COLD WATER RINSING
For generations, beauty folklore, theories, and fables were passed down from person to person. Word-of-mouth stories and friendly tips were shared between millions of people on how best to work with, style, and live with your hair – curly or straight. And with the rise of the internet, it’s become even easier to share these theories with your friends, your family, and your stylists – but be careful! Some of these fables, while seeming to be purely common sense, are simply inaccurate, even if they might have worked for your great-aunt twenty years ago!
“You can only affect your hair by properly maintaining and working with the pH balance....”
- Jonathan Torch
One of the more popular fables is cold washing - that if you wash your hair with cold water, your curls will get stronger and easier to manage. This is a popular idea because we learn from experience: because our bodies tense up when cold (thanks to our nerves!) hair must act the same way! How many showers have you had in freezing cold water, hoping that it will make your hair more manageable? However, there is no evidence that this works – a cold-water rinse does not contribute to the strengthening of hair, and here’s why.
Hair cuticles don’t close or open based on the temperature surrounding them – they aren’t strengthened or weakened based on the outside weather. And the strength and health of your hair comes down to what your cuticles are doing. You can only affect your hair by properly maintaining and working with the pH balance of your hair. Controlling the correct ph balance seals the hair cuticles; When the pH balance is controlled and the hair cuticles are closed, it leaves the hair shiny and silky. The pH balance of curly hair is the key to controlling unruly, frizzy, and dry hair. Perfect hair condition should have a pH of 5.5-6.5 – on the slightly acidic side, but also very close to the pH of water, which is 7.
Your hair doesn’t have a nervous system or blood running through it. Therefore, unlike your skin and scalp, your hair isn’t that vulnerable to drastic temperature changes (indoor heating or air conditioning is a different story!) So you don’t need to brave those freezing cold showers to try to manage your hair - cold water rinsing will definitely freeze you, but it won’t make your hair more manageable. So go ahead, turn up the temperature and enjoy your showers again! To learn about other hair theories, debunked or true, check out this link: Is Hair Dead?