Today I have an interesting one for you, so grab a quick cuppa and lets get started,
This week in the salon we have had quite a few colour changes and I have been asked on a couple of occasions about doing a final rinse in cold water, does it really help with shine and is there really any health benefits of this for our hair? As this is not the first time I have been asked this I decided to delve in a little deeper and do a write up on it.
This is a topic that I can say most likely divides the hair world a little. I see it pop up numerous times in hair feeds across social media platforms as well as blogs and tutorials. So today I am going to give you the facts (we get a little sciencey but don't worry it's only briefly and all explained) and you can make up your own mind before I give you my opinion.
Today there will be many people across the world finishing their morning showers with a, lets face it, very uncomfortable, heart stopping, take your breath away final rinse of cold water. You know the one where you try to avoid the water hitting your body, only your hair. Yes I have tried it in the past before joining the hair professionals and if you've never tried it, it's not a fun task, although maybe should be tried just to be able to put it down as a life lesson. Especially if you're like me and hate cold.
OK so WHY are people doing this?
Well, It's because it is believed to make your hair shiny.
But is it true?
I decided to dive a little into this subject and did a little extra research for you which brought up an interesting point.
First I looked into where the belief originates and if it has any merit.
This idea comes from the fact: cold closes the cuticle (all be it minimally) Thus creating the belief that a cold water finish will close the cuticle - making it shinier. You can understand the idea, i mean, it does make sense when you put it like that.
However there is more than just what meets the eye.
Now we know the thought process behind this popular belief let's look at the facts to see if they back it up.
When we talk of opening and closing the cuticle layer in professional terms, it's all comes down to the PH level of a product, the temperature of the water has a very minimal effect on the cuticle in comparison, think of the cuticle as a door if you will.
Anything we do as professionals always revolves around manipulating the PH level to either open or close the cuticle layers. A higher PH level will swell/open the cuticle and a lower PH level will de-swell/close the cuticle. We should always rebalance the natural PH levels at the end of any service.
So this is why when you visit a salon all the shampoo's, conditioners and styling products are PH controlled?
Exactly! They are designed to either rebalance or maintain the healthy PH levels of our hair, pre or post service.
Ensuring it stays healthy and shiny.
The product used to finalise the cleansing process is the conditioner and this is primarily what is responsible for closing the cuticle and creating shine.
Not the water temperature.
A very interesting fact for you: once your hair has grown past the scalp it is no longer supplied with blood and is technically dead tissue. However because follicles need blood supply you could be causing damage to your hair follicles without realising as cold water will actually constrict the blood capillaries in your scalp. The capillaries carry vital nutrients to the hair follicles, so in theory, you could be constricting the growth and production of healthy hair.
The idea of cold water aiding in shiny hair has never really made any sense to me, even before I understood what actually had an effect on our hair, because if we think logically for a moment - a cold water rinse is then usually followed by a hairdryer (heat) and possibly straighteners (heat again) or another form of (heat) appliances. So to me the best time to use temperature logic would be at the very end with a cold blast of the dryer to lock in your style, surely.
Another interesting fact is one I learnt during my training all those years ago, all about how PH levels actually effect our hair and what PH certain items/products are.
I was surprised to find out water has a PH slightly higher than our hair so hot or cold wouldn't really make a difference at all. Using a good quality conditioner will close the cuticle due to the PH level being designed to be perfectly balanced for our hair.
So does a cold water rinse make our hair shiny?
in short: No, No it doesn't, Not really.
So there you have it. You can stop with the horrible, heart stopping, take your breath away cold water rinses in the morning and just invest in a quality conditioner. My favourite ranges are Joico which is my salon chosen brand, and Sexy hair UK, Both are amazing ranges, designed specifically for your hairs needs and perfectly PH controlled. Speak to your stylist, they will be best suited to advise you on which is best for your hairs needs.
I hope you found this weeks instalment as interesting as I did. I just love this kind of thing. Science, colouring and hair theory are my fave topics. Let me know if you have any questions or ideas to talk about. I have over 100 in line but I may not have thought of yours so please do share.
Until next time : Happy hair day.
If you skimmed : The important bits
- Cold water is uncomfortable and takes your breath
- It is believed to close the cuticle creating shine.
- It in-fact could be causing damage due to constricting the blood capillaries
- PH levels effect the cuticle opening and closing
- Conditioner is designed to re-balance.
- Conditioner is primarily responsible for opening and closing the cuticle.
- Best ranges I recommend are Joico and sexy hair uk.
- Speak to your stylists for best advise for your hair.
Did you miss last weeks instalment? We talked about how you can DOUBLE the life of your shampoo and conditioner!
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