Remember Katy Perry’s super-catchy track, “Hot N Cold”? If you’ve heard the banger (and come on, who hasn’t?), you’ll remember the singer getting annoyed that her boyfriend would swing from hot to cold.
While we can totally understand that being frustrating in a relationship, going from hot to cold can be really good for your physical and mental health. Having a hot shower and then switching the water to freezing cold for the last 60 seconds can seem terrifying, but trust us, the benefits are worth it!
Cold temperatures cause the blood vessels to constrict, reducing the effects of swelling and inflammation. You may be familiar with the idea if you’ve ever placed ice or a cold spoon on your eyes in the morning. If it works for the puffiness in that area, imagine what a blast of cold water can do for your entire body.
Washing your hair with hot water can actually strip it of its natural oils, and leave your scalp feeling itchy and irritated. This doesn’t happen with cold water, though. Cold water also has the power to seal and strengthen the hair cuticle, leaving your locks shinier and stronger over time.
Studies have shown that shocking our bodies with cold water—or submerging them entirely—has a host of benefits. Cold water can improve sleep quality, alleviate pain, boost the immune system, help with depression and anxiety, and increase alertness.