by Tammy Goodson of CurlyChic

In addition to snowflakes and wool sweaters, winter brings with it cold and flu season. During this time (usually through the month of April), viruses are rampant and can take a toll on you as well as the health of your hair. The mere physical stress of the illness can trigger excessive shedding and hair loss, not to mention the neglect it’ll experience while you’re trying to get back on the good foot. Here a few tips to decrease the chances of catching the common cold or flu.

Get Plenty of Sleep (at least 7 hours)
Sleep is imperative to combating colds and the flu, in that it regulates the release of a hormone called cortisol. Cortisol stimulates the cells that boost the immune system, so that your body is protected and better prepared to battle illness.

Stay Well Hydrated
Consume plenty of liquids, particularly good old fashioned H2o. Sugary and caffeinated drinks do not hydrate, instead they rob your body of the water it needs.

Eat a balanced diet, which includes foods rich in vitamins and nutrients, especially fruits and vegetables, which are rich in antioxidants, proven to fight off disease.

Wash your hands frequently
Frequent hand washing minimizes the risk of spreading germs. One of the most common ways to contract a cold or the flu is from touching contaminated surfaces. We then touch the two routes of inoculation for the virus, the nose and eyes.
*efficient hand washing should be 30 seconds to a minute in duration

Disinfect all surfaces
Rhinoviruses can live up to 3 hours on your skin. They also can survive for up to 3 hours on objects such as telephones and refrigerator doors. Cleaning these environmental surfaces in your home or place of business with a virus-killing disinfectant, such as Lysol, helps prevent the spread of infection.

Sneeze and or cough in your inner elbow
To prevent further spreading of germs, when you sneeze or cough, cover with a tissue or release in the inside of your elbow.

Do you notice a difference in the way your hair behaves when you are ill, or post illness?
Sharing hairstories and life experiences from a curl’s perspective. Find Tammy at her blog, Curlychics, on Twitter, and Facebook