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Stop the Common Cold with a Hair Dryer

Updated on August 23, 2017

Can a Blow Dryer Cure the Common Cold?

There is no known cure for the common cold but some people swear that blowing warm air into the upper respiratory passages of the nose and mouth with a hair dryer can actually stop a cold or at least lighten the symptoms. It sounded a little fishy to me, but after learning that the rhinovirus doesn't multiply well at normal body temperature, I am beginning to that there may be something to the practice.

(photo by breakfast for dinner CC2.0)

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Do you think it's possible for a hair dryer to slow down or stop a cold?

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How Could a Hair Dryer Stop a Cold?

Reasons that a Hair Dryer Could Work

  • The rhinovirus, which causes about a third of all colds, reproduces best at temperatures between 91 and 95 degrees Fahrenheit (33-35 degrees Celsius). This is cooler than normal body temperature which is why the virus replicates mostly in the nose and upper throat where the temperature is relatively cool. Rhinovirus does not replicate well in the lower respiratory tract. It stands to reason that raising the temperature in the upper respiratory tract with a blow dryer can inhibit rhinovirus replication, at least temporarily.
  • Rhinovirus dies at temperatures above 105 degrees Fahrenheit (40 degrees Celsius). Raising the temperature of the nasal passages and throat that high could actually kill the virus that causes colds.
  • Warming and drying the nasal passages with a hair dryer shrinks swollen nasal membranes, temporarily relieving pain and pressure, even if the replication of the virus is not stopped.

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But Wait a Minute

Reasons a hair dryer might not work

To be honest, I question the effectiveness of using a hair dryer as a cold remedy and here's why.

  • A blow dryer might stop replication temporarily, but wouldn't it start right back up as soon as the heat is taken away?
  • Even if you can get the very front of the nose heated enough to kill some of the virus, wouldn't it be very difficult and painful to heat deep enough into the nasal passages to kill a significant number?
  • And what about the dry skin and chafing?

Try This Steam Inhaler - Recommended for colds and other respiratory ailments

If a hair dryer is uncomfortable or dries your skin too much, try this well reviewed steam inhaler from Vicks.

Vicks Personal Steam Inhaler, V1200, Face Steamer or Inhaler with Soft Face Mask for Targeted Steam Relief, Aids with Sinus Problems, Congestion, Cough, Use With Soothing Menthol Vicks VapoPads
Vicks Personal Steam Inhaler, V1200, Face Steamer or Inhaler with Soft Face Mask for Targeted Steam Relief, Aids with Sinus Problems, Congestion, Cough, Use With Soothing Menthol Vicks VapoPads
For cold, flu, bronchitis, sinusitis, laryngitis, and allergy sufferers, this personal steam inhaler restores sufficient moisture to the lungs and respiratory tract. The patented plastic hood is contoured to cradle the face comfortably and directs warm moist air right into the nose and throat to temporarily relieve nasal, sinus, and chest congestion. Water goes into the unit’s easy-to-fill base where a patented heater gently boils it. The adjustable control lets you choose the amount of steam that rises up into the hood. A short 5- to 15-minute treatment is all that is required to make nasal and throat passages feel clearer. (from the amazon product description)

What is your favorite cold remedy? - Please share in the guest book.

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    • Michelllle profile image


      7 years ago

      Chicken soup. Lots of it. Vegetable juice, wheat grass juice too. sleep.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      My favourite cold remedy is here .. specially point numebr 3 :

    • OUTFOXprevention1 profile image


      8 years ago

      Sleep! Interesting lens!

    • profile image

      daedrea lm 

      8 years ago

      Chicken soup, tea, a lot of water and a lot of tissue as well

    • Keeah profile image


      8 years ago

      I go with the Netipot, gargling with warm salt water, AND spreading raw minced garlic on whatever food you're eating. These will not help with the exhaustion but clear you out so you can sleep much better.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Chicken soup, vitamin D, hot tea, and lots of rest.

    • profile image

      lemonsqueezy lm 

      9 years ago

      A netipot worked well this past winter. I was skeptical but desperate.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Personally my favorite remedy is a steaming hot shower, which hopefully does something to clear out my nasal passages when I get a cold. Hot drinks and veggie rich meals also seem to help (at least you'll be hydrated and full of vitamins).

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      My Mom used to make us lemon hot drinks and have us breathe the steam, now I do the same thing with tea. There is something extra special about lemon tea for a cold. What a practical idea for a lens.

    • howtocurecancer profile image


      9 years ago

      Blessed by a SquidAngel.

    • profile image

      spritequeen lm 

      9 years ago

      Coldeze always work for me!

    • CCGAL profile image


      9 years ago

      zinc - because it has been proven by actual science to be effective. I also use vitamin C and echinacea tea, because even if not proven totally effective, the placebo effect kicks in often enough that I believe they help me. Also Mentholatum for my nose if it gets sore, and menthol-eucalyptus drops. It's nice to know, too, that as one ages one tends to experience fewer colds. That's about the only good thing I can say about getting older, LOL.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      I'd be more inclined to use the steam inhaler than using a blow dryer.

    • KarenHC profile image


      9 years ago from U.S.

      Very intriguing, but I'm not convinced yet -- although I 'd be willing to try the Vicks steam inhaler :-) I use Zycam zinc lozenges and ...maybe...they help prevent or shorten my colds.

    • KarenTBTEN profile image


      9 years ago

      Great intro photo. I am thinking that the warmth and air might help nasal passages and feel good to one's aching joints, but I am having doubts about it actually curing it.

    • joanhall profile image

      Joan Hall 

      9 years ago from Los Angeles

      I'd like to try a revolutionary approach I heard about that involves bed rest and drinking fluids. The only difficult part is figuring out how a working mom can get bed rest!


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