The summer is here, and it’s time to start thinking about where you’re going to be soaking up the sun. If you’re planning some beach-based fun this year, you might be concerned about the effects saltwater will have on your hair, particularly if you have fine, thin hair. It turns out that there’s both good and bad news on this front.
A recent study revealed that drinking sea water for six months increases the level of several essential minerals in the body, including selenium and potassium — both important for hair health. They deliver therapeutic and antibiotic benefits that can ameliorate skin conditions such as psoriasis and eczema.
Saltwater is also a natural shampoo; it strips dirt and oil from the hair without causing many of the side-effects associated with chemical-based shampoos.
Saltwater is also a great exfoliant for the scalp. It can help to remove dead skin and moisture, which keeps dandruff and fungus at bay. Fungal infections can lead to hair loss, so this is a very important benefit.
There are some very clear benefits associated with saltwater when it comes to hair health — but there are also some significant drawbacks. For example, healthy hair needs moisture. If your hair becomes dehydrated through repeated evaporation, it can become brittle and difficult to manage. The salt in the sea can also leach water from hair, exacerbating the problem.
Even when you shampoo and condition your hair, saltwater damage can leave it feeling hard. You might find blow-drying takes longer, and styling may be difficult too. Exposure to saltwater over a prolonged period can cause split-ends – and make breakage much more likely.
Salt water can improve the health of your hair, but only if you don’t overdo things. Limit your time in the ocean to no more than 60 minutes per day, and dry to limit the number of times your hair dries in the sun.
Pre-shampoo your hair before you head to the beach with a moisturizing product or apply a hair product designed to protect against saltwater damage. Other ways to protect your hair include a swim cap, an SPF hair cream and a leave-in conditioner. There are also natural remedies you can make yourself, including a honey and buttermilk hair mask and a shampoo made with eggs, olive oil and avocado.
If you’re worried that a few weeks on the beach could cause permanent damage to your hair, speak with a hair loss consultant before you take your first dip in the ocean. Regardless of how well you maintain your hair health, hair loss can be a factor for anyone. At Profiles by Kristin in Syracuse, NY, we offer all proven hair replacement and hair restoration solutions for men, women and children. Contact us today to schedule a free, private hair and scalp evaluation and to get all your hair loss questions answered fully and completely.