coronavirus

Can coronavirus stay in my hair or in a beard?

Coronavirus particles can linger in still air for several hours but if droplets land on my hair or in my beard, is there a chance I can become infected?

Can coronavirus stay in my hair or in a beard?
Daniel Gonzalez GTRES

Studies into how coronavirus particles behave have shown that some components of the virus, the lighter droplets, are able to hang suspended in still air for several hours. That is why it is important to keep indoor areas well ventilated. Droplets of the Covid-19 virus can land on surfaces – including clothes and that means it is highly likely some droplets will also land in your hair.

Contracting full-blown Covid-19

While Covid-19 infection through contact is possible, it is not the most common cause of transmission. To become infected, firstly you need to ingest all of the necessary components of the virus and to receive a serious and potentially life-threatening infection, a high exposure to the virus would be needed.

So while it is feasible that coronavirus droplets might land and stay in your hair, there is no evidence to suggest it can remain active in someone’s hair long enough to cause infection. The same applies to facial hair although having a beard or moustache does have other risks.

Beards, moustaches and N95 masks

The NHS has advised all health workers to be clean shaven when on duty as facial hair can affect how closely facial masks fit. It is important that surgical masks fit tightly against the face and anyone who has a beard might find gaps between the mask and the face, where airborne coronavirus can seep through. A full beard itself is not a place where the virus can survive and multiply.

To be on the safe side, experts recommend not touching the face at all and washing your hands frequently.