Should You Be Washing Your Hair In Cold Water?

For most of us, battling dry, damaged hair is something we constantly do. We spend ample money to gain moisture back, all while hoping for shiny, healthy locks. Most people would describe the relationship with their hair as complicated. So much energy, money, and time go into caring for our hair, and sometimes it seems like nothing really makes a noticeable impact. This concern transcends seasons (via Prose). The summer beauty struggle is real as the sun works to dry out our hair and skin, but the winter gives us no reprieve in the hydration department. It, too, leaves our hair full of static and flyaways due to dryness.

To combat these hair concerns, many of us turn to creams, oils, and gels to rectify our scalp ailments, but those solutions can get pricey. In addition, our hairdressers suggest ways to keep our hair strong and healthy, but we cannot always recreate what we are taught in the salon. However, there may be another solution that's easy and affordable. 

Why do cold rinses work?

It seems the battle is never-ending, but we've got a simple and affordable beauty hack for you: cold water. It's true that this remedy for dry and broken hair might make you shiver, but rinsing your luscious locks in cold water can actually be good for your hair (via The Curl Blog). This easy tip works wonders to hold in hydration and increase shine.

Simply put, exposing your hair to cold water is good for it because of how our hair is put together. According to a 2014 article in PeerJ, "[human hair] consists of many layers including the cuticle, the cortex, and the medulla. These layers are bound together by the cell membrane complex." Since the cuticle is the outermost part of the hair, the temperature of the water we use affects these scale-like hair components the most. Warm water actually opens up the cuticles, leaving them exposed to potential dryness. Rinsing your hair in cold water forces the scale-like cuticles to relax and lay flat, helping the hair hold in moisture and give off the shine many of us seek.

Beauticians recommend a cold rinse because cold water locks in moisture and promotes shine, but this goes away the minute heat is applied. So, blow drying or straight ironing could remove any of the benefits cold water provides. This is why many beauticians suggest air drying your hair after a cold rinse if possible (via Atelier Emanuel).

How cold rinses work for our hair

Most experts seem to agree that cold water treatments are the way to go, but this advice may sound terribly uncomfortable. However, we have good news. You don't have to completely get rid of your warm shower to get healthier hair. Just a rinse will do. Beauty professionals say that people should still wash their hair with shampoo and conditioner in warm water, never hot. The warm water helps strip the strands of dirt and oil that can build up (via Today). Once your hair is clean, simply give your hair a final rinse in cold water. It will trap in the moisture and benefit you in shine.

While gels, creams, and sprays still work to nourish our hair and give it a healthy shine, a cold rinse after a warm shampoo will work wonders. This will ensure that you retain natural oils keeping your hair healthy and hydrated (via Health Shots). Next time the flyaways and frizziness strike, consider turning your shower dial a little colder and reap the benefits of a cold rinse.