We’ve all done it, we’ve all been there – we’ve washed our hair before bed and couldn’t be bothered to dry it, choosing instead to tie it up and leave it be or just sleeping with wet hair.
Told by our mothers for years that sleeping with wet hair, or going out of the house on cold days with wet hair, will give you a raging cold or flu but we decided it was time to take a closer look and see whether or not sleeping with wet hair really was as bad for you as our mothers and grandmothers once portrayed.
Sleeping with Wet Hair – The Good News
If you sleep in a warm environment, sleeping with wet hair is probably not going to cause you a problem. That’s the good news.
Leaving your hair to dry naturally is definitely better than drying it with a blow-dryer. As long as you use a good leave-in conditioner to make sure your hair is well protected, and that your room is at a warm temperature, sleeping with wet hair is just fine.
Sleeping with Wet Hair – The Bad News
Sadly, there is some bad news. If you go to bed with wet hair in a cool room, there is a chance you could be causing some damage.
When you go to bed in a cool room, you’ll be losing more heat and one of the main ways you lose heat from your body is via your scalp. This can have an effect on the natural oils naturally produced by the scalp but more studies are needed before there is any definitive proof as to whether or not sleeping with wet hair would actually cause any harm.
Going to bed with soaking wet hair isn’t a good idea because it’ll be really uncomfortable. Towel dry first and spray some leave-in conditioner. If you don’t, you’ll have a bad night’s sleep and we all know how bad that is for your health.
Your hair is more susceptible to damage when it’s wet so by going to bed with wet hair, you are running the risk of damaging it more than it usually would be.
Can Sleeping With Wet Hair Give You a Cold?
People catch a cold through transmission of a virus and this is generally transferred through body fluids – sneezing, coughing, leaving germy hand-prints everywhere you go. Taking this into consideration, it would be very rare that you could catch a cold from having wet hair.
However, and there is some bad news here too, sleeping with wet hair can make you more susceptible to catching a cold in some sense. It goes back to losing heat through your scalp (so therefore when you sleep in a cool room). When your body becomes cool, the blood vessels around the ear, noses and throat can constrict. This can have an impact on your immune system because it means the white blood cells that would normally be searching your body fighting for viruses won’t be able to get around as easy, and they won’t be produced properly.
When your immunity is low, your white blood cells are not doing their job properly and this means you will be at a greater risk of catching a cold because a virus could easily slip through.
The links made between the blood vessels and wet hair are very slight and still undergoing. For now it seems that sleeping with wet hair probably isn’t going to cause you that much damage. It’ll be more uncomfortable than anything else.
If you are going to go to bed with wet hair, you’ll end up with a cold pillowcase and a wet one too. Make sure you put a warm, fluffy towel over your pillow to absorb some of that moisture. At least when the towel is soaked, you can take it off to reveal a relatively dry pillowcase underneath.
You might as well make the most of the situation too. If you braid your hair before you go to bed, you’ll wake up with loose waves when it’s dried and you let the braids free in the morning.
*image source: stockimages / freedigitalphotos.net