Is it true that washing hair before showering can cause a stroke?

Health Misleading

During hot weather, numerous health advisories circulate about how to take care of your body, such as the claims of drinking cold water in hot weather. Recently, we came across information suggesting that washing your hair before showering could potentially rupture brain blood vessels.

Social Media Claim

Recently, we discovered messages on Facebook claiming that we should not wash our hair before showering, as this supposedly causes the blood to quickly rise to the head, potentially tearing the arteries.

Source | Archive

Source | Archive

What is a stroke?

A stroke, typically a result of a brain blood clot or a cerebral vein rupture, happens when the blood vessels feeding the brain either become obstructed or bleed abruptly. An Ischemic stroke is triggered by a blockage in the brain’s blood supply, depriving it of the oxygen and nutrients it requires, thus killing brain cells within minutes. On the other hand, a Hemorrhagic stroke is due to bleeding in the brain, which damages brain cells because of the pressure from the accumulated blood.

Both conditions significantly affect the brain cells, potentially causing lasting brain damage, disorders, or even death. You can refer to a related report here.

Stroke symptoms include sudden numbness or weakness in the face, arms, or legs—especially on one side of the body—sudden confusion, difficulty speaking or understanding speech, sudden vision loss in one or both eyes, trouble walking, dizziness, and loss of balance. Immediate medical attention is vital. Delayed treatment could lead to long-term paralysis or even life-threatening conditions. For further information about stroke treatment, click here.

Causes of stroke

The primary causes of stroke are high blood pressure, exposure to smoking including secondhand smoke, high cholesterol levels, diabetes, and obesity. Managing these factors is vital to reduce stroke risk. Other factors such as heart and brain vein weaknesses, and mental stress, can also contribute to stroke occurrence. You can read the report here.

Water and Stroke Connection: Dehydration can lead to thicker blood, potentially impeding its flow to the brain. This condition may increase stroke risk as the thick blood struggles to pass through blood vessels. Studies suggest that individuals who drink less water have a higher stroke risk than those who drink more. More information on this topic can be found here.

Stroke in Bathrooms: While a stroke can occur to anyone, anywhere, and at any time, a clinical survey conducted from January 2011 to December 2015 examined the risk of stroke during showering or bathing. According to this survey, out of 1939 stroke patients, only 78 experienced a stroke while in the bathroom, which is roughly 4%. The related report can be found here. Therefore, the likelihood of having a stroke while bathing seems to be relatively low.

Comment from Experts

Dr. Weerawut Imsamran, the Deputy Director-General of the Department of Medical Services in the Ministry of Public Health, has addressed the claim stating one should not wash their hair before taking a shower as it may rupture blood vessels. He clarified that this information is incorrect. While washing hair can swiftly change the body’s external temperature, it does not directly affect the blood vessels.

Additionally, Dr. Thanin Wedchapinun, Director of the Neurology Institute, explained that risk factors for stroke include high blood pressure, diabetes, aging, smoking, and alcohol consumption. The common occurrence of incidents in the bathroom or after using it is attributed to the body’s adjustment to changes in physical posture, which causes the heart to adapt its function accordingly. Key warning signs include difficulty speaking, a crooked mouth, weakness in arms and legs, dizziness, and instability. If any of these symptoms are experienced, immediate medical attention is recommended. (Source: Department of Medical Services)

Dr. Korrapakc Wangtanaphat, a Neurosurgery expert from the Neurosciences Institute, Department of Medical Services, explained to Sure and Share, MCOT that the human head is shielded from rapid internal temperature changes by the skull and skin. A short shower or hair wash cannot cause body temperature changes severe enough to result in vascular abnormalities. Further, starting a shower from the feet, or any other part of the body, does not affect the internal body temperature.


The claim that washing hair before showering can increase the risk of a stroke is unfounded. The primary risk factors for a brain aneurysm include high blood pressure, diabetes, advancing age, smoking, and alcohol consumption. Brief periods of hair washing or taking shower cannot cause abnormalities in the blood vessels.

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Title:Is it true that washing hair before showering can cause a stroke? ?

Fact Check By: Fact Cresccendo Team 

Result: Misleading

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