Over the past few years, cold plunge (immersing yourself in water from 38 to 60 degrees) has become a New Age wellness staple. Brought to the holistic mainstream by Wim Hof, the Dutch athlete, Guinness World Record Setter, and motivational speaker who goes by the moniker, The Iceman, cold plunge has gotten as famous as its fans: Kim Kardashian, Harry Styles, Nicole Scherzinger, Lady Gaga, Usher and Jason Momoa.
Cold plunge is amazing for skin and hair. Here’s why.
[SEE ALSO: How To Banish Dry Skin On Darker Skin Tones]
A Skin Thing
Cold water stimulates blood circulation, causing blood vessels to constrict (vasoconstriction) and dilate (vasodilation). The improved blood flow and oxygenation can temporarily firm and tighten the skin as well as give a natural glow to your skin. Cold water also decreases inflammation and tightens pores, which prevents dirt and bacteria from getting into the skin. Cold water can be especially helpful for people with sensitive skin and even skin conditions like eczema and rosacea.
If you don’t have a cold plunge, filling a bowl with ice water and dunking your face for 30 seconds will give you all the same beauty benefits.
Heat strips the scalp of its natural oils, leading to itchiness, redness and flakes. Cold water keeps the scalp hydrated and improves blood circulation. The boost in blood flow can lead to stronger and healthier hair growth. Cold water also seals and flattens the hair cuticle, helping lock in moisture. This makes hair softer, stronger, and less likely to break. Flattening the hair cuticle also lets the hair reflect more light, so hair looks shiny and healthy.
After shampooing and conditioning in tepid-to-warm water, give hair a final rinse with cold water—or dunk yourself in an icy plunge to seal cuticles.
What are your thoughts? Is beauty worth the pain? Let us know in the comments below.