why does my hair stick up

Have you ever wondered why your hair sticks up or out, especially in the morning or after a shower? You're not alone. Don't worry; we've got your back! 

In this article, we'll explore the reasons behind hair sticking up and provide you with practical tips to prevent it from happening. Whether you're struggling with hair sticking up in the back, when straightening it, or at the ends, we've got you covered. Let's dive in!

Why Is My Hair Sticking Up?

First, let's explore the reasons why your hair might be sticking up. There are several factors that can contribute to this issue, including hair length, texture, growth patterns, dryness, damage, humidity, sleeping habits, and hairstyling methods. Here's a closer look at each cause:

Hair Length

Did you know that short hair has a tendency to stick up more easily? It's because short hair lacks the weight to hold it down, which can result in some unruly strands sticking up, particularly in the back. If you've ever wondered why your short hair seems to have a mind of its own, now you know!

Hair Texture

If you have fine or thin hair, you might find that your hair is more prone to sticking up. This is because fine or thin hair lacks the thickness and weight to stay put. So, if you've been battling with your lightweight hair, don't worry - you're not alone!

Why Is My Hair Sticking Up

Hair Growth Patterns

You know those pesky strands that seem to stick up no matter what you do? They might be caused by your hair's natural growth direction. Some hair strands can stick up, especially around the hairline, crown, or cowlick areas due to their unique growth patterns. It's just another thing to keep in mind as we try to understand the mystery of sticking up hair.


Did you know that dry hair can lead to your hair sticking up or out? That's because dryness can cause static electricity(1), which can make your hair stand on end. So, keep an eye on your hair's moisture levels to avoid this issue!


Dealing with damaged hair from heat, chemicals, or poor maintenance can be challenging, especially when it comes to hair sticking up. Damage often results in frizz(2), which can make your hair more prone to sticking up. Women who frequently color their hair or use chemical treatments may be more prone to experiencing this issue. Watch out for those hair stressors to keep your hair in better shape!


High humidity levels can be a real bummer for your hair, causing it to frizz and stick up(3), especially if you have curly or wavy hair. So, the next time you're wondering why your hair is sticking up on a humid day, remember that it's the moisture in the air that's causing the problem!

Hairstyling Methods

While we all love to style our hair, overusing certain tools, like flat irons or blow dryers, can actually cause your hair to stick up. So, it's essential to find a balance between achieving that perfect look and keeping your hair healthy and well-behaved.

Why Is My Hair Sticking Up


You can thank (or blame) your genes for playing a role in determining your hair's texture and growth patterns, which can contribute to hair sticking up. For example, if you inherited genes that cause your hair to grow in a specific pattern, such as a cowlick or a swirl at the crown of your head, you may be more prone to experiencing hair sticking up in those areas. 

It's just one of those things that are passed down through the generations, so don't be too hard on yourself if your hair seems to have a mind of its own!

Sleeping Habits

Ever wake up with your hair sticking up all over the place? The position you sleep in and friction with your pillowcase can be the culprits. So, if you want to avoid that "just woke up" look, consider changing your sleeping position or pillowcase material!

Product Buildup

We all want our hair to look fabulous, but excessive use of hair products or not washing them out properly can lead to product buildup, causing your hair to stick up. Be mindful of how much product you're using and ensure you're washing it out thoroughly to avoid this sticky situation.

Now that we've uncovered the reasons behind hair sticking up let's move on to the solutions.

How to Stop Your Hair from Sticking Up

Here are some effective tips to help you manage and prevent hair from sticking up or sticking out:

Use the Right Products

How to Stop Your Hair from Sticking Up

Choosing hair products specifically designed for your hair type can work wonders in controlling frizz and keeping your hair from sticking up. Keep an eye out for hair serums, leave-in conditioners, and anti-frizz sprays. 

And don't forget to apply a hair primer before using styling products; this helps create a smooth, even base for styling and keeps those pesky strands from sticking up.

Stay Hydrated

How to Stop Your Hair from Sticking Up

Did you know that drinking enough water and using moisturizing hair products can help maintain your hair's natural moisture balance? That's right! By staying hydrated, you can prevent dryness and static electricity, keeping your hair from sticking up in the process.

Upgrade Your Pillowcase

How to Stop Your Hair from Sticking Up

Want to wake up without your hair sticking up everywhere? Consider using a satin or silk pillowcase. These materials create less friction than traditional cotton pillowcases, reducing the chances of your hair sticking up when you wake up in the morning.

Maintain a Healthy Scalp

How to Stop Your Hair from Sticking Up

healthy scalp is key to promoting healthy hair growth and making it less likely for your hair to stick up. To achieve this, incorporate regular scalp massages and exfoliation into your routine, and make sure to use the right hair products for your scalp. Happy scalp, happy hair!

Get Regular Haircuts

How to Stop Your Hair from Sticking Up

It's time to make friends with your hairdresser! Regular trims help remove split ends and damaged hair, reducing frizz and hair sticking up. A well-chosen haircut that works with your hair's natural growth patterns and texture can make all the difference in minimizing the appearance of hair sticking up.

Choose the Right Tools

How to Stop Your Hair from Sticking Up

The right tools make all the difference! A wide-tooth comb or a brush with natural bristles can help distribute natural oils, reduce static, and prevent hair from sticking up. For specific sections of your hair that stick up, try using hair clips or bobby pins to hold them in place temporarily. 

And don't forget to reduce the use of heat styling tools like blow dryers, flat irons, and curling irons to help prevent damage and maintain your hair's natural moisture balance.

Wash and Condition Properly

How to Stop Your Hair from Sticking Up

Washing and conditioning your hair properly is essential to removing product buildup and preventing hair from sticking up. Opt for a gentle, sulfate-free shampoo and a moisturizing conditioner to keep your hair healthy and happy. Don't forget to treat your locks to regular conditioning treatments as well – they'll combat dryness and improve your hair's overall health, making it less prone to sticking up.

Dry Your Hair Gently

How to Stop Your Hair from Sticking Up

Treat your hair kindly when drying it. Instead of rubbing your hair vigorously with a towel, which can cause friction and lead to hair sticking up, gently squeeze out excess water. Then, use a microfiber towel or an old T-shirt to wrap your hair. These materials are more gentle on your hair, reducing friction, and helping to prevent hair from sticking up.

Apply a Hair Mask

How to Stop Your Hair from Sticking Up

Pamper your hair by using a hair mask or deep conditioning treatment once a week. These treatments provide essential nutrients and moisture to your hair, strengthening it from within and reducing the likelihood of hair sticking up. Be sure to choose a hair mask suitable for your hair type and follow the instructions on the packaging for the best results.

Use a Humidifier

How to Stop Your Hair from Sticking Up

A humidifier can help maintain optimal humidity levels in your home, which in turn can reduce frizz and hair sticking up. By balancing the moisture in the air, a humidifier helps to keep your hair smooth, more manageable, and less prone to sticking up, especially during dry seasons or in air-conditioned environments.

Adopt a Healthy Diet

How to Stop Your Hair from Sticking Up

Your hair's health is directly influenced by the nutrients you consume. A balanced diet rich in vitamins and minerals that promote hair health, like biotin, zinc, and vitamin E, can significantly improve your hair's overall condition. Consuming foods such as nuts, seeds, fish, lean meats, and leafy greens will not only benefit your overall health but also help prevent your hair from sticking up.

Comb Your Hair When Wet

How to Stop Your Hair from Sticking Up

Hair is more vulnerable to breakage when it's wet, so it's crucial to handle it gently. Comb your hair using a wide-tooth comb while it's still wet to prevent breakage and reduce the chances of hair sticking up. Additionally, applying a leave-in conditioner or detangling spray can provide extra protection and make it easier to comb through your hair without causing damage.

Embrace Your Natural Texture

And finally, get to know your hair's natural texture and learn to work with it. By doing so, you'll reduce the need for heat styling and, as a result, prevent hair from sticking up. It's time to show off your natural beauty!

Watch this video for tips on how to determine your hair types and textures:

Final Thought

In conclusion, by exploring the reasons behind hair sticking up and implementing the tips provided, you can work towards healthier, more manageable hair. Stay patient and committed to a consistent and healthy hair care routine, and you'll see improvements in your hair's overall condition.

So, the next time you wonder why your hair sticks up so easily, reflect on the information and tips shared in this article. Embrace your hair's natural beauty, and with the right approach, you'll achieve smoother, more manageable hair that stays in place throughout the day. Good luck on your hair care journey, and here's to fabulous hair that makes you feel confident and beautiful!

Frequently Asked Questions

Why does my hair stick up so easily?

Hair sticks up easily due to factors like texture, growth patterns, dryness, damage, and styling habits. Fine or short hair lacks weight to hold it down, and natural growth patterns can cause strands to stick up. Overusing styling tools or experiencing dryness can contribute too.

Why does my hair stick out at the ends?

Hair sticking out at the ends can be caused by split ends, damage, or improper styling. Damaged hair loses its natural moisture and elasticity, making it more prone to sticking out. Regular trims and proper hair care can help address this issue.

Why does my hair stick up when I straighten it?

Hair may stick up after straightening due to heat damage, static electricity, or improper technique. Straightening can strip hair of its natural moisture, leading to dryness and static. To prevent this, use heat protection and moisturizing products, and avoid overusing heat tools.

Why does my hair stick up after a shower?

Hair may stick up after a shower because of natural growth patterns or improper drying techniques. When wet, hair is more susceptible to sticking up due to its temporary pliability. Gently pat your hair dry with a microfiber towel or old T-shirt to minimize friction and sticking.

Why does my hair stick up when I wake up in the morning?

Hair sticks up in the morning due to friction from pillowcases and sleeping positions. Tossing and turning at night can cause hair to rub against the pillowcase, creating static and causing hair to stick up. Using satin or silk pillowcases can help reduce friction and sticking.


1. Diana Draelos, Z. (2000). THE BIOLOGY OF HAIR CARE. Dermatologic Clinics, {online} 18(4), pp.651–658. doi:https://doi.org/10.1016/s0733-8635(05)70216-3.

‌2. Bloch, L.D., Valente, N.Y.S., Escudeiro, C.C., Sarruf, F.D. and Velasco, M.V.R. (2020). Chemical and physical damage affect the perceptions of hair attributes: A quantitative sensory assessment by a trained panel. Journal of Sensory Studies, {online} 36(1). doi:https://doi.org/10.1111/joss.12621.

3. Gao T (2023). Evaluation of hair humidity resistance/moisturization from hair elasticity. Journal of cosmetic science, {online} 58(4). Available at: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/17728940/.