6 Hacks to Protect Hair from Salty Beach Water While Swimming

Author: Joy Adi

Are you thinking of going for a trip to the beach but worried about damaging your lovely hair?

Worry not! In this post, you will learn the 6 simple but effective hacks which will ensure that your hair remains healthy even after you go out for a swim into the ocean.

Is ocean water bad for your hair?

The ocean water is salty in nature which is not at all good news for your hair. After, a single swim in the ocean your hair can feel dry, rough, and frizzy particularly if you don’t take the right measures beforehand.

The matter can be way worse if:

  • You already have dry hair in the first place.
  • Have dyed or processed hair.

The reason salt water is bad for your hair is it dehydrates the hair right from the scalp. As the hair scalp loses its moisture, it can lead to hair breakage & dandruff issues.

So, if you are not careful even a single swim in the salty water can nullify your whole hair care routine & turn your hair into a devastative mess.

How can you protect your hair while swimming?

Hack #1

Always Give Your Hair a Wash Before & After You Take a Swim

Your hair acts like a sponge when it is dry. So, if you dive right into the water with dry hair, it will instantly absorb the salty water.

But if you wet your hair with fresh & cool water beforehand it won’t absorb the salty water as abruptly as it would otherwise.

Likewise, after swimming, you must immediately take another shower to get rid of the salt in your hair.

The goal is to not make the salty water stay in your hair for too long.

Never ever let the wet salty hair dry up under the sun. It will dehydrate the hair roots and your scalp.

In case it's going to take you some time to get back in the shower or to take a proper bath, buy a bottle of fresh water and wash your hair with that.

Action Steps

  • Thoroughly rinse and wet your hair with fresh water for about a minute or two before you go out for a swim.
  • As soon as you get out of the water, try rinsing off your hair with clean water and use a shampoo coupled with a conditioner.


· Use a clarifying shampoo while washing your hair after a swim. Clarifying shampoos are intended for deep cleansing which is perfect for this purpose. But for regular use go for normal moisturizing shampoos as using clarifying shampoos on a constant basis is not good for hair health (source).

· Use a hair mask along with the shampoo as it will help in restoring the moisture content in your scalp. It will provide an extra boost of vitamins & nutrients to the hair. If you want to know how to make your own DIY hair mask at home, then refer to this video:

Hack #2

Use the Power of Hair Oils to protect your hair

Whether you are going out for a swim or not, using natural hair oils on a regular basis is a healthy process to abide by.

Using an oil spray right before you go for a swim will help in keeping your hair moisturized and won’t let the scalp get dehydrated that easily.

This will provide your hair with an added level of protection. Using hair oils is also a must if you already suffer from frizzy hair problems.

Hair oils will help in restoring the moisture level in the scalp and in boosting the hair's health as a whole as they are rich in vitamins and antioxidants.

Action Steps:

• Take a little bit of your favorite hair oil. You can also use hair sprays, in which case, spray it directly all over your hair.

• Apply it evenly all over your hair and massage the scalp gently.

• Apply the oil about 20 to 30 minutes before diving into the water.

Note: You can use hair oils regularly for a few days even after you take a swim in the salty beach water. This will further help in rehydrating and rejuvenating your scalp.

Hack #3

Consider applying Leave in Conditioners

If you are not much of a fan of applying hair oils or taking showers before going for a swim, then leave-in conditioners can be your go-to option. They can also help in shielding your hair from the salty water.

· Leave-in Conditioners help in keeping the moisture level intact and for best outcomes try buying ones with sunscreen!

These products are made keeping swimmers in mind. The sunscreen property can come in quite handy particularly if you don’t want to use a swimming cap.

The UV rays of the sun not only damage the skin but also can affect the hair. So, using a conditioner with sunscreen is a great choice indeed!

Key takeaways

  • Use leave-in conditioners having sunscreen to keep your hair hydrated while swimming.

Note: You should carry it with you to the beach so that you can reapply it whenever you want.

Hack #4

Use a Proper Swimming Cap

A swimming cap won’t protect your hair completely from the salty water. But it will do a significant job of making sure that your hair doesn’t come in constant contact with the water.

This is quite important especially if you plan to stay in the water for a long time. The hair products won’t stay in the hair for that long. In such circumstances, a swimming cap will come in handy.

However, not everyone finds swimming caps comfortable. If you are protective of your hair and want it to stay healthy then tight swimming caps are definitely a great choice to explore.

Key takeaway

Swimming caps do a good job of protecting your hair from salty water. So before going out for a swim, shop for a swimming cap which fits you & covers your hair perfectly.

Note: You can apply the hair products & then use a swimming cap along with that. It will act as double protection.

Hack #5

Avoid using Hair Drying tools right after you take a swim

If possible, completely avoid using your hairdryer for the time being. The ocean water will by default dehydrate your hair. If you keep on using a hair dryer along with that, the damage inflicted to your hair will be huge, it can lead to excessive hair breakage.

Key Takeaway:

When you are out for a vacation on the beach, try to stay away from hair styling tools that are associated with imparting heat to the hair. It can include hairdryers, hair curlers, hair straighteners, or any other hair styling tools that fall under this “heat treatment” category.

Hack #6

Use Braided Hairstyles to keep your hair in better shape

If you have long hair, tying up your hair in the right way can save you from a lot of hassle. This is more important if you don’t want to use a swimming cap.

This will ensure that your hair doesn’t get messy and remains in proper shape even after a fun session on the beach.

To Sum it all up

The salty water of the ocean can indeed make your hair go frizzy. But if you take the necessary precautions, you can cut the damage to a large extent if not combat it completely.

You can combine these hacks with one another which will, in turn, increase their effectiveness. For e.g., you can apply hair oil for 30 minutes then wash it with fresh water to make it wet, and then go on for a swim by wearing a swimming cap.

So, which one of these 6 tips will you try when you hit the beach?

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