After a day at the beach, you might find yourself with slightly tousled strands. Although the extra texture and volume can be flattering, that fantasy can quickly evaporate when excess salt damages your hair. To keep saltwater hair damage at bay, here’s what you need to know.


Is Salt Water Bad for Your Hair? 

When you go out for a swim in the sea, the salt in the ocean can damage your hair cuticles, leading to dry and brittle strands that might feel gritty and look tangled. You might also notice your hair losing its shine and becoming more prone to split ends after your beach adventures. To keep these concerns at bay during your next sandy getaway, here's how to protect your hair from salt water.



Pre-Saltwater Hair Care


1. Give your hair a good rinse before you head out to the ocean. 

If you’re wondering how to protect your hair at the beach, one of the easiest ways is to wash it, as your strands can only hold onto so much water. Before enjoying the waves, rinse your hair with fresh water to lessen its chances of absorbing salt water. 


2. Apply hair lotion to prevent saltwater damage. 

Hair lotions can help you tame frizz and maintain shine as they lock in hydration. Before heading to the beach, consider using a deep conditioning treatment with jojoba oil to nourish and protect your hair. Jojoba oil is similar in structure to your hair's natural oils, making it a great choice for a deep conditioning treatment. One of our favorite hair products for salt water is Desert Essence Coconut Shine & Refine, which nourishes hair with coconut oil while supporting strands with nutrient-rich vitamin E and panthenol. You can apply it after your freshwater rinse to keep your hair silky smooth.


During-Swim Hair Care


3. Use a swimming cap to keep your hair out of the water.

A rubber swimming cap will physically keep your hair out of the water, lessening the chance that your hair comes in contact with the sea. If you don't have a cap handy, you can also tie your hair up into a bun or top knot. 


Post-Saltwater Care


4. Rinse your hair with fresh water after swimming. 

For healthy strands, wash your hair right after a dip in the sea. If you can't access fresh water, pack a water bottle to give your hair a quick rinse. When you have the chance for a full hair wash session, reach for a clarifying shampoo such as Desert Essence Lemon Tea Tree Shampoo, which gently removes buildup without a drying effect. 


5. Deep condition your hair with a replenishing mask. 

In addition to a nourishing shampoo and conditioning routine, it's helpful to pamper yourself with a hair mask every week. Infused with ingredients such as coconut and jojoba oil, many formulas contain essential fatty acids that help revitalize hair. 


Long-Term Hair Protection


6. Avoid overusing heated styling tools like flat irons and blow dryers.

It's best to go easy on blow dryers and hair irons after beach days to avoid amplifying any drying saltwater damage. If you do style your hair with heat, make sure that you use a heat protector spray.


7. Use hats and scarves to protect your hair and scalp from the sun. 

The sun's UV rays and heat may further weaken your hair if it's on the mend from saltwater damage. Remember to wear a stylish hat or scarf to protect your tresses whenever you're outside.


8. Consider getting a trim every six to eight weeks. 

Saltwater damage may lead to dry hair that’s prone to breakage. If you have beach outings throughout the warm-weather season, it's worth scheduling a trim every six to eight weeks. Because you can't really repair split ends, the only way to manage them is by cutting them. Keep up the salon quality with Desert Essence Smoothing Hair Shampoo and Conditioner, which feature hair-nourishing apple cider vinegar and coconut oil. 


9. Maintain a healthy diet to nourish your hair from within. 

A balanced diet wealthy in protein, vitamins B12 and D, biotin and omega-3 fatty acids may also help support hair health. Staying hydrated with water is also important, as water carries nutrients throughout your body and helps with all cell functions. 

For effortless beach hair minus the brittleness, take protective measures against saltwater hair damage and pamper your tresses with Desert Essence hair care.