There are pros and cons to washing hair with hot or cold water. Below we discuss these as well as when you should be using hot or cold water on your hair.

Hot water

Dirty, oily hair – because hot water opens pores, it works great at cleaning dirty, oily hair and skin. Hot water has exfoliating and cleansing properties. Because it cleans deeply as opposed to superficially, it can even help rid the scalp of oily build-up.

Overly porous hair – one pro of using hot water (cleansing the hair and pores of oil), is also its con. Because hot water opens the pore of the scalp and the cuticle of the hair, using it very often can cause hair to become overly porous. Overly porous hair is dry, brittle, and dull.

Frizz – any heat to the hair, whether in water or styling tools, can cause frizz. Heat rids the hair of moisture, which keeps hair frizz-free.

Cold water

Seals moisture – opposite of hot water, cold hair seals pores and cuticles, keeping your hair’s natural oils secure inside. Additionally, this prevents dirt and oil from entering the hair, meaning your hair stays cleaner longer.

Increases shine – cold water and cold air can increase the shine. Additionally, it can make hair soft and smooth. It does so by closing the scales of the hair’s cuticles.

Flattens hair – for the same reason cold water increases hair’s shine and smoothness, it also can flatten hair. If you are prone to lacking volume, you may want to stay away from washing hair in cold water.

So, what’s a girl to do?

Match your hair’s style to your hair temperature. If you have hair that is prone to being oily, you may want to use warmer water. If you are prone to frizz, finish your shower with a cold hair rinse. If your hair is thirsty for moisture and shine, try washing in colder water. If you aren’t sure which method to use, experiment to find the temperature that works best for you.