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Choosing the Right Temperature for Washing Your Hair

When you really get down to it, there’s a lot of science involved in washing your hair. That’s why the temperature you use to wash really does matter. It can make all the difference between smooth, silky hair and a brittle, frizzy mess. Here’s how to choose the right temperature for washing your hair. 

Hot Water

If you love a good, hot shower, the kind where your entire bathroom is steamy when you’re done, we have some bad news. Hot water really isn’t great for your tresses. Although it’s awesome for dissolving all the built-up gunk in your hair, it’s also, unfortunately, really good at dissolving the sebum coating your strands, too. And while that may sound appealing if you have oily hair, it’s really not. Stripping all the protective oils from your hair will leave it prone to damage and only encourage more oil production to make up for what was washed away. Plus, you’ll lose all the conditioner you just applied. Bummer.  

Warm Water

Warm water is excellent for cleaning your hair and pumping up the volume. And unlike hot water, it’s not as likely to irritate your skin or lead to an overabundance of oil production. But there are still downsides. Warm water doesn’t close your cuticle very well, and it does still remove moisture from your hair. So while warm water is probably the most comfortable option for washing your hair, rinsing with warm water can remove too much moisture and leave your hair dry and frizzy.  

Cold Water

Doesn’t a nice, cold, bracing shower sound wonderful? No? That’s probably why people don’t wash their hair in cold water very often. But you should definitely consider rinsing with cold water. Cold water seals your cuticles and allows your hair to retain moisture. Plus, you won’t be wasting all the conditioner you just worked through your hair because it doesn’t dissolve lipids. Rinsing with cold water will give you smoother, shinier, more moisturized hair. However, doing the entire wash with cold water isn’t necessary–it won’t clean your hair as well as warm water will, and your hair could look greasy and flat at the end. Plus, let’s face it, cold showers aren’t very enjoyable, especially in winter.

So What’s Best?

As a general rule, we recommend washing with warm water and rinsing with cold. That way, you get all the benefits of both. Your hair will be thoroughly cleansed with warm water, and you’ll enjoy some of the volumizing effects, but you won’t have to worry about excessively dry or frizzy hair. You can enjoy a comfortably warm shower and then just rinse with cold for the last few minutes, sealing in the moisture your hair needs and leaving you with beautiful, shiny tresses.

With that being said, we are all individuals, and it’s fine to experiment and see what works best for your hair. Some people swear by washing entirely in cold water, for example, and it seems to work pretty well for the Red Yao! After all, the Red Yao have traditionally washed their hair in river water for centuries, and they have some of the longest, healthiest hair in the world! So grab your favorite Viori bar and experiment to see what works best for you. Happy washing!


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