We go around finding healthy products in the store, and find a variety of products that are too expensive. But have you ever thought of a product that is inexpensive and that secret ingredient that is great for hair growth is in your pantry cupboard? It is salt water, that is used every day in the kitchen. Another place you can find it is the beach. Seriously? Is salt water good for your hair?
We spend time at the beach and it is one of the greatest pleasures we have in life. It provides a number of health benefits for both the body and mind. Swimming in seawater can have many benefits for both skin and hair, but overexposure to salt water can be damaging. So you need to take the natural benefits of salt water and avoid the drawbacks of overexposing to them.
Here we will be discussing salt water and is salt water is good for your hair while talking about the pros and cons, the right way of using it and the precautions to be taken to prevent hair damage.
There is a statement that seawater ruins your hair. Because for the hair, salt water can be something that can have both favorable and unfavorable results, as it highly depends on the hair type and the current condition of the hair strands. So you need to make sure to get the benefits and take precautions to avoid the cons.
What is salt water made of?
The salt has been used for its anti-inflammatory and the healing properties it consists of. It boosts the health of the scalp and hair in a simple and convenient hair scalp treatment in a few countries.
Saltwater primarily consists of water together with salt in 2,5% to 3,5%, along with other substances in small amounts. But the salt in seawater is not simple as the ordinary salt water you find at home. It comes from diverse mineral deposits that are dissolved in seawater through the water cycle.
Apart from sodium and chloride ions, there are 92 other elements consisting in the water and these ions are derived from various activities like the dissolving of materials sediments from the bottom of the sea, runoff from land, and the internal chemistry of the ocean. The amount of salt water depends on the specific location of the beach.
Why is salt water good for your hair?
People have found a lot of benefits of salt water used in hair, especially for the scalp. This is because of the vitamins and the minerals consisted in the ingredient. It has the potential to provide a nourishing attribute to the scalp and the hair while you spend some time in the ocean.
It is a natural shampoo
If you use salt water from time to time, you can get clean, smooth, and light hair. The water that consists of salt acts as a natural clarifying shampoo and cleans out all the heavy oils and the excess sebum that makes the hair greasy. It is also capable of removing any leftovers of shampoo and conditioner and makes the hair lighter, while also removing the buildups of product that is hard to get rid of when shampooing your hair.
Works as an exfoliator
The saltwater is capable of exfoliating the scalp. It stimulates the blood flow in the scalp and ensures more nutrients get into the hair follicles, to provide it with healthy hair. It thickens the hair and promotes growth. Before washing the hair, if you massage the salt crystals into the scalp, it provides you with many benefits.
If you are worried about the volume of your hair, salt water can be a good solution. If you add salt to the water, it adds more volume to the hair.
The saltwater will open the blocked pores while the blood flow is stimulated. You will get a thicker, shinier, and more proper growth of hair, due to the removal of product buildup from the scalp by the mineral-rich sand particles. You can mix a tablespoon of sea salt with 200ml of water. Use the mixture in a hair spray bottle or use it as a final rinse after conditioning and it will work wonders by adding volume to your hair.
But make sure to add them in moderation, as it can make a loss of moisture and dries the hair.
Absorbs the nutrients
Seawater contains the nutrients that are required naturally by your body, such as sulfur which freshens up the skin and hair by removing the excess sebum with its anti-dandruff, anti-aging, and antimicrobial properties. And magnesium is known to strengthen the neuro system and provides a calming effect for the body. It is also healthy for nerves. Magnesium is really good due to the calming effects that make less stress which is linked to healthy hair growth.
It also helps to get rid of harmful elements like mercury from your hair.
Controls excessive sweating on hair
People will experience excessive sweating on their scalp. But you can get rid of them using salt water. If you spray saltwater on your scalp and onto the roots of your hair and allow it to dry naturally, it will absorb the extra moisture and the oil produced by your scalp throughout the day
Dandruff is a common issue most people have, and they find a lot of solutions. Getting rid of dandruff also proves why is salt water good for your hair? The fungal that causes dandruff can be gotten rid of by using salt water, as it contains anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties that help to fight scalp conditions.
The salt particles will soak up the moisture from the scalp and force the fungi to spend more energy to achieve osmosis. This results in slow growth of the fungus and so will help to get rid of it. And so your hair will look healthy and strong.
It contains zinc
Zinc actually helps hair cells and the tissue to regenerate in the scalp while promoting hair regrowth with the boosted collagen production and proper regulation of the sebum gland. This inhibits the growth of acne-bacterial and reduces dandruff.
Is salt water bad for your hair?
Although salt water is good for hair, on the other side it can also be damaging when your hair gets overexposed to the seawater. You might have noticed that if you have dipped your hair in the ocean and fully submerged it, the hair will probably not be easy to comb out later on that day.
The elasticity, hydration, and moisture of the hair are locked by the water content that is in the hair, but when you get exposed to salt water at an extreme level, the strands can become dehydrated and gets parched if too much moisture is lost. If you sit in the seawater for a longer period of time, the salt water will draw the moisture, leaving the hair dull, hard to manage, and with hair tangles. Here are a few effects of salt water on hair.
Dries out the hair
After swimming in the seawater, you would have noticed the skin becoming dry, and the hair gets fizzy and dehydrated. The seawater has a high salt concentration and those salt crystals will wick away the moisture from the hair leaving it dehydrated and fragile.
If your hair is chemically treated like dying or bleaching, it can become extremely dried by seawater. Because the chemical treatment would have already stripped your hair from the nutrients and would have artificially changed the cross-links within the hair strands. The saltwater that contains hygroscopic properties would take away the moisture even from the healthy hair and it would further worsen the strands that are chemically altered.
When overexposed, it fades or changes the hair color and makes it rough causing it split ends and breakage. So if your hair is chemically treated, you need to give more attention and care while spending time by the sea to remain healthy and hydrated.
Hair shafts swelling with water
The hair is permeable to water and if you swim too much in the seawater, it can enhance the water penetration to the hair. If the hair cuticle is damaged, there can be negative impacts when you wet the hair repeatedly with seawater. When the hair gets immersed in the sea, the hair shaft swells with water, given that the protecting effect of the cuticle is already inhibited. When you expose the hair repeatedly to seawater, it gradually weakens the hair.
There is a difference in the salt concentrations between the water in the hair and the salt water surrounding it. So when you submerge in seawater, a reaction happens where the water moves from an area of lower salt concentration which is in your hair to an area of high salt concentration which is the seawater. This removes the moisture from the interior of your hair strand and leaves it brittle. The hair will get more prone to frizziness and flyaways when it lacks moisture.
The keratin protein will become dehydrated when you swim on the beach. This will enable the molecules in salt water to enter the hair fiber and breaks the hair preset hydrogen bonds and form new ones. So you will need more time to blow0dry the hair and when you try to do styling works for the hair, it will be more difficult.
The salt in seawater will leave the hard crystals on the hair and further develops mechanical abrasion to the cuticle. You will notice a rough hair surface and an unpleasant hair texture. The tangling of hair increases when adjacent hairs are more prone to get caught together.
What are the alternatives for ocean water?
For those who do not live near the ocean, there is a remedy that gives the effects of dipping into the ocean. You can mix two parts of castile soap and three parts of sea salt in a bowl and blend thoroughly. Wash the hair with the mixture for 15 minutes and then rinse with cold water to eliminate the residue.
Or you can mix three tablespoons of sea salt with warm water and massage the scalp for 6 to 8 minutes. You can rinse thoroughly with cold water afterward. You can also create a saltwater treatment by mixing 1 tbsp of warm water and 1 tbsp of sea salt into a spray bottle until the salt dissolves. Next, add 1 tbsp coconut oil and 1 tbsp leave-in conditioner. Do not wash your hair with these solutions more than once a month to avoid developing follicle damage and rough hair.
Hair care precautions
You can follow hair care precautions if you want to enjoy your summer on the beach.
- Before getting exposed to seawater elements, you can use a pre-shampoo conditioning shampoo to add elasticity to the hair and condition it deeply. If you have colored your hair, the pre-shampooing method will prevent it from fading away.
- Soak your hair with fresh water before paddling out, so that the hair will fully absorb the moisture from freshwater and leaves less room for seawater, and as a result, less damage will occur from the saltiness.
- After exposure to the seawater, make sure to rinse the hair well immediately. This will prevent it from evaporating and leaving damaging salt crystals. It will also remove the other stuff like sand, dirt, chemical, and other debris that are stuck in the hair. The sooner the salt is out of the hair, the better chance you will have to let your hair retain the natural moisture.
- If your hair is still feeling parched after cleansing, try a leave-in deep conditioning treatment. You can use coconut oil, avocado, eggs, and olive oil to treat your hair.
- Before going outside, take a Q-tip and dip it in sunscreen and apply it in your part line. If you had sunburn in this area, it will be hard to even comb the hair as it can be painful. Take this precaution at least 30 minutes before going out so it will help your scalp to absorb the sunscreen fully. So you will not have dry skin flaking off into your hair.
Salt water has many benefits and contains nutrients for the healthy growth of hair but it should be applied in moderation because the overexposing of hair to seawater can cause many negative impacts and dries out the hair, especially the hair that has undergone chemical treatments.
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