Salt Water can be considered a poison to hair and can cause damage to it. Dduring the summer season when beaches are the popular hangout spot, who can resist the smell of the sea spray or the cool of the water of their backs? Regardless of the enjoyment and the reprieve from the heat that a beach can bring, it is still necessary to keep in mind that the salt can cause serious damage your hair that can sometimes be permanent. Here are a few tips to prevent hair damage from salt water.
How Salt Water Damages Hair
Hair naturally contains about 10% moisture, and is mostly made out of a fibrous, structural protein known as keratin. Hair contains small amounts of other compounds such as fatty acids and proteins like melanin, which gives hair its color. Salt water removes the moisture in the same way that salt removes the moisture from cured meats – the water from the hair moves from a place of a higher water concentration to the salt water, which has a lower water concentration. Dry hair becomes brittle and rough to the touch, causing the hair strands to tangle and break easily. In the short term, this merely constitutes bad hair days and messy bed hair in the mornings. In the long term, however, dry hair can cause balding due to hair loss that can be permanent.
For those suffering from dry hair due to a summer at the beach, homemade cures may be the way to go. Before going into the sun, rub a little olive oil onto your hands and lightly ruffle it through the hair, taking care not to touch the scalp (to prevent an oily scalp) and concentrating on the ends where it is more prone to dryness. Those with damage already done can try rubbing mayonnaise and leaving it on for about 20 minutes to half an hour before washing it off. The oils and proteins of the mayonnaise restore the luster and shine of the hair. Another solution is an ancient Indian home remedy, where coconut oil is rubbed onto the scalp and hair after a shower, wrapped and left for half an hour before washing off with warm water and shampoo. Whatever cure you choose, avoid using hairdryers, dyeing agents or electric irons when dry hair is visible, in order to prevent losing more moisture.
Chemical Prevention Measures
The best chemical prevention method is through the diet, and those who are anticipating spending plenty of time in the sun or near salt water should take supplements containing vitamins A, C and E, as well as calcium in order to prevent drying out of the hair. Using a hair conditioner with a higher SPF before going to the beach can also help. For the best effect, use a conditioner with a moisturizing agent and one that is waterproof in order to prevent the conditioner from washing off in the water. For those with serious damage, visit a salon and request a moisturizing and steaming treatment. The moisture of steam and chemical treatments will be pumped into the hair, thereby rehydrating it.