Most of us have either heard it from our parents or said it ourselves. My mom and dad were always lecturing me on that. My father was convinced having the window open in the bedroom would make him sick. I was a tom boy and always going outside without my jacket or after just getting out of the shower. I wasn’t sick much so I didn’t put too much stock in her warnings. Was I just lucky or is this just one of those sayings that we have heard all our lives and taken for granted. Well, there are a lot of people who believe that going out in the wind with wet hair is bad for you. You will hear both our grandparents and today’s parents still giving out this advice.
According to the research, it is just not true. Going outside with your hair wet will not make you sick under normal circumstances. If you do get sick, you were probably already coming down with that bug beforehand. Research studies have proven this belief wrong several times.
Why do people think that?
In the old days, winter meant people stayed in the house more because of the wet weather. They did not get the Vitamin D they needed to help keep their immune system up to speed. They did not have proper heating in most of the houses and nutrition was poor as well. In our grandparent’s days, they ate most of their meals from their own garden. In the winter, they did not eat nearly as well.
Our grandparents worked hard. They worked in very physical jobs and worked hours in the fields. They went to the doctor only when they were pretty sick and just toughed it out. So wet winter weather meant their systems were compromised from several factors. They may have been out in the field and gotten drenched, then got sick later, adding to this view. The real reason they got sick was because of the other factors not getting wet. They may have been over worked, physically down, and their immune system was not being taken care of properly. As a result, they got sick.
What About Today? Most Americans have compromised immune function from sitting at desks, lack of exercise, and poor nutritional habits and fast foods. When its winter, it seems every one is sick around you. They are coughing and sneezing everywhere. You touch the phone, the door knobs, desks, and all of it is covered and contaminated with germs and viruses. It is also the wet time of year and cold too. This perpetuates this belief. Most people know little about how their immune system works. If they did, they would treat it better.
Why then do some people under the same circumstances, rarely get sick? They got wet and touched all the same infected stuff you did. It has to do with immune function. You got sick because your immune system was not working correctly. They did not get sick with the same circumstances because of a great immune system. So when you get sick look at other factors such as stress, diet, lack of sleep, nutrition, and genetics. Some people are just born with poor immune function to begin with. The elderly often have compromised immune function. When pneumonia goes through a nursing home, it kills many of them. They do not have the immune function to fight the sickness off. Doctors call pneumonia the mercy killer on third floor where most of the elderly are dying.
Are their times when going out with wet hair is a problem? When you are sick already you need to take care of yourself. Keeping warm, keeping hydrated, and dry is part of that self care. If you live in areas, where it gets to freezing temperatures and wind chill makes it even colder, wet hair is not a good idea. Wet hair in those circumstances could add to hypothermia. Snow and ice conditions mean protecting your body and skin from stressful factors. In mild climates like southern California, going out with wet hair is not going to make much difference. It’s all those other factors that are compromising your immune system which causes you to get sick easily.