Can Sleeping With Wet Hair Give You a Cold?

A woman rinses her hair with a showerhead.

A nice, hot shower before bed is sometimes all we need to kick off a peaceful night’s rest. Put on some lotion and a comfy set of pajamas, and you’re ready to go! But wait—what about your wet hair?

We know your grandmother might have warned you that sleeping with wet hair would give you a cold, but is there any truth to that? Sorry grandma, but it’s not entirely true.

A common cold is caused by a virus, not the act of physically being cold, so going to bed with wet hair won’t directly cause a scratchy throat or a snotty nose. In fact, there’s no research at all that backs up wet hair single-handedly causing colds.

However, sleeping with wet hair isn’t all good news. Warm and damp environments (like wet hair and a pillow) are prime territories for developing bacterial and fungal infections on the face or scalp. Not only that but the strands of the hair are also put under a lot of stress when slept on wet.

Hair stretching, fungus growth, dandruff, hair breakage, and skin conditions are all potential risks we take when going to bed with wet hair.

So while your mom wasn’t right entirely, she was correct in some ways. We suggest taking a blow dryer to your hair the next time you wash it before bed or wearing a protective covering at night.

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