We’ve heard it before. The numerous benefits of cold water for any number of things–sore muscles, delicate clothing, even your body’s energy level. But when it comes to washing your hair, does it really matter what the temperature dial is set at? Short answer… yes.
There is a time and place for both hot and cold water, and we’re here to help clue you in. Because although a crucial part of hair care is the products you use, it certainly isn’t the only part. How you wash your hair greatly impacts its overall condition, so make sure to get the details down.
Although many of us prefer steaming hot showers to start, or even end, our days, that same temperature doesn’t always agree with our hair. Here’s the good news — it’s sometimes a good thing. (See, we never said never!)
Warmer water helps open hair cuticles and the pores on your scalp, which more efficiently washes away all the dirt, sweat, oil and build-up. It also allows moisture in, making your hair shiny and soft (read: voluminous).
Water that is too hot can harm your scalp and rinse away the protective sebum, your hair’s natural oils, which is a huge no no for both your hair and scalp. Hot water can also damage your roots and dry out your scalp, causing it to become dry, brittle and inevitably, itchy. So keep an eye on the temperature, because lukewarm water is the hair care sweet spot.
Since warm water helps open the hair cuticles and pores, it only makes sense that cold water closes them. That means that opting for cold water as a final rinse will seal in moisture and make your tresses that much shinier. And that’s not the only benefit.
So many things damage hair: the wrong products, too much heating and styling, chemicals, dyes, etc. The result is brittle, frizzy hair. But since cold water helps lock in moisture, you’re essentially bringing the “glow” back to those lovely locks when you set the dial to chill mode. Rinsing in cold water also improves scalp circulation, which can aid in hair growth–a worthy bonus in our opinion.
Just as washing your hair too much can cause dryness, washing it too little can cause an overabundance of sebum and build-up. We know that sebum hydrates hair strands on a daily basis, but too much causes dirt and grease. So as with most everything we’ve touched on today, there’s a sweet spot for washing. Of course, it also depends on your hair type and other environmental factors or underlying health conditions.
Choosing the right products (non-greasy, gentle shampoos, etc.) for your hair type is the best way to combat the ick.
This simple list breaks down the basics — including water temperature — of effectively washing your hair to make it its most healthy (fabulous) self.
We’re talking about water temperature when washing, as well as hair styling, leave-in treatments and more. Our number one tip: When it comes to hair, less is more!
The last thing you want to do is waste product by using it inefficiently. Thoroughly wetting your hair before shampooing, and also rinsing shampoo before conditioning are simple steps that make a big difference in daily hair care.
The gist is that lukewarm water is best for shampoo, and cool water is best with conditioner, and as a final rinse. Yes, it also makes us chilly just thinking about it, but what’s that saying? Beauty is pain.
Ridding your hair of dirt and grime while shampooing is important, but arguably more important is conditioning. Start mid-shaft and work down toward the ends of your hair (avoiding your roots), and leave the conditioner in for a few minutes. We repeat, do not rinse immediately.
Give your conditioner time to work its magic — your hair will thank you for it. Just make sure you’re using the proper product for your hair type, like our all-time fave for frizzy hair, Davines’ LOVE Smoothing Conditioner.
You’ve surely heard of it, but do you know the important role keratin plays in hair care? Keratin is a protein that our bodies produce, making our hair, skin and nails healthy. Hair products containing keratin help restore and repair damaged hair. Davines’ Nourishing Keratin Sealer for example, seals hair cuticles, strengthening the hair fiber, reducing frizz and adding shine.
Adding a keratin treatment to wet hair is crucial for beautiful, manageable hair. But use it sparingly and with attention to detail because too much can cause adverse reactions from protein build-up (like hair breakage).
Moral of the story — there is not one singular thing that matters for effective washing and hair care. There are many things. Focusing on the majors, like water temperature when washing and the most effective products for hair health and an overall healthy routine are the real game changers. These Davines winter favorites, and conditioners like Renewing Conditioning Treatment, can get you started. Or book an appointment with a Davines stylist near you with our salon locator. All the happy, healthy hair vibes for your year ahead!
by Morgan Hansen, featured contributor