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Should You Be Washing Your Hair With Cold Water Only?

You may have heard that you should be washing your hair with cold water only, while others swear by the cleansing power of hot water.

So which is it?

Which temperature of water is the king of hair care, and which can save your luscious locks from the daily damage of life?

Well, the truth is that both hot and cold water have their uses, and both can be uniquely beneficial in their own way.

Let's take a look at when you should choose hot water and when to choose cold water when washing your hair.

When to Wash Your Hair With Hot Water

washing hair with hot water

First of all, it's important to note that not everyone’s definition of “hot” is the same when it comes to a bath or shower.

While some like the temperature so hot, it feels as if the hounds of Hell are ripping the dirt from their body, others like it to be a little more comfortable.

The general rule for too hot for washing your hair is any temperature that turns the skin red.

This being said, there are many benefits to using hot – but not too hot – of water to wash your hair.

It is better to use hot water when you are are first washing with shampoo, as it allows the soap to get in for a deeper cleanse.

Hot water also helps relax and open the pores of your scalp to allow for better cleaning.

Note: The ultimate hair care truth is that hair is mostly dead tissue, and the only living portion is at the base and in the root. Therefore your focus should be on those areas, being the scalp and pores.

As a side note, many individuals wonder if hot water may be causing hair loss.

While excessively hot water can do some damage short term, you should know that experts say that most permanent hair loss is hereditary.

Washing Hair With Hot Water Summary:

PROS: Hot water helps open pores on your skin to help you get a deeper clean.

CONSHot water dries skin out the skin and can make the hair more frizzy.

When to Wash Your Hair With Cold Waterwashing with cold water

While the benefits of cold showers have been proven to be amazing, most still do everything in their power to stay far away from that blue "C" on the shower knob.

However, there are many reasons to join the cold side when it comes to how you wash yourself and your hair.

The best time to use cold water in the hair washing process is at the end after you have washed the shampoo out with hot water.

It is best to use the cold water to lather the conditioner in and rinse it out of your hair.

Coldwater naturally has the opposite effect of hot water and helps to close the pores and seal in moisture.

Even if you do not choose to use conditioner, cold water at the tail end of a shower can help stop your scalp from drying out.

Colder water also can help prevent frizziness and can actually straighten your hair.

Washing Hair With Cold WaterSummary:

PROS: Cold water can help close the pores to help seal in moisture and prevent drying of the skin.

CONS: Cold water doesn't provide the same clean as hot water, and is, of course, less comfortable.

Should You Be Washing Your Hair With Cold Water Only?

ashing with cold water only

Many have also claimed that taking cold showers for a few days is actually a great and natural way to fight dandruff.

It seems like we should just switch to cold water then, right?

Maybe not fully. We previously mentioned hot water does help us to achieve that deeper clean.

The best answer then is that we should not eliminate the use of hot water in the washing process.

Instead, we should look to reduce the frequency of the deep but drying clean that comes from washing our hair with hot water.

I guess it comes down to thinking about how often you truly need that deep cleanse, because the truth is, cold water can clean your hair just as adequately as hot most of the time.

If you are still scared to venture into the cold water territory, check out our guide on how to take a cold shower for tips to help you to ease into the process.


The healthy consensus is that you should use both warm and cold water together to wash your hair. Both have their purpose and place in the washing process.

Most experts agree that hot water will help you clean yourself and your hair better, but that cold water can help seal in moisture and help avoid further drying of your skin.

You can also test the power of cold water by switching to only washing your hair with cold water for a short time, or by switching to cold showers altogether.

Happy Washing!

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