GIF of three versions of a woman's wild hair, shaped by the headgear of a CPAP.

My 3 Solutions to CPAP Mask Hair

Since sleep apnea has traditionally been a problem faced by men, I know it might seem trivial to be talking about CPAP mask ruining hairstyles. So I wonder if there are other women like me who face this struggle and may be considering CPAP mask hair tips.

I've successfully been using continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy for over 7 years, and a lot has changed since my first machine. Except for 1 thing – mask hair every morning. It's so hard to maintain a nice salon blowout when the straps of your CPAP mask leave lines and indents.

Straps ruin hairstyles

I have to admit, I've tried some silly things to get my hair to look nice in the morning. Including drawing out sections of my hair between the straps. That must make quite a sight, I'm sure! It helped only a little bit though. Removing the mask the next morning was more trouble than it was worth and I soon abandoned that idea.

Headgear not designed for women

Seriously though, I don't think the headgear on CPAP masks was designed to preserve women's hairstyles at all. That's understandable for sure. I know the whole purpose of CPAP masks is to help me breathe while I'm sleeping and therefore keep me alive.

By providing your email address, you are agreeing to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.

The problem for me though could be that I have fine and thinning hair that doesn't hold on to hairstyles easily. For example, the slightest humidity would cause my hair to go limp. Then 2 days after washing, it gets oily and limp.

It's for that very reason I don't like to have to style my hair again every morning. I don't want to have to blow dry or curl it too much to risk damaging the little that I have.

Satin pillowcase for hair loss

I've heard that wearing a satin hair bonnet might be helpful. However, I don't use one because my head sweats and this causes my hair to get oily and limp faster. Instead I use a stain pillowcase which I find helpful for hair loss and breakage. However, it doesn't prevent mask hair.

Mask too tight

Another reason I think I might be experiencing mask hair is because the straps of my headgear might be too tight. I am constantly trying to find the perfect mask for my face and sleeping style. Right now I use a nasal cushion, but sometimes it leaks. So to prevent the leaks, I find myself tightening the straps more.

Not only are the tight straps ruining my hairstyles, but I'm finding indents on my face that are still visible during the day. But that's a story for another day.

My 3 tips to CPAP mask hair

I am also looking into doing away with straps and headgear altogether. The top 3 alternatives to headgear on my list are: surgery, myo-functional therapy, and a no-mask option.

I know for sure, that surgery is not an option right now because I live in Canada and it's not available here as yet. I've been hearing more about myo-functional therapy lately so will be exploring that option next.

I'm also excited about a no-mask CPAP option that I've seen recently, but I'm waiting to hear back from my DME to find out if it's available in Canada and if my insurance will cover the cost.

The benefits of using CPAP therapy definitely outweigh the inconvenience of many ruined salon or home blowouts, so that's why I continue to put up with it.

Does using a CPAP machine give you morning mask hair too? Please share a comment or selfie with the sleep apnea community below.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

Join the conversation

Please read our rules before commenting.