Is Salt Water Good For Your Hair? 10 Things You Didn’t Know.

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We all know that salt water has healing powers—but did you know it can also be a blessing for your hair?

That’s right, ocean water is packed with tons of minerals and nutrients that give your hair the TLC it deserves. But is salt water good for your hair, or is it just another urban myth? Let’s dive in and find out!

Here are 10 things you didn’t know salt water could do for your hair, as well as how to use it and some top tips to get it just right for your hair type.

Let’s go!

Is salt water good for your hair?

Yes it is! And we’re here to tell you why.

Salt water has a lot of benefits, but it turns out that using it in your hair might be the best one yet. It can help with everything from dry scalp to dandruff and even split ends!

I know what you’re thinking… “salt in my hair? Gross, I’ll never do it!”. But wait until your friends start asking how you got those glossy locks. There are in fact, many benefits of salt water for your tresses.

You see, when your hair is exposed to salt water, it causes all of the little scales on your hair to open up. This allows for a more thorough cleaning of your hair and scalp. It’s like a great, cost-effective alternative to clarifying shampoo.

Salt water has natural cleansing properties which helps prevent build-up in the hair follicles.

This dries up excess oils at the root and adds luster to dull hair… but don’t overdo it!

Salt water isn’t always good for your hair if you do it too often or leave it in too long trying to get that perfect beach waves look.

“Sea salt is another form of salt that intensifies blood circulation in the scalp thus boosting hair growth. As it includes various minerals like calcium, zinc, magnesium, bromide, sulphur and sodium chloride. Using it may have positive impact on your hairs in terms of better texture, shine volume etc.”

BeautyFeed, Beauty Blogger
is salt water good for your hair

10 things you didn’t know about salt water and hair.

If that’s still not enough to convince you that salt and sea water is good for your hair, here are 10 more reasons why it should be a staple in your hair care routine!

#1. It is an excellent way to treat dandruff.

Dandruff can be caused by a number of factors including dry skin, sun exposure, illness or even stress.

Salt water balances the blend of oils and excess sebum on your scalp, has anti-fungal properties and helps control flaky scalps.

Just soak your hair in salty water for five minutes right before you shower to help get rid of dandruff away!

#2. It stimulates circulation to the scalp which can help with hair growth.

Sea salt is an excellent exfoliator which happens because salt increases blood flow.

Give yourself a scalp massage with some salt under lukewarm running water to start stimulating blood flow and take advantage of its healing properties!

You can either use ordinary table salt or sea salt dissolved in your shampoo- just don’t use it every day. Especially if you have an oily or greasy scalp.

#3. It can act as an astringent to help control oiliness.

If you don’t shampoo your hair everyday, salt water helps keep your hair and scalp clean by absorbing extra sebum (that’s just another word for oil) at your hair roots.

The ocean is great because it balances the pH levels in our bodies and controls the oil on our scalps. If you have oily hair, try rinsing your hair with a salty solution at least once a week!

#4. Salt makes your hair shiny!

Sodium chloride also dries out the outer layer of skin cells- which also happens to be what gives us that dull or dry look after spending time in the sun.

For best results, spray some mist over freshly washed hair with a spray bottle before working the salt into a lather. You will see a noticeable difference in just a few weeks!

#5. Salt water is great for all hair types.

Whether you have curly, straight, long or short- salt water can keep your hair look healthier and shiny.

Just remember not to overdo it too much as it can dry out your strands as well as scalp. If you have naturally greasy hair or naturally oily hair, give yourself an extra rinse with fresh water so you don’t end up with salt crystals in your locks!

#6. It won’t damage your hair follicles.

The salt found in seawater actually works to pull out essential minerals and amino acids that end up causing hair damage – making our hair dull, dry and brittle if we’re not careful.

The next time you’re going to the beach, dip or rinse your hair with salt water and wait until you’re indoors to shampoo it. This will help to avoid salt water damage and keep healthy hair from drying or breaking.

#7. It will help get rid of head lice and nits.

If you’ve ever had head lice or other scalp irritations before, then you know how difficult it can be to get rid of them- because they feed off your natural oils!

If these little guys are really bugging you, wash your hair in salt water to kill them once and for all! You should notice relief within hours.

#8. Salt water controls frizz.

You know how it feels when you buy a new pair of shoes, take them home and they’re just a little too tight- well the same thing happens to your hair!

Just like shoes, hair needs some time to adjust to new environments which can cause frizz. Instead of adding more products or chemicals to control the frizz, try rinsing your hair with salt water instead!

#9. Salt water aids in detangling.

If your locks tend to be knotty after showering, rinse them with seawater while you condition them for best results.

You can use salt water as a final rinse or as a detangler after shampooing- either way you’ll notice less frizz and knots!

#10. Salt water can replace your regular facial wash and soap.

We know you love those sea salt scrubs! But did you know that they aren’t just for the body?

Salt is great at getting rid of dead skin cells (like those caused by dirt and oil) which can cause acne as well as wrinkles over time.

Just make sure to moisturize afterwards, especially if you’re sensitive to dryness or eczema like us.

woman using salt water in hair

How to do a salt water rinse for your hair.

1) Mix 1/2 cup of salt (or three tablespoons of sea salt) with 1 cup of warm water. Stir until dissolved.

2) Pour it over wet hair after shampooing. Massage into scalp with fingertips for 30 seconds.

3) For added conditioning, work in some conditioner then rinse well before stepping into the shower or tub.

4) Rinse with cold water to seal your hair cuticle.

5) Smooth some leave-in conditioner, olive oil or coconut oil through your hair strands and ends to prevent moisture loss.

Watch and learn: How to detox your hair and scalp using salt therapy.

Here’s a great video tutorial that guides you through how to make and apply a sea salt solution to detox your hair and scalp.


Any sea salt will do, but most people seem to prefer the fine ground type table salt.

You can choose how long you want your hair to soak in the mixture and whether you rinse immediately or not (opinions vary).

Shampoo and condition as normal after rinsing out with cold water.

Some people like to use a towel to scrunch excess moisture from their hair before blow-drying. This helps avoid frizzies.

Use a leave-in conditioner if your hair strands feel dry. This will help to reduce any breakage.

Is salt water damaging to hair?

You can use salt water to revive dull hair, but don’t go overboard.

The natural chemicals in ocean water are pretty harsh, so if you aren’t careful you could end up with dry scalp and brittle hair.

Everyday products leave residue in your hair which can cause product buildup over time. This residue can lead to limp locks… not what you’re looking for!

Sea water helps rid your hair of this gunk (and things like chlorine from the pool). This makes way for new growth and stronger, healthy hair and even healthier strands. If done correctly – salt water is actually good for your hair!

Pros of Sea Salt

  • Sea water contains magnesium, potassium, and sodium  – all of which are great for your hair.
  • Magnesium is a mineral that controls oil production and locks in moisture to the hair shaft.
  • Potassium has been known to reduce dandruff and moisturize dry, brittle hair.
  • Sodium helps hold water molecules – this will give you extra volume!
  • Sea salt also offers a lot of vitamins like vitamin B12 which strengthens the strands and adds deep luster to dark hair!

Cons of sea salt

  • Enriched with minerals from the sea, salt can also have some serious drying effects on your already dried out tresses.
  • So if you know you have naturally oily or coarse hair, avoid using sea water more than once a week – any more could ultimately end up drying out your mane adn damaging your hair health.

Is salt water bad for colored hair?

Most people advise against using pure salt water on colored hair because it could fade color treatments over time.

BUT if you’re using diluted sea water, there is no reason it wouldn’t be safe for dyed hair.

The best way to use salt water on colored hair is to mix some sea salt (less than a tablespoon) with your normal shampoo and conditioner – work it through your scalp and down the length of your hair.

You should see more shine immediately after rinsing out the salt water!

If you’re concerned about your hair health and colour, you can also spritz your color-treated locks with a little vinegar after rinsing the sea water out. This will neutralize the dye or bleach and bring out all of those gorgeous tones.

Does salt water make hair thicker?

Salt water can have an amazing effect on your hair’s thickness after just one use!

The salt content of the ocean causes you hair to swell up, giving it a thicker appearance.

This swelling is temporary, but if done frequently enough; your hair will become more resilient and thick over time.

Try this next time your looking for volumized locks: wash with sea salt shampoo and follow up with a vinegar rinse (no need to buy special vinegars – use what you’ve got in the cupboard).

Then put some mousse or volume booster through your damp tresses before blow drying… you’ll be amazed at how thick your locks look once they’re dry!

Parting words

So there you have it! There are many wonderful reasons to try rinsing your hair with salt water (say that ten times fast!) and the bonus is, it’s cheap and easy to make.

If you’re not a fan of swimming in the ocean everyday, try using a sea salt spray or sea salt products to add some oomph to your locks and get those natural looking beachy waves.

You might notice a shine boost and less frizz when you shampoo it out after a few days!

Try it at least once a week for healthy hair and the best results! Good luck!

This article was written by:

  • Nicola Freeman, Creative Director & Content Lead
    Creative Director & Content Lead

    With over two decades of passionate hair dyeing experience, I've experimented with nearly every shade imaginable. My journey began long before blogging; as an award-winning copywriter in London and New York, I shaped narratives for iconic brands. However, when friends sought advice during lockdown for at-home hair dyeing, I realized my true calling. Beyond being your hair color expert, I'm a mom of two girls, wife to artist Tony, and an avid soccer player!