How Can I Sleep With Rollers in My Hair?

By Roxy FavrettoLast Updated Aug 17, 2020 11:00:01 AM ET
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Let's face it — anything you can do to save time during your morning routine is a plus, especially if it allows you to get other things accomplished or even sleep in a little longer. If you’re someone who prefers to style your hair wavy or curly with ample volume, sleeping in rollers can help you save time and look your best.

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But as you may already know, sleeping in rollers isn't known for being too comfortable. It also takes some extra care, as using the wrong rollers or prepping incorrectly can lead to hair breakage. Thankfully, there’s a way to make the experience more pleasant so you can still get your beauty sleep and look great in the morning — all with a streamlined routine.

Use the Right Roller Type

One reason sleeping in rollers can be uncomfortable is that the rollers are the wrong type. Any type of hard roller, like those made from stiff plastic or with velcro, can not only prevent you from getting any sleep, but they can also damage your hair over time by weakening the strands on their hard edges. Even using softer, mesh-covered rollers can cause damage that may eventually break off sections of your hair. Instead, look for rollers designed for sleeping or overnight wear. These include curling rods, like Shein’s spiral hair rollers, and flexible curlers, like the Hair Magic curler rollers.

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Start With Clean, Damp Hair

As you get ready to use your curlers in preparation for bed, begin with clean, damp hair. If your hair is too wet, it won't set overnight and you'll wake up with it still damp and in need of further styling. After you wash your hair, allow it to dry for a little while before putting the rollers in. You can also towel dry it to help remove some moisture. If it dries too much, dampen it with a spray bottle filled with water.

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When your hair is damp, apply the curlers as you normally would. Some people opt to add them to only the top sections of their hair — the part of their head that won't touch the pillow — and do the bottom part in the morning. If you follow these steps, however, that's not usually necessary.

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Cover the Rollers

After you've added the curlers to your hair, cover them with a plastic shower cap. This will help hold them in place and keep your hair from drying out too quickly. It also slides along your hair, which prevents tangles. Placing a towel in contact with your hair during this process can make it frizzy and tangled and cause damage. Over the shower cap, wrap a towel or another type of cushioning cloth around your head like you might when you've just gotten out of the shower. Make sure you tie it in the front so that you don't have to lie on the knot while you sleep.

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Secure Everything in Place

Once your towel or cloth is arranged covering the cap and rollers, use barrettes or bobby pins to secure it in place. You can also use curl clips if you have them. The less bulky the clip is that you use, the more comfortable you'll be when your head is on your pillow. Just keep in mind that the smaller clips aren't always the strongest. If you toss and turn a lot in your sleep, you may wake up with your towel off your head. Go for larger, sturdier clips if you have a lot of hair or move often in your sleep; otherwise, use smaller clips.

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Test Your Rollers Before You Sleep

Now that you have everything securely in place, it's time for a test run. Get into bed and into your normal sleeping position to see how things feel. If you’re uncomfortable, you may need to make some adjustments to the clips or towel you're using, but you shouldn't be able to feel the curlers in your hair. The multiple layers of coverage should help keep them in place. This means that when you wake up in the morning, you can take it all down and start your day with voluminous curls — without losing any sleep over your style.

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