If there's one thing I absolutely abhor doing in the morning, it's fixing my hair. It's not even making my bed, it's not preparing breakfast, it's not deciding on an outfit, it's fixing my locks. Over the years, I tried every trick in the book to make things easier for me. I tried putting on all sorts of hair products like dry shampoo and sea salt spray and tried sleeping with my hair wet (don't do this, unless you want an early morning migraine). The only hack I found most effective was sleeping with a tight topknot on. Every night before I went to bed, I would put my hair up, tie it all into a neat knot, and hit snooze. The next morning, I would pull my clip out, pull my hair forward, and voila, my hair is done! The sleep bun trick gives me the nicest curls with the least amount of effort. I love it, and I would do it every day if I could.
But it turns out, I can no longer do it. Not regularly, at least. And not unless I want to develop traction alopecia. According to Francesca J. Fusco, an NYC-based dermatologist who specializes in hair loss, wearing your hair tight in the same style on a regular basis could lead to hair loss, beginning at the hairline. This condition is called traction alopecia. "If someone wore their hair tightly pulled back every night for years, traction alopecia could occur along the hairline," Fusco tells Allure.
Hairstyles like the ballerina topknot pull the hair very tightly and could damage hair follicles. But that doesn't mean that all tossed-up hairstyles should be crossed out. "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," Fusco says. If doesn't hurt your scalp, then you're safe.
If you absolutely cannot hit they hay without having your hair tied up, you should consider safer alternatives that won't cause breakage to your stands. Swap your elastics for silk hair ties, donut rollers, and alligator clips. You can also invest in a dermatologist-approved pillowcase to give your hair and tresses some extra lovin'. And of course, there's always the scrunchie. You can never go wrong with the good ol' scrunchie.