Is it bad to sleep with Beard Oil? [SOLVED]

Beard oil is a fantastic product that provides a range of benefits to beards. Many people could beard oil on their beard at the beginning of the day, whilst others choose to put it on just before they go to sleep. By applying the vehicle in the morning, you can ensure that you are limiting how it can get rubbed off. All the beard oil benefits can only be realised as long as the oil is in contact with your hair for long enough that it gets absorbed efficiently.

It is not bad to sleep with Beard oil in your beard. However, the oil could end up on your sheets unless you buy a beard bonnet, and other considerations like the smell and the quality of your sleep should also factor into your decision of wearing beard oil at night.

It generally takes up to an hour for the oils to be absorbed into the skin. Some oils take much longer to be absorbed by the hair. Fast penetration oils are coconut oil and ucuuba oil, and avocado oil, argan oil, and olive oil are easily absorbed by the hair.

However, jojoba oil is good for the skin but does not absorb into the hair well. That is why a beard oil with a good mixture is important! If you want to know more about whether or not you should apply beard oil before bed, you can check out my other article – click here – I go through whether or not it is a good or bad idea to waste your time and money.

Here are all considerations you should make before deciding on sleeping with beard oil in your beard.

Downsides of sleeping with beard oil in

There are plenty of reasons why you may want to put beard oil in your beard at night. But not all decisions are without their drawbacks. Here are all of the reasons why your application of beard oil for sleeping may cause you some issues.

You could get oil on your sheets

Applying just the right amount of beard oil to coat all of the hairs fully but not drip is a very tricky line to walk. You need to apply just the right amount to stay in your beard without it causing your beard to look wet.

Is it bad to sleep with Beard Oil in your beard? [SOLVED]

One trick to achieve this is to apply the beard oil to your hands drop by drop and smother over the entire surface of the beard until it holds a light shine.

The issue is that when you go to bed, the oil can easily end up on your sheets and your pillow. Most beard oils will stain sheets and leave a slight yellow hue after a couple of nights of sleep. The only way to avoid this is by sleeping completely on your back.

To avoid getting oil on your sheets, you should consider wearing a beard bonnet or a beard wrap while going to sleep.

Over application

By applying beard oil at night, you risk the over-application of beard oil. Sometimes more is not better, and beard oil is one of those things.

If the beard oil contains essential oils, it can irritate and cause the skin and hair. At night, putting the beard oil on may cause increased exposure to the essential oils as they get trapped against your skin and pillow.

These are some of the essential oils that may irritate:

  • Basil
  • Benzoin
  • Birch
  • Black Pepper
  • Cassia
  • Clove
  • Cinnamon
  • Ginger
  • Lemon
  • Lemongrass
  • Lemon Verbena
  • Oregano
  • Peppermint
  • Pimento Berry
  • Pine
  • Tagetes
  • Red Thyme
  • Wintergreen

Over application can also cause your beard to look as if it is wet all the time. I know that this is real because I was adding too much beard oil to my beard in the mornings, and someone embarrassingly asked me if my beard was wet! I said no, it’s well hydrated, but I quickly stopped using as much oil!

It would help if you bought a beard bonnet

Buying a beard bonnet will certainly help reduce oil transfer from your beard to your pillow and sheets.

A beard bonnet, or wrap, is made from a low friction material covering and supporting the beard under the chin. It is typically held in place by an elasticated strap, and it comes in various sizes for different beard lengths. A beard bonnet has a double layer construction with satin or silk on the inner layer. This inner layer reduces the friction your beard encounters while sleeping and acts as a waterproof barrier to keep the oil against your beard hairs.

If you want to know more about wearing a beard bonnet, you should check out my other article – what is a beard bonnet? Where I go through everything you need to know about wearing a beard bonnet at night.

What is a beard bonnet? [Expert Answers]

Not only can a beard bonnet help you keep oil against your beard and not on your sheets can also:

  • protect your beard from movements of sleeping
  • allow you to sleep with other products
  • reduces breakages
  • stops from getting food in your beard during the day
  • protect your beard from damaging UV rays
  • it protects your beard from getting caught
  • protects your beard from getting smells
  • and much, much more.

Even though it seems like they can be a little bit lame, they have various benefits that you cannot overlook.

Locks in wetness from showers

If you shower before bedtime, your beard will absorb water. This water penetrates deep into the hair and can interrupt some bonds, causing a much weaker interaction. This weak interaction results in hair that is easier to break.

Wet hair is far weaker than dry hair, which makes it more susceptible to being broken than just about anything else you can do with it. Pulling on the hair strands are more likely to damage wet hair than dry hair.

Hair is incredibly strong. On average, a single strand of hair can carry up to 100 g of weight. You can even test this by doing an experiment outlined in this American scientific article. Hair is strong because it has a three-layered structure. There are keratin fibres that make up the hair strand’s middle layer, which is the same stuff that your fingernails are made of.

By applying oil to slightly damp hair, you look in the moisture and increase the number of breakages you experienced during sleep. Before you apply beard oil before bed, you should make sure that your beard is completely dry and, if in doubt, use a blow dryer to remove any excess moisture.

Overwhelming smells

Beard oils can be mixed with a ton of very potent essential oils. These essential oils all have a relatively strong scent which can become overwhelming if they are not allowed to escape.

Is it bad to sleep with Beard Oil in your beard? [SOLVED]

Essential oils rely on evaporation over a few hours to diminish in strength.

By wrapping them up in a beard wrap, you can be delaying their evaporation and cause irritation or damage to the beard hair. Also, your sheets may end up smelling much more like your beard oil sent than your washing powder.

To overcome this issue, you should buy unscented beard oil that you use specifically at night. That said, you don’t need to use this beard oil at night. You can also use it during the day if you are particularly sensitive to strong smells.

It gets in the way of intimacy

A fresh application of beard oil may also obstruct and put an end to any intimacy you are hoping to have with your partner at night.

It takes approximately 40 minutes to 1 hour to absorb beard oil into the skin and the hair. If you want to be intimate with your partner at that time, you should apply your beard oil for at least one hour before heading to bed. Otherwise, the oil can end up all over your partner’s skin. Wherever your beard touches is where the beard oil will end up.

It could delay bedtime

Putting beard oil into your beard at night may delay your bedtime. It takes me approximately 10 to 15 minutes to do my full beard routine in the morning. If you are putting beard oil into your beard at night, you may have to wait at least 15 minutes for your beard to dry out and then another 45 minutes for the oil to absorb at a significant level so as not to rub off on your pillow.

Most of the time, this may be able to be done efficiently. However, I often feel too sleepy at night to do any in-depth or rigorous maintenance to my beard. If you are a night owl, you are much better suited to putting oil in your beard at night than someone who enjoys going to bed early.

Lack of quality sleep

Putting stuff in your beard and using a beard bonnet may significantly decrease the quality of your sleep.

I found an article from 1987 that looked at sleep deprivation’s effect on beard hair growth in men.

As part of the study, ten young men underwent sleep deprivation for 48 hours, resulting in a 19% decrease in their beard hair growth.

This effect was related to the hormonal disturbance (the decrease of growth hormone release) and the decrease of dihydroxy testosterone or DHT.

In this study, ten adult men were deprived of sleep during 48 hours stop. They were asked to spend the control nights at home and avoid large variations in ambient temperature. They had to go to bed between 10 and 12 PM and refrain from any sexual intercourse – which would affect the testosterone levels in the body.

The subjects remained in the lab while listening to music and were kept awake for 48 hours.

This study highlights the importance of sleep on the regulation and production of growth hormones and DHT. The scientific literature is full of really interesting and detailed studies about the lack of sleep on the human body. We can use this information to determine whether or not sleep would likely cause issues with your beard growth and providers with some insight into what we can do to fix it.

Now, let’s take a look at the benefits of sleeping with beard oils in your beard.

Benefits of sleeping with beard oil in

Despite the considerations in the section above, there are some good reasons for wanting to put beard oil into your beard overnight. These include the amplification of effects, including deep hydration and the potential time-saving of deep treating your beard whilst also sleeping soundly.

Amplification of effects

Allowing the beard oil to sit against your hair for a very long time means that it has the potential to impart the most benefits to your beard.

The amplification of effects include:

  • easy styling – a well-conditioned beard is far more manageable and easier to style.
  • Stopping beard dandruff – beard dandruff is one of the most annoying aspects of growing a beard and using beard oil will help moisturise the skin under the beard and conditioning the hairs.
  • Making the beard smell nice – beard oils contain essential oils which, in the right concentration, can leave your beard smelling fresh and vibrant for many hours.
  • Removing beard itch – the early stages are grown can create a fair amount of discomfort. The beard oil can help support the natural sebum generated on your face and remove any irritation
  • Fighting acne – Acne is caused by a bacteria found in the bottom of the pores called C. acnes. If the beard oil contains essential oils with antibacterial or anti-inflammatory effects, you can help. It makes sense then that the beard oils you use have the best essential oils for acne.

I go through all of the beneficial effects of beard oil in my YouTube video below.

Do not put this in your beard overnight

Besides what you can put in your beard at night, there are a few things that you definitely shouldn’t put in your beard at night. As a general rule of thumb, this includes anything that contains a wax or style holding component – as this will sit against your beard and not absorb into the hair.

Examples of products that you should not put into your beard at night include:

  • Beard balm
  • Beard wax
  • Shampoo


In this article, we have been over everything you need to know about whether or not it is bad to sleep with beard oil in your beard.

Take into account the considerations in this article, and you have been in a much better position to use beard oil in your beard at night safely and effectively. There are many benefits to be had, but there is also the potential to damage your beard and stain your pillow or cause you to have a terrible night’s sleep.

The Author

Andy Stapleton

Andy is a writer and YouTuber with a PhD in science. He has written and/or produced videos for Science Alert, COSMOS magazine, and Australia's Science Channel among others. He is an avid beard grower and after many years of growing and trialling different beard styles, he started this blog to share the tips, tricks, and science that he has learned along the way!