COVID-19 AND HAIR
What we know about COVID-19 is ever-changing. Researchers around the world are studying the virus and how it acts, While we know quite a bit about how it gets transmitted and how it shows the early symptoms (though varied), there are still nagging questions about how long it can last on certain surfaces. And even though we follow the best hygiene, some surfaces may make us vulnerable to the virus.
Well, searching for "coronavirus" and "hair" in PubMed did not reveal any real studies of the severe acute coronavirus syndrome 2 (SARS-CoV2) and human hair. It did however return a case report on an unfortunate cat with ruffled hair. So it's not clear how long the virus if you happen to have one, can survive on that growing and the increasingly unruly mound of stuff on your head or beard. There's a chance the virus could stay viable on your hair for a few hours or even a few days. Does this then mean you have to wash your hair as often as you wash your hands?
No. It would be rather impractical to wash your hair a dozen or more times a day. That would be out of control for your split ends. What's more, too often washing your hair can damage the natural defense mechanisms of your scalp, including the oils and friendly bacteria that normally cover your scalp. That can make your scalp more susceptible to injury and bacteria and fungal infections.
Also, a study published in The Lancet revealed that the COVID19 strain can stay for a day on clothes and four days on stainless steel and plastic. This also leads to the risk that the virus will come into contact during essential trips outside. We all do our best to keep the virus at bay but what if it's in your hair? Have you ever wondered how long that can thrive there? And what can we do to reduce the risk of getting infected?
Honestly, the link between coronavirus on the hair has not yet been established in a single study. So, it's not clear how long your hair or beard can stay or survive on the virus. However, there's a possibility it can stay for a couple of days or at least a few hours. This doesn't mean you should start washing your hair every time you come back from a trip outside. It would be impractical to do this and could harm your hair health.
You don't need to worry about your hair until the time you practice social distancing, as per some experts. Even if somebody sneezes on the back of your hair, for the very practical reason that we don't touch our hair to do the necessary things, the chances of infection are low. Therefore, there's less chance of coming into contact with the virus.
Other ways, however, can make you vulnerable if you're outside and touch public surfaces, thinking you're going to wash your hands and face once you get home, you can put yourself at risk if you repeatedly touch your hair with your contaminated hands. Try not to touch your hair when you're out. Although it is out of place, leave it and don't fix it. By repeatedly stroking your hair with your hands, all of the viruses in your hands may become stuck in your hair.
In general, your hair is safe and cannot cause infection, as long as you follow social distancing norms and do not stroke it with contaminated hands. If somebody sneezes at the back of your head, then it is best to take a bath and properly clean your hair.