Taking a refreshing dip in the ocean feels like paradise. But have you ever noticed how it affects your hair? Saltwater can be quite harsh on your locks because of the salt and other minerals like magnesium, calcium, and sulfate hanging out together.

These minerals might sound harmless, but they can wreak havoc on your hair. That’s the reason you have so many products to protect hair from salt water available in the market.

Saltwater can also mess with your hair’s structure. Your hair is made up of proteins, and salt can disrupt these proteins, making your hair more prone to breakage and split ends.

Let us now break down how salt water can wreak havoc on your locks.

  • Swelling Hair Shaft

Your hair is like a sponge when it comes to water. If your hair cuticle is already compromised, frequent exposure to water, like swimming in the sea, can lead to excessive water absorption into the hair shaft. This swelling effect weakens the hair over time, especially if the protective cuticle layer is already damaged.

  • Disruption of Hydrogen Bonds

Saltwater can dehydrate the keratin protein in your hair, allowing salt molecules to infiltrate the hair fibres. This disrupts the natural hydrogen bonds in your hair, making it harder to style and increasing drying time.

  • Salt Crystal Build-Up

After a swim in the ocean, salt residue can linger on your hair, forming hard crystals that roughen the hair surface and contribute to mechanical damage to the cuticle. This can lead to increased tangling and an unpleasant texture.

  • Osmosis Effect

When your hair meets saltwater, a natural process called osmosis kicks in. This is where water moves from an area of lower salt concentration to an area of higher salt concentration. As a result, moisture is drawn out from your hair, leaving it dry and prone to frizz.

Understanding these processes can help you take better care of your hair before and after swimming in salt water. So next time you hit the beach, don’t forget to rinse your hair with fresh water and give it some extra care to minimize the damage.