Taking a hot shower after a long day can be extremely relaxing, but did you know that it could also be damaging to your hair and skin? While it may feel great at the moment, the hot water can strip away essential oils and moisture, leaving your skin and hair dry, irritated, and prone to damage. Here are some of the hidden ways in which a hot shower could be ruining your hair and skin.
Stripping your skin of natural oils
Hot water can strip your skin of its natural oils, which act as a protective barrier against environmental factors like pollution and bacteria. This can lead to dry, itchy skin, and even exacerbate conditions like eczema and psoriasis.
Drying out your hair
Just like your skin, your hair also has natural oils that keep it hydrated and healthy. Hot water can strip away these oils, leaving your hair dry and prone to breakage. Over time, this can cause split ends and damage to the hair shaft.
Making your skin more susceptible to sun damage
Hot water can make your skin more susceptible to sun damage. This is because it can cause the top layer of your skin to thin, making it more sensitive to UV radiation. Over time, this can lead to premature ageing and an increased risk of skin cancer.
Irritating your scalp
Hot water can also irritate your scalp, especially if you have a dry or sensitive scalp. This can lead to itching, flaking, and even dandruff. Over time, this can damage your hair follicles and lead to hair loss.
Hot water can cause inflammation in your skin and hair follicles, which can lead to redness, swelling, and even acne. This is because it can disrupt the natural pH balance of your skin, leaving it more vulnerable to bacteria and other environmental factors.
Worsening skin conditions
If you have pre-existing skin conditions like rosacea or acne, hot water can make them worse. This is because it can aggravate your skin and cause inflammation, leading to flare-ups and breakouts.
Making your skin look dull
Hot water can make your skin look dull and lifeless. This is because it can strip away the natural oils and moisture that give your skin a healthy, radiant glow.
So, what can you do to protect your hair and skin from the damaging effects of hot water?
Lower the temperature
The easiest way to protect your hair and skin from the damaging effects of hot water is to lower the temperature. Try turning down the temperature of your shower by a few degrees and see if you notice a difference.
Use lukewarm water
If you can't bear the thought of a cold shower, try using lukewarm water instead. This will still feel warm and relaxing, but it won't be as damaging to your hair and skin.
Limit your shower time
Try to limit your shower time to 10-15 minutes. This will give you enough time to cleanse your hair and body without overexposing your skin to hot water.
Use a gentle cleanser
Choose a gentle cleanser that is suitable for your skin type. This will help to cleanse your skin without stripping away its natural oils and moisture.
Moisturise after showering
After showering, be sure to moisturise your skin and hair to help replenish any lost moisture. Look for moisturisers that contain ingredients like shea butter, jojoba oil, or ceramides to help hydrate and nourish your skin and hair.