Wet Hair Causes Migraine

James_H

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#1
I had a migraine today at work and my teacher partner said 'maybe you didn't dry your hair'. Later I asked my girlfriend, who is a nurse, and she said in China it's believed that a history of not properly drying your hair after washing it causes migraines. I looked it up and it seems to be not a specifically Chinese belief - certainly it exists in the Philippines and perhaps other Asian countries.

There don't seem to be any studies showing this to be the case. It might not be completely untrue though - though the causes of migraine are currently unknown, there are various triggers that vary from person to person. Perhaps some people who suffer from migraines are triggered by the refrigeration effect of wet hair?
 

EnolaGaia

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#2
This migraine site's webpage:

https://blog.themigrainereliefcenter.com/can-shampoo-cause-migraines

... mentions a study in India that confirmed some correlation between wet hair and migraines (as a trigger). Unfortunately, no specifics about this study are provided.

More broadly ... It's conceivable that somatic tension from wet hair or any of a number of other factors associated with hair washing might serve as a trigger. For that matter, it's just as conceivable that tension / stress / whatever from drying your hair could serve as a trigger.
 

Shady

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#5
I used to wash my hair and go out when it was really cold, in fact strands of my hair froze and you could hear it knocking together, I was ok
 

Mythopoeika

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#6
I had a migraine today at work and my teacher partner said 'maybe you didn't dry your hair'. Later I asked my girlfriend, who is a nurse, and she said in China it's believed that a history of not properly drying your hair after washing it causes migraines. I looked it up and it seems to be not a specifically Chinese belief - certainly it exists in the Philippines and perhaps other Asian countries.

There don't seem to be any studies showing this to be the case. It might not be completely untrue though - though the causes of migraine are currently unknown, there are various triggers that vary from person to person. Perhaps some people who suffer from migraines are triggered by the refrigeration effect of wet hair?
I always leave my hair wet and I never have headaches or migraines.
 

Mythopoeika

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#7
I used to wash my hair and go out when it was really cold, in fact strands of my hair froze and you could hear it knocking together, I was ok
A guy I worked with walked to the office with wet hair on a really cold day. The hair froze into a kind of 'helmet' and he had to sit with his head near a radiator.
 

Lord Lucan

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I had a migraine today at work and my teacher partner said 'maybe you didn't dry your hair'. Later I asked my girlfriend, who is a nurse, and she said in China it's believed that a history of not properly drying your hair after washing it causes migraines. I looked it up and it seems to be not a specifically Chinese belief - certainly it exists in the Philippines and perhaps other Asian countries.

There don't seem to be any studies showing this to be the case. It might not be completely untrue though - though the causes of migraine are currently unknown, there are various triggers that vary from person to person. Perhaps some people who suffer from migraines are triggered by the refrigeration effect of wet hair?
On the other hand, I've been a sufferer of chronic cluster headaches since a teenager (now under control with daily medication). I have had every test possible to attempt to locate the cause/s for these with no success. I was just born lucky. On the now rare occasion when I do suffer an extreme headache, I actually find the coolness of a wet head soothing and am often found in the shower when they strike.
 

Yithian

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#10
I very often have a hot shower before bed--the feeling of getting under clean sheets when you are freshly scrubbed from head to toe is lovely--and I often give my young daughter a shower at the same time. Accordingly, we both sometimes go to bed with damp hair and my wife thinks it's crazy behaviour--nobody in her circle of friends and family would even consider doing it. It would be like picking your nose with a fork: theoretically possible, but not something you'd really consider. She adds, over my shoulder now, that it's bad for your scalp and hair quality.

The only time wet hair has been an issue was in Februrary 2006. I had no idea what the weather was like outside and I was late for work, so I hurried out of the house to walk to work with wet hair. By the time I'd been out for ten minutes, my hair was literally frozen hard to ice and I began to get a throbbing headache (not a migraine--never had one of those) that lasted a few hours and finally subsided to a dull buzz at the temples.
 
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Mythopoeika

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#11
On the other hand, I've been a sufferer of chronic cluster headaches since a teenager (now under control with daily medication). I have had every test possible to attempt to locate the cause/s for these with no success. I was just born lucky. On the now rare occasion when I do suffer an extreme headache, I actually find the coolness of a wet head soothing and am often found in the shower when they strike.
Somebody I knew had severe migraines on a daily basis. She went for a job that would involve her in doing some serious scuba work. She was offered the job and had to go through a rigorous medical, which found that she had a patent foramen ovale (a hole in the heart). The hole in the heart was closed up in a very simple operation. After that, she seemed to have no recurring migraines.
Just saying, it may be caused by some non-obvious physiological condition.
 

escargot

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#12
Or at least a cold. It's cobblers though innit?
Yup, course. Back then you could also acquire 'chincough' (which is actually, I found out only about 10 years ago, whooping cough) from sitting on a stone step and 'lockjaw' (tetanus) from an accidental cut to the skin between finger and thumb, and you could 'ruin your eyes' from reading comics under the bedclothes with a torch after lights-out.

Pneumonia was a constant threat associated with cold and damp. I was raised by parents who'd known people to die of pneumonia and tetanus in pre-antibiotic and pre-vaccination times so my old dear was ever vigilant!

OTOH we kids were given every vaccination going and so were my own kids, and I am proud that my nieces' and nephews' children are also little pincushions.
 

Lord Lucan

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#13
Somebody I knew had severe migraines on a daily basis. She went for a job that would involve her in doing some serious scuba work. She was offered the job and had to go through a rigorous medical, which found that she had a patent foramen ovale (a hole in the heart). The hole in the heart was closed up in a very simple operation. After that, she seemed to have no recurring migraines.
Just saying, it may be caused by some non-obvious physiological condition.
Some years ago, I was a serious weightlifter and subsequently tore all of the cartilage connecting my sternum giving me all of the indications of a heart attack. This sent me immediately to hospital and once I was ruled out of immediate danger, to be certain, I was then sent on the treadmill (literally and figuratively) of finding out just how healthy my heart was or wasn't with a cardiologist. I'm pleased to say that aside from the torn cartilage, I was as fit as a fiddle with a perfectly healthy heart.
It's interesting though how you'r friend's stopped. Coincidental or something more? It would be interesting to know if there was any connection. My eldest son is a doctor/surgeon but is currently traveling through South America until the end of April. When we next speak, I'll ask if he's ever heard of such a thing.
 

Mythopoeika

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#14
Some years ago, I was a serious weightlifter and subsequently tore all of the cartilage connecting my sternum giving me all of the indications of a heart attack. This sent me immediately to hospital and once I was ruled out of immediate danger, to be certain, I was then sent on the treadmill (literally and figuratively) of finding out just how healthy my heart was or wasn't with a cardiologist. I'm pleased to say that aside from the torn cartilage, I was as fit as a fiddle with a perfectly healthy heart.
It's interesting though how you'r friend's stopped. Coincidental or something more? It would be interesting to know if there was any connection. My eldest son is a doctor/surgeon but is currently traveling through South America until the end of April. When we next speak, I'll ask if he's ever heard of such a thing.
There seems to be disagreement in the medical world about the link, but it seemed to work for my friend.
 

GNC

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#15
Yup, course. Back then you could also acquire 'chincough' (which is actually, I found out only about 10 years ago, whooping cough) from sitting on a stone step and 'lockjaw' (tetanus) from an accidental cut to the skin between finger and thumb, and you could 'ruin your eyes' from reading comics under the bedclothes with a torch after lights-out.
A friend of mine was told by an optician he'd become shortsighted by sitting too close to the television.
 

Bad Bungle

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#19
Wet hair equals a headache (not a migraine), I found that out early on. Worse is going to bed with wet hair - a 'thick' head and a stiff neck in the morning. On rare occasions I'm so knackered, my hair hurts.
 

Ladyloafer

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#20
I wonder if its something to do with the contrast between hot and cold? I've been told when i have a migraine (which is rare for me) or a very bad headache (all the time) to put an ice pack on my neck and put my feet on a hot water bottle. something to do with sending your blood rushing off to the cold parts?? or away? it may be total nonsense of course.

I go to bed with wet hair all the time but thats one of the few things that doesn't give me headaches. just a birds nest mess of hair in the morning.
 

James_H

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#21
A friend of mine was told by an optician he'd become shortsighted by sitting too close to the television.
My girlfriend is shortsighted because, get this, when she was a kid, there was a craze at her school for watching TV from a few inches away.
 

escargot

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#23
I go to bed with wet hair all the time but thats one of the few things that doesn't give me headaches. just a birds nest mess of hair in the morning.
I often go to bed with wet hair but it doesn't tangle up because I wear an elasticated towelling hat to sleep in. Cost a couple of quid from Wish or summat, really helpful.
 
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