Is sea water damaging to hair? Does it thicken hair? If you’re planning a beach trip here what you should do to protect your hair from salt water!
Have you ever heard that “seawater is bad for your hair and can cause it to thin?” If you enjoy marine sports, this may be a topic of particular concern to you.
While seawater itself is not the cause of thinning hair, some of the properties of seawater and the substances it contains can damage hair. Without proper care, it can also be a factor in the deterioration of the scalp environment.
In this article, I will explain the effects of seawater on hair and also introduce some UV countermeasures that you should be aware of.
Is Sea Water Damaging To Hair
There are both pros and cons of sea water on hair. However, here are some reasons why hair experts believe that sea water can damage hair.
Why Sea Water Can Be Damaging To Your Hair
Some components and properties of seawater can damage your hair and scalp.
Let’s first look at some of the factors and how they affect you specifically.
Nature of seawater (alkalinity)
Since about 90% of hair is composed of a protein called keratin, it is vulnerable to the alkalinity of seawater.
Loss of keratin results in poor hair water retention and dry, unmoisturized hair. Keratin deficiency is one of the reasons why hair loses its elasticity and strength.
Dirt and bacteria in seawater
Seawater harbors many plankton and bacteria, which can multiply in the hair of the head if not properly cleaned and cared for. Sebum on the scalp is a food source for fungi, which can lead to more and more bacteria.
Why Sun (UV Radiation) Is Damaging To Hair
At the beach, watch out not only for seawater, but also for UV rays!
When you go to the beach, in addition to seawater, another thing to watch out for is UV rays.
Sunburn on the scalp can cause damage and interfere with a healthy hair cycle. Sandy beaches are particularly prone to sunburn because they reflect UV rays strongly.
It is important to know how UV rays affect the hair and scalp.
Destruction of the hair cuticle
The cuticle is the keratinous tissue on the hair surface that reduces friction and improves manageability, and is responsible for the luster and feel of the hair.
However, the cuticle is easily lost due to UV rays and is damaged and peeled off with continued exposure. When the cuticle is destroyed, healthy hair quality is compromised.
Damage to hair follicles
Intense ultraviolet radiation causes aging of the collagen layer that supports hair follicles. It also oxidizes sebum on the scalp, which is one of the damaging factors to hair follicles.
The hair follicles themselves, from which hair grows, and the collagen layer that supports the follicles, are in a weakened state, preventing healthy hair growth.
Dryness of hair and scalp
It has been shown that UV-exposed skin has a high concentration of carbonylated proteins in the stratum corneum, epidermis, and other tissues.
Carbonylated proteins are also associated with the moisture content of the skin, and UV rays can cause dryness.
How To Protect Hair From Salt Water Naturally
So what are some ways to reduce damage caused by seawater? If you practice effective care, you can minimize the effects of saltwater.
Below, we will explain how to care for hair exposed to seawater and the UV countermeasures that should be practiced in conjunction with it.
Rinse off seawater with fresh water
It is best not to leave hair wet from seawater. Washing it out with fresh water as soon as possible will help to remove the dirt contained in seawater.
After getting out of the sea, first take a shower to thoroughly rinse off the seawater. Some beaches have shower rooms nearby.
Wash with shampoo
Washing with water alone is not enough to thoroughly remove dirt from seawater. Wash your hair carefully with shampoo.
Shampoo may not be available in the shower rooms at beaches. If you carry a travel-size shampoo, you can take care of your hair immediately.
Take precautions against ultraviolet rays
UV rays have a strong impact on the beach, so it is important to take more careful measures to protect your hair from UV rays than you do on a daily basis.
Take care of damage caused by seawater as well.
Use items that cover your hair
Try to use UV-protection items that help protect against UV rays.
For surfers, there are items such as surf hats and surf caps. These items kill two birds with one stone, as they also help prevent sunburn on the face.
Use sunscreen on your hair and scalp to help prevent UV damage, and UV-protective hair care products are also recommended.
Moisturize hair and scalp
Moisturizing your hair and scalp with conditioners and treatments is also effective in preventing UV-induced dryness.
After washing your hair, dry it with a hair dryer and do not let it dry naturally. Leaving your head wet will worsen the environment of your scalp. So the best thing to do to care for post-sea hair is to keep it moisturized.
Care for hair from the inside out with food
Nutrients that replenish components lost due to UV rays or help the body recover quickly from UV damage are also important.
Try to eat meat and fish for protein intake, which is the source of keratin, the main component of hair.
Antioxidant foods are also suitable for speeding up recovery from sunburn. Eat fruits that contain vitamin C and tomatoes that contain lycopene.
If necessary, incorporating supplements is another option.
FAQs About Sea Water and Hair Loss
Is sea water good for your hair?
Yes, sea water is good for your hair. Studies have shown that sea water contains a high concentration of minerals such as potassium, sodium and calcium. These minerals found in sea water help cleanse your body by removing acids, toxins, and excess salt.
These minerals can also help you get rid of the gunk, oil, and grime that accumulates in hair and clogs pores, which causes dandruff.
Sea water is also believed to have great exfoliating properties for skin and hair because of its salt. This can help you get rid of dead skin layers, which can prevent hair growth. Mix some sea salt into your shampoo to give your hair a boost of volume and shine.
Does salt water help hair grow?
Salt water is a natural remedy for strengthening, exfoliating and cleansing the hair. Salt water is excellent for all hair types even if you have extensions. So how does salt water help hair grow? Salt water helps in the removal of buildup on hair.
Buildup is the cause of hair problems such as dandruff, and scalp infections. Salt water helps in exfoliating the scalp. This helps in the removal of dead skin cells and also strengthens the hair.
Does sea water make hair curly?
Yes seawater can indeed make your hair curly. The salt or more specifically the sodium chloride in the sea water can create cross links between the amino acids present in hair protein. This leads to hair’s texture becoming more wavy or curly.
Should I wash my hair after swimming in the sea?
I suggest washing your hair and body immediately after swimming in the sea. The salt in seawater will naturally dry your hair, so washing it after swimming will ensure that it does not dry out excessively.
However, make sure to use a shampoo that is suitable for your hair type. If you have dyed hair, I would recommend not getting it wet if possible, as the sea water can cause the color to fade more quickly than if you did not get it wet.
Final Thoughts on the Effects of Seawater on Hair
Although seawater itself does not cause thinning or damaged hair, the alkaline nature of seawater and the salt it contains can dissolve the main components of hair and deteriorate the environment of the scalp.
The scalp may be damaged and the hair cycle disrupted, which may lead to hair loss and thinning. However, the strain on the hair can be reduced if the dirt is properly washed away.
When going to the beach, try to prevent damage from seawater and take measures against ultraviolet rays to keep your hair and scalp healthy.