Ugghh..can I get Covid-19 on My Hair?

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It’s time to confront the tweepadock in the room ( read Big Bang Theory Ep7, season 6)

Can you get corona through your hair? Are there risks that the virus could be in your natural hair?Should I be worried about viral contamination on my hair?What if someone sneezes? am I gonna get the Rona?

Is Corona in Your Hair?

First of all you have to think through the process of what has to happen for someone to become infected

Here is what scientists know so far… the virus is spread through symptomatic people via respiratory droplets, direct contact with an infected person, or by contact with contaminated surfaces. The virus is viable for “hours to days” depending on the surface and conditions. 

 Dr. Janowski of Washington University School of Medicine sets a plausible scenario of contamination via hair.

“You have someone who sneezes and they have to have X amount of viruses in the sneeze. There has to be so many drops that land on you to spread the virus”

“Then you have to touch that part of your hair that has those droplets which already have a significant reduction in viral particles”.

“Then you have to touch that and then touch whatever part of your face to come into contact with it. When you go through the string of the events that must occur, such an extended number of things have to happen just right. That makes it low risk”

Dro. Omes, Yale Institute of Global Health doesn’t “recall anyone” testing hair but said the virus likely wouldn’t live as long as other surfaces.When it comes to stainless steel and plastic, coronavirus can live on the surface for 2 to 3 days.   So far scientists have seen that viruses survive for lesser durations on porous surfaces such as hair than smooth surfaces such as stainless steel. It’s not clear how long the virus may be able to survive on hair. Possibility the virus could remain viable on your hair for a few hours or even a few days.

Dr. Friedman, School of dermatology, George Washington school of medicine says it depends on the circumstances of the hair. If hair is ripped out and sneezed on directly by someone who may have the virus it could live on it up to 3 days. However if hair is attached to the scalp it would be a different story. Natural oils cover our strands as a protectant. They have antimicrobial properties. But you can’t rely on natural hair oil production; it varies according to each person, health, diet , hair types.

You can’t wash your hair as often as your hands. Washing hair too often will dry it out, cause frizziness, split ends, and damage your scalp’s natural defense mechanisms including the oils and friendly bacteria that sit on your hair. It will also cause dandruff, and make you susceptible to fungal infections and injury. 

So how can we protect ourselves from getting corona on our hair?

Hair is not exposed  to large amounts of the virus. Unless your hair is constantly touching doors, shopping carts or shaking hands or unless someone is sneezing, coughing or panting directly into your hair stroking your hair with this virus-contaminated hands there are few ways for your hair to be contaminated.

List of Do’s and Dont’s

-Do avoid touching your hair before washing your hands.

-Don’t be worried about viral contamination of your hair if you are practicing social distancing. Even if someone sneezes on the back of your head, any droplets that landed on your hair will be an unlikely source of infection

-Don’t let someone who could be contagious come close to you without wearing a mask.

-Don’t put sanitizer, disinfectants on your hair…unless you want it to break off

-Do wash your hands before and after touching your hair.

-Although it highly unlikely, don’t touch your hair and then touch your face, you may transfer the virus to your face If someone does contaminate you i.e. sneeze, cough, wash your hair and soap for at least 20 secs.


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