How To Protect Hair From Salt Water (15 Hacks To Try)

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Are you planning a beach getaway and want to know the best tricks for how to protect hair from salt water damage? While the sea and sun can do wonders for your soul, they can wreak havoc on your hair. Salt water can strip your hair of its natural oils, leaving it dry, brittle, and prone to breakage.

As someone who struggled with knots and tangles after beach trips, I know the frustration all too well. But don’t worry. We’ve compiled a list of 15 essential tips to protect your hair from salt water damage. These tips are life savers – from pre-swim rinses to post-beach care, they’ve helped me maintain my hair’s health and vitality.

So go ahead, jump into the waves and soak up the sun, knowing that your hair is well-protected. With our guide, you can enjoy the best of the beach without compromising your hair’s health. Say goodbye to post-beach crazy hair and hello to gorgeous, healthy locks!

15 Essential Tips for Protecting Your Hair from Salt Water Damage

Going on a beach vacation is exciting, but don’t forget to give your hair the attention it deserves. The following tips are not just recommendations; they’re my personal arsenal against the damaging effects of salt water. By incorporating these strategies into your beach routine, you can ensure that your hair remains as radiant and healthy as the memories you’ll create by the shore.

1. Pre-Swim Rinse

Before hitting the beach, give your hair a quick rinse with fresh water. This pre-soaking trick reduces the amount of salt water your hair can absorb. Think of it as a preemptive strike against dryness and damage. It’s a simple step, but it can make a big difference in keeping your hair healthy and hydrated.

Just like @twiceasgoodhair describes in the below video, saturating the hair with fresh water before salt water helps so much in limiting how much salt water is soaked into the hair!


Seriously the easiest and best hack for keeping your hair beautifullll #ocean #saltwater #beachhair #vacation #beach #hair

♬ original sound – twice as good hair

2. Leave-In Conditioner

Apply a leave-in conditioner to your hair before diving into the ocean. This creates a protective barrier between your hair and the salty water. The conditioner helps lock in moisture, keeping your hair hydrated and less susceptible to the drying effects of salt. Plus, it makes detangling a breeze after your swim.


3. Protective Hair Oil


💦Protect those locks from chlorine or salt water this summer without wasting so much of your good product💦 🥥 Spray Bottle (Mine linked in my bio under Amazon Favorites) 🥥 Your Favorite Conditioner or Mask: Using @Moroccanoil Color Care Conditioner which helps protect against color loss and damage caused by sunlight and environmental aggressors 🥥Add a little to your water + mix! Spray into your hair before jumping into the pool or ocean! You can even add some moroccanoil treatment oil. This will help the chlorine or salt water from absorbing into your hair but also keeping it tangle free! 🥥Share, Like, + Follow for More Summer Haircare Tips! #moroccanoil #haircare #beachhair #summerhairhacks #hairhacks #hairtips #oceanhair #poolhair #fyp @Moroccanoilpro #moroccanoilpartner #summerhair #haircaretips #jessicascotthair

♬ original sound – JessicaScottHair

Before you take the plunge, coat your hair with a protective oil like coconut or argan oil. These oils form a barrier that minimizes the amount of salt water that can penetrate your hair. Not only do they protect, but they also nourish your hair, leaving it soft and shiny even after a day at the beach.

4. Swim Cap

If you’re serious about protecting your hair, consider wearing a swim cap. It’s the most effective way to keep your hair completely dry and shielded from salt water. While it may not be the height of beach fashion, your hair will thank you for the protection.

5. Tie It Up

braided beach hair

Braid your hair or tie it in a bun to minimize exposure to salt water. This helps prevent tangles and reduces the surface area of your hair that comes into contact with the salt. Plus, it keeps your hair out of your face while you’re swimming.

6. UV Protection Spray

The sun’s UV rays can amplify the drying effects of salt water. Use a UV protection spray on your hair to shield it from the sun. This helps prevent color fading and keeps your hair healthy and vibrant.


7. Post-Swim Rinse

After swimming, rinse your hair with fresh water as soon as possible. This washes away the salt and prevents it from drying on your hair. It’s a crucial step in minimizing the damage caused by salt water.

8. Avoid Heat Styling

curling iron and hair dryer

Give your hair a break from heat styling tools like blow dryers and straighteners. The combination of salt water and heat can be especially damaging. Embrace your natural texture and let your hair air dry.

9. Deep Conditioning

Incorporate deep conditioning treatments into your hair care routine. These treatments help replenish moisture and repair damage caused by salt water. A weekly deep conditioning session can keep your hair soft and resilient.

10. Clarifying Shampoo

Use a clarifying shampoo once a week to remove any buildup of salt, chlorine, and other impurities. This keeps your hair and scalp clean and healthy, preventing any long-term damage from salt water exposure.

11. Hydrating Hair Mask

Treat your hair to a hydrating mask once a week. Look for masks with ingredients like aloe vera, honey, or avocado. These masks restore moisture and repair damage, keeping your hair in top condition.

12. Limit Salt Water Exposure

braided beach hair 1

Try to limit the amount of time your hair is exposed to salt water. If you’re spending the whole day at the beach, take breaks and rinse your hair periodically. This helps prevent prolonged exposure to salt water, which can be drying.

13. Protect Hair with a Silk Scarf

hair scarf

Wrap your hair in a silk scarf or use a silk-lined hat to protect it from the sun and salt. Silk is gentle on the hair and helps prevent tangles and breakage. It’s a stylish way to keep your hair protected at the beach.

14. Use a Wide-Tooth Comb

After rinsing your hair, gently detangle it with a wide-tooth comb. Start from the ends and work your way up to avoid unnecessary breakage. This helps keep your hair smooth and manageable.

15. Stay Hydrated

water bottles

Finally, don’t forget to hydrate from the inside out. Drinking plenty of water helps keep your hair and body hydrated, which is essential for maintaining healthy hair. Stay hydrated to ensure your hair stays healthy and strong.

How to Bounce Back from Salt Water Hair Damage

If your hair has already fallen victim to the harsh effects of salt water, there’s no need to panic. Here’s a unique recovery plan to revive your salt-stricken locks:

  1. Aloe Vera Rescue: Harness the healing power of aloe vera. This natural wonder is known for its hydrating and soothing properties. Apply pure aloe vera gel to your hair and scalp, leave it on for about 30 minutes, then rinse. It’s a gentle way to replenish moisture and soothe any scalp irritation.
  2. Protein Treatment: Salt water can weaken your hair’s protein structure. Consider a protein treatment or use products with keratin to strengthen your hair and repair damage. Just be cautious not to overdo it, as too much protein can make your hair brittle.
  3. Cold Water Rinse: After shampooing, give your hair a final rinse with cold water. This helps seal the cuticles, locking in moisture and adding a natural shine.
  4. Silk Pillowcase: Switch to a silk pillowcase to prevent further breakage and tangling while you sleep. Silk causes less friction than cotton, helping your hair stay smooth and hydrated.
  5. Hair Oils: Reintroduce oils into your hair care routine, focusing on the mid-lengths and ends. Oils like jojoba or almond can help seal in moisture and add a protective layer against environmental stressors.
  6. Avoid Chlorine: If your hair is already damaged, try to avoid swimming in chlorinated pools, which can exacerbate dryness and damage. If you do swim, protect your hair with a swim cap or pre-treat it with a protective oil.

By following these unique recovery steps, you can nurse your hair back to health and restore its natural vitality after exposure to salt water.

FAQs About Salt Water and Hair

Q: Can salt water permanently damage my hair?

A: While salt water can dry out and damage your hair, it’s usually not permanent. Regular care and deep conditioning can restore your hair’s health.

Q: How often should I wash my hair after swimming in the ocean?

A: Rinse your hair with fresh water after each swim and use a clarifying shampoo once a week to remove any salt buildup.

Q: Is it okay to swim in the ocean with color-treated hair?

A: Yes, but color-treated hair is more susceptible to damage. Use a leave-in conditioner and wear a swim cap to protect your color.

Final Word

Taking care of your hair doesn’t have to take a backseat during your beach adventures. By following these simple yet effective tips, you can protect your hair from the damaging effects of salt water and maintain its health and shine. Remember to rinse your hair with fresh water, use protective products, and treat your locks to some TLC with deep conditioning treatments. With a little effort, you can enjoy the sun, sea, and sand without compromising the beauty of your hair.


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