True or False: Can you get sick from going outside with wet hair?

Photo by Omar Lopez on Unsplash

Did you mother (or grandmother) ever stop you from going outside with wet hair because they said you’d get sick? A lot of us have been told this, but is there any truth to the tale? Well, we asked the experts for their professional opinions.

It turns out that this saying is untrue, but not completely untrue. Confused? Let us explain. The only thing that causes a cold (or flu, for that matter) is a virus, in this case any one of over 200 different strains.

These viruses spread through the air between people in close contact, or indirectly via contact with anything an infected person has touched.

As little as two days after exposure to the virus, you might develop symptoms such as a cough, runny nose, sneezing, sore throat, headache, and a fever. The virus takes about 7 to 10 days to leave the body, although some take up to 3 weeks.

So what’s partly true about the saying that you’ll get sick if you go outside with wet hair? The fact is that during the colder months, people tend to gather indoors in larger groups than in warmer weather.

This close contact helps with virus transmission. Viruses also thrive in cold weather and replicate faster, so exposure to a cold virus is far more likely to happen if it’s cold outside.

So, if you go outside into the cold when your hair’s wet, you might be more likely to pick up a cold virus.