Rinsing your hair in cold water to “seal in the cuticles” may be one of the most treasured maxims when it comes to mane maintenance, but does this shivery step really lend your locks that extra shot of shine?
Brace yourselves, guys, we’re about to pour cold water on your cherished beauty belief – this hair hack might just be a hoax. Or rather, any perceived increase in sheen may simply be due to a placebo effect of sorts.
Take it from an expert: “Unless you’re floating on your back in a hot tub for hours on end, your hair isn’t going to be in contact with water long enough for its cuticles to open or close,” says wig whiz Michael Chiew of Hairloom Salon. “The temperature shouldn’t make much of a difference either way, so do it only if you like cool showers.”
Now for the whys and wherefores. Anabel Kingsley, director of communications and trichologist at the Philip Kingsley Trichological Clinic, explains that temperature counts for naught because “once the hair has grown past the scalp, it’s technically dead tissue – it neither contains blood vessels or nerves – [so] rinsing with cold water therefore has the same effect on hair as rinsing with warm water does.” Sounds legit and logical, right?
Wait, there’s more to this tale. “Rinsing with cold water can constrict the blood capillaries in your scalp,” warns Anabel. “As these capillaries carry vital nutrients to the hair follicles, in theory, it may actually be harmful to hair growth.” Woah, talk about making your blood run cold.
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But hey, if this is giving you a serious case of cold sweat, know that it’s not all doom and gloom. Instead of obsessing over your water temperature, give your fragile follicles some tender loving care by using only the mildest of formulas; baby-friendly shampoos are superb for this purpose.
Consider setting aside some time on your scheduled shampoo nights for a “double cleanse” too, which basically means soaping up, splashing off – and then doing it all over again. Here’s why: Shampooing a second time makes all the difference in cutting through the day’s grime and grease, all of which can contribute to the deadweight dullness of limp locks.
Follow up by treating your tresses with a little liquid love by way of a leave-in hair oil; one pump of say, Cle de Peau Beaute's ravishingly good Radiant Multi Repair Oil is all it takes to lend your moistureless mane a shampoo ad-worthy sheen.
So, to recap. The temperature of your rinsing water may be inconsequential when it comes to imparting shine to your hair; instead, invest in a gentle shampoo and a nourishing non-greasy oil. Time to give a cold shoulder to cold showers!