Banishing Bad Hair Days since 1997!™

Can Your Hair Catch The Flu?

Even though I was raised by the son of a first generation Irish potato farmer and the fifth generation of a German wheat farmer in Missouri, I did not inherit the robust farmer health genes.

My brother did better in that department but all three of the kids in my family were born with lots of thick and healthy hair.

Unfortunately with or without a flu vaccine (not sure how I really feel about the shots) I seem to always get the flu and when I do two things happen.  The dreaded flu virus eventually goes to my chest where it may or may not manifest into bronchitis while making a mess of my hair.

(Image of Goldwell - New Switch Models - Copyright - All Rights Reserved).

Did I say the flu makes a mess of my hair?  Yes, indeed.  I always notice my hair gets totally wimpy when my body if fighting a cold, the flu or I have bronchitis.  Is that possible?  Can hair really catch the flu?

While hair doesn't actually get the flu, when the human body is using all of its resources to fight off invading germs and viruses,  it prioritizes where it is going to put all of its energy.  When that happens hair and skin get bumped down on the list and lose some of the body's attention.  Which means my hair feels lifeless and lank.

Other things happen in my own Universe which isn't exactly great for my hair.  In my efforts to fight off an invading flu or other bug, I will often spend more time with a steamy vaporizer or taking more showers and baths.  All that extra steam and water exposure, even when I wrap my hair up to prevent interaction, seems to take a toll.

While I normally am extremely careful to prepare my hair for bed to avoid split ends, when I'm ill, I really don't care much about anything other than getting better.  I confess I am less religious about taking care of my hair business which means I am more prone to split ends than normal.  I also am not in the mood to sleep on a satin or silk pillowcase when I'm slattered with a chest rub or am coughing nonstop.  Yes, TMI, but its a reality.

The last reason my hair acts up is because I change my normal vitamin and nutrient consumption.  When my health is optimal I specifically take vitamins and minerals for hair and skin.  When I am worried about beating back bronchitis or a nagging cough, I refocus the vitamins and herbs I take towards my immune system.  Sometimes if I am taking lots of virus fighting vitamins and herbs I might temporarily stop my normal hair and skin supplements.

All of these factors can take a toll on my hair when I'm sick with the flu or a related virus.

Is there anything you can do to safeguard your hair during an attack of the flu?  Yes, consider the following options:

1.  Keep your hair detangled.  Coughing, sneezing and other flu and cold activities may cause your head to thrash around more than normal and hair, especially long, may be collateral damage.

2.  If you're worried about sleeping on your normal silk or satin pillowcases, substitute for the softest cotton possible.  Even better, buy an inexpensive silk or satin material to make your own temporary pillow cover.

3.  Pin your hair up if its long.  Use hair friendly elastics and bobby pins.  If you prefer, keep hair in a soft braid.

4.  Consider apply a good conditioning oil or product to your ends to keep them moisturized during your illness.

5.  If you take lots of hot baths or showers to help with flu body aches, keep hair wrapped in a towel to prevent steam from encroaching.

6.  If you do decide to soak in a hot tub for your flu aches and pains, why not slather on a deep conditioner while you're soaking?

7.  Drink lots of water.  Not only does your body need to continuously flush, it will help keep your hair hydrated.

8.  Consider adding Vitamin D to your flu/virus/cold busting mix.  Studies have shown Vitamin D can help speed up healing from a virus and it can also help your hair at the same time.

Get plenty of rest and be sure and let me know any secrets you have collected for caring for your hair when you have the flu.

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