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Stop the Common Cold with a Hair Dryer

Updated on March 18, 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?

Yes, it's worth a shot.

Yes, it's worth a shot.

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    • anonymous 3 years ago

      I have used this technique to stop congestion and slow a cold. I cup my hand around the blower nozzle and inhale the hot air into my mouth. Then I do the same for my nose. I do it about 5 huffs 3 times a day. I haven't suffered more than two days of a light cold since I started this

    • Michelllle 4 years ago

      Yes, hair dryer and chicken soup.

    • healthtruth lm 4 years ago

      ill give it a go

    • anonymous 4 years ago

      I have been using the hair dryer since 1993 when I get that first "scratchy" feeling in the back of the throat and nose. I have not had a cold since 1993. IT WORKS!!!!.

      I dare you to prove me wrong!!!

    • Dipalika 4 years ago

      sure .. no ill side effect ..

    • daedrea lm 5 years ago

      Sure I would. It sounds like fun actually.

    • anonymous 5 years ago

      Absolutely. I've been using this method for 20 years and have only come down with 3 colds, and only because I waited until the 3rd day to begin. They were over in a hurry though. Need to hit the hair dryer at the first symptoms, at least 10 to 12 good pulls, 4 to 5 times per day for 2 to 3 days. Up the sinus and then down the throat and lungs.

    • anonymous 6 years ago

      I might try a blow dryer but I'm more likely to stand over a burner to breathe warm air. A lady at Kab told my Mom about it years ago.

    • spritequeen lm 6 years ago

      My husband has a cold now - can't wait to try it on him! :-D

    • JeffMcRitchie1 6 years ago

      It couldn't hurt to try it, so why not? Though I think a sauna would be much more comfortable and accomplish the same thing.

    Willing to Give It a Try? - Next time you catch a cold, will you try the hair dryer remedy?

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      • anonymous 4 years ago

        No the premise is flawed. Preferred temp for replication varies with serotype. Some replicate better at higher temperatures. See link in name.

      • anonymous 4 years ago

        Sounds suspicious. I caught a summer cold in Tucson of all places, the only summer cold I've ever had anywhere. Its hot enough in the air that technically the virus shouldn't exist.

      • anonymous 5 years ago

        Could use ralgex to heat up nose and throat

      • lemonsqueezy lm 6 years ago

        I'm afraid I'll burn my nose.

      • CCGAL 6 years ago

        I'd rather breathe hot dry air from a heat source that doesn't contain anything like asbestos. You can get the same effect by breathing in heat from an electric burner, without the possibility of breathing in asbestos or asbestos-like particles. Better safe than sorry.

      • Jimmie Lanley 6 years ago from Memphis, TN, USA

        I wouldn't want to to do this. DRY SKIN!

      • Karen 6 years ago from U.S.

        I don't see how I'd get the heat back far enough into my nasal passages. And I'd just be drying out the nasal passages which is uncomfortable too! But I'd love to see a study done on this! (Hah, my security word includes "sneeze"!)

      • Paul 6 years ago from Montreal

        Ive used steam before for comfort but the hairdryer sounds unpleasant and of questionable value.

      • Bus Stop Toy Shop 6 years ago

        You've may have convinced me to tie me shoes correctly, but I'm afraid you haven't convinced me to point a hair-drier at my face ;)

      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
      Vicks Personal Steam Inhaler

      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

          Michelllle 4 years ago

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

        • Dipalika profile image

          Dipalika 4 years ago

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

        • OUTFOXprevention1 profile image

          OUTFOXprevention1 5 years ago

          Sleep! Interesting lens!

        • daedrea lm profile image

          daedrea lm 5 years ago

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

        • Keeah profile image

          Keeah 5 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

          cmadden 5 years ago

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

        • lemonsqueezy lm profile image

          lemonsqueezy lm 6 years ago

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

        • profile image

          thebabyshop 6 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

          anonymous 6 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

          howtocurecancer 6 years ago

          Blessed by a SquidAngel.

        • spritequeen lm profile image

          spritequeen lm 6 years ago

          Coldeze always work for me!

        • CCGAL profile image

          CCGAL 6 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

          TeacherCaren 6 years ago

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

        • KarenHC profile image

          Karen 6 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

          KarenTBTEN 6 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 6 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!