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22nd Apr 2024

This is why you shouldn’t wash your hair in hot water

Anna Martin

washing hair

Is there a ‘right’ way to wash your hair?

Apparently so, and it might just start with the temperature of the water you use.

Though most of us like a piping hot shower, it could be doing significantly more harm than good.

So why should we be avoiding hot water when it comes to our haircare routines? As usual, there’s a science-based explanation to it all.

How can hot water affect your hair?

wash hair
Credit: Canva

Overusing very hot water causes stress to your lush locks and may lead to frizzy, brittle and dry hair.

According to Dr Lata Ganji, It can also make your roots weak, causing possible hair loss on top of damaging the texture of your hair which results in breakage and brittleness.

A globally-renowned cosmetic dermatologist and surgeon explained to Tyla that the hot temperature on the hair can completely dry up your scalp, which can lead to itchiness and strip the individual strands themselves of their natural oils.

Though not everything to do with hot water is bad for your tresses, there are some benefits to not shivering away to yourself in the shower.

Hot water helps you unclog your pores and get rid of dirt. It stimulates blood flow and it can open the cuticles on your scalp allowing you to clean your hair thoroughly.

What about cold water?

So is cold water the answer to our hair prayers? Well, it does come with a number of benefits, that you may want to consider if you think taking the plunge isn’t for you.

Dr Lata states that 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.

On top of this, it closes your cuticles and smoothes them to give your hair some much-needed shine and ensure your scalp remains cleaner for longer as it closes the pores, making it less vulnerable to grease, oil and dirt.

It can also help to control breakage, frizz and pesky flyaways, which is important for those with curly or thin hair.

If that wasn’t enough, cold water improves blood circulation which enables your roots and scalp to receive valuable nutrients to remain healthy.

Not everything is great about it, as it 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.

Let’s not forget the obvious as well, having a cold shower just isn’t a fun time for anyone.

What’s the happy medium?

wash hair
Credit: Canva

Dermatologists Dendy Engelman and Hasan Benar told Byrdie that lukewarm water is the way forward.

If you really want the benefits of a cold water wash, Engelman says you can flip the dial down at the end for the cold blast that locks in moisture.

If you want to get specific about things, the experts say that 38 degrees, which is just slightly higher than the average body temperature, is the way to go.