How to

13 February 2017

Hot vs Cold Showers: Which is Better for You?

I love a hot shower. If anyone said to me they wake up with a freezing cold shower I’d call them crazy. Way too unpleasant for me. But, there are a huge number of benefits to showering in cooler temperatures, which may make you think twice about your morning temperature choice. Here’s the advantages and disadvantages of both hot and cold showers.


Hot

First, let’s start with the most popular of the two; the hot shower. Great at warming you up when waking up in a cold home in the winter, when the central heating hasn’t quite kicked in yet. There’s nothing better than stepping under a comforting stream of hot water.

Hot showers are also great for soothing muscle soreness and stiffness, the jets also treating you to a soft massage. Forget over-priced spas, get your own soothing massage at home! Bliss.  

The steam from the hot water is also a way to clear your sinuses, especially if you’ve got cold-like symptoms. The steam moisturises the nasal passages, clearing them out, potentially reducing  the severity of your sniffly nose.

Studies show that stress levels can be reduced by having hot showers too, so they’re not only good for the body, but also for the mind. The relaxing hot water stimulates the release of oxytocin, said to reduce anxiety and stress levels.

A final advantage of hot showers is that the steam opens your skins pores, enabling the skin to be deeply cleansed. Also great for beauty treatments such as hair plucking, the opened pores reducing pain.
However, this deep cleansing can lead to the drying out of the skin, due to the hot temperatures hitting the skin. The hair can also be dried out, making the hair weaker and more prone to split-ends.


Cold

Cold showers; while most can’t think of anything worse than standing beneath a stream of cold water 10 minutes after unraveling from a warm, fluffy duvet, they do have lots of significant health benefits.

One being it’s great for your hair and skin. While, as previously mentioned, hot water can be drying, cold water is the opposite, as it’s – you guessed it – very hydrating. The cold water flattens hair follicles, leaving it shinier, stronger and healthier. So if you want luscious locks, try cold water when washing your hair.

While hot water opens the skins pores to cleanse, cold water can seal them, which is great for preventing dirt getting into the skin. So on the pore front, there’s pros and cons for both temperatures. As reported by The Huffington Post, dermatologist Jessica Krant says that using cold water is beneficial, and can prevent the skin being stripped of its natural healthy oils.

Cold showers also increase your alertness and will be much more effective than your strong coffee at waking you up in the morning. The body’s response to the shock of the cold water will encourage deep breathing, increasing your oxygen intake. This also quickens heart rate, increasing circulation as blood rushes around your body, giving organs the nutrients they require at a quick and effective pace.

The coldest of cold showers also work in a similar way to ice-baths. While hot showers are great for soothing sore muscles, ice-cold showers can speed up muscle repair and recovery after a workout or intense sports session. So both hot and cold benefit muscles, take your pick.

The only real disadvantage of cold showers is that they’re unpleasant, causing most to go for warmer temperatures. And of course, it won’t do your immune system any favours if you opt for a cold shower after being caught in cold weather. Apart from that, cold showers are great for you. If you’re braver than me, go for it and see the benefits for yourself.


Laura Sewell

An aspiring journalist, Laura is our content writer intern.  Pop-punk gig-goer and drag queen enthusiast, Laura is working her way into the industry, with an English A -Level and love of writing about anything and everything in tow.