Is Salt Water Good for Your Hair? What Our Experts Say

We all know that Salt water contains a lot of minerals that work as a nutrient. But does salt water carry nutrients for your hair? Or the salt water will inevitably cause damage to your hair? What if you went to a beach and felt confused about dipping your hair into the water. Even if you dipped it, you might find your hair becoming a little bit tangled. But do you think that it will really cause any permanent damage?

If you are looking for a solution regarding this with effective answers, then you are at the right place! In this article, we will be discussing the core benefits and disadvantages of sea water along with their alternatives for your hair with tons of instructions along depending on the type of hair you own.

Salt Water vs Fresh Water. What is the Difference?

Did you know that salt water is produced from the process of rainfall which gives us an abundance of fresh water? When Rain falls on the earth, fresh water flows on the mountain and rocks which gather enough minerals and salts and eventually enters the ocean which we may see as the form of sea water.

You might’ve heard that sea water contains edible salt but apart from that it may contain Chloride, Sodium, Calcium, Magnesium, Potassium and Sulphate in the form of ions which can be actually good or bad for your hair.

How Does Salt Water May React to Hair?

How does salt water may react to hair

Have you ever wondered why your hair is getting dry, brittle and sometimes tangled after a long shower on the beach? The answer is so simple! Like your skin, when you dip your hair deep into the ocean for a long period, the salt water pulls the water present in your hair which eventually makes your hair dry and brittle. Not only this but also a handful of minerals and nutrients will be stored at the scalp of your hair which ends increasing blood flow.

Moreover, Salt water removes any excess oil remaining on the hair as well as the scalp. So, What do you think? Can salt water be good for your hair or not? Let’s see what the people residing near a sea shore say.

How and Why Sea Water Can be Useful to Your Hair?

How and why sea water can be useful to your hair

As we already discussed that salt water contains a high amount of minerals and nutrients, let us dig deeper to discover how these minerals and nutrients can be effective for your hair and what other advantages you may get.

  • When exposed to the salt crystals in sea water, each individual hair weighs more, which finally results in soothing flaky, itchy, and dry scalps.
  • As we discussed earlier, sea water contains a ton of minerals which can actually benefit your hair. Magnesium, potassium and selenium can contribute to the health of your hair. Products filled with these elements are also found on the market as a substitute to sea water.
  • Deadly elements like mercury are discovered to be flushed away from your hair when washed by salt water.
  • Sea water helps in throwing out dead cells from your scalp and also increases the blood flow which creates a room for the hair follicles to absorb required nutrients resulting in healthier hair growth.
  • Salt water usually contains anti-fungal properties which result in removing dandruff induced by fungus by dehydrating the scalp.
  • Sea Water also helps to remove the extra shampoo or conditioner by which you are recently treated with.
  • People with naturally oily or greasy hair get an instant advantage when exposed to the salt water.
  • Antibiotic properties of salt water are also seen to have an effect on the scalp. Moreover, conditions like eczema and psoriasis are often seen to be treated by such properties of seawater.
  • It also helps in healing abrasions and cuts on your skin or scalp.

What are the Disadvantages of Exposing Your Hair to Salt Water?

Disadvantages of exposing your hair to salt water

Though there are many advantages that are discussed above, exposing your hair into salt water for a long period may affect your hair differently. Here’s how-

  • Drenching your hair into ocean water for a long time may result in damaging your hair as the water contains a high amount of salty contents.
  • It dries and dehydrates your hair which you may discover being entangled. It can offer you extra hurdles for your hair.
  • If you dyed your hair even a few days ago, getting exposed to salt water will surely make the color on your hair a bit faded and brittle in nature. Also, If your hair was chemically treated, experts will ask you to not jump into the sea water.
  • Getting your hair thick and heavy may cause you to treat your hair with extra hassles.
  • On average, the ocean water shows a pH level of 8.1 which is actually not good for your hair. On average the pH level which is considered as healthy for your hair is between 3.6 and 5.5.

So, are you now getting afraid to go to the beach on your summer vacation? Don’t ever spoil your vacation. In the coming sections, we will be coming with an in-depth discussion on how you can keep your hair safe from salty water even if you don’t own greasy hair.

Precautions before Jumping into the Sea

There may be a lot of advantages and disadvantages of drowning your head into the salt water but you can also take necessary precautions to save your hair before it gets ruined. Let’s see what they can be-

Soak Your Hair before Jumping in

Wash your hair before having a shower on the beach. Cleaning your hair before absorbing a certain amount of water which prevents the salt water from getting into your hair in abundance and eventually gets dried up.

Try to Keep Your Head up

Keeping your hair up from the surface may help you to save your hair from extra damages. Wearing a cap can also give you an abundance of time to swim without worrying about your hair but swimming for a long time might cause harm to your skin.

Rinse the Salt Water out

Clean the hair with fresh water as soon as you come out of the sea water. You can also use a hydrating shampoo so that the salt water doesn’t keep drying your hair even if you are not in the sea.

Deep Conditioning

To rehydrate your Hair, you can use a leave- in conditioner after the shower. If you don’t have a leave- in conditioner, you can make it yourself by using natural ingredients like avocado, olive oil and eggs.

What do the People Near Coastal Areas Say?

It’s an usual fact that people near the coastal areas have to take bath using salt water on a regular basis. But can we usually differentiate the hair washed from sea water or fresh water? The tentative answer is “NO” as using salt water on a regular basis might not cause that much harm to your hair which can be identical.

Upon asking an individual who resides near a sea shore, she replied, “I live really near the beach and every single day I swim in salt water, it dries my hair a lot and makes it feel unhealthy.”

So, What do you think? You didn’t get your answer yet, right? Let’s dig deeper and explore what the experts recommend regarding this.

What do the Experts Recommend?

We already know that salt water really  has some bright sides. But, do you know what experts warn first?

Experts say that if you have recently dyed your hair, bleached or had any sort of chemical treatments, you should keep your scalp away from sea water. Many of them say that if you drench your scalp in such special cases, salt water can cause irritation to your head and instead of making things good, it may damage your hair.

A Melbourne based Dermatologist, Nyati Sharma says, “Sea water’s acid level can surely destroy your hair’s protective coating”. Again, if you own a dry type of hair, the risk doubles. The sea salt will wipe out as much oil as it can from the scalp and eventually exacerbate this instead.

But there is another good news for you if you haven’t dyed or bleached your hair recently. Experts suggests that sea water also works as a shampoo and this shampoo is neutral which means that you can sometimes use salt water as your regular shampoo and not only that but also the sea water contain a lot of iodine which can heal any kind of infection or injuries on the scalp.

What Should You Do Regarding a Sea Bath?

We all know that Sea water contains Chlorine and chlorine damages your hair scalp and even it can break the cuticles of your hair if you drench your hair in the ocean water for a long period of time. And soon after you come out of the water, you may find that your hair has gotten a voluminous curl, dry and frizz-free hairstyle. This happens because salt water crystalizes your hair with salt crystals.

So, What should you do after a bath? Leave your hair like it was or you should be moving for a gentle rinsing? Dr Sharma, as we discussed earlier, says that the salt water doesn’t have a profound effect on our hair. But even if you are still facing some difficulties with your hair after an ocean bath, you should rinse off your hair with fresh water.

Hair specialists often suggest that you should put something moisturizing on your hair. You can use a leave-in-conditioner which has filters like UVA and UVB so that it can protect your hair from the damages of the sun. Next, with a wide comb, you should try to detangle your hair but in such instances you will still have some salt crystals on your hair which you should clean thoroughly with a good conditioner which can bring the shine of the hair as well as can help moisturize your hair back again.

Should You Use Salt Water as Your Hair Care Solution?

Salt water is a natural resource for tons of vitamins. Moreover it contains amino acids and minerals like sulfur, potassium and magnesium and those minerals and vitamins combinedly can have a great therapeutic effect on your hair and skin. But if you are looking forward to your hair care solutions, you are not allowed to jump into the sea everyday. It needs a few balancing ingredients so that it can be effective on your hair.

In the next section we will be discovering some hair care products which might help you.

Which Products can be Used as the Best Alternatives?

When we are talking about salt water treatment for your hair, you should realize that these treatments are to give your locks a wide range of benefits, omitting the damages linked with salt water. But Hair therapists say to use them irregularly as the consistent use of them might hamper your scalp to some extent.

Sea Mist Texturizing Herbivore Coconut Salt Spray

They formulated this product to give you an ocean-like salty as well as breezy composition. We already know that salt water adds volume to your hair but here coconut will be balancing the hydration.

Coconut Texturizing Spray for Everyday by Alaffia

This can be another alternative for the Herbivore Coconut texturizing spray. Here, sea salt helps to your scalp as well as hair and the coconut helps in balancing the hydration and eventually soften the hair strands.

Mint and Kelp Volumizing Shampoo

This shampoo is composed of aloe vera, rose hydrosol and nutritious kelps. With french salt added to the composition, it has great cleaning properties to your hair scalp and the collagens of seaweed helps to get a very vibrant shine.

Last Words

As the specialists say that the Salt Water can’t have a profound effect negatively on your hair unless you are dipping your hair into the salt water for a long time or if you are using it every single day, we can say that with numbers of vitamins and minerals, the sea water can actually help your hair in many different ways as we discussed.

It adds volume to your hair, heals the scalp working as an antibiotic, helps in hair growth reducing dandruffs and moreover adds necessary nutrients to your hair. But it can obviously have an adverse effect on your hair if you are overusing it. So, what you have to maintain is to not overdo it.

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