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Will going outside with wet hair make you sick?

Often viruses and illnesses are associated with the cold temperature. There is a saying that going outside with wet hair when it is cold outside can cause someone to become infected with a cold. It is true that there are illnesses associated with low body temperatures, which can be a result of staying out in the cold for too long. However, the cold air is not a factor that contributes to someone becoming infected with a virus, despite the increases in sickness among the population during the duration of the winter months.

The cold air does not contribute to one being infected by a virus, but the cold air can support the development of viruses. In fact, a virus has to be present in the air in order for one to be infected with a cold, as such viruses inflame membranes within the nose and throat. This makes it impossible for someone to catch a cold solely from the cold temperature. However, the cold air can support the development of viruses like the rhinovirus because the virus can travel more easily in this temperature. Since one cannot know whether or not the viruses are present in the air, it is important for one’s immune system to be strong and for one to wash their hands. The immune system can be strengthened through regular exercise and sufficient amounts of sleep. Since the cold temperature does not correlate to viral infections, the cold temperature does not directly correlate to the increase in sicknesses during the winter months as well.

The increase in sickness among the population throughout the winter months is not directly correlated to the cold temperatures, but rather it results from a multitude of causes due to the cold air. In the winter months people tend to stay inside, which allows viruses to easily spread through groups of people. There are also some studies that suggest that the lack of sunlight and vitamin D during the winter may contribute to increases in sickness among the population because the immune system is weakened. The weakened immune system increases susceptibility to being infected with a virus. It is especially important to eat healthy, wash one’s hands, and sleep for adequate amounts of time in order to avoid obtaining sicknesses from another person throughout these months.

There are virtually no risks associated with going outside with wet hair on the coldest days of the winter because the cold air does not always have viruses in it. The possibility of there being viral molecules in the air are unknown most of the time, and so the cold air will not affect most of the population. However, one should ensure that they do not lower their body temperatures too much because there is a risk of obtaining hypothermia, frostbite, trench foot, or chilblains, all sicknesses due to the body losing too much of its heat. It is important to stay warm in the coldest days of the winter but also not fear becoming sick because the possibility is rare.



Can Wet Hair Actually Make You Sick? Cleveland Clinic. 2021 September 15.

Can You Catch a Cold By Going Outside with Wet Hair? University Hospitals. 2021 November 17.


Cold-related illness. Minnesota Department of Health.,the%20body%20becomes%20too%20cold.


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