5 Myths About Sleeping with Wet Hair

If you are fond of taking a shower before you go to bed, you’ve probably wondered whether jumping into bed with your wet hair will cause problems. You’ve probably had an experience of taking a night bath, going straight to the bed weighed down with exhaustion, only to jump up in agitation. 

Maybe you’ve heard stuff like sleeping with wet hair causes blindness, going to bed with wet hair causes colds. Well, I’m here to tell you that there is nothing like sleeping with wet hair headache. 

If questions such as "Does sleeping with wet hair make you sick?" keep you up at night, then you definitely deserve to know the truth.  All these are important questions as wet hair is extremely fragile, but most of the information you hear are only beliefs with zero evidence to back them. So, what is the truth? 

Keep scrolling and read as I settle some of the myths surrounding going to bed with wet hair. 

1. Sleeping with wet hair will give you a terrible cold.

When you were younger, you were no doubt chided for going to sleep with wet hair with the belief that you’ll catch a cold. And now that you’re grown up, you still hold firm to that belief. 

This notion is commonly held all over the world, but is it really true? Can you truly get sniffles? Many find this idea plausible because the reason that wet hair will make you feel cold which will eventually result in terrible symptoms such as excessive sneezing and runny nose. 

However, it turns out that this isn’t at all true. Viruses are what result in colds, and not low temperatures. You can’t get sniffles except you are exposed to a viral agent which causes colds such as rhinoviruses. 

You cannot catch a cold from being cold.

-Dr. William Schaffner, Division of Infectious Diseases at Vanderbilt University Medical Center (source)

Now, you might be thinking that cold weather makes people get colds. But this is not altogether true as other factors contribute other than the temperature. For instance, in the winter season, low humidity easily dries out the nasal passage, making it easy for your body to be infected by viruses. 

In countries with rainy weather, dirty water exposure result in cold-causing viruses. So as long as you keep your room germ-free and clean, you can’t catch a cold just from sleeping with wet hair.

2. Sleeping with wet hair can cause headache.

It’s possible that you’ve also heard that sleeping with wet hair  can cause headache. Some of those who hold this belief reason that blood moves to cold areas of the body, and if the head is cold, the body will automatically turn more warm blood to that area. Then, the pressure from all the blood can result in a headache. 

Others opine the temperature difference between your body and your hair can result in a serious headache. 

All these are hypothetical theories with no evidence or empirical science to support. Based on stories, some who sleep with wet hair experience headaches while some don’t. 

However, these are just stories and there is no medical science anywhere to back it. So, unless you’ve experienced headache from sleeping with wet hair before, there is actually no reason to believe that you would. 

3. Harmful bacteria on pillows.

Another rumor on wet hair is that it helps  dangerous bacteria colonize your pillow. Viruses and bacteria that cause illness do not appear just like that. So, getting your pillow damp while you sleep cannot produce bacteria. 

However, the exception is pillows that are made with synthetic materials. They can harbor fungus and molds that trigger allergies and asthma. Besides this, there is no medical evidence that people who sleep with wet hair experience asthma or allergy symptoms. 

Wash your sheets and pillow cases with hot water once each week at least to minimize your exposure to any irritants. 

4. Itchy scalp.

You might also have heard that when you sleep with damp hair, fungus will grow on your hair, resulting in scalp-irritating symptoms  such as dandruff. Does sleeping with wet hair cause dandruff?

This myth arose out of the reason that the hair moisture, the heat from the head, and an absence of air circulation as the air is trapped between your pillow and your head will encourage the development of these dandruff-causing agents, and turn your head into a haven for fungi to grow. 

This theory is not factual. You can only get an itchy, dandruff-filled scalp if your hair is really exposed to fungal spores, and as said earlier, this can only happen if your mattress, sheets and pillow cases aren’t clean. 

So, if you have a superb personal hygiene, and you replace your pillowcases and bed sheets regularly, then it is okay to sleep with damp hair. 

5. Mental disorders.

This has got to be the most difficult myth for me to accept. It is actually a popular belief that there is a link between sleeping with wet hair and mental disorders. Absurd, right? 

There's absolutely no evidence for this belief, making it a pure myth. There are several scientifically proven causes for mental disorders such as brain injury, genetics, poor nutrition, toxin exposure, and the likes, but wet hair is so not included. 

If you were given this advice, it is very okay to disregard it and jump into bed with your wet hair.

Wrapping Things Up....

Though there is no evidence to back up these myths and you can describe them as old wives’ tale going to bed with wet hair, it doesn’t mean that it can’t be damaging to go to sleep with wet hair. 

This is why it is important to take your time to gently brush through your damp hair, pack it up, arrange it as a bun or a braid before you sleep.

Use good products like protective spray and leave-in conditioner to ensure that you do not wake up with a crazy, unruly hair. 

The important thing is for you to sleep comfortably without fear even with wet hair, knowing that the stories you heard are unproven myths. 

PIN For Later!

Featured Image Credit: Deposit Photos

Other Images:
(1) Image by Robin Higgins from Pixabay;
(2) Image by Mojca JJ from Pixabay;
(3) Image by lannyboy89 from Pixabay.

Does sleeping with wet hair cause colds
Last Updated: July 28, 2019

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