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! 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 – the perfect cocktail of our favorite things gets absorbed by our hair and helps transform it into any look or style we could dream of. Think of applying salt water to 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 don’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 salt water lovers? 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.
Tip #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 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:
- Curly Hair Solutions Curl Keeper Leave-in Conditioner
- AG Hair Fast Food Leave On Conditioner
- Cantu Shea Butter Deep Treatment Masque
- EDEN BodyWorks JojOba Monoi Deep Conditioner
- Brazilian Blowout Acai Deep Conditioning Masque
Tip #2 Pay Attention to Hair
While you are having your fun at the beach, you should pay attention to your strands. While you shouldn’t spend the whole day worrying or stressing about your curls, you should 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 hold in the moisturizer.
Tip #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, not to mention the drying UV rays of the sun.
Want natural sunscreen? Try coconut oil.
Already have damage? Reverse it.
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