When water touches your hair be mindful of the temperature… hot water may be damaging your hair.

Who doesn’t love a hot shower or a hot water hair wash? Its relaxing, comforting even…Most people actually prefer hot water for washing their hair. In the salon some of our clients believe the hotter the water is, the better, but that couldn’t be farther from the truth, and it is not worth its potentially damaging consequences. Washing your hair regularly with hot water can lead to issues like hair loss, dry scalp, and other scalp issues all due to the underhanded trauma hot water can cause. 

Yes, the water used to wash your hair should be at a relatively warm temperature to cleanse your scalp and to remove build-up and excess oils. However, if too hot, the water used can result in brittle, dry, frizzy hair as it disrupts the hair cuticle. And yes, cooler water can be used to close down the cuticle to avoid fizziness. However, drastically shocking the hair on both sides of the spectrum can cause irreparable damage to your hair. You should also be mindful of hot water touching your tresses when water setting your braids to ensure your protective style is not “protecting in vain”. 


Here are 4 consequences to using hot water on your hair.


  1. Dry Hair.
Stripping your hair of the natural oils and sebum your scalp naturally produces, water that is too hot may leave your hair immensely dry, dull, and limp. This is especially true for those with naturally thin strands or those with overly porous hair. Those suffering from dry hair will notice your hair is less elastic or foldable. It will become difficult to achieve hairstyles desired given the lack of elasticity and retention of moisture in the hair. 
  1. Hair Loss and Shedding
Use of extremely hot water on your hair can result in brittle hair while advancing the porosity of your hair. Be mindful of this next time your protective stylist dips your box braids in boiling water. He/she should be sure not to touch your actual hair with boiling water as it can cause brittle hair that is unable to retain moisture naturally. Brittle hair leads to hair breakage and unwarranted shedding. In addition to hair breakage, constant use of hot water will expand skin pores and may lead to weaker hair roots within the follicle. So when washing your hair, try lukewarm or mildly warm water. 
  1. Scalp inflammation
Intense and excessively hot water can contribute to damaged scalp tissue due to burning and irritation caused by the high degree of water used. The irritation may tamper with the rate of absorption of oxygen and nutrients your scalp takes in….again, leading to potential and excessive hair loss.
  1. Dry Scalp

Hot water leads to dryness and irritation, which may result in unnecessary itchiness and dandruff. If you suffer from dandruff, try checking the temperature of water used on your hair and in the shower.

A quick tip to ensure you are using the right temperature for your hair. Use the inside of your wrist to test the water. If its too hot there, its too hot for your hair.

Also, hair and scalp conditioning after shampooing may alleviate the effects of hot water used. However, if you already suffer from dry hair, conditioning may be dwarfed and may pale in benefit. Simply put, you should always use conditioners if you suffer from dry hair, but do not use it as a primary follow-up to hot water use. Instead try to wash your hair with mildly warm water, condition as needed, and follow up with a cool rinse as your last rinse to ensure shiny, pliable, elastic, hydrated hair that behaves. 

Oh, and if you are missing that “oh so relaxing” feel produced by hot water, try adding a steamer to your process. It keeps the direct heat off of your hair, but allows for the opening up of your cuticle and your senses 😊.

At GLOW Hair Care, all services include a steam cleansing and micro-mist steam conditioning session fortified with LED hair strengthening therapy…. Both are pleasurable to the hair and senses.

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