Hair loss caused by hot water? It might not sound very likely. But with all the talk about the benefits of a cold water rinse when washing your hair, it made us wonder: could the opposite be true? In this article, we’ll get to the bottom of if hot water causes hair loss.
Is Hot Water Good for Your Hair?
Hot water and steam naturally open up your pores and help remove excess dirt from your scalp. When you exfoliate with hot water, dirt and buildup escapes your pores and can be easily washed away. This helps unclog your hair follicles.
Hot water will clean your scalp, sure… but over time those hot showers can start to damage the skin on your scalp and impact your ability to grow hair.
Hot water makes your hair strands porous. This means that they are more open to the elements rather than being tightly sealed. Overly porous hair is dry, brittle, and much more prone to breakage.
And as great as hot water is at washing away dirt and oil, sometimes it washes away natural oils that you need for healthy hair. When your hair lacks these oils (known as sebum), your hair becomes less shiny and loses thickness.
And unfortunately, we become more prone to these effects as we age.
Younger people replace these oils and the thin layer of skin on the scalp much faster. The resulting inflammation from really hot water can cause dry, itchy skin that does not grow hair very well.
Cold Water Benefits for Hair Washing
There’s a reason why hair experts love cold water rinses — they’re the perfect switch-up after a hot shower.
Cold water improves blood circulation to deliver the nutrients and minerals from your diet up to your scalp. Better circulation also helps your body remove wastes more efficiently, cycling out any potential toxins that could be causing your hair to grow more slowly.
In addition to the improved circulation, cold water will tighten up your hair cuticles, leaving your strands strong and shiny. And since it won’t wash away your natural oils like hot water, cold water helps seal in moisture and make sure you don’t leave the house with a head full of frizz.
Why Hot Showers May Cause Hair Loss
Hot water won’t directly cause hair loss, but it can directly affect the health of your scalp. Usually it’s a temporary inflammation, but if you continuously forget to cold water rinse after a hot shower, your weaker strands may start breaking off.
There’s no question which water temperature is good for hair — it’s both of them. Hot water cleans, cold water seals cuticles and soothes.
So, is hot water good for your hair? No, but it’s not so bad either. It’s all about keeping a balance.
Wash and condition your hair with warm water, rather than scalding hot. Even if you love that feeling of hot water on your head, it’s not worth burning or damaging your scalp, or drying up your hair.
Always finish with a cold water rinse to keep your hair shiny, strong, and ready to grow. Just 10-15 seconds is enough to tighten up the cuticles and stimulate circulation.