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True or False: Going outside with a wet head will make you catch a cold.

Do wet heads catch colds?

Photo Credit: Flickr/DQmountaingirl

True or False: Going outside with a wet head will make you catch a cold.

By Carolyn Hauck on January 22, 2015

“Don’t go outside with a wet head!” Sound familiar? Most of us have been warned against leaving the house in winter with a wet head since we were children. The belief is that we will catch a cold if we do. But does this myth stack up against the scientific evidence?

We asked Dr. Saha on JustAnswer if it was ok to go outside with a wet head—especially in winter. He confirmed that generally speaking, wet heads have little to do with catching a cold, but here’s his explanation for why there’s a chance that it might be a good idea to keep your head dry on colder days:

“A wet head lowers your head’s body temperature. With a lowered body temperature, your upper respiratory system (ear, nose and throat) would begin to secrete fluids.  Fluid secretion impairs the function of cilia, those miniscule hair-like structures in your ears and nose, from doing their job, which is to clear the body of foreign viruses and bacteria. So you could put yourself at a tiny risk of virus infection, but there’s no real direct correlation between a wet head and catching a cold.“

Verdict? False. Wet heads won’t give you a cold; that one is an old wives’ tale with a tiny ounce of truth in it.

Keep the colds and flu away in winter. Ask for personal tips from doctors on how to stay healthy.