Do you enjoy a nice hot shower after a long tiring day; only to remember people telling you about how hot showers aren’t recommended for your hair?
“Try using cold water for your hair”, is something I have heard many times and wondered is cold water good for hair growth?
Is there some fact in this statement or is it just a myth? Is hot water actually bad for your hair growth, while cold water is ideal?
I had so many questions in my mind and absolutely no answers!
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That’s why I decided to get to the root of this statement and find out more about whether the temperature of the water we use on our hair actually has any effect or not.
So now that I have got answers to most of my questions, reading this article may help you find answers to some of your questions (or so I hope!).
Is Cold Water Good For Hair Growth
Hair Structure and Water Temperature
You may wonder what your hair structure has to do with hair growth and the temperature of the water you’re using to wash your hair.
I sure don’t want you to feel like this is another Science class.
But in order to get a better understanding of this whole concept of using cold water for your hair, a little knowledge about your hair structure will be necessary.
So let me help you out with that part!
Human beings have hundreds of strands of hair on their heads and each one of these strands emerges from their living hair root at the bottom of a hair follicle.
When the hair strands grow and begin to stick out of the skin the nonliving part of the hair, the hair shaft, then becomes visible.
In order to protect every strand of hair on our heads, these hair shafts are covered with a protective layer which is also the outermost layer of the hair strand called the hair cuticle.
Therefore, it is very essential to protect the hair cuticle, as any of the products we use, the type of water we use to wash our hair, the hair styling tools, or hair accessories we use, all first come in contact with the hair cuticle.
Therefore, any damage to the hair cuticle means possible damage to the hair shaft in the long run.
Does water temperature affect hair growth?
The part you’ve all been waiting for I’m sure and the answer to this question is a straightforward yes!
Water temperature does have an effect on your hair and hair growth. For your hair to grow well, your hair has to be free from damage.
For damage-free hair, the hair cuticle has to be protected. So it is all a cycle, don’t you think?
Every time we wash our hair with hot water, there are two things that can happen to the hair strand.
Firstly, the hot water makes the hair follicles expand and open up. Secondly, the hot water also causes damage to the hair cuticle, by opening up the layers of the hair cuticle.
It penetrates through the natural oils and natural protein (keratin) layers of the hair.
This is hence the result of dry hair, split ends, hair damage, hair frizziness, etc.
Therefore it is important to note that apart from hot water, any other heat treatment for your hair, like the use of blow-dryers, flat irons or curling irons; all can cause damage to the hair cuticle.
When we use cold water for the hair, the hair follicles immediately contract and tightens in their place, holding the hair steady.
This also has the same effect on the hair strands. The layers of the cuticle will contract, locking in the natural oils, natural protein, and moisture in the hair shaft.
This helps maintain hair health, keeping the hair well moisturized and free from frizz, split ends, and hair dryness.
Benefits of using cold water for hair growth
It can help reduce hair fall
Like you’ve read earlier in this article, every hair strand grows out of its root from a hair follicle.
Therefore, it is the hair follicle that helps hold the hair strand in place. When we pour hot water on our hair, the hair follicle expands and opens out.
This causes the hair root to become unsteady and makes it more prone to falling out.
When we use cold water to wash our hair, the hair follicles contract.
This means that hair loss can be reduced to a large extent because the contracted hair follicles do not let the hair strand fall out easily because they help hold the hair root in place.
It can help maintain scalp health
When the hair follicles open up, all the dirt from the environment settles on our scalps, like the hair products we use, sweat, and dead skin, will all easily enter the hair follicles and clog them.
This can cause bacteria and infection to breed in the hair follicle which can cause scalp infections and scalp conditions like folliculitis (inflammation of hair follicle), dandruff, etc in the long run.
Clogged hair follicles inhibit proper hair growth because it doesn’t freely allow the hair’s natural oils and nutrients to enter into the hair root.
It can help promote better hair shine
A healthy hair cuticle helps hair shine as the cuticle is the protective layer that has downward-facing plates or scale-like structures which are generally closed, smooth, and flat by nature.
When the hot water comes in contact with the hair cuticle, these downward-facing plates lift up, allowing the hair shaft (the layer under the hair cuticle) to get damaged.
When the hair shaft gets damaged, the hair loses its luster and shine and begins to look dry, damaged, and becomes frizzy and can lead to hair breakage and split ends in the long run.
It can help promote better hair growth
When the hair follicle is contracted, the nutrients, moisture, natural oils, and proteins are retained within the hair follicle in turn promoting hair growth.
For hair to grow well there should be good blood flow and blood circulation in the scalp.
This will help the roots get strengthened as there is a sufficient flow of nutrients from the blood that is circulated within the body, reaching the scalp.
The use of cold water for hair will help the blood vessels under the scalp to expand and promote the blood to flow to the scalp and hair follicles freely, in turn assisting and promoting healthy hair growth.
Before I end this article, I’d like to tell you about another question I had in mind when I decided to learn more about this topic and that is –
Does washing your hair with cold water make it greasy?
Well, most of us use some sort of hair care products like hair oils, serums, etc, or hair styling products like hair gels, pomade, etc.
Using cold water may make it harder for this scalp buildup to be able to get rid of and can clog the pores over time.
When we wash our hair with shampoo and finish off with a conditioner, using warm water will help loosen up all the product buildup.
It also helps lift off the dirt and dandruff flakes (if you are a victim of dandruff) that have settled on the scalp.
When we wash our hair with warm water it helps get rid of this loosened up product buildup, dirt, grime, and dandruff flakes more easily, than while using cold water.
Using hot water will open up the hair cuticles and let out all the moisture, while the cold water may lock in too much moisture making the hair look less voluminous.
Therefore, striking a balance in the water temperature and using warm water can help retain the hair’s natural oils to a certain extent.
It also prevents too much hair damage, while also helping in the removal of scalp buildup.
Is hot water good for hair growth?
I’m sure some of you must simply hate the idea of showering with cold water, while the others might still consider giving it a try if it is somewhere in between at least right?
So how about trying warm water then? Because honestly, having a cold water head bath may not always be practical or conducive to all right?
Using warm water in my opinion can be considered as getting “the best of both worlds”. What do you think?
Because you do get the comfort of not feeling the chills every time you shower, while you can also protect your hair from damage in the long run.
Also, if the cuticles lock in too much moisture, the hair will not look voluminous.
Therefore, warm water can be the perfect option then, or so I feel. You for sure get to make your own choice.
The final takeaway
Don’t want to use cold water for hair growth? Live in a wintry region? Here is a tip that might help you!
After you finish off with your head bath with warm water, you can either stand in the shower and let a little cold water run down over your hair for a minute.
Or you could also tilt your hair over your face into your basin and pour a mug of cold water on your head.
This will help close up the pores and the hair cuticles and keep the hair protected from damage.
Mira is committed to bringing you the latest popular hairstyles, hair care tips, and hair-related products. You can check more of her work on besthairlooks to find fashion inspiration, product reviews, tutorials and more!