Whether you have been on your healthy hair journey for some time or just beginning, we have all heard various rumors around water. Is it moisturizing, is it drying, does it strengthen or cause breakage? The answer is yes! But have no fear, Good Heir is here. Let us help clear some things up.
As we discussed in the previous blog, consuming the proper amount of water is very beneficial for the hair. Now let’s talk use of it topically.
Water as a friend
As we know, water is a necessity for wash day. You can’t remove build up, shampoo or conditioner without it. However, are you aware that these two actions require two different temperatures?
Hot vs. cold
If you think that water temperature isn’t important, think again. Learning when to use different temperatures may really benefit your hair.
For starters, the water shouldn’t be too hot. The heat and steam will open up your hair cuticles and allow the water molecules to move around quickly. The high temperature will bond the water to your cleanser. It will also bond the dirt to your cleanser, essentially preventing the dirt from re-attaching to the strands . With the hair cuticles open, you can easily remove any dirt, build-up and excess oils. The warm water will also ensure that your hair will effectively absorb the conditioner and nutrients to follow.
Cool water, not to be confused with cold water closes hair cuticles and seals in moisture. It is important to seal the cuticle so that your hair isn’t left vulnerable to breakage. Cool water is less drying and helps to retain your hair’s natural oil. It also improves blood circulation to the scalp, widening your capillaries which allows your scalp and hair roots to receive all of the valuable nutrients needed to stay healthy. So, if you use cool water for your final rinse there’s a much better chance that your hair will stay shiny, healthy and frizz-free.
Water is also an essential ingredient in any leave-in or deep conditioner. Water is necessary in products in order to properly lock moisture into our hair strands. Therefore, the ongoing battle with dryness and breakage cannot be defeated without the use of water rich products helping with length retention and overall hair health.
Water as an enemy ( mainly for my curl-friends)
Water is a locking agent. It can lock knots and tangles in our hair so tightly, that cutting it out will be the best option. Trying to untangle wet hair after a protective style or on type 4 hair without sectioning, can cause a lot of breakage and damage to the hair fiber. It is best to spray the hair with water or your favorite detangling product and section the hair prior to the wash to avoid unnecessary breakage (DO NOT attempt to detangle hair when it is dry. that is equally as damaging.)
Hot vs Cold
As we discussed, water is key in moisturizing the hair. However, water alone is not at the proper pH level to be used as a leave-in. Use of water alone leads to puffy, frizzy and hard to manage hair.
When the cuticles are lifted, it is easier for moisture to escape. This can leave your hair in a frizzy state. The warm water can weaken your roots making the strands vulnerable and easier to snap. Being that warm water is necessary to remove dirt, without discrimination, it will strip away your moisture. That is why it’s important to moisturize your strands after a wash.
Cool water can reduce the volume of your hair. If you already have thin hair, this could be a nightmare. Since cool water closes cuticles, it can also flatten your hair.
Depending on where you live, the water you are exposed to can lead to damage without proper hair protection. Hard water which is chlorinated and mineral rich water can cause a lot of damage.
I hope this post has been useful and helps guide you to understand what may work best for your hair. In summary, water can be a friend or an enemy……which it will be is up to you.