does going to sleep with wet hair make it greasy?
Questions And Answers

Does Sleeping with Wet Hair Make It Greasy?

(Last Updated On: September 23, 2022)

Greasy hair is the bane of many people’s existence. Sometimes, no matter what you do, your hair ends up looking and feeling greasy.

Greasy hair is usually caused by excessive secretion of sebum. Sebum is an oil that is naturally produced by a sebaceous gland that’s located just beneath the surface of the scalp.

The hair follicles are attached to the sebaceous gland, so when there’s an overproduction of sebum, it travels through the hair follicles and gives the hair a greasy appearance.

Sebum helps to naturally hydrate the hair and the scalp. The amount of sebum the scalp secretes varies from person to person.

One person’s hair may look greasy a day after washing it, and another person may be able to go a whole week before the grease builds up on their hair.

Various things in the environment can also contribute to greasy hair. Sometimes, your hair may look greasy without being greasy, and there are reasons for that, too.

Does Going to Sleep with Wet Hair Make It Greasy?

The fact that your hair is wet isn’t necessarily what’s causing your hair to get greasy by the time you wake up. However, there are reasons why your hair might appear greasy after sleeping with it wet:

High Temperatures

Skin Research & Technology found that higher temperatures increase sebum excretion, resulting in oiliness.

Taking a hotter shower than normal can be enough to jumpstart the sebaceous glands, so they begin excreting an excessive amount of oils onto your hair.

If the air temperature in your home gets too hot while you’re sleeping, the sebaceous glands could be activated, so by the time you wake up, your hair is greasy.


When you sleep, the oils secreted from the sebaceous glands in your face can transfer to the pillowcase. Your hair may absorb those oils while you’re sleeping. When you wake up, your hair will look greasy.

Hair Towel

Sleeping with your hair wrapped in a towel can help and hinder your hair. Your head may overheat and cause more oils to be released onto your hair, making it greasy by morning.

However, because the towel keeps your hair in place while sleeping, you may wake up with fewer tangles.

Flattened Hair

When you go to bed with wet hair and wake up with greasy-looking hair, your hair might only appear greasy because the pressure of your head flattened your wet hair against your scalp.

How To Tell If Your Hair Is Greasy When Wet

When your hair is wet, it’s hard to tell if it’s greasy because wet and greasy hair makes your hair appear thinner and weighs down your hair, so there’s no volume to it.

You’ll have to wait until it dries to see if it still looks greasy.

Hair that has been freshly washed shouldn’t be greasy. Even with overactive sebum excretion, it should take at least a day before your hair shows signs of greasiness.

If your hair looks greasy after you wash it, something else is behind the problem.

Here are some reasons why that might be happening:

Washing Too Much

You’d think that if your hair is greasy, you should keep washing it to remove the greasiness. However, that can have the opposite effect you’re looking for.

When you wash your hair too much, it dries out the sebaceous glands. To relieve the dryness, the sebaceous glands produce even more sebum, worsening the greasiness.

Cut back to washing your hair a couple of times a week and see if that helps improve the greasiness.

Conditioning Too Much

Conditioning your hair too much can make the hair heavier and increase sebum production. Because the oils are at the roots of the hairs, try only conditioning the ends of your hair.

Be sure to thoroughly rinse out the conditioner. Unless it’s designed to be left in your hair, not rinsing it out all the way can make your hair appear greasy.

how to sleep with wet hair without it getting greasy

Brushing Too Much or Too Little

If you brush your hair too much, it’ll stimulate the sebaceous glands to produce more oils.

If you fail to brush your hair sufficiently, the oils will sit and build up at the roots of your hair, causing excessive greasiness.

Overuse of Products

Using too many products on your hair can result in a buildup of products combined with oils and cause your hair to look greasy.

Skin Problems

You might naturally have overactive sebaceous glands, which can quickly make your hair appear greasy after washing.

When you have too much oil production, dirt can easily cling to the oils making your hair look greasy and clumped together.

According to the University of Engineering and Health, if you notice you’re experiencing hair loss or dandruff, these issues could be due to the overproduction of oils blocking the roots of your hair.

How to Sleep with Wet Hair Without Getting It Greasy

It’s frustrating to go to bed with freshly washed hair and wake up with hair that looks like it hasn’t been washed in a week.

It’s even worse if you’re in a hurry and don’t have time to wash it again before you walk out the door.

There are things you can do to go to bed with wet hair without it getting greasy:

Switch Shampoos

If waking up with greasy hair is becoming a regular occurrence, you may need to switch shampoos. Try using one that is specially formulated for oily hair.

This should help cut down on the amount of oils on your scalp.

Style Hair into a Bun

Tossing your wet hair into a bun before you sleep will help reduce the greasiness overnight.

With your hair pulled up, the oils will be unable to penetrate through the hair, so you’ll wake up with grease-free hair.

Satin Pillowcase

Cotton pillowcases are very absorbent, so they absorb all the oils from your face, dirt, and grime from the air, sweat, and dead skin cells.

Unless you change your cotton pillowcases daily, your wet hair will collect all that while you’re sleeping, so you’ll wake up with greasy hair.

Try switching out your cotton pillowcase for a satin one and see how much difference that makes.

How Do You Sleep with Wet Hair So It Looks Good in the Morning?

If you’re like most people, when you go to bed with wet hair, you wake up looking like you stuck your finger in an electrical outlet.

Then, it takes you forever to tame your hair into something halfway presentable, which usually consists of a ponytail or messy bun after you’ve tried everything else.

How do you go to bed with wet hair and wake up with it looking good? Here are some suggestions:

Deep Conditioning Mask

If you’re battling the frizz left behind from your wet hair, you can try using a hydrating deep conditioning mask on your hair.

Skip conditioning your hair in the shower and use the deep conditioning mask in its place. This will allow for maximum absorption by the mask.

Braid Your Hair

Braid your hair while it’s wet, and go to bed. You’ll have beautiful waves when you wake up and take out the braid. You can have fun with this one because there are many ways to braid your hair.

Twist Hair into a Bun

Towel dry your hair, twist it into a loose bun and secure it with a few bobby pins. In the morning, remove the bobby pins and shake out your hair. Spray a little volumizer, and you’re all set.