does salt water strip hair color

During the period I had worked as a hairdresser, most people came to me with the question, “does salt water strip hair color?“.

That is why I have a lot to say in this article. I’ve had to jot down things from my experiences so that I’ll reach and guide a wider audience.

You will therefore be receiving professional advice from this article. From questions like is salt water bad for dyed hair to a whole lot more.

Read on for more.

Saltwater will strip your hair color in the long run. If you should go out to swim in the ocean or sea, you should take measures to protect your hair from salty water and sunlight.

Is Salt Water Bad For Hair Dye?

salt water bad hair dye

I have had cases during my career where most people have come to me lamenting. They stepped into the ocean and enjoyed the swim, the breeze, and the moment.

But the aftermath wasn’t good. All their hair color dye was stripped and their good color is gone.

They have demanded to know whether there is something, perhaps the salt in ocean water or any other chemicals behind the effect.

You fall in this same category of people. But by the time you read this article to the end, it will no longer be a problem.

We will set the record straight here. Perhaps you would like to put into consideration whatever you are about to learn from this post.

When you do, then maybe you will be very proud of your constant, maintained, and bright hair color.

Should I Use Salt Water Or Lake Water?

salt water lake water

Unlike the lake and the swimming pool, you understand that water from both the sea and the ocean is salty.

Regardless of that, diving in the sea has always been an amusement. If you want to go for a holiday or picnic, then the ocean will always cross your mind.

It is good to always relax and have fun. But how does it affect you? With a particular interest in how it affects your hair?

Is salty water bad for your hair?

Without a second thought, I am certain that salty water is a threat and hazardous to your hair. It discolors and tangles it leaving you looking unpleasant.

When you take a swim in the sea, your hair is exposed to a variety of chemicals, from magnesium to calcium, manganese to potassium.

Tip: Salt water is too bad for your hair.

Why Salt Water Is Bad For Your Hair

salt water bad for hair

So now you know that salty water and hair are a no, no. There are arguments that the minerals, that is magnesium, and calcium, available in seawater, are helpful to the hair.

That is, they are food for the hair and treatment for the scalp. There’s truth in this. However, we are interested in the bigger picture.

It is unfortunate that these minerals are not the only ones present in the water. Salty water has a bigger fraction of salt than any other element which yields the threat.

Basically, sea salt is dangerous to your hair and you should avoid it as much as you can. If you should go swimming then have your hair safely hidden from the smallest drop.

In the meantime, why does salty water have to be bad news for your hair?

Note: The sun makes the effect even worse.

Reason #1: It Strips Hair Color

it strips hair colors

What would be hair without color? A big disappointment, one you can hardly be proud of. So, does salt water strip hair color?

Here it is, this is what everyone has been asking. It is good you know these. 

You just saved your hair from discoloration if you were planning to swim in the ocean during the weekend or the holidays. Good for you, it won’t be happening.

Be as good as to educate others. Because salt seriously strips hair color. It leaves your hair looking awful, messy, dull, name them.

The longer you spend in the ocean, the more the fading takes effect.

It is caused by salt water reaching and damaging the hair cuticles, further sinking dip into the hair shaft and ripping hair color pigments.

In the long run, your hair no longer has color, it is all gone, and you will in no way like it.

Tip: Salty water strips hair color.

Reason #2: Removes Hair Dye

hair dye removal

Is salt water bad for dyed hair? Here we are. If you have been particularly concerned about your dye, I didn’t forget you.

Whenever you have your hair dyed, there is this special feeling that comes with it. It is more exotic and lovely.

Dyed hair has a way of standing out. It is always a cut above the rest. Although it comes with a lot of cost and inputs, it is worth the investment.

One you would not be willing to lose by walking to the ocean and swimming in the salty water when there is an imminent threat.

Beware, salty water is a red flag for your hair. It removes the dye apart from the stripping color.

Reasons Why Salt Water Is A Threat To Dyes

why salt water threat

Below are the reasons why salty water poses a threat to dyes:

Reason #1: Causes Exfoliation

One of the reasons salty water and hair dye does not go along with each other well is that salt is an exfoliator.

A natural; one. Exposure of dyed hair to it exfoliates your hair hence loss of the dye.

Reason #2: Damages The Hair Cuticles

Salt has a tendency of raising hair cuticles, it is the reason why dye will be washed away sooner than you would expect.

Tip: Cuticles are damaged by the friction that happens with swimming in the ocean.

How To Protect Hair While Swimming In The Ocean

protect hair while swimming

Here is some good news, that you shouldn’t stop going for a swim in the ocean just because of the hair.

There are things you can do to protect your hair from being stripped or your dye being swept out by salty water. 

So, anytime, you are going to the ocean or the sea, the following best practices will protect your hair color and dye.

Step #1: Pre-treat Your Hair

It is best practiced before you go to the sea, you should pre-treat your hair to tone down the effects of salt on your hair. 

You are required to wash your hair and apply a pre-shampoo together with any pre-sun treatment products.

Doing so helps to protect your hair from fading and the dye from being washed out.

applying conditioner

Step #2: Apply A Leave In Conditioner

Two, a leave-in conditioner can be a good way to protect your hair while going out for a swim in the salty ocean water. 

A leave-in conditioner ensures that your hair remains moisturized throughout the day. It helps to keep it soft, clean, and moist throughout.

Tip: Carry a leave-in air conditioner to the beach for regular conditioning throughout the day.

Step #3: Apply A Hair Cream

Lastly, because the sun won’t spare you either, especially on a hot day which is the best to go swimming, then you must ensure that your hair is fully protected from the pangs of the intense summer sun. 

The sun will burn the scalp as an effect of the UV rays.

You need to use a protective hair cream before leaving for the beach so that it is fully absorbed before you step into the ocean.


From this article, you have gotten the answer to the question, “does salt water strip hair color?”.

I have seen people too go to the ocean and come out with hair in good shape and color like they went in.

Summertime is here and you need to spend some quality time at the beach. Prepare for it.

Alongside all other safety beach measures, do not forget to protect your hair from the salty water.

I hope that you find this article helpful.

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