair and how difficult it is to work with and how your comb is constantly getting stuck.

I’ve heard of people leaving conditioner in their hair overnight and telling everyone that it makes their hair so much softer and silkier.

Is It Okay to Sleep with Conditioner in Your Hair?

If you look at the back of your conditioner bottle, it will probably tell you to rinse it out after it’s been in your hair for a little while.

It may even have a warning about not sleeping with conditioner in your hair or leaving it in overnight. That’s actually considered a dangerous thing to do.

What happens if I sleep with conditioner in my hair? Even though it’s not recommended to leave conditioner in your hair, let’s talk about what happens if you do.

The moisture in the conditioner will cause your hair follicles to swell, making your hair feel thicker, and then, the moisture will eventually dry back out.

If you’re hoping to deep condition your hair overnight, you could damage delicate hair follicles. Conditioner is designed to get deep into the hair follicles and treat brittle and dried out hair.

You’re supposed to let the air conditioner stay in your hair for about 15 minutes. That gives it time to moisturize and penetrate like it should. Then, you’re supposed to rinse the hair out completely and let it dry.

As a conditioner stays in your hair, strands of hair will expand and contract several times. This fluctuating growth in hair size is not healthy for your hair, and it can lead to a condition called cuticle hygral fatigue. This makes your hair very fragile and can reduce the amount of elasticity it has.

It might not happen the first time you do this, and you may be safe leaving conditioner in your hair overnight a couple times.

However, if this is something you do frequently, you’re going to have hair that isn’t very elastic anymore and is very difficult to work with. It can also become extremely fragile and may break when you brush it.

How Long Should You Sleep with Conditioner in Your Hair?

Maybe you’ve decided to ignore all our warnings and want to try deep conditioning your hair overnight, leaving the conditioner in to see if it can improve your hair at all.

If you’re wondering how long to leave the conditioner in your hair when you’re sleeping, we don’t recommend you leave it in at all. It should be rinsed out before you go to sleep, if you want to protect your hair.

If you’re going to leave it in for a deep conditioning treatment, we suggest setting your alarm for just a few hours. If you can manage with four to six hours of sleep, then you should wash the conditioner out of your hair and then dry your hair properly.

Try not to sleep for a full 8 to 9 hours with the conditioner in. That increases the risk of causing permanent damage to your hair.

How to Sleep with Conditioner in Your Hair

If you leave normal conditioner in your hair and you want to know the best sleeping arrangement so that your hair can benefit the most, we suggest sleeping on your side or stomach. This allows your hair to dry out naturally as you sleep.

It’s definitely better to wash out the conditioner first and then let your hair dry out, but if you want to keep the conditioner in, then position yourself in such a way so that conditioner can dry out at least somewhat on its own.

How to Sleep with Leave-in Conditioner

Not all types of conditioner are meant to be washed out of your hair after you’ve put them in while you shower. The conditioner that’s meant to be left in is called leave-in conditioner. There are a few different kinds of these, and they are formulated to meet specific hair needs.

It’s especially helpful for curly, thick, or dry hair to rehydrate and make them more manageable. These are the kinds of hair that can be really tough to work with when you’re brushing and combing, so leave-in conditioner can be a helpful treatment.

You’re not supposed to rinse this conditioner all your hair after it’s been applied, so how do you sleep with leave-in conditioner in?

It’s actually best to apply leave-in conditioner right before you go to bed. That way, it can be most effective, staying in your hair all night long and doing its work.

You can apply it anytime after your shower and before bed, spraying just a little bit into your hair and then spreading it with a comb or brush. From there, you can just let the leave in conditioner to dry out naturally and sleep as you normally would.

There’s no need to wrap up or tie your hair as you go to sleep with this kind of conditioner in.

You can also style your hair after this step, if you like.

There are no real side effects to worry about with this kind of conditioner. Some people do have an allergic reaction, and it can burn your skin if it touches your scalp or hands, so be careful how you use it. However, you don’t have to feel bad about sleeping with this conditioner left in your hair.

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