Our obsession with Olaplex and strengthening masks in general is definitely a net positive for our hair.
While the ‘clean beauty’ trend may veer into toxicity at times, it got people prioritising moisture, nourishment and protection for locks and skin alike.
That said, there are specific way to do these things safely and effectively – and it turns out sleeping with your hair slathered in conditioner is neither.
The ‘Olaplex bun’ is a TikTok favourite style, with swathes of users showing how they coat strands in the brands No3 bond building treatment before tying it up in a sleek, tight bun and leaving it to soak in.
Although the bottle may tell you to leave the product in for 10 minutes, there’s nothing wrong with letting it do its magic for longer. In fact, it can often help improve the results you see when you do eventually rinse.
The problem comes when you sleep with wet hair, as you may be turning your pillow into a breeding ground for germs.
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The team at Happy Beds explain: ‘The more moisture sinks into your pillowcase and pillow, the more your pillow becomes an ideal environment for bacteria due to the heat and humidity.
‘Pillowcases are made of materials that, if they get damp and retain moisture, could lead to breakouts and clogged pores due to the dead skin and other bacteria that can live in those spots.’
It’s important to regularly wash your pillow – despite the fact that 40% of Brits have never done so. Our bodies shed over 15 million skin cells and we lose around a litre of sweat each night, and tests revealed many pillows contained harmful germs and mould spores within the fibres.
Adding extra water to the mix is a cherry on top of this haven for microbes, so ensure your hair is dry and mask-free when you go to bed to avoid exacerbating the issue.
If you must forgo a nighttime rinse (no judgement, we’ve all been there after a long day) sleep in a satin-lined cap or wrap your hair in a silky scarf. Not only will this protect your pillowcase, it’ll also protect your hair from breakage by reducing friction.
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It may also be best to bring your evening skincare routine forward by an hour or two, both to ensure you get the best results and to halt the spread of germs.
‘Your skin takes time to absorb the products you are using, and without this waiting period, you’re likely to wipe your products straight off,’ say the Happy Beds experts.
They warn that this can cause yellow stains on your bedding, not to mention reducing the efficacy of all your serums, creams and essences.
They add: ‘Moisture from your face can sink through the pillow covers into your pillow and duvet, meaning your bedding will need to be washed much more often.
‘This is because the moisture transferred onto your bedspread could cause skin irritation if you do your routine repeatedly before bed, as well as a growth in bacteria.
‘Pillows are a perfect environment for bacteria to thrive, as they become warm each night when you sleep on them.’
A pillowcase made from silk (which has antimicrobial properties) is worth the investment, but altering your schedule is a free way to do the same thing – and it could even save you money on wasted products and new bedding.
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