The Real Reason You Should Be Rinsing Your Hair With Cold Water

The road to beauty is littered with the remains of old wives tales which medical science has debunked in one way or another. Eating chocolate or greasy food will make you break out (false). Dry skin causes wrinkles (false) (via Cosmpolitan). Even the notion that washing your hair in cold water will make it shinier has gotten the buzzer, because as Eric Pressly, UC Santa Barbara chemist and inventor of Olaplex, tells Into the Gloss: "Water, itself, can open or close the cuticle through absorption and swelling of the hair. This is a very fast process, and the difference between hot and cold water is negligible."

But there is another reason you should rinse your hair with cold water even if it won't boost the shine factor (although, a cold rinse can sure wake you up in the morning!). It turns out a cold water rinse can help your conditioner work its magic.

Your conditioner will work better if you use cold water to rinse it off

Using cold water to rinse your hair is one way to ensure that the conditioner you've used to make your hair silky and smooth stays in place, and doesn't get washed down the drain. Dermatologist Kally Papantoniou tells Self that using warm water "can dissolve the lipids and remove most of the conditioners that you added in." And we all know that there's no underselling the upsides of of a good conditioner, which Washington D.C.-based dermatologist Adam Friedman says refortifies the cuticle with a protective coating, allowing the hair to keep growing and not break easily. "When the hair is exposed to the outside world, the cuticle, or outer lining, gets damaged until it ultimately breaks; the conditioner fills in those injuries and coats the hair to assist the cuticle," he tells Allure.

So by all means, wash your hair with a water temperature you're most comfortable with (fun fact: experts say shampoos work best with warm water), but there's no harm in giving your conditioner an extra chance to work by giving it the cold water treatment. In fact, a cold water rinse could be just what your hair needed to look healthier and more beautiful.