Skip to main content

Does Braiding Your Hair at Night Make it Grow Faster?

• Aug 20, 2012

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!

Leave a Reply

95 Comments on "Does Braiding Your Hair at Night Make it Grow Faster?"

Notify of
avatar
Niké
Guest

Retain length? yes but not “grow faster”… Keeping hair stretched in general , counteracts breakage, prevents tangling, less detangling issues, single strand knots…

mangomadness
Guest

Exactly!

Length retention” is more important than “rate of growth”.

With that said, braids (and braid-outs) are bomb for length retention for my kinky coily hair.

hyspin
Guest

Length retention is as important at rate of growth.
They are equal in my book because you can retain length as some one else yet still have short hair, because your rate of growth might be slower. So they work hand in hand.

Niké
Guest

Even if someone is a slow grower, it still is a normal growth rate for them. Retention correlates with growth but retention wont make grow it faster than it naturally does…

hyspin
Guest

Very true. It is necessary for people to realistic you main retaining length but in the end you hair won’t grow any faster so it necessary to be realistic with your goals. even if you retain 100% of your growth at 1/4 inch a month your will never have the same length as someone retains half their length at 1 inch a month, It said truth, but necessary to accept it to avoid disappointment and resentment.

tinabobina
Guest

unless the person who grows 1 inch a month happens to have a much shorter growth phase…

mangomadness
Guest

I meant that focusing on “length retention” is more useful than dwelling on “rate of growth”. The later is pretty much immutable…

LBell
Guest

THANK YOU. On a healthy (and even not-so-healthy) person hair is going to grow REGARDLESS. Almost all the energy women spend on growth rate can be better spent on making sure their techniques aren’t hindering their length retention. I do not know why folks are still confused about this…

J
Guest

I can only speak from my experience and I will say braiding at night helps me retain length better.Not only does my hair stay moisturizered longer but it keeps it from tangling up.

Hair retention is quite simple prevent mechanical damage and keep hair moisturizered as dry hair is weak hair which leads to breakage.

J
Guest

*moisturized

Cee
Guest

I agree. I braid my hair into four cornrows every night (usually stretched out) and my hair stays soft and I while I have some shedding, naturally, I do not have a significant nor moderate amount of breaking.

sherelle
Guest

My hair is heat damaged because of split ends so I have braids in canerows to give my hair a break from heat and i have noticed that my hair has grown but the split ends are breaking

J
Guest

Split ends are caused by heat and mechanical damage.The baggy method is good for dry/damaged ends that might help but will not heal them.My ends need a trim but I wear my hair in braid outs so my ends don’t bother me.

DiJah
Guest

If you have split ends you should just cut it off and continue to care for your hair. No sense holding on to them, your hair will continue to break until you get rid of the split ends.

Mia_p
Guest

My hair grows regardless of whether it is braided or loose. I am very low key when it comes to my hair.

blog police
Guest

well good for you.

Deeds
Guest

Lol @ blog police!

nelle
Guest

Just wanted to say thanks for sharing, and ignore the haters.

Venus
Guest

Same here Mia… My hair flourishes when I really don’t do anything to it… I was natural for 2 years and only did wash n goes… Did my first twist out a week ago… Everyone is different 🙂

Landry
Guest

When I wear my hair out, (it’s currently in kinky twists, and I really miss it…okay focus) I either braid or twist it nightly after spritzing my hair with water and sealing with a bit of grapeseed oil.

I have found that keeping my 4a/b hair stretched (with no direct heat), keeps the moisture locked in and it yields more style varieties.

Zenith
Guest
My hair retains length best when I leave it alone as much as possible. I did try braiding it at night for a while, but this did not lead to better length retention for me. It did not CAUSE a problem. The things that have helped me most have been: co washing, using a leave-in afterwards, using pure argan oil (not the ones mixed with silicones) for sealing ends and adding a bit of moisture at times, using my fingers for ‘combing’ 95% of the time, using NO heat, using henna 1x/month, DC each week and minimal manipulation ( little… Read more »
mlank64
Guest
Zenith, When I read your hair techniques I had to make sure it wasn’t written by me because i implement almost everything you stated. The co-washing, leave in conditioner, using pure oils particularly argon, jojoba, and grapeseed oil. I especially seal the ends, I do finger combing, no heat, and use henna once a month, DC, add moisture when needed. Here’s were we differ: I love mahogany curls and would love to implement her techniques, and some I do but, my hair looks and does better in twists or twist outs. I seem to have less tangles and SSK. I… Read more »
yoco
Guest
My hair just reaches the top of my bra-strap when blown-out, something I only do about twice a year. Since going natural 2 yrs ago, my nightly routine has been the following: light spritz with water, add leave-in conditioner (Shea Moisture Restorative Conditioner is AWESOME), seal with olive oil, and braid. If I am planning to wear a braidout, I do between 8 and 16 braids,depending on the look that I’m trying to get. If I’m just going to wear it in a bun, ponytail or I’m just too tired, then I just do 4 regular braids or 4 cornrows-… Read more »
Jacqueline T
Guest

Hi everyone:

Great comments. I am thinking of getting my hair braided. I was wondering if I tie it up at night with a Silk scarf or a Silk pillow case; would this be effective in retaining length as well as hair growth? I’m in AZ, and it’s get horribly hot out here. Also, I want my hair to grow; any tips/suggestions? Thanks so much.

Cee
Guest
Where I live is horribly hot as well and during this summer, I kept my hair in box braids. When I took them out, I tried to look at as many hairs as possibly to check if they were shed and pretty much all were and my hair grew about an inch for the month and a half I kept them in. Just make sure to wet scalp at least once a day. This will keep your hair moisturized. They were very simple. Just make sure not to have braids that are smaller than 1/2 in. — 1 in., that’s… Read more »
Ashley
Guest
When I get braids, I just whip out an old school durag and wrap my hair up with that. You could probably get away with just a silk pillowcase but I sleep kinda crazy so my hair would end up pretty frizzy the next morning if I didn’t cover it with something. Tips while having braids in: treat your braids the same way you would your free-flowing natural hair. Do you usually spritz your hair with something in the morning? Do the same thing with your braids. Basically just follow your normal regimen that you usually use to keep your… Read more »
Vanessa
Guest
What works great at nights for me, in regards to reducing breakage which helps with length retention and better results in hair growth, is to slightly moisturize my hair, brush it in a wrap around the crown of my head and use a silk head band to wrap it entirely. I will leave my hair like this until I have to leave the house even if I’m staying in for a day or two. I have ethnic hair and I’m Jamaican, I don’t know anyone else with hair like mine that grows as fast as mine does without the use… Read more »
TINA SMITH
Guest

OH PLEASE

Jasmine
Guest

@tina smith omg I literally bursted out laughing just now !

Viv
Guest

LOL @ Tina Smith! I feel the same way!

Nadine
Guest

what does that mean when she said she is jamaican and she has ethnic hair…?

Cee
Guest

Good one!… -_-

BraunSugar
Guest

What is “ethnic hair”? Everyone has ethnicity. That is not something limited to Black people.

BraunSugar
Guest

Meant to reply to the above comment.

T
Guest
I have 4b/c hair. I have been natural for a long time but was ignorant on taking care of my hair until about 3 years ago. I’ve noticed quite a difference in length retention, comparing how i maintained my hair at night back then, to how I maintain it now. I used to braid it sometimes but most of the time I would go to bed with my afro all out and co-wash it into submission the next day. I had breakage but my hair still grew and i retained a bit of my length. These days I moisturise, braid,… Read more »
TheALizTube
Guest

reducing friction can be achieved by purchasing a silk or satin Pilliowcase. If thats to much, then go to the fabric store and buy the actual material to make your own which is.much cheaper. Check a thrift store for one. If you’re in the Uk go to primark and buy the satin scarves for £3–4. One side Is rough the other is silk. Place the pillow on the rough side and tie the corners 🙂

Shamaia Veira
Guest

Especially if you have short natural hair! braiding or twisting your hair is key to retain length! The front of my hair “grows faster” than the back because its never crushed when I’m sleeping. The back is much shorter. Its just a great way to retain length and keep your hair healthy and natural!!

ArmyWife10
Guest
Yes! This is my 1st year natural. 1St week in actually taking care of my hair at night! Literrally cut it down to 1nch last October, now it’s like a short chin length Bob. I get ¼ of an inch cut off every 3months . I was tired of Waking up with a smushed afro, tired of sew-ins, and tired of fighting to keep it straight. So now I braid it every night, I mixed water, leave in conditioners, and olive oil in a water bottle and use that for moisture. (Saw this online too! ) I’m ready to wear… Read more »
Kimberly
Guest

What has been working for me is pineappling my twistout with a silk scarf for a couple of days. After that I re-moisturize with plain water, daily moisture lotion and shea butter mix and re-twist, but fewer twist. I cover my hair with a scarf and sleep on a satin pillow case. Overall I try not to manipulate the hair too much.

merry
Guest

i braid/twist my hair every night. i haven’t had amazing length retention, i don’t think.

i mostly do it to prevent tangling and knots.

Love JAH
Guest

Right now I have my hair in a bun, I spritzed with a mix of aloe Vera juice and water, spritzed my home made leave in conditioner and wrapped it all up in a satin scarf…my hair has grown a lot but I feel the less manipulation the better, Pinappling your braid/twist out yields better results than rebraiding every night. Rebraid or retwist every other day or every 3 days to keep the style and retain the length.

Dee
Guest
I have been transitioning for almost two years. I just stop using heat in June. I do bantu knots and two strand twist out at night. My hair is shoulder length. The challenge that I am having is that I am getting board with the twist outs and bantu knot and I am afraid to try a wash and go. My hair is shorter in the front than in the back and I need to look professional for my job. When my hair is wet it is beautiful and curly when it dries not so much. I almost got a… Read more »
Lon
Guest

Have you tried using gel? It helps your hair to hang more whilst keeping the curl definition. Also maybe you should check out natural hair styles on youtube, there’s tons of youtubers who post tutorials for natural hair styles. In terms of your relaxed ends its really upto you whether you want to cut them off or not. I have some damaged wavy ends (through heat damage) and i’m just waiting for my hair to reach its goal length (hopefully in the next two months) then i’m going to cut the ends off. 🙂

Dee
Guest

Thank you Lon. I have not used gel because I have heard it was very drying. Per your advice, I have been checking out style videos on youtube and I have gotten lots of inspiration. I really appreciate your advice.

Barbara
Guest

Forget about all the conditioners and the co-washing. Two years ago I had short hair now it is 22 inches long. I don’t blow dry or use heat in my hair. I am completely natural. The Hgh mouth spray by Americare will make anybody’s hair long. People will be amazed how fast your hair has grown. But there is one side effect because it will increase your libido and you will need a boyfriend. You can negotiate the price with those people too.

Natalie
Guest

So, how much did you pay for your boyfriend?

Jojo
Guest

Synthetic human growth hormone?? Seems like too much risk for long hair.

@ Natalie, I read the last 2 lines the same way.

Lon
Guest

I think if your transitioning, braiding/ twisting/ bunning your hair is the best thing to do to prevent breakage and thus retain length. I’m currently transitioning and i’ve found these methods help so much more then when i just slept on a satin pillow case. I am able to cut off the damaged hair every 3 months because my hair has grown and retained length, now i only have a little more to cut off.
Everyones hair responses differently, but my hair definitely responses better to spraying with a spritz and sealing with an oil.

Natalie
Guest
I don’t think I can say that plaiting my hair has made it grow faster but I have retained length. Before I knew what I was doing with my hair it was a complete mess and stuck at the same length. Personally I prefer twists but the way I sleep they always come out so I have had to go for plaits which are far more time consuming. I used to do the LOC method before bedtime but after reading the super dry natural hair post a few days ago I have been experimenting with not putting any product in… Read more »
Michelle
Guest

Whatever style I’m wearing my hair in — either twists or plaits (braids) get moisturised with either oil and water or my oily-conditioner (any conditioner mixed with coconut and olive oils); then I secure it with silk scarf and place an old bath towel on my pillow to prevent transfer onto the pillow case.

mlank64
Guest

Excuse my ignorance, but what are “plaits”. Is it sectioned braids?

Michelle
Guest

Yes, it’s the same as braids but I call it plaits because that’s what I grew up hearing as a child…whenever I hear the word ‘braids’ I usually think of the ones that involve synthetic hair that are added onto one’s own hair. But I realised that ‘braids’ mean the same as ‘plaits’. Here is a pic of my braids (plaits) below:
[img]http://blackgirllonghair.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/20120823-AfterBCFinePlaitsF.jpg[/img]

see post
Guest

There is no quick fix for fast hair growth. Your hair grows in cycles. The best way to make get longer hair is to keep it healthy. You can do this by washing your hair to keep the follicle clean and clog free and to keep your scalp moisturize. Also take care of split ends. It’s not that your hair isn’t growing fast enough. It might just be that the rate of breakage is faster than the rate of hair growth. So, controlling breakage should be the priority.

Shana With Long Hair
Guest

If anything, I would think braiding your hair every night is too much manipulation, especially for naturally curly hair. Then again, different things work for different hair types and textures, but I wouldn’t recommend this practice.

dvd duplication brisbane
Guest

I’ve learn several excellent stuff here. Certainly worth bookmarking for revisiting. I surprise how a lot attempt you put to make this kind of magnificent informative web site.

trackback

[…] Source […]

Olivia
Guest

To make hair grow faster…
•breathe slower and fuller
• massage your scalp
•flip your head upside down
• don’t shampoo or use heat everyday

kennedy
Guest

my neighbor put her hair in a braid every 3 days when she takes a shower! she barely washed her hair (like 3 times a week) and boy did it grow it grew like 4 inches in 3 months!!! but thats just her, it might work for you to, try it I am.…you only live once.(;

Cerena
Guest

If you want straight hair the next day you should wrap your hair.. if its curly and you want it to remain that way for the next day just put a bonnet on.

Miu Miu Bags
Guest

I really like these Miu Miu Bags http://miumiubags1.cabanova.com, I noticed them on-line and get them and match fairly a lot nearly anything =]

hairlossaid.blogspot.com
Guest

Hi Dear, are you in fact visiting this web site daily, if so afterward you will definitely get pleasant knowledge.

Monique
Guest

So braiding my hair nightly is bad?

raya
Guest

No braiding hair at night is not bad at all, it keeps the hair and ends protected. Especially when moisturized properly, you do what works best for you.

Maia Rose
Guest
Honestly , why do people think braids will grow their hair out? Braids don’t do anything but keep your hair up for a couple of months or so. Let me tell you this , my hair used to stop at my ear , ok? It’s now at my waist with the help of keeping chemicals out of it (such as heat), taking care of it (such as greasing my scalp once a week) , washing it every Monday and Saturday, letting it breathe , eating the right foods, and taing biotin. Listen , girls , a hair journey takes A… Read more »
lover
Guest

I don’t know why you received down votes. I actually thought that was pretty good advice.

Fairy
Guest

Braiding hair doesn’t grow the hair, since hair will continually grow from your scalp. BUT since the hair is confined and put up instead of left down, it stops the hair from breaking. ( friction from leaving the hair down, manipulation from combing, brushing etc) all these things listed breaks the hair. If you leave your hair alone in braids for a month you retain the length you already have,with added new length from the new growth.

Asia
Guest

Alrighty now, putting stress on the hair every night is not the path to sunshine and hair growth.…… just sayin. ‘-’

Kymora
Guest

Actually Asia , bantu knots help. They give you curly and longer hair. My hair grew so much from doing so.

Asia
Guest

Bantu Knot my ass! As a child , I wore bantu knots trying to grow my hair , but those didn’t work. My secret is a hot oil treatment every night. Shoot , I might even try some of Princess Maia’s secrets.… ‘.’ Though I do the treatments every night , my hair still isn’t at the length I want it at. Right now , its about 3 Inches under my shoulders.

Kymora
Guest

Asia , Asia, Asia… Three inches under your shoulders is a good hair length.

Karene Alicia
Guest

I found bantu knots worked for me too (called chinie bumps in JA) but I only used my own hair no extra. I do think braiding the hair is healthy but I dont do it every night as that seems like A LOT of 1) time & 2) friction/manipulation.. I usually will do 2 strand twists that I flat twist and I may leave them in 3–5 days, then let my hair be free for 2–4 days then re-do. Maybe every 2 or 3 weeks I wash my hair.

Bobby
Guest

I braid every night since and I have no problems with growing or maintaining length. I transitioned for 20 months and have been fully natural 3 months. I have 4a/4b, thin strands very high density

ariane
Guest

I don’t think the wive’s tale was referring to multiple plaits (braids). When I was a child my mother would give me two plaits before bed and as such I grew up with that custom and it works well for me. As far as manipulation goes I’m assuming less plaits = less manipulation. If you would like to try it out I suggest one or two plait(s) or french braid(s) along with a bonnet to prevent friction between your hair and the pillow case. As a bonus, it can also serve as a method of stretching your hair.

Tori
Guest

I suppose it would difficult to get an answer to this question because everyone’s hair is different. But I’ve considered braiding my hair at night and taking it out in the morning for waves. How frequently might I be able to get away with doing that? Any insight is appreciated 🙂

Currently I just brush it out and use a scarf, but I still have quite a bit of breakage. I figure braiding could help quell some of it.

coffeeandfingernails
Guest

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.

linnie
Guest

I add my leave-in conditioner, put on the shea butter sealant,twist or braid my hair, and sleep on my satin pillowcase.

CB
Guest

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!

Banks
Guest

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.

Laura
Guest

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

Emily
Guest

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!

JACQUE JONES
Guest

I WOULDD LOVE TO KNOW WHAT MAKE YOUR HAIR GROA WHEN YOUR A WOMEN OW COLOR. MY HAIR GETS TO A CERTAIN LENGHTH THEN I T STOPS GROWING AND BREAKS OFF. BUT I DO THING BRAIDING HELPS AT NIGHT TIME TO A CERTAIN DEGREE.

Raya
Guest

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.

Sandy
Guest

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

Erin
Guest

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

Raya
Guest

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.

Natasha
Guest

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! 🙂

kat
Guest

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

jessybabe
Guest

I usually just listen to how my hair feels. Normally I toss a bonnet on. I am rolling in the semi awkward length stage

Fionax
Guest

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?

Kiara
Guest
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… Read more »
Curlygirly
Guest

I’m curious since its been 8 months is it any longer? Your routine sounds good.

Mitts
Guest

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.

Cheyenne
Guest

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

Lala
Guest

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.

Kelly
Guest

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:)

Shopping Cart