Why You Need To Protect Your Hair From Salt Water

woman standing near sea

While sun exposure can cause wrinkles and other age spots, too much time spent at the sea can damage your hair. Seawater can reduce swelling and heal wounds, but it can do the opposite on your hair. The high salt content of the sea and its osmotic nature can cause hair to dry out and become dehydrated. The salt in the sea can leach water from your hair, making it dry, rough, brittle and tangled. This makes it difficult to comb.

We can all agree to this. We are very keen on protecting our skin from sun exposure, but we weren’t wise enough to protect our hair from the effects of swimming into the salt water. Spending a day at the shore is quite good, but taking a dip in the ocean may do your hair damage.

Why Sea Water is Bad For Your Hair

However, the sea salt, if the hair is not overly exposed, can get all of the gunk out of your hair. It can remove years of product build up in your hair and give your hair a lift.

On the other hand, do you know that too much salt causes hair fall? Having too much salt in your system makes your body deposit the excess sodium around the hair follicles, which prevents nutrients from entering the follicles and result to having a hair fall.

You might be wondering what could be so bad in spending a day dipping in the sea. Well, it can become dry if too much moisture is lost through evaporation. Understand that lost hair moisture just cannot be possibly replenished immediately.

Read also: Extremely Effective Tips For Healthy Hair

One of the most common problems associated with sea water is dandruff! The calcium and magnesium present in salt water prevent proper rinsing of shampoos and masks, causing the top layer of the scalp to flake off.  Also the high concentration of minerals in sea water thins the hair fiber and can lead to premature hair loss. Deposited at the base of the hair, these minerals form a hard layer that clogs the hair follicle and slows hair growth.

How to Protect Your Hair From Salt Water

Seawater contains chloride, sodium, magnesium, sulfate, calcium and other constituents. The salt attracts more water to your hair thus forming more salt crystals. You’ll need to make sure you moisturize your hair before you start dipping your hair on the sea. Simply toss a spray formula in your beach bag and then apply anytime you feel the need throughout the day.

The process wicks away the moisture from the hair strands and makes it dry and brittle. Excessive salt sucks out a considerable amount of moisture from your hair and make it look dull and lifeless!

Read also: Understanding Texture, Porosity and Density in Natural Curly Hair

Let your hair breathe

Some prefer to wash their hair without wetting it. They tie it in a bun, bandana or ponytail or put it under a waterproof cap. But I think that this is not enough. In addition to depriving us of the pleasure of a healthy swim without thoughts, the damage caused by salt is not prevented.

It must be said that there is one aspect that many people probably do not consider properly, namely the breathing of the scalp, which is threatened by excessively thin hairstyles that also retain moisture and salt in the hair.. The advice is to keep them loose after bathing and let them dry completely in the sun.

Use sun protection products

To prevent hair from drying out in the sun when swimming in open water, it’s a good idea to spray your hair with a UVA/UVB sun protection product. You can opt for a sun oil, a leave-in cream or a protective spray. The product should be chosen according to your hair’s needs.

Wash your hair after swim

Wash your hair right after a swim. Don’t wait too long to take the salt out of your hair strands. Conditioning your hair before and after exposure to salt water also helps prevent split ends and dry hair.  Rinse your hair well with clear water and shampoo. If you swim every day, it is not recommended to use shampoo every time.

However, it is important to rinse well to remove the chlorine. The ideal is to use vinegar water. The vinegar allows to clean deeply and to close the scales. Your hair will be shinier and less rough. Once or twice a week, don’t hesitate to apply a moisturizing mask. If you don’t have time to leave it on, you can apply it and rinse it out at home or choose leave-in products.

Read also: Your Ultimate Bedtime Hair Care Routine

Bottom Line

When expose to salt water, the hair weakens and breaks easily. The salt from the ocean plus the heat of the sun makes the hair cuticle to get worn out and causing to tangle and split its ends, which can be the reason you experience losing hair in chunks or have problems related to hair fall.


I’m a writer, new mom and foodie. I love sharing what I know while making others feel beautiful. On this blog, I share my healthy lifestyle, simple meals, fitness tips and experiences.

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