5 Reasons Hot Showers Can Cause Hair Loss

Overly hot showers may cause excessive and unnatural hair loss evidence suggests.

At this point there haven’t been any in depth scientific studies to prove this point, and I don’t think there will be anytime soon, but there some evidence that suggest a connection.

I recently stayed at a nice hotel that had one of the most amazing showers you could imagine. Whereas usually I either shower my body with warm water and later wash my hair with mildly warm water, this time I had a really warm shower and washed my hair at the same time.

Within an hour after I noticed much more than usual hair coming out as I dried my hair.

This made me wonder if there was a connection between the hot water and the hair loss. I needed to research this subject further.

Why might hot showers be causing hair to fall out?

Ketoconazole is a key ingredient of some popular hair loss shampoos

Hair loss is essentially an unnatural process. We can see this from study indigenous people who rarely suffer from pattern baldness and comparing this to developed countries (particularly cities) where hair loss rates are highest.

So anything unnatural immediately starts ringing an alarm bell when it comes to keeping our hair.

Hot water is essentially unnatural and could therefore be damaging the hair follicles. Anything above 37 C 998F) is higher than body temperature and is therefore unnatural.

Hot water could damage the scalp, causing dryness. It could be causing inflammation, which in turn could cause hair miniaturization that leads to hair thinning and loss.

Hot showers can remove the essential oils from the hair and scalp that help protect itself from damage and leave the hair follicles vulnerable to wither and die.

The respected dermatologist Dr. Piliang says:

“The epidermis has an outside fatty lipid layer for protection. It is what keeps bad water and germs out and good water in, and keeps our skin moisturized,”

She compares the fatty layer to butter on a knife: It stays put if held under cold water but melts away under a hot stream. That is similar to what a hot shower over 112 degrees does to the protective layer of people’s skin.

“In younger people, skin will replace the lipid layer faster than in older people. “As we age, we have less tolerance for hot water, which may result in dry, itchy, red skin and possibly even eczema,”

Even moisturizer won’t replenish the body’s natural oils, she says. A 20-year-old woman may be able to take two hot showers a day and be fine, “but she may find she has dry patches if she does that at age 40.”

What does Dr. Piliang recommend?

Dr. Piliang recommends reducing the temperature of your shower because; “The pieces of keratin on the hair are like shingles on a roof, and a quick, 15-second cold rinse can help them line up neatly so they appear smooth and reflect light.”

So, we know that hot water damages the skin, and hair follicles, and we also know that cooler water can give your hair a nice shiny gloss and protects essentials hair oils.

Are there any other benefits of cold water?

It turns out, not only can hot water damage your hair, but cold water and help your hair. Cold water (room temperature) can help invigorate the scalp and improve circulation.

Increased circulation helps deliver oxygen, nutrients and minerals to the scalp and hair follicle, helping them grow. Improved circulation also helps remove waste products.


It looks like there is enough evidence that hot water can cause hair loss to avoid overly hot showers.

Why would you anyway?

Since cold showers can help invigorate the scalp, improve circulation, improve gloss and shine, and reduce inflammation that could cause the hairs to fall out, it looks like room temperature water is the way to go.

13 thoughts on “5 Reasons Hot Showers Can Cause Hair Loss”

  1. Crap. I was not aware of this. No wonder I’ve been losing way too much hair that it seems I’m going bald. I made sure it’s not genetic, but I’m I know the reason now. I am hoping this damage is not permanent. Does anyone know if hair will grow back if I fix this bad habit of mine?

    • Yes you should be able to grow your hair back very easily if it was just the overly hot showers that were causing the damage in the first place (although there may be other reasons.) I recommend using only cool/cold water on your hair – this will help stimulate circulation in the scalp and improve hair growth without stripping away essential oils. Also remember to make your own shampoos so you don’t use any chemicals on your hair.

  2. I lose way more hair when I wash my hair in the shower, because I take shower with quite hot water. Because ambiant temperature is very cold during the winter and I am easily freezing, I still take hot showers but I don’t wash my hair anymore in the shower, instead I do it in kitchen sink with cold to warm water. I have noticed a significant reduce of hair shedding just by doing it!

    • Sure, those are great – if you can stand it! It will definitely get the blood moving in the scalp.

  3. Hey Will, I started washing my hair with cold water now, but what do you think of taking hot showers without the water touching the hair, and rinse the hair with cold water?
    Also, what to you think of sauna use? It is said to improve blood circulation.
    Congrats about all your researches!

    • Hello Josh, glad to hear that. It should help. Essentially yes that’s right, although I prefer cold showers as well (at least not too hot since that can damage the skin.)

  4. I had a very unhealthy life when I was taking a shower with hot water.. Bad skin and damaged hair.
    So i turned to taking cold freezy showers (near 0 c) and everything changed.. I have a pure natural skin.. No pimples and a fine shining hair.

    • Hi Zayn, thanks for sharing your experience. That’s great to know that your hair and skin improved drastically after switching to cold showers. I totally agree. I almost never use hot water on my hair or skin anymore. Cold showers are the way to go.

  5. I used hot water under shower daily almost 2 years I have lost so many hairs but that the thing is thoes hairs are not growing on scalp its almost 4 years completed that hairs not growing on scalp using only cold water is there any solution for that if is there any medicines suggest if u have any idea


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