Image of woman with wavy hair by the sea

Published 27th June 2022

How To Protect Your Wavy Hair When Swimming In The Sea

Are you a beach lover? Swimming in the sea is the perfect way to cool down or keep active but saltwater can have damaging effects on your wavy hair.

Read below to find out why and, most importantly, what you can do to prevent damage to your hair and protect your waves.


Saltwater causes dehydration and your hair is no different. When hair becomes dehydrated, it feels and behaves differently. Swimming in the sea can make your wavy hair dry, brittle, tangled and more prone to split ends and breakages.

Don’t throw out your bikini just yet though! Read on to learn some tips to protect your wavy hair in the sea.


Before heading to the beach and exposing your hair to sun and salt, shampoo and condition your hair as normal.

If you are able to, apply a deep conditioning hair mask or leave-in conditioner. This will soak moisture into your hair and prevent it drying out so quickly, keeping your waves soft and fresh.

Before taking a dip, rinse your hair with fresh water whenever possible. This will add pre-moisture to your waves and help prevent your hair from instantly absorbing the salt water.

Image of women with wavy hair on beach


Tie your hair up in a bun or twist it into a plait in order to lock in as much moisture as possible. Keeping your hair styled up will help reduce exposure to the salt water, preventing excessive damage.

If you are a frequent sea swimmer, wearing a swimming cap will enable your wavy hair to stay protected as much as possible, acting as a barrier to the damaging salt. This is by far the best protection for your hair.


Spray your hair with leave-in conditioner before going for a swim in the sea. This will maintain moisture in your hair and help act as a protective barrier to the damaging salt water. Spray your waves generously right before heading into the ocean for best results.

If you can get a leave-in conditioner which contains sunscreen then that is certainly a bonus - the sun can also speed up the drying process and an SPF leave-in conditioner will help reduce the frizz!


After a dip in the sea, give your wavy hair a bit of TLC. 

You should rinse your hair in cold, fresh water as soon as you can. This will wash out any salt from your hair and prevent any salt from drying in your waves, which will cause further dehydration.

It’s best to apply a leave-in conditioner to cleanse and repair your hair from any salt or sand that may have dried out the natural moisture in your hair. Applying a hair oil will also seal in the moisture.

Finally, on a hot day, ensure you are drinking plenty of fluids when resorting to a sea swim to cool down and refresh. Stay hydrated and your hair will thank you! 



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