Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Is shedding an issue? Maybe a cold shower can help

In my last entry, I shared with you all the valuable lessons from my most recent stretch. I also took some time to discuss some of the crazy struggles I faced with regards to excessive shedding and massive tangles. The blame for the uncontrollable tangles lay mostly with my actions (or inaction). While I understand that some of the accountability is mine, I also know that the shedding didn't make it any easier for me. So now, I'm taking the proactive road by seeking out solutions to this seasonal shedding issue.

You guys may remember my post on cold showers and healthier hair. If you recall, I talked about how cold showers can help not only with smoother follicles but also increased blood stimulation. I know you're probably thinking to yourself, "doesn't blood flow restrict when temperatures drop?" Yes, but only for a short period of time. You see, when the body's temperature begins to decline, a life saving defense mechanism kicks in. Blood begins to rush to the internal organs. Soon thereafter, the body temp rises as blood is rushed to where it's needed most. I've experienced it first hand after feeling the icy cold water cover my body in the shower. One minute your face to face with the shock of how cold the water feels. A few moments later, you're standing there thinking "this isn't so bad, the water is not as cold as it was a couple of moments ago."

Well now my search for a solution to my shedding has led me back to cold showers. I don't know how I got there but while searching online, I found several testimonies of others who've experienced less shedding after taking cold showers. Their rational behind it was the constriction of the pores around the hair follicles. Warm temperatures tend to create an expanding effect while cold water tends to constrict. That's why it's best to use heat to deep condition so the cuticle layers open for deeper penetration. You always hear about how cold rinses to close the cuticle layer back up. The same thing holds true for the skin. When we get a facial, warm steam is used to open the pores. Cold water closes them back up making them appear smaller. Well the same theory is said to hold true for the follicles. Supposedly, when we allow the cold water to touch the scalp, the pores around the follicles close up which in turn works to discourage excessive shedding.

I haven't yet tested this theory for myself but I am excited about implementing this practice once again into my routine. I have to admit that I've been a bit of a punk as of late when it comes to cold showers. But all of the sudden I feel a renewed sense of motivation about reintroducing this practice back into my routine. When I was doing the cold shower thing consistently shedding wasn't a concern so I don't really have a reference point about the effectiveness of this action specifically as it relates to shedding. Either way, I'm reaffirming my commitment to incorporating cold showers again for the greater good of my hair. I think for my experiment, I'll have to do the cold shower thing every day so I can make sure I'm setting myself up for success.

One thing I can say about cold showers and when I did them consistently is that my skin glowed. Not only that, I seemed to walk around with this amazing sense of accomplishment about having defeated my desire to jump out of the shower the moment the first icy drop touched my skin. Not only was I working to create healthier hair, I was also developing a strong sense of mental toughness. It was so invigorating. More to come. In the mean time, I challenge you to consider implementing this practice somewhere in your routine, even if it's a quick cold water blast rinse at the very end of your shower.

Are you willing to give it a shot?

***Edited to Add****

Since posting this info on cold showers and shedding, I've taken my first cold shower specifically with the intention of having impact my shedding issues. So I boldly stepped into the shower with the intention of making sure my scalp was fully exposed to the cold water. Sure, I've washed my hair in cold water before, this time however, I made the point of parting my hair in multiple places to allow the cold water to hit where it's needed the most. Once I made sure most of my scalp was exposed to the cold water, I stepped out and continued with the rest of my wash routine. I must say that I didn't notice much of a difference in the amount of shedding during my rollerset. I was a little disappointed at first. This week however, I must say that I've noticed a huge reduction in the amount of shedding I've experienced lately. This method is definitely a keeper for me! If this method really works, that means less shedding, which means less tangles, which means less knots, which means less breakage, which means thicker hair!
  1. i think your right...I may incorporate this in my shower as well but it's so darn cold..I will start prepping tonight for my sunday wash

  2. I was taking luke warm showers for a while, then trying to end off cold but you forget. I'm washing tonight or tomorrow, we'll see.

  3. great info, but I am scared of cold water on my hair, lol!

    BTW, thanks so much! I got the Gleau product and like it! Thanks for introducing me to something new, as usual.

  4. Solomon,
    You've got to try it, even once. My hair feels so much better than usual. I'm sure the cold water blast had something to do with it.

  5. Quick off topic question: Have you ever mixed SAA into your Burt's Bees pre-poo?

  6. I stumbled on this Web site and found this product called Intensive Hair Regrowth Shampoo. I research this shampoo and all of its natural ingredients (its a 100% herbal shampoo) on the Internet, and then I decided to give a try. I have been using this shampoo for more than two months, and I must tell you all, it has not only stopped hair loss, but it has also stimulated very tiny hair growth at my balding forehead. I am so happy that I came across this wonderful product!

  7. I started washing my hair with cold water and it really has made a difference! Thanks for the idea.

  8. I may try this in the spare bathroom, since it has the hand held shower head attachment. Then I don't have to experience the cold over my whole body but just my hair.