What is damp hair & how to take care of it

damp hair

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When damp, hair is completely soaked through with water. Damp hair normally happens after you get out of the shower and have actually removed water by towel drying hair. You’ll know your hair is damp when it’s no longer dripping but is still extremely plainly damp.

Just as hair goes through physical change when damp, the hair also handles particular properties in this state that need special attention and care. There are some things you need to know about damp hair so you can care for it correctly and avoid any unnecessary future damage.

What is Damp Hair?

If you towel-dry your hair after hair washes, your hair does not completely dry up, but it is not dripping wet either. This slightly damp condition of your hair is known as wet hair. Wet hair is more prone to damage. Thus, it needs special care and attention.

What’s The Difference Between Damp And Wet Hair?

Hair is considered wet when it is completely soaked in water. On the other hand, Damp hair is the in-between state where your hair is neither too dry nor wet.

Damp hair and your scalp

The biggest problem for your scalp with wet hair has a lot to do with fungus.

Our scalps are home to a large variety of microbes, and most of these are pretty harmless. Some, like Malassezia globosa, however, can be less so. Malassezia globosa is natural, but in half the world’s population, it causes irritation, dryness, itch, and dandruff flakes. That’s where wet hair can cause a problem.

See: Naturopathic Medicine For Hair Loss

How to treat damp hair?

Damp hair is a welcoming ground for your nutrient-rich and protective products. Hair fibers swell when wet, and your hair’s dimension increases by 10 to 20 percent, depending on the texture. Once open, your strands soak up a lot more active ingredients, especially if the formula is hydrophilic, or water-loving. The best products to use are leave-in conditioners, lightweight gels, mousse, styling creams, volumizing sprays, and heat or UV-ray protectors. Hair sprays and dry shampoo don’t mesh well with damp strands.

Things You Should Never Do To Your Damp Hair

  • Combing Damp Hair

Please do not use a stiff brush on damp hair as it stretches the hair and causes breakage. You may instead use a soft brush. To avoid damage, apply a detangling product once your hair is 90% dry and use a wide-toothed comb to remove knots and twists.

See: Homeopathy For Hair Loss & Baldness Treatment

  • Tying Up Damp Hair

Let the hair dry thoroughly before tying it into a ponytail, a messy bun, or any other hairstyle. Tying damp hair restricts the airflow, creating a moist environment for microbial growth.

  • Exposure To Too Much Heat

You have ever heard that popping sound or sizzle while curling or straightening your damp hair? That is the sound of water evaporating too quickly through the hair, causing structural damage. Hence, be careful while using hair straighteners and curling irons on damp hair.

See: Functional Medicine For Hair Loss Treatment

Exposing damp hair to high temperatures (175 ° C -215 ° C) even for five minutes can cause hair damage. Excessive blow-drying and using hot irons can change the hair texture and cause breakage, making your hair difficult and frizzy. Dry your hair thoroughly in a fantastic setting and use a serum, heat protectant, or thermal styling gel on your damp hair to minimize heat damage.

See: Ayurveda Herbs For Hair Loss & Alopecia Treatment

  • Applying A Hair Mask

Hair masks must be applied to wet hair as they offer deep conditioning. The covers also repair hair damage and make hair feel softer. There is yet another thing that you should avoid doing– sleeping with damp hair.

See: Acupuncture For Hair Loss Treatment

What happens when you sleep with damp hair?

  • Hair soss

Going to bed with wet hair can result in hair loss and, more specifically, scalp ringworm. Scalp ringworm is a type of fungal infection caused by warm and damp conditions. It’s highly contagious, so take care to wash anything that has come into contact with your scalp. Growing long hair is a lot better than losing it.

See: Hair Oiling

  • Acne

If your pillow is crawling with bacteria, chances are you’ll soon be experiencing a break out of acne. Your skin will thank you for drying your hair before you sleep.

See: Glycerin for hair

  • Hair breakage

Hair is at its weakest when wet, so it’s not surprising to hear that you’ll be increasing the amount of breakage by leaving your hair wet while you sleep. As you toss and turn, friction will cause the hair to snap more quickly than if your hair was dry.

See: Does Creatine Cause Hair Loss

  • Styling your hair

As your hair dries, it sets into place. When you sleep, your hair is twisted into all sorts of strange styles, and if it’s drying while you sleep, it’ll set that way too. Usually, the worst offenders are the crown of your head and the ends of your hair. The only way to smooth out your hair is to spend a lot of time trying to restyle it, either by re-wetting it, using heat tools, or suffocating it with aerosols and gels.

See: Natural Remedies For Hair Loss Causes & Prevention

  • Immune system

The old wives’ tale that you’ll get ill from sleeping with wet hair isn’t entirely accurate – you can’t catch a virus simply from having wet hair. Sleeping with wet hair can weaken your immune system, which makes it more likely that you could catch a cold or flu virus.

  • Bacteria growth

If there’s one thing we all know, it’s that the combination of water and warmth equals a rapid growth of bacteria. Just think how much bacteria will be growing on your pillow if you sleep with wet hair! The heat from your head will make the damp pad the perfect breeding ground for harmful bacteria and mold. You might think that changing your bedsheets frequently will help, but the dampness from your hair will have penetrated the pillow.

  • Feel cold

If you’re sleeping in an air-conditioned room or it’s the peak of winter, sleeping with wet hair will make you feel much colder. Stop the shivers by giving your hair a proper blow-dry.

See: Hair Loss Treatment For Women Facing Menopause

  • Causes dandruff

The warmth of your head and the prolonged dampness of your hair will cause bacteria and fungi to multiply on your scalp as well as your pillow. Sleeping with damp hair also strips the natural oils away from your hair as the pillow’s fabric quickly absorbs them along with the excess moisture. The combination of bacteria growth and the loss of natural oils will make your scalp more likely to develop dandruff and other undesirable characteristics.

  • Dull hair

The natural oils are taken too when the water is absorbed from your hair into the pillow’s fabric. Your hair will look so much duller and dehydrated without these oils. Dehydrated hair is also much more likely to break. Remember that there is a big difference between dry hair to the touch and hair dehydrated by natural oils.

Can You Dye Wet Hair?

You can dye wet hair, but the results may be less permanent. There are many circumstances, even in the beauty salon, when wet hair application is entirely normalized, however often neglected. When you get highlights done and you are taken to the shampoo bowl to rinse off the bleach, the pending coloring is done there while the hair is wet. Simply put, our hair color is used on wet hair more than we might even understand. So what’s the difference? The main distinction is permanence. The only information that determines if we can apply dye to wet or dry hair is the type of color solutions we’re utilizing.

See: How much hair loss is normal

Ayurvedic Oils To Eliminate Damp Hair Odor

These listed below mentioned necessary oils have a naturally pleasing smell paired with antimicrobial residential or commercial properties that keep germs away. Apply them in the evening or before a hair clean to prevent wet odor in your hair.

  • Tea Tree Oil: Tea tree oil has helped in treating different skin diseases over the centuries. This important oil is extremely effective against microbial tasks on the scalp and various other parts of the body. Being non-sticky in nature, you can additionally utilize this oil as a leave-in conditioner.
  • Neem Oil: Neem oil is generally used in Ayurveda due to it’s healing properties to treat a range of skin and hair problems. Slightly viscous, this oil can be used an hour before showering and washed off with a moderate shampoo.
  • Clove Oil: Clove has been utilized in several Ayurvedic remedies as a result of its therapeutic and healing properties. Clove is used to cure a range of skin and also hair issues. Rich in antioxidants and antifungal, antimicrobial, and antibacterial, clove oil can avoid damp hair smell when applied to the scalp and hair.
  • Lavender Oil: It is abundant in phytochemicals such as linalool and linalyl acetate, which have anti-inflammatory and antifungal action that combat odor-causing microorganisms on your scalp and hair. In addition to maintaining scalp infections away, lavender oil is additionally a hair growth booster.

Ayurvedic herbal products to get rid of damp hair smell
Damp hair smell can put you in embarrassing situations. Ayurveda can offer natural remedies for it using herbs such as Neem, Amla, Reetha, Shikakai, and Hibiscus, which have antifungal and antibacterial residential properties to cleanse your hair. These Ayurvedic herbal shampoos easily eliminate the undesirable smell from your hair without removing off its natural oils.

See: Amla Powder For Hair

– Amalaki (Indian Gooseberry).
Amla is an all-natural coolant that stabilizes Pitta Dosha and reduces excess warmth and sebum secretion on the scalp. Being antimicrobial, Amla avoids hair odor and maintains hair naturally glossy.

See: Amla Health Benefits & Side Effects

– Japa (Hibiscus).
Make an all-natural hair shampoo by including some tulsi leaves, hibiscus blossoms, and grind them to a paste with water. You will observe that the combination will start to foam. Apply this on your hair and also clean off after 30 minutes to keep hair odor away.

– Reetha (Indian Soapberry).
Washing your hair with powered Reetha (soap nut) is a standard approach to cleaning your hair without any adverse effects. When mixed with water, reetha produces a moderate lather due to the presence of saponins. This is utilized as an all-natural alternative to hair shampoos containing chemicals. Reetha is also recognized for promoting hair development and combating related problems such as premature greying, scalp infections, dandruff, hair fall.

See: Brahmi Health Benefits & Side Effects

– Shikakai (Acacia Concinna).
Shikakai or soap capsule is an all-natural cleansing representative that has antifungal and also antibacterial properties. Using Shikakai to remove dandruff, scalp infections, and hair, development is stated in Ayurvedic texts. Shikakai, being moderate, efficiently cleanses your hair without opening up the cuticle and drying the hair in the process.

– Nimba (Neem).
Neem has disinfectant buildings that get rid of damp odor from hair generally caused by the buildup of germs or fungus. It is likewise extremely reliable versus dandruff and other scalp infections. Soak neem leaves overnight, grind them into a paste and leave it on the hair for 30 mins before washing off.


Now that you know all the nitty-gritty of damp hair-related issues, it’s time to spring into action. Apart from the solutions we spoke about, it’s important to consult doctors in severe hair damage or scalp issues. However, no matter what choices you make regarding your hair, it must be treated with love and care. Say goodbye to all your hair problems and give a big hug to your glorious mane with natural remedies and care.

1. Woodcock AA, et al. (2005). Fungal contamination of bedding. DOI: 10.1111/j.1398-9995.2005.00941.x
2. Aspergillosis. (2019). cdc.gov/fungal/diseases/aspergillosis/index.html
3. Gavazzoni Dias MR. (2015). Hair cosmetics: An overview. DOI: 10.4103%2F0974-7753.153450
4. Mayo Clinic Staff. (2019). Common cold. mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/common-cold/symptoms-causes/syc-20351605

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