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If you love to get a good sweat on, but you’re also concerned about keeping your hair fresh and hydrated, then it’s the million-dollar question – are saunas bad for your hair?

Saunas have a myriad of physiological and psychological health benefits which have been proven to improve your overall health. But, what does this mean for your hair, and can you maintain healthy locks even with regular sauna sessions?

In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the common misconceptions about infrared saunas and hair health and provide some actionable tips to keep your hair safe and looking its best in the days after you visit the sauna.

Sauna and shampoo chemicals

Can infrared saunas improve hair health?

Yes – and there is evidence to back up the claims.

A recent study out of the united states found that participants who used infrared saunas three times per week over an eight-week period experienced a significant increase in blood flow to the scalp when compared to those who did not.

But what does that mean for your hair health, you may be wondering.

Improved circulation can help to deliver more nutrients and oxygen to the hair follicles, which can (in turn) promote healthier hair and increased hair growth. In addition to promoting circulation, infrared saunas can help to remove harmful toxins from the body that could potentially impact your hair health.

At this stage, more research is needed to confirm the overall benefits of saunas for hair health, however, the early evidence is strong. If you’re looking for a way to promote hair health, then infrared saunas could be worth a try.

How can you keep your hair healthy in a sauna?

If you plan to use an infrared sauna, then there a few things that you should keep in mind to promote healthy hair and prevent it from drying out.

Avoid harsh shampoo & conditioner: products that use harsh chemicals can strip your hair of its natural oils which can leave your hair dry and brittle after a sauna.

Limit your sauna time: whilst saunas can be great for your health, it’s important to find a healthy balance. Sitting in a sauna for more than 30-minutes 3-4 times a week may be overkill for your hair health. Everyone is different, so it’s important to monitor your hair health while using a sauna.  

Rinse your hair: we recommend rinsing off any sweat or salt water from your hair before jumping in a sauna as a pre-emptive step to prevent damage to your hair.

Hydrate before & after sauna: remember, your hair is an extension of your body. Failing to hydrate before, during, and after a sauna session can leave you and your hair dried out.

washing your hair and sauna

Should I cover my hair in a sauna?

Choosing to cover your hair in the sauna comes down to individual preferences. There is no definitive answer to this question, as people have different opinions on the matter. While some people believe that it is necessary to cover your hair in a sauna in order to protect it from the heat, others find it unnecessary or even uncomfortable. Ultimately, it is up to you to decide whether or not to cover your hair while you’re getting your sweat on.

Should I wash my hair after a sauna?

Washing your hair after a sauna will (ultimately) come down to personal preference. While some believe that you should wash your hair after a sauna in order to remove toxins or impurities that may have been released during the sweating process, other believe that washing your hair immediately after a sauna can strip away the natural oils that protect your scalp and hair.

The truth is everyone’s hair is different. You know your hair better than anyone and implementing a hard and fast rule is unnecessary. If you feel like your hair needs to be washed after a sauna, then you should go ahead and do it. If, however, you are happy with how your hair looks and feels (like coming from the beach) then you may not need to wash it every time.

Final thoughts

So there you have it, our guide for hair health and sauna usage.

While the jury is still out on the matter, some experts and recent studies indicate that the heat of a traditional sauna or infrared sauna can be good for your hair. If you notice any adverse effects on your hair health while using a sauna, then we recommend keeping your head covered with a towel or keeping the sauna on a slightly lower setting.

Ready to get your sweat on? Join Rimba Sweat for an infrared sauna today at our Manly and Neutral Bay infrared studios.