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Can Hot Showers Cause Hair Loss?

Among the many myths about the causes of balding — such as wearing hats or exercising strenuously — you can add the myth that hot showers cause hair loss.

Hot water can’t cause hair loss. However, boiling water could result in hair loss, by burning or scalding your scalp. But this shouldn’t be of much concern, since most people don’t wash their hair using water that is hot enough to scald the scalp.

Close up smiling African handsome young man washing  hair

How Showering Affects Your Hair

Washing your hair cleans your scalp and washes away oils in your hair, but it has no effect on your rate of hair growth or your hair growth patterns. Some amount of hair loss while showering is normal, since 10% of your hair at any given time is in its “resting phase,” meaning it’s ready to fall out naturally so new hair can replace it.

Some showering DOs and DON’Ts:

  • Avoid washing your hair with water that’s excessively hot. This can cause pain and skin redness as well as dry out your hair and scalp. The result is hair that’s brittle and more prone to breakage.
  • Be careful not to shampoo your hair too frequently, as your hair may become dry and frizzy as a result of the natural oils being stripped away. People with thicker, oily hair, however, may want to wash their hair more often than people with thin, dry hair. This helps get rid of excess sebum oil from the scalp.
  • To protect your hair, wash it in warm water instead of hot, and rinse it with cooler water. Brushing or combing wet hair should also be avoided, because water weakens hair bonds, causing strands to snap and break more easily when brushed. If possible, let your hair air-dry for five to 10 minutes and gently blot it with a towel to dry.

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