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What is Damp Hair & How to Take Care of It?

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Many people make the mistake of brushing damp hair vigorously and then wonder where they’re going wrong with their hair care routine. Don't worry; we’ve got you covered with this guide on damp hair and how you can take care of it. But first, let us start with what damp hair means.  

Table of Contents

1. What Is Damp Hair?
2. How Can I Take Care of Damp Hair?
 2.1 Do Not Use Heat Styling Tools on Damp Hair
 2.2 Do Not Brush Damp Hair
 2.3 Use a Detangling Hair Product
 2.4 Do Not Tie Your Damp Hair
 2.5 Moisturize, Moisturize, Moisturize
3. Can I Sleep With Damp Hair?
4. How to Get Rid of Damp Hair Smell Naturally?

What Is Damp Hair?

If after washing your hair you towel-dry it, so it is not soaking wet, but is not 100% dry either, the result is… damp hair. Simply put, it is the stage between wet hair and dry hair. 

It is also the stage where your hair is more fragile, and, hence, more prone to damage. Therefore, it is essential to take extra care of it and use the right hair care products. 

How Can I Take Care of Damp Hair?

Do Not Use Heat Styling Tools on Damp Hair

A study reported that excessive heat applied to damp hair causes bubble hair. Bubble hair is a condition in which the innermost layer of your hair is overheated, leading to the appearance of small bubble-like cavities in your strands. This causes your hair to become brittle and prone to damage. 

Do Not Brush Damp Hair

Brushing your damp hair is an absolute no-no. However, if you need to make it more manageable, then you can use a wide-toothed comb. Gently comb your hair starting from the ends and going upwards. Detangle your strands in small strokes as it will prevent the appearance of knots and unnecessary damage.

Use a Detangling Hair Product

To make your hair softer and easier to manage, consider opting for a leave-in conditioner. A good leave-in conditioner will help restore the vitality and shine of your hair and will make damp hair easier to style.  

WOW Hair Revitalizer

WOW Hair Revitalizer


WOW Hair Revitalizer contains moisturizing ingredients such as extra virgin olive oil, sweet almond oil, Moroccan argan oil, jojoba oil, vitamin E, Bhringraj extract, etc. It helps tame frizz, strengthens the roots, and improves the overall hair quality. 

Spray it evenly along your tresses and roots while your hair is damp and massage it gently onto the scalp. You can leave it on all day. 

Do Not Tie Your Damp Hair

Damp hair is more fragile and prone to damage. Also, damp hair can create a favorable environment for microbial growth. So if you want to tie your hair, make sure you first let it dry completely.  

Moisturize, Moisturize, Moisturize

Your hair will thank you. Applying your moisturizing products to damp hair will also help in better product absorption. On that note, we have a product recommendation for you: 

WOW Apple Cider Vinegar Mist Tonic

WOW Apple Cider Vinegar Mist Tonic


The WOW Apple Cider Vinegar Mist Tonic is a hydrating multipurpose product that doubles up as a face mist. It is formulated with bioactive ingredients like apple cider vinegar, aloe vera juice, rose water, witch hazel extract, among other super ingredients. Use this mist to restore scalp health, smoothen out rough hair cuticles, soothe irritation, remove scalp buildup, and kill dandruff-causing microorganisms. 

Often we end up neglecting the ends of our hair and focus only on the scalp. To avoid the ends from becoming dry and brittle, you can use this hydrating mist. Spray this tonic on your scalp and damp tresses, down to the ends, and massage it gently for a few minutes. 

Can I Sleep With Damp Hair?

The straightforward answer to this question is no, you should not go to bed with damp hair. But not because “you’ll catch a cold”, as you’ve probably been told over the years by your overprotective parents. The most important reason is that going to bed with wet hair increases the risk of fungal infections. Fungal infections can cause dandruff, hair damage, and other hair conditions. According to a study, synthetic pillowcases contain, on average, ten fungi species, the most common ones being Aspergillus fumigatus, Aureobasidium pullulans, and Rhodotorula mucilaginosa. In damp environments, this can overgrow. 

Secondly, it also increases hair breakage because of your tossing and turning in bed when your hair is so fragile. 

However, if you cannot help going to bed with damp hair, make sure to leave it untied and use a silk pillowcase. A silk pillowcase does not cause a lot of friction, so is less likely to cause hair damage. 

Preferably, though, wash your hair a few hours before bed so that it will dry completely, and you can go to sleep with air-dried hair. 

How to Get Rid of Damp Hair Smell Naturally?

If you have curly or wavy hair, then the chances are that sometimes you struggle with hair that smells bad, even when it is dry. While there can be many reasons for it, one of the most significant ones is excess microbial activity on your scalp. It is aggravated when you do not allow your hair to dry completely. Next thing you know, the microbes have the perfect environment to grow in and wreak havoc on your scalp. 

However, there can be other reasons for it, such as using the wrong hair products, hormonal imbalances, extreme humidity, and improper hair washing. 

Fortunately, there are a few simple things you can do to get rid of that smell in no time. 

  • Choose the right shampoo - Opt for a shampoo with antibacterial or antifungal ingredients. Ingredients you should look for on the label include aloe vera gel, neem, apple cider vinegar etc. 
apple cider vinegar shampoo

  • Essential oils to the rescue - A study suggested that essential oils such as cinnamon oil, clove oil, lemon oil, lime oil, orange oil, and rosemary oil have antimicrobial properties and show a significant reduction in microbial population within the first few uses. To use essential oils, simply mix a few drops with a carrier oil and massage gently on your scalp for five minutes. 
tea tree oil

  • Hi, ACV - Apple cider vinegar is also known for its antimicrobial properties. Mix one part apple cider vinegar to four parts water and massage on your scalp for five to ten minutes. Let it sit for about an hour before you wash it off. Or, of course, use an ACV shampoo

There you go, now you know the best tips on how you can take care of damp hair. You can explore more helpful blog posts on our website and shop from the best range of skincare & haircare products!

Sangya Shaily

Sangya Shaily is a content writer from Mumbai, India. She loves writing lifestyle, beauty, fashion, and health & wellness-related content, among other things. In her leisure time, she loves to indulge in reading classic literature and spend time with her family.

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