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Curly Nikki

Your Hair is Sick – and Not in the Good Way

By January 27th, 20219 Comments
Your Hair is Sick – and Not in the Good Way
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


  • Anonymous says:

    Yeah i was sick a couple days ago and my hair was DRY and stuck in one shape lol. Once I felt better i just slapped some deep conditioner on it and walked around for the day with it on. that evening it was soft and managable again. easy fix

  • Samantha says:

    My hair was so dry and frizzy when I was sick a couple of weeks ago. Also, my relaxed ends (I have less than an inch of relaxed hair left at the ends of my hair) started falling out. It took me a while to notice that it was relaxed hair and not natural hair because I got so worried. Anyways, I had terrible hair days so I just got a protective style done and kept it in till I was better.

  • Anonymous says:

    I got sick recently and I don't even remember what was going on with my hair, but it wasn't in a ponytail, but I think it was in a Wash n Go. Smh. I was just not feeling good. So my hair wasn't either.

  • Miah says:

    I am currently sick and writing this comment right now at work. Let me just say that this thing that my hair does when I am sick is NOT COOL! Personally Ive only been wearing my hair out for a week since i BCd a month ago (protective styling until spring!), but it doesn't change the fact that this is my WORST hair day since middleschool! its so dry and frizzy (cries). From now on 'Jewels' gets put away when I'm sick! >:(

  • Unknown says:

    *sneezes, rubs eyes, sneezes again* Yep… currently this is me. Two weeks again I did a twist out with MJ's… it lasted 2 weeks (wooo whooo). Then 2 nights ago I washed and twisted…. ugh… woke up sick. Needless to say my hair went into a puff and there it has stayed since. I've been trying to moisturize and keep it wrapped up…. but the energy that it takes to lift my arms… ugh… *sneezes*

  • Kimberly says:

    I agree with mangomadness. I do the same thing. The hair goes up and I lay down until I'm up to doing something with it.

  • Dana says:

    I haven't had so much as a cold or the flu in over 8 years thank goodness. My daughter and hubby are a different story. When my daughter does get sick her hair usually feels like straw and we all know our little girls don't want their hair washed when they're sick. I usually have to mist her hair with water daily and seal with oil to at least keep it hydrated because she most likely is dehyrated herself from not wanting to eat or drink much.

  • mangomadness says:

    My hair usually feels bad when I'm sick because I neglet it. I try to moisturize and put in a bun until I feel better and can take better care of it. Post-illness it feel better because I start taking care of it as usual.

  • Anonymous says:

    My hair feels 'dry like a mug' when I'm sick, which makes me wonder if our hair (which is an extrusion of dead keratin cells) is humidified by 'insensible' moisture loss from our body (diaphoresis, respiration, etc).

    If we're dehydrated, I guess it decreases the available amount of perspiration (moisture) that can be secreted by our bodies, so our hair is less humidified.

    Or not.

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