Photo courtesy: @actually_ashly
Are you a beach lover? While you may be enjoying your time in the sun and the sand, the same can’t always be said for your curls. Many articles out there tout the benefits of exposing salt water to skin, which can help wounds heal and cleanse skin of toxins. This leads some to believe that the ocean is a kind of miracle drug, but not so fast! Your skin may reap some benefits, but hair is a little trickier.
The ability of your hair to soak up anything that you put on it is an incredible thing. This is why we love our products – our hair "drinks" the perfect cocktail of our favorite things and transforms into any look or style we could dream of.
So think of having salt water in your hair like a product as drinking only salt water for a day. With the high salt content of ocean water, you would become dehydrated if you didn’t replenish your body with the hydration it needs. A similar process takes place in your hair. When the hair becomes dehydrated, you will notice changes in the way it feels and behaves:
- It breaks more easily
- It becomes dull and hard to manage
- It takes longer to style and dry
So what does that mean for your summer vacation? Don’t throw out your bikini just yet! We have a few tips to help safeguard your curls so you can enjoy your favorite beach spot without worrying.
1. Be Proactive, Not Reactive
Many people only treat their hair after exposure to sun and salt. While this is important, it is even more important to prevent as much damage as possible prior to your day at the beach. When you know you will be swimming in salt water, you should wash and condition hair as you normally would and then apply a pre-swim treatment designed to protect your strands and scalp from damage. If it has UV ray blocking sunscreen as part of the formula, even better! If you don’t own a pre-swim treatment or do not want to splurge for just a few beach days, wet and apply your favorite leave-in or deep conditioner. Anything that soaks into your hair and doesn’t allow salt water to get in is a check off your list. Here are some of our favorites:
- SheaMoisture 100% Virgin Coconut Oil Daily Hydration Leave-In Detangler
- SheaMoisture Coconut & Hibiscus Hold & Shine Moisture Mist
- DevaCurl Melt Into Moisture Matcha Green Tea Butter Conditioning Mask
- Ouidad Curl Immersion Triple Treat Deep Conditioner
2. Pay Attention to Hair
While you are having your fun at the beach, pay attention to your strands. While you shouldn’t spend the whole day stressing over your curls, do make sure to check your hair a few times. If you notice hair that feels brittle or frizzier than usual, it may be time to re-apply a moisturizer. Twist up your hair into a bun or put it in a protective style to help your hair retain the moisture.
3. Give Curls TLC
Even if you prepared your hair prior to going to the beach and kept it away from the salt water as much as possible, you should still give your curls a little extra TLC afterwards. It is best to apply a rich leave in conditioner after a day at the beach. If you apply a moisturizer beforehand and kept your hair up in a bun the whole day, should you skip the extra conditioning? Nope! Salt, sand, and other moisture enemies can still reach your hair by being carried in the breeze, and the drying UV rays of the sun will have an effect as well.
Still need more tips for swimming with natural hair? Watch Nikki's swim routine using Brazilian Blowout products!
How are you protecting your curls from the salt and sun this summer?