Does Water Temperature Affect Hair?

Water temperature is a key factor in your washing and conditioning routine. While a steaming, hot shower is enjoyable, it is not the best for your hair or scalp. To maximize shine and softness, it is important to keep an eye on how hot the water goes.

Heat and hair do not necessarily mix very well. It is generally understood that styling tools which utilize a lot of heat ultimately damage your hair. The same is true for hot water. While hot water strips your hair of dirt and grime, it also strips the hair of its natural oils (called “sebum”). Hair relies heavily on its natural oils to help maintain strength, shine, and overall manageability. Hot water has a tendency to strip hair of its valuable oils making it dry and brittle. When you add the heat-centered styling tools, you can quickly damage your hair even more badly. Hot water also damages your skin. Just as it can strip your hair and scalp of its natural oils, it can also strip your skin of its natural oils which effectively dries it out. Hot water on your scalp can accelerate the appearance of dandruff and itchiness from dry patches.

Cool water, on the other hand, is a much better option for your hair and scalp. Rinsing your hair in cool water does not strip out the sebum. Instead, it leaves the majority of natural oils in your hair while also closing the hairs’ cuticles which were opened when you washed your hair. People often find that after rinsing their hair in cool water they have shiny, manageable locks.

That said, most people do not relish the thought of taking cold showers just so their hair is shiny and manageable. You do not need to take cold showers in order to accomplish shiny hair. Avoid wetting your hair when the water is hot. When it is time to wash your hair, adjust the temperature so it is lukewarm. The lukewarm water will help loosen up the dirt and any excess oil while you shampoo it. The lukewarm water also serves the function of opening the hair’s cuticles. In order to achieve a sleek and shiny look, you need to close the cuticles. Rinsing out the conditioner in cool water achieves this purpose. The cool water closes the cuticles while it rinses the conditioner out. If you can’t stand the thought of rinsing your hair in cool water, you can do the shampoo and conditioning in lukewarm water. Before you exit the shower, however, be sure to fully rinse your hair in cool water very quickly and you should still be able to achieve a similar result.

It should be noted that while hot water is not good for your hair, neither is very cold water. You do not need to have an ice-cold rinse to achieve the sleek and shiny look. Cool water will do just fine. You also do not want to use the cool water during the washing stage as you need the warm water to help aid in washing away the impurities. So, just a quick burst of cool water during the rinsing stage of conditioning will help give your hair the sleek and shiny look you want.

Water temperature plays a key role in the appearance and overall health of your scalp and hair. Avoiding hot water will help maintain proper scalp health by allowing the natural oils to remain present. Washing in lukewarm water will help open up the strands of hair to be gently cleaned. Rinsing in cool water will close the strands back up and give your hair a sleek and manageable appearance. When washing and conditioning your hair it is best to avoid the extremes in water temperature as too hot and too cold are ultimately not the best for your hair.