Sleeping with Wet Hair: Risks and Myths Explained by Experts

Dermatologists and emergency physicians debunk the myth that sleeping with wet hair can cause a cold, but warn of potential hair damage and fungal infections due to weakened hair structure and ideal fungal growth conditions. To prevent these issues, experts recommend drying hair before bed, using mild heat, and choosing silk or satin pillowcases, as well as gentle towel-drying techniques." This description focuses on the primary topic of sleeping with wet hair, the main entities of dermatologists and emergency physicians, and the context of hair care and scalp health. It highlights the significant actions of debunking a myth and warning of potential consequences, as well as the objective details of hair damage and fungal infections. This description will guide the AI in generating an accurate visual representation of the article's content, potentially featuring images of people sleeping with wet hair, hair damage, fungal infections, and hair care products or techniques.

author-image
Trim Correspondents
New Update
Sleeping with Wet Hair: Risks and Myths Explained by Experts

Sleeping with Wet Hair: Risks and Myths Explained by Experts

Can sleeping with wet hair make you sick or damage your locks? Dermatologists and emergency physicians have weighed in on this common question, separating fact from fiction when it comes to the potential risks of hitting the pillow with damp tresses.

One persistent myth is that going to bed with wet hair can cause a cold. However, experts agree this is not the case. Colds are caused by viruses, not a moist scalp. While it may feel uncomfortable, sleeping with wet hair will not make you sick.

That said, there are some legitimate risks to consider. Dermatologist Timothy Schmidt explains that wet hair is more fragile and prone to breakage than dry hair. "Water weakens the hair's protein structure, making it more elastic and easier to stretch and snap," he notes. To minimize damage, experts recommend letting hair air dry or using mild heat before bed. Silk or satin pillowcases can also help reduce friction.

Another concern is the potential for fungal infections. Wet hair combined with the warmth and moisture of a pillow creates an ideal environment for fungi to thrive. Emergency physician Dr. Chirag Shah warns this can lead to conditions like dandruff, scalp ringworm, and seborrheic dermatitis due to yeast overgrowth.

To protect hair and scalp health, experts offer some prevention tips: dry hair before bed or use mild heat, choose a silk or satin pillowcase, avoid rubbing hair dry with a regular towel, and consider a microfiber towel to minimize damage. By taking a few simple precautions, it's possible to prevent the hair damage and fungal infections that sleeping with wet hair may cause, without having to worry about catching a cold.

Key Takeaways

  • Sleeping with wet hair won't give you a cold; it's a myth!
  • Wet hair is more prone to breakage, so air dry or use mild heat.
  • Fungal infections can occur on wet hair, leading to scalp issues.
  • Silk/satin pillowcases reduce friction and prevent hair damage.
  • Dry hair before bed or use a microfiber towel to minimize damage.