Summer always poses a bit of a challenge when it comes to our hair care. It’s bad enough that humidity is at an all-time high and our hair is in a permanent state of frizz. Don’t get us wrong, we love the season — sans the drying chlorine pools and scalp sunburn — but the next three months can feel like a never-ending battle with your hair. To make matters worse, we’re here to warn you of another summer hair-care aggressor — salt water.
We asked George Papanikolas, Matrix Celebrity Hair Colorist, and Biolage Ambassador, to weigh in on just how damaging salt water can be for your hair.
“Saltwater can wreak havoc on your hair, so people should absolutely be concerned when taking frequent beach trips this summer,” says Papanikolas. “The salt can leach moisture from your hair leaving it dry and brittle and more prone to breakage and split ends.”
If you’ve ever stepped out of the ocean and your skin felt dry and tight, just imagine what the water is doing to your stands. Much like chlorine, salt water can damage hair by drying it out and making it more prone to breakage and knots.
With the beach, also comes potential UV exposure from the sun. To protect your hair before splashing in the waves, Papanikolas advises using a product with UV filters. Much like your skin needs protection from the sun at the beach, your hair can benefit from it, too. “Before you go to the beach, products with UV filters like Matrix Total Results Keep Me Vivid Vevetizer hair balm will create a shield protecting the color against sun and heat damage,” he says. As for the salt water, there is a simple hack that can keep damage to a minimum. “Rinsing your hair with fresh water first will keep your hair from soaking up as much salt water and minerals as it acts like a sponge,” Papanikolas adds.