Hot Girl Summer.. Beach? Pool? Can My Wig Take It?

Salt Water And Hair Extensions

Natural hair can be damaged by salt water, however hair extensions will almost certainly suffer the consequences if worn in the sea.

Our natural hair receives sebum from our scalp which is what helps it stay hydrated, soft and shiny.  Salt water will wash away sebum, causing the hair to feel dry and be difficult to brush without causing split ends, however in time sebum production will continue as normal and your hair will eventually regain its original texture (although there will be nothing you can do about those split ends other than cut them off).  Hair extensions on the other hand are a whole different kettle of fish. Hair extensions do not produce or receive sebum from the scalp, therefore once they are damaged by salt water, they have no way to be able to repair themselves.

What Does Salt Water Do To Your Hair?

As salt is a natural dehydrator, and as our hair thrives most when it is hydrated, salt water strips the hair of its precious moisture, resulting in dry, brittle, and difficult to manage hair.

Does Salt Water Damage Hair?

Salt water damages hair by causing dehydration, resulting in dry, broken and tangled hair.  Hair that has been exposed to salt water is more difficult to brush, resulting in hair breakage, and hair that is in much need of nourishment.


However, if you choose this style for your every day look – especially while swimming in the pool or at the beach, you’ll need to follow some true and trusted tips to ensure the longevity of your hair extension investment. Fear not, yes, you can go for a swim while wearing them.  If on the other hand you are wearing the clip-in style of hair extensions, it is better if you remove them first before getting into chlorine treated or sea water.

For beaded, sew-in and glue-in hair extensions which would be more time consuming to take out, you have no worries because you won’t have to take them out.

Simply follow some of the tips below to preserve the quality and life of your extensions:

  • Before going into chlorine treated and sandy beach water, it will be better to wash your hair with an ultraviolet (UV) protective shampoo and conditioner.  You can also apply a ‘leave on’ hair product that contains SPF and moisturizing agents for protection.
  • Wear a swimming cap to protect your weaves or hair extensions from the damaging effect of the chlorine and salt water, which can loosen and dry them out.  There are a number of chic swimming caps available that you can choose from, to satisfy your taste in fashion. It’s best to also use a wig cap under your swim cap so that it’s easier to get all of your hair to fit under the cap. This one tip is golden and has helped many weave wearers!
  • If you want to sport your long hair at the pool or beach, and a swimming cap will ruin your style, you can still protect your hair by ensuring you avoid unnecessarily getting your hair wet.  Braiding your hair before swimming can also help to prevent damage and drying out of the hair strands. Hair buns, braids and twist updo’s are not only fashionable styles, but also very functional when it comes to staying active.
  • After swimming, use the hair products mentioned in tip number 1 to wash and protect your hair weaves and extensions, and avoid allowing your hair to ‘air dry’. The Aveda line of products is excellent for the hair and scalp. They have a wide selection of products to suit your hair needs.
  • Never brush your hair while it is wet. Always use a wide tooth comb to pull apart strands. Using a leave-in conditioner like Infusium 23 is also an excellent choice. Not only does it easily detangle hair, but it also adds a nice protectant from the outside elements, leaving the hair soft and easy to manage.
  • You can also protect your hair from excessive exposure to sun rays by wearing a hat or bandana. This classic tip never gets old.


It is important to note that these hair extensions and weaves care tips can also be applied to keep your natural locks healthy and shiny.  If you follow these rules and care for your hair taking the necessary precautions to avoid damage, you no longer have to worry.



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