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Role of Hydration is Hair Health

Published : July 2, 2021 6 mins read Updated On : Jun 05, 2024

Water is essential for overall health, playing a vital role in various bodily functions. It helps regulate body temperature, aids in digestion, transports nutrients, and flushes out toxins. Adequate hydration supports cardiovascular health, kidney function, cognitive performance, and overall well-being, making it essential for maintaining optimal health.

Water is crucial for maintaining healthy hair by hydrating the scalp and hair strands. It helps to retain moisture, prevent dryness, and enhance elasticity, reducing the risk of breakage and split ends. Proper hydration supports a balanced scalp environment, promoting hair growth and contributing to overall hair health and vitality.

Understanding the Hair Structure

Hair primarily consists of a protein called keratin, arranged in three layers: the medulla, cortex, and cuticle. The cortex, containing most of the hair's protein, determines its strength and elasticity. The cuticle, comprising overlapping scales, protects the cortex. While hair is about 5-15% water, its hydration levels significantly affect its flexibility, texture, and overall health.

Water interacts with hair follicles and shaft in several ways. When water penetrates the hair shaft, it swells the cortex, causing the cuticle scales to lift slightly. This can make the hair more pliable and prone to damage when wet. However, proper hydration also helps maintain flexibility and elasticity, contributing to overall hair health. Additionally, water hydrates the scalp, supporting optimal conditions for hair growth.

Hydration and Hair Health

Effects of dehydration on hair health

Dryness: Dehydration deprives the hair of moisture, leading to dry, brittle strands that lack flexibility and shine.

Breakage: Without adequate hydration, the hair shaft becomes weak and prone to breakage, resulting in split ends and frizz.

Dullness: Dehydrated hair loses its natural luster and appears dull and lifeless due to the lack of moisture reflecting light.

Loss of Elasticity: Dehydration causes the hair to lose its elasticity, making it more susceptible to damage and breakage.

Scalp Issues: Dehydration can lead to a dry, flaky scalp, which can further exacerbate hair problems and hinder healthy hair growth.

Reduced Growth: A dehydrated scalp may disrupt the hair growth cycle, leading to slower or stunted hair growth over time.

Color Fading: Dehydration can cause hair color to fade more quickly, as the lack of moisture compromises the hair shaft's ability to retain pigment.

Importance of hydration for maintaining hair moisture and elasticity.

Moisture Retention: Adequate hydration helps the hair shaft absorb and retain moisture, preventing dryness and brittleness.

Improved Elasticity: Hydrated hair is more flexible and resilient, able to withstand styling and manipulation without breaking or becoming damaged.

Enhanced Shine: Well-hydrated hair reflects light more effectively, resulting in a healthy shine and vibrant appearance.

Reduction of Frizz: Hydration helps to smooth the hair cuticle, reducing frizz and promoting a smoother texture.

Water and Scalp Health

A well-hydrated scalp is crucial for optimal hair growth and overall hair health. Adequate hydration nourishes hair follicles, promoting a conducive environment for hair growth. It helps regulate sebum production, preventing scalp dryness or oiliness, which can inhibit hair growth (1).

A hydrated scalp also supports the delivery of essential nutrients and oxygen to the hair roots, encouraging stronger, healthier hair growth. Furthermore, a balanced scalp pH level, maintained through hydration, minimizes scalp irritation and inflammation, reducing the risk of conditions like dandruff or scalp infections, thus contributing to overall hair vitality and appearance.

Benefits of Water for Hair Growth

Water plays a vital role in promoting circulation to the scalp, which is essential for supporting nutrient delivery to hair follicles. Adequate hydration helps maintain proper blood flow to the scalp, ensuring that essential nutrients, oxygen, and hormones are efficiently transported to the hair follicles.

Improved circulation encourages the removal of waste products and toxins from the scalp, promoting a healthy environment for hair growth. By enhancing circulation, water helps stimulate hair follicles, encouraging robust and healthy hair growth while supporting overall scalp health and vitality (2).

Drinking plenty of water reduces hair breakage by maintaining healthy nerve endings in the scalp. Thereby, keeping the hair follicles healthy, which in turn supports hair growth (3).

Tips for Maximizing Water's Benefits for Hair

Practical strategies for increasing water intake.

• Carry a reusable water bottle with you throughout the day, making it easy to sip water regularly.

• Set reminders on your phone or use an app to prompt you to drink water at regular intervals.

• Flavor your water with slices of lemon, cucumber, or mint to enhance its taste and encourage consumption.

• Drink a glass of water before each meal to help stay hydrated and aid digestion.

• Substitute sugary or caffeinated beverages with water whenever possible to reduce calorie intake and maintain hydration.

• Keep a water tracker or journal to monitor your daily water intake and ensure you're meeting your hydration goals.

• Consume water-rich foods like fruits (e.g., watermelon, strawberries) and vegetables (e.g., cucumber, celery) to supplement your fluid intake.

• Drink a glass of water first thing in the morning and before bed to replenish fluids lost during sleep and kickstart hydration in the morning.

• Set achievable hydration goals based on your activity level, environment, and individual needs, gradually increasing your water intake over time.

Hair Hydration Treatment

Pre-Shampoo Hydration: Before shampooing, wet your hair with lukewarm water to open the hair cuticles and enhance product absorption.

Hydrating Shampoos and Conditioners: Use hydrating or moisturizing shampoos and conditioners formulated with water-attracting ingredients like glycerin or hyaluronic acid to infuse moisture into the hair strands.

Water-Based Leave-In Conditioners: Opt for leave-in conditioners with a water base to provide continuous hydration and detangling benefits without weighing down the hair.

Steam Treatments: Incorporate steam treatments into your hair care routine to open the hair cuticle and allow deep penetration of hydrating ingredients from masks or treatments.

Water-Infused Hair Masks: Use water-based hair masks or treatments enriched with hydrating ingredients like aloe vera, coconut water, or honey to nourish and moisturize the hair.

Regular Hydration: Ensure your hair stays hydrated by drinking plenty of water throughout the day, as well-hydrated hair starts from within.

Avoiding Over-Shampooing: Limit shampooing to prevent stripping the hair of its natural oils, which can lead to dryness and dehydration.

Cool Water Rinses: Finish your shower with a cool water rinse to seal the hair cuticle, enhance shine, and lock in moisture.

Protective Styling on Wet Hair: Style your hair while damp to seal in moisture and reduce heat damage from styling tools.


Hope now you understand the importance of hydration for hair growth. Water is an essential part of hair structure hence keeping hair hydrated is very important. Moisturisation of scalp is also helpful to avoid hair fall. Consume water rich foods like watermelon, strawberries and oranges to improve your hair health. Use simple techniques like keeping track of your water intake to know whether you are getting enough water daily. Take extra care of your health during summer when dehydration is common.


1. How to moisturise hair naturally at home?

To moisturise hair naturally at home, try these methods: Use coconut oil or olive oil as a pre-shampoo treatment, apply aloe vera gel or honey as a hydrating mask, rinse with apple cider vinegar to balance pH, or hydrate with a DIY avocado or banana hair mask.

2. How do I know if my hair needs hydration or moisture?

You can tell if your hair needs hydration if it feels dry, rough, or brittle, indicating a lack of moisture. If your hair feels limp, frizzy, or lacks elasticity, it may need moisture to restore softness and shine.

3. How can I hydrate my hair?

To hydrate your hair, try these methods: Use a hydrating shampoo and conditioner, apply a deep conditioning treatment weekly, use a leave-in conditioner, avoid over-washing, drink plenty of water, and protect your hair from heat styling.

Soumil Vartak
Health and Fitness enthusiast

Soumil is really passionate about health and fitness. He provides great insight on various trends about health and fitness. By writing about these topics he try to provide key insight on diet and e... Read More


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