Does Braiding Your Hair at Night Make it Grow Faster?

The Beauty Brains investigates an interesting claim…

Bebelyn says…There is an old mexican wives tale that if you braid your hair at night it will grow faster, I doubt this is true but I would like to know what hairstyle has the most benefit for the hair in terms of preventing damage at night while sleeping…braid, bun or wrapped up???

The Right Brain responds:

That’s an interesting wives’ tale and I can certainly see the grain of truth that may have sparked it.

More breakage = takes longer to grow out

While no cosmetic product or treatment can truly make your hair grow faster, it can help your hair reach a certain length faster by reducing breakage. In other words, the more your hair breaks the more time it will take to reach the length that you desire. So anything you can do to reduce breakage helps you grow it “faster,” in a manner of speaking.

Reduce breakage by reducing friction
Braiding could help reduce breakage because when you wrap your hair in a tight style, the fibers are immobilized and can’t rub against the pillow as you sleep. By reducing the fiber-fabric friction you can reduce damage to the hair. Therefore, the ”best” hairstyle to wear while sleeping is the one that reduces damage-causing  friction the most. While braiding may reduce the friction against the pillow it doesn’t prevent fibers from rubbing against each other inside the braid. Theoretically, the best thing to do is oil your hair to reduce fiber-fiber damage. Of course this creates another problem: oil will transfer to your pillowcase. So perhaps the best option is to wrap your hair in some sort of bun cover.

Ladies, how do you maintain your hair at night? Do you braid? Twist? Add product? Share your nightly routine!

Black Girl With Long Hair

Black Girl With Long Hair

Leila, founder of Black Girl with Long Hair (April 2008). Social media, pop culture and black beauty enthusiast. bell hooks' hair twin...


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95 thoughts on “Does Braiding Your Hair at Night Make it Grow Faster?

  1. I’ve just recently started braiding up my hair at night–not many, just 4-6 braids. I spritz with water then seal with a mixture of shea butter and avocado, coconut and almond oils. I do it both to prevent knotting/friction and to stretch my hair overnight. Whatever harm may come from the manipulation is more than outweighed by the dramatic reduction in knotting which my hair *loves* to do.

  2. So many different opinions. Some says “manipulate your hair less” “others say braid it every night” SO many conflicting things. You gatta be very careful. LOOOL!

    • Exactly! I braid my hair every night but I definitely read that that was too much manipulation and that I should have it in a protective style.

  3. ive always braided my hair at night but it didn’t help much with hair growth on its own…you have to braid your hair at night at look after it in the day otherwise theres just no point. I noticed that getting the right products, shampoo, conditioner and just by adding water my hair has grown around 2-3inches! i’ve been natural all my life and only this past year ive seen the differences no heat and good products can make! #careforyourhair it will grow

  4. I’ve braided my hair at night everyday for the past year, I rarely use heat products. But was I recognized over the past year is…if you braid your hair at night it helps A LOT. Since my hair is fairly long Im happy :)))) Braid you hair at night people, and dont use heat products every week!


    • Your hair is growing, but you need to keep it moisturized to stop the breakage. Do more oil rinses and follow that with a spritz of AVJ. Also remember to moisturize before going to bed. More moisture, less breakage and you’ll retain length.

  6. I find that using Argan Oil Shampoo, Conditioner and Hair mask help. After washing my hair I lightly dry my hair and then put it in a high bun before bed. I’ve been doing this for about 2 – 3 months and my hair has grown heaps! Hope this helps xx

  7. I found that moisturised my hair before bed and then in the morning is the best thing for my hair. Water, leave in conditioner mix then oil and some times and cream moisturiser. My hair sheds a lot but I don’t comb my hair very often only when really necessary its growing more but its a very slow process though

    • If your hair is shedding alot it’s because it lacks protein. Do protein treatments at least once a month to strengthen the hair. And follow it w/ a DC to put the moisture back in. You can use plain greek yogurt, let sit for 15-20 min, rinse and then deep condition. You will notice the shedding will be minimized to less to no hair shedding.

  8. I have had noticeable hair growth and condition improvement by doing the Dominican doobie wrap before bed,and sealing with a silk head scarf. If my roots are too curly for this, I braid my hair. I find wearing my hair in a bun overnight excessively results in breakage. But each to their own! :)

  9. I braid my hair at night I won’t my hair to be long so if anyone else has an idea please let me know and it has to be something easy cause my mom won’t by all the oils for me so it needs to be something easy thank you

  10. I plait my hair most nights as I love the results the next morning. I do worry though that it is bad for my hair. Does anyone know if it is bad for my hair?

  11. Just started to start the growing process of my hair ! I am puertorican with really curly hair but started to use heat to it a lot starting off my middle school years ! 8th grade it was so dead I cut it into a Bob! It was short up to my neck & now its past my shoulders but its not very long . I’ve applied so much heat to it ! Over the years and after cutting it into the Bob I cut it again Today Aug.9th 2014 and Every night I’m doing an oil treatment and braiding my hair ! Hope it grows please comment for tips/questions PS: I cut it 1inch off today just a trim so the process will be faster .

  12. Don’t know about that legend but I braid my hair as its long and very thick so…..last thing I want getting suffocated by my own hair.

  13. Actually my hair has grown very long since oiling and braiding it before bed I always had short hair and it never seemed to grow then I chopped it all off and started using natural products only also deep conditioning it 2-3 times a week and I just make sure I braid it every night because if I don’t my hair damages extremely

  14. I use hair mayo, oil it with mtg and then braid my hair in 6 braids.After I do that I put my bonnet on to keep the moisture.I live in Florida and it’s very hard for my hair to grow. My cousin is half Cuban and Black. She introduced me to this technique and it really works.I try not to wash my hair a lot because I was told. Too much washing will strip my hair. I cut my hair to my ears last year in October and now it’s to my shoulders.

  15. I moisturize my hair every night and first thing in the morning. I just recently started braiding my hair at night (If I don’t have it in a style already). I am now finally at a length where I can do two French braids. So I do those before bedtime:)

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