While prepping up my hair for a wash today, I had time to reflect on some of the practices and changes I’ve made to my hair. The most frequent question I’m asked at the salon is “Aunty, do you prefer cold or hot water to wash your hair”?
Over the years, I haven’t had the desire to probe why this question is often asked at most Naija hair salon till I began the quest for healthy, long relaxed hair. When I commenced my journey, I often used cool water to wash my hair. This I did continuously for a year before evaluating what was working in my regimen.
A common feature of a typical wash day is the 1hour prepoo session, consisting of a protein deep conditioner and a mix of several natural oils. Using cold water will not get rid of the product buildup and once my hair is dry, I often have this coated film over my hair which indicated I was doing something wrong.
Why Hot Water is Essential: An important reason why you need to use hot water when washing your hair is it opens up your hair cuticles. If cold water closes the hair cuticle then hot water opens it up and it needs to be open when you cleanse and condition. Then you can easily remove any dirt, build-up and oils from your hair and be sure that your hair will effectively absorb everything you put in it.
Today, as you prepare to wash and deep condition your hair, never stray from this basic rule. Incorporate the use of hot water when washing your hair and you’ll see tangible results sooner than you think.
Caution: Always ensure you mix an adequate amount of cold water with the hot water. It should be in a ratio of 60:40 with 60% being hot water and 40% cold water. The thing is that hot water can be quite harmful at times but you also shouldn’t use solely cold water for washing your hair. The best strategy for most ladies would probably be to use warm water instead of hot when shampooing and conditioning. Don’t apply cold water at that point because you want the scalp pores and the hair cuticle to be open.
If you feel like there’s particularly much grease and oil in your hair then you may turn the water from warm to hot in order to really open up everything and get those things out but remember that frequent use of very hot water is damaging and you have to be careful. Use cold water only for your final rinse in order to seal everything after you’re done and remember that it doesn’t have to be ice-cold – choose a temperature that you can tolerate.