Is sleeping with your hair in a bun every night bad?

How do you get ready for bed? With a steaming, calming cup of chamomile tea and a good book? If, along with slathering on your ten-step skin-care routine, your pre-sleep regimen involves tossing back your tresses into a tight topknot, you may want to rethink a little bit. Turns out, the easy-peasy hairstyle you so haphazardly pull back before hitting the hay (you know, the one that's somehow always trending online) could be doing more harm than just adding a slightly wavy texture to your strands.

According to Francesca J. Fusco, a New York City-based dermatologist who specializes in hair loss, regularly wearing your hair tight in the same style — night after night — could ultimately lead to a level of hair loss, beginning at the hair line, known as traction alopecia. "If someone wore their hair tightly pulled back every night for years, traction alopecia could could occur along the hairline," Fusco explains to Allure.

Related: Foods that prevent hair loss

Foods That Prevent Hair Loss
See Gallery
Foods That Prevent Hair Loss

Len Glassman, a certified health nutritionist, trainer and owner of the Personal Best Training Center, offers up the necessary nutrients that will keep the hairs on your head there longer.

Image Credit: Getty Images


An adequate intake of vitamin A is key to helping promote the growth and health of cells and tissues throughout the body, including the hair and scalp. Vitamin A gets delivered to our bodies in two ways: from plant and animal sources. Hair healthy plant sources include red, yellow and orange fruits and vegetables like carrots as well as some dark green leafy vegetables. Some heavy-hitter animal sources for vitamin A include liver, fish oil, eggs and fortified milk.

Image Credit: Corbis


All three of these B vitamins are essential to the normal formation of hemoglobin, which carries oxygen from the lungs to tissues in the body, including the hair. Healthy and strong hair relies on a constant supply of blood and oxygen. A deficiency of these B vitamins is like cutting off the blood supply to your hair, leading to increased hair loss, damaged hair and slow re-growth. Best sources of vitamin B6 and B12 are protein-rich foods like meat, chicken, fish, eggs, pork and soybeans. Your best bet for sources of folic acid are leafy vegetables, orange juice, avocado, beets, broccoli, wheat germ and some fortified cereals.

Image Credit: Jupiterimages


Vitamin C is essential to producing collagen, a connective tissue that gives structure by holding tissues in the body together, such as the tissue in hair. The human body is not able to store vitamin C for long periods of time, so don’t try to load up on it in an effort to make up for lost time; instead, make sure you eat plenty of foods containing vitamin C every day. The best sources of vitamin C are found in plant sources like oranges, berries, melons, peppers, dark green leafy vegetables and tomatoes.

Image Credit: Jupiterimages


Dandruff and hair loss are both conditions associated with a zinc deficiency. Zinc is a mineral that promotes cell reproduction, tissue growth and repair. Zinc also functions in the maintenance of the oil-secreting glands attached to our hair follicles. Good sources of zinc include foods of animal origin, including seafood, poultry, mussels, shrimp and oysters. Eggs and milk also supply zinc but in smaller amounts. Whole-grain products, nuts, seeds and legumes contain zinc, but in a form that is less absorbable by the body.

Image Credit: Getty Images


Hair is primarily made of protein, so it makes sense to eat protein-rich foods if you’re trying to maintain healthy growth. Without adequate protein intake, the body cannot efficiently make new hair to replace the hair that has shed. However, eating a steak every day isn’t going to help you. High-fat diets result in increased testosterone levels, which have been linked to hair loss—so steaks are not among the foods that prevent hair loss. Stick to leaner proteins such as fish (which has a myriad of health benefits beyond just maintaining your hair), chicken, soy products, low-fat cheese, eggs, almonds, beans and yogurt.

Image Credit: Jupiterimages


Proper hydration is a key factor in healthy hair and in promoting good health. Every cell and every system in the body uses water to function properly, so don’t just wash your hair in it, drink lots of it. Other conditions that may contribute to poor nutrition and cause hair loss as a side effect include eating disorders such as anorexia. Anorexia can cause severe malnutrition and cause a high proportion of hair follicles to stop their growth cycle. Rapid weight loss is another reason for accelerated hair loss. Dropping weight too quickly and/or participating in a fad diet that is not nutritionally sound can cause imbalances in the body and result in increased hair loss.

Image Credit: Getty Images


Our daily diet holds the key to the health of your hair. Every day we can make it a priority to choose the best kinds of foods for healthy, long-lasting hair, a healthy scalp and the growth of new strong hair. So the next time your stomach growls, reach for more “hair-raising,” and vitamin packed foods to keep those follicles happy.

Image Credit: Corbis


The idea is that the constant "pulling" shocks the hair follicle, causing breakage and damage, which can permanently prevent the hair follicle from completing its regular growth cycle. And as Fusco warns, this irreversible damage can occur with any hair type, including natural texture, as well as any style — topknots, ponytails, braids, headbands, etc. — as long as the hair being pulled or tightened.

If you're worried that your nightly DIY hack for air-dried waves is now a bust, Fusco says not to fret — not all tossed-up hairstyles should be considered worrisome. "As long as the style does not place traction on roots, meaning it doesn't pull too tight or 'hurt' the next morning, it should be fine," she says. If it doesn't hurt, or if your elastic tends to slip out as you sleep, you're probably fine.

But if you can't start snoozing without your hair tied back, we recommend a slightly safer alternative to your preferred strained style: silk accessories. Swap out your controversial elastic — which we've reported can also cause breakage at the base of the ponytail due to constant tugging — for a softer, tress-friendly scarf or a dermatologist-recommended pillowcase (yes, they exist). There is also, of course, the scrunchie.

More from Allure:
The 10 Best Mascaras Under $20
The 9 Prettiest Date-Night Makeup Looks
Find the Best Haircut for Your Face Shape

Read Full Story