Washing your hair is akin to brushing your teeth. It's a part of your daily routine, which means you should be doing it right. But, are you?
Well, how you wash your hair and the temperature of the water makes all the difference between a bad hair day and a good one. So, should you be washing your hair with hot water or cold? We are here to answer that for you. Read on.
How Does Water Temperature Affect Your Hair?
Overusing very hot water causes stress to your tresses and you’ll land up with frizzy, brittle and dry hair. Also, hot water causes hair loss because the heat makes your hair weak and thus it tends to fall.
Does this suggest you need to completely forswear washing your hair with hot water and shiver every time? Absolutely not! Using lukewarm water does not cause any harm to your hair.
Both warm and cold water work for washing your hair. What matters is the order in which you use them.
The Best Water To Wash Your Hair
As soon as you step into the shower, rinsing and washing your hair with hot water is a great first step, followed by a cold water rinse. Hot water opens your hair’s cuticle, which helps the shampoo and conditioner do a better job on your hair. And there is where the benefits end.
You want to switch to cold water when you rinse the product out of your hair. Cold water is good for hair as it seals the cuticle back up and locks in the moisture from your conditioner. This leaves your hair looking extra hydrated, frizz-free and shiny.
Any product you use on your hair performs more effectively if your hair is healthy. And hydration is key. When your body is low on fluids, your hair grows weak and is susceptible to breakage.
What Are The Effects Of Warm Water On Your Hair?
- Warm water gets rid of any build-up, dirt and grim. It’s one of the best ways to clean the hair, dissolve the dirt and unclog your pores.
- Warm water stimulates the flow of blood to the follicles, which is a great way to encourage hair growth.
- Warm water eliminates surplus oil from your scalp and hair. This is beneficial for those who have greasy or oily hair.
- Warm water opens up the cuticles on your scalp. This allows you to clean your hair thoroughly.
- Warm water creates extra texture and leaves your hair looking less flat and more voluminous. Plus, it increases the ‘staying power’ of any hair-do.
The above-mentioned pros apply only for warm water. Very hot water will do more harm than good for your hair.
- Hot water strips your hair of natural oils, especially if the temperature is too high. This will leave your hair with no natural, valuable oil and leave it looking dry and brittle.
- Hot water dries your scalp, which can lead to itchiness and dandruff.
- Hot water makes your roots weak and as a result, your hair turns frizzy. Additionally, the texture takes a beating and hair can break easily.
- Hot water makes your hair overly porous, and this again prompts breakage, brittleness and flyaways.
Towel dry your hair and apply a heat protectant, especially if you’re going to use a heat-styling tool. Never use heat on hair that’s even slightly damp. Before you apply such heat to your hair, it needs to be completely dry.
What Are The Effects Of Cold Water On Your Hair
- Cold water preserves natural oils and keeps your hair manageable, gives it a healthy shine and loads it up with extra moisture giving it a smoother and shinier look.
- Cold water helps close the cuticles. Closed cuticles are smoother cuticles which can give your hair some much needed shine.
- Cold water for hair ensures your scalp remains cleaner for longer as it closes the pores, making it less vulnerable to grease, oil and dirt.
- Cold water controls breakage, frizz and pesky flyaways, which is important for those with curly or thin hair.
- Cold water improves blood circulation. This enables your roots and scalp to receive valuable nutrients to remain healthy. And hence, washing hair with cold water promotes hair growth.
- Cold water may reduce the volume of hair because it traps moisture in your hair and the extra moisture can weigh down your hair and make it look flat and less voluminous.
- Cold water can leave your hair feeling less clean, particularly if you’re prone to excess oil or grease. Cold water doesn’t clean the dirt out as well as warm water due to the closing of the hair cuticle.
- Cold water can be uncomfortable. Let’s face it, cold water for the hair and body is unpleasant, especially in months when the temperature begins to drop.
The best way to make sure your cuticle layer is smooth is to use a good conditioner. It’s best to choose customised hair care regimens to match your everyday beauty needs.
The moral of the story: In the battle of hot water vs cold water for hair, both warm and cold water are excellent - start with warm and finish off with cool. And when you’re in doubt or lazy to readjust the temperature, stick with lukewarm.
How you treat your hair after a wash is integral to its overall appearance and health. Straight, wavy or curly, if it’s healthy, it’s beautiful!
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