In the last Q&A post Nikeisha asked: I have heard people say that taking a dip in the sea helps with skin and hair problems.. is this due to the country/climate one lives in or is it a myth. If I were to wash my hair with some sea salt in the water would it cause my hair to weaken?
Unfortunately i can’t really give a definite answer here. I searched and searched but couldn’t find any hard and fast facts about the effects of sea salt on hair. It seems that sea salt and regular salt have the same effects on hair irrespective of climate/country.
The research i did suggested that salt makes hair very soft and smooth and adds volume. Salt can be found in shampoos and conditioners for these very reasons. Most of these articles were written by Caucasians so… not sure if it applies to us. However, i came across a black blog ‘The Kingdom of Kiya’ and this controversial post talked about how she stumbled upon the unusual effects of salt on her kinky hair. In conclusion salt seems to make her hair very soft and smooth when mixed with conditioner and used as a treatment. Very interesting indeed. Read it for yourself here and come to your own conclusion.
Salt is a natural abrasive. If salt is left in the hair for too long then it can rub away at the cuticles and also the scalp causing damage and hair loss. Salt also draws out water. It is dehydrating when used excessively. So again salt in the hair can cause dryness. It also strips hair of oil and can take off the outer keratin coating of the hair, as it can break down protein bonds, leading to excessive dryness. That is why it is recommended to wash your hair often when exercising. All the salt in sweat can have these negative effects and build up in your hair if you exercise regularly (everyday or every other day) and lead to breakage. So there may be positive effects of sweating on the hair but it can quickly turn negative if left on.
It MIGHT actually be beneficial to use salt in a treatment of some sort such as a deep condition, pre-poo treatment or salt rinse and left in only for a short amount of time (maybe 15-30 mins or so) and used irregularly, say… once a month (if that). If you exercise intensively and sweat loads then you may already get some of the benefits of salt in the hair and may not need to experiment with any extra salt as it could very well be salt overload for you, but make sure you wash your hair regularly after each intensive workout if possible, to remove the salt deposited by the sweat. I may even give it a try just to be sure for MYSELF. However, i would suggest using it with caution and only as a wash out treatment. I would not recommend using salt in any kind of leave-in product where it will not be washed out due to the negative effects stated above.
So… salt may have some benefits for our hair but i personally would not recommended it for regular or prolonged use.
Hope this helps.
If you or anyone decides to give a salt treatment of some sort a try then leave a comment here and let me know how it went.