Summer beauty worries are legitimate. Frizzy hair, in addition to sweaty, oily skin, seems unavoidable. Hot and humid weather, regardless of your hair type or whether you air-dried it or had it professionally done, has a way of highlighting flyaways and frizz.
If you’re a dedicated hair-care enthusiast with a long list of hair style lotions, oils, and shine sprays and still aren’t noticing a difference in your hair, try washing it with cold water the next time you shower.
According to experienced hairstylists, applying cold water on your hair is an underutilized hair tip that may help you acquire lustrous hair. Continue reading to discover more about how it works.
Is Cold Water Beneficial to Hair?
In short, yes, cold water may help you have more lustrous hair, but to understand how it works, you’ll need to grasp a few fundamental facts about the structure of hair. According to the PeerJ Journal, the hair strand is made up of three sections.
The medulla is the core, and it is surrounded by the cortex, which is the intermediate layer consisting of keratin proteins (the proteins found in hair, skin, and nails). The cuticle then wraps around the cortex and serves as the hair strand’s outermost protective coat.
According to the PeerJ study, the cuticle is made up of flat, overlapping cells that resemble scales and may open and close. The state of your cuticle has a direct influence on the appearance and feel of your hair.
For example, when the cuticles are exposed, hair cannot retain moisture as efficiently, resulting in frizzy-looking strands, explains Rodney Cutler, a professional hairdresser and Redken spokesperson. Many variables, including heredity and environmental influences such as — you guessed it — water temperature, can cause the cuticle to open or close.
While warm water opens the cuticle, cold water closes it. “Using cold water to rinse your hair can help smooth and seal the cuticle,” adds Cutler. According to famous hairdresser Ona Diaz-Santin, the cold water flattens such scale-like cells, making “light reflect easily” and, as a result, making the hair seem lustrous.
According to Cutler, closing the hair cuticle increases the appearance of softer and lustrous hair since the cells are flattened and smooth. According to Alex Brown, a Chicago-based celebrity hairdresser and owner of Space salon, cold water helps preserve moisture while hot water can rob the hair of the natural oils that give it a glossy appearance and feel.
Another reason why cold water promotes shine is that hot water can “throw off the pH balance” in the hair and cause the cuticle to open, according to Santin. “The benefits of using cold water are that it detangles the hair easier (due to the flattening of the scale-like cells), leaves it lustrous, and causes less frizz,” she says.
How to Shine Your Hair With Cold Water?
Don’t worry, you don’t need to take a cold shower to achieve lustrous hair. Instead, a brief rinse at the conclusion of your shower is preferable.
“I wouldn’t advocate washing with cold water since it is beneficial to open the cuticle while washing hair, which occurs with warm water,” Brown adds. “Warm water aids in the removal of buildup, which is critical for the health of the hair and scalp. It also enables for complete washing without being too harsh on the hair or stripping it of all its natural oils.”
Opening the cuticle first helps your products to thoroughly clean and enter the hair fibers. However, passing your hair under a cold shock of water helps shut the cuticle and lock in moisture as well as all of the hair-beneficial elements in your hair care.
When washing your hair, follow these steps for the optimal water-temperature method: “Use warm water to eliminate any form of debris, one to two washes depending on how long it’s been since you washed [your hair], then apply a conditioner [from] roots to ends,” Santin recommends.
“Massage [the product] in well, detangling with your fingertips, and then rinse with cold water to seal in the moisture. [The cold water] will smooth out the cuticle and make it easier to untangle.”
While hair products may assist to maintain healthy, silky, and lustrous hair, this cold water tip may give your strands an extra push. What’s the best part? It’s simple to use and completely free.