Beauty & Fashion

10 Ways to Protect Your Hair at the Beach

So, summer is around the corner and we’re all dreaming of beach bum days. If you’re fortunate enough to live near a beach chances are it’s one of your go-to destinations every summer. The beach’s motto is no work and all play, and it’s quite possibly the most relaxing place on the planet.

Lounging on the beach is one of our favorite past times. But all the sun and salt can really do a number on our skin and hair. There are precautions you can take, and tricks you can incorporate to protect your hair before heading out to the beach. Sea salt in moderation can actually be a positive thing for your hair if you have excessive oil. But overall it really dehydrates healthy hair making it easy to break strands and get split ends.

Getting too much sun isn’t the best for our skin and hair, either it turns out. Dry, damaged hair has a very… distinct look and feel. And nobody likes it. Prolonged sun exposure can really damage our locks. Harmful UVA and UVB rays can damage the hair cuticle, or the outside cover of the hair strand. Sun damage causes breakage, frizz, split ends, and discoloration of the hair. It can also fade a fresh (and expensive) color job.

All of that isn’t going to stop us from enjoying the beach, no matter how much we love our hair. We’re just going to have to learn how to protect our hair from sun and sea damage. Here are 7 ways to protect your hair at the beach.

1. Wet Your Hair First

Wet Hair Healthy
Image from Stylecaster

In order to protect your hair from the elements of the beach we recommend getting your hair wet with freshwater before dipping in. Salt water can be extremely drying and damaging, and sun overexposure leads to hair breakage and dehydration. By getting our hair wet with freshwater first, what you’re doing is giving your strands fresh water to hold on to, and therefore allowing less of the salt water to get into your hair cuticle.

2. Hydrate Yourself 

Water Beach
Image from Verywellfit

Whenever you’re feeling lazy about drinking enough water, remember that not hydrating yourself can actually stop hair growth completely. Aside from the obvious benefits of hydrating yourself while at the beach ( water is crucial to maintaining function of every system in your body) long term dehydration can actually cause hair loss.

Why is staying hydrated important for your hair when you’re at the beach? UV rays dull and dehydrate the hair. The salt water and sun exposure is dehydrating for your hair, too, so you need to at least bringing hydration back into it by drinking the recommended amount of water. Not feeling like drinking plain water? Grab a couple cartons of coconut water with you, and chug those!

3. Condition Your Hair & Use A Leave-In Conditioner 

ColorProof PlushLocks
Image from Beansbeauty

Before you head out the door, make sure you’ve conditioned your hair well. Slather on a leave-in conditioner from root to tip, like the PlushLocks ColorProof leave in conditioner. It smells like cupcakes and feels like a dream. Good quality leave in conditioners are designed to add moisture and and strengthening hydration into your hair without weighing it down. Don’t go to the beach without a leave in conditioner in your hair.

4. Use A Protective Primer Spray 

Bumble and Bumble Hair
Image from Sephora

A protective primer spray is designed to use before styling hair with heating tools. It’s meant to strengthen dry brittle hair. This product tames frizz and protects the hair from the sun and heat, reducing dryness. Bumble & Bumble sells a product called Hairdresser’s Invisible Oil that’s a heat and UV protector. It contains 6 oils and UVA and UVB filters, all with a delightfully tropical scent that’s only fitting for the beach. To use, just spritz into damp hair after conditioning.

5. Use A Color Protecting Locking Spray 

Paul Mitchell Color Protecting Spray
Image from Paul Mitchell

Now we all know dying our hair isn’t cheap! So we’ll do what we can to protect our gorgeous color. One way to protect our color from fading from the sun is to use a color protecting spray. Paul Mitchell’s Color Protect Locking Spray is meant to stop color fading and sells for $14. With powerful UVA and UVB protection, this product prevents color fading, and the sunflower extract provides sun protection. Spray product into damp hair after conditioning.

6. Wear A Hat 

Life's A Beach Hat
Image from Hats By Olivia

This seems like an obvious choice; you can wear a hat to the beach! A floppy beach hat protects not only hair, but our face and shoulders from the sun all while looking super cute. It’s chic, classy, and versatile enough to go from beach to dinner.

7. Condition Hair Before Combing 

Hair Combing Conditioner
Image from Gprprevencion

So we know we’re supposed to condition our hair before letting it down at the beach, but we haven’t talked about how to brush and comb it. Most of us don’t know that when we brush our wet hair, we’re actually doing a lot of unnecessary and invisible damage to it. That is, if we’re not conditioning. After you condition your hair well, and apply your leave-in conditioner, only then should you comb out your hair.

8. Detangle Hair Prior To Sun Exposure 

Detangle Hair
Image from Jean Lewis David

Attempting to detangle salty beachy hair is the worst! Don’t try it! You’ll be left with too many gorgeous strands in your brush or comb! Instead, detangle your hair prior to going out into the sun. Overexposure to the sun will dry your hair out, and detangling it at that point will be nearly impossible.

9. Go Easy On The Styling

Beach Hair
Image from Ola Nina

The sexiest beach hair is arguably the most simple, easy and breezy. So put away the hair spray, hair mousse, and gels- you don’t need them! After you deep condition and add your color protecting and heat protecting sprays, you’re good to go! Salty water means extra hair texture. Styling products also add hair texture. Put the two together and what do you get? Extra dryness and texture- not something we need at the beach.

10. Let Your Hair Air Dry

Air Dry Hair
Image from Refinery29

Blow drying your hair causes a quick drying effect, which leaves your hair dehydrated and brittle. Blow drying is not recommended on a daily basis, so it’s no surprise that you should probably skip it on a day at the beach. Let your hair air dry, just try not to brush or touch it too often, because wet hair is a lot easier to damage and break than hair that’s been dried. Letting your hair air dry has tons of benefits! As an added bonus, you’ll get some natural beachy waves if you air dry!