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Is Sea Salt Good for Your Hair? | Yes, but With a Catch

Is sea salt good for your hair? Yes, it can be in small amounts. As more people turn to natural remedies for their hair care needs, you may have heard of the latest trend of applying sea salt to hair instead of traditional products.

Read on to learn more about how sea salt affects your hair and its potential benefits and uses.

Is Sea Salt Good for Your Hair?

Sea salt is a naturally occurring mineral harvested from evaporated seawater. Sea salt is predominantly used as a seasoning but is also used as an exfoliant and preservative.

It can be good for your hair when used in moderation. Salt’s chemical properties effectively break down oils and prevent the establishment or spread of fungus.

In addition to its chemical benefits, salt’s coarse texture means it can work as a natural abrasive to remove dead skin cells and product build-up from the scalp.

Sea Salt Reduces the Appearance of Greasy Hair

Greasy hair is an unflattering look caused by the excessive production of sebum. Sebum is an oily, waxy substance produced by the body’s sebaceous glands. Sebaceous glands live on the face and scalp.

When you go a few days without washing your hair, sebum builds up on your scalp resulting in greasy hair. While greasy hair isn’t life-threatening, it can affect self-confidence. Luckily, sea salt is a safe, effective way to regulate overly productive sebaceous glands.

When sea salt comes into contact with oil, it triggers a chemical reaction that causes fatty acids to break down. Sea salt can’t change how much oil your hair produces, but it can help remove excess oils from your scalp and hair.

Sea Salt’s Antifungal Properties

Sea salt contains sodium and chloride ions. Together, sodium and chloride inhibit fungal growth. Essentially, a fungus’s goal is to reproduce, but sea salt (sodium chloride) creates an environment where the fungus must divert energy from reproduction to survival.

Read Next: How to Prevent Hair From Getting Moldy

Does Sea Salt Cure Scalp Fungus?

Please contact your medical provider if you suspect you suffer from a scalp fungus. Sea salt will not cure a fungal infection. Sea salt can only reduce the symptoms caused by a fungal infection. Conditions like dandruff cannot be cured by sea salt but can be mitigated and controlled with regular sea salt scrubs.

Sea Salt Has Beneficial Nutrients

Sea salt harvested from the ocean or salt lakes contains trace minerals that exist in aquatic ecosystems like zinc and magnesium, nutrients that your body needs to maintain metabolic and immune system function. The trace minerals found in sea salt are positively correlated with hair growth and improved scalp health.

Does All Salt Have Beneficial Nutrients for Hair?

No, some salts lack beneficial nutrients for hair. When deciding on a salt to use for your hair, opt for a sea salt harvested from a natural source that does not contain additives. Processed salts provide minimal benefit for hair.

Not all salt is created equal. Highly processed iodized table salt provides minimal benefit to hair. In contrast, sea salt can be beneficial for hair when used sparingly.

Sea salt contains trace minerals from the ocean that can promote hair growth. The coarse texture of sea salt also works as an exfoliant when gently massaged against the scalp. For example, you can use Epsom salt for hair growth.

Unlike sea salt, Epsom salt contains mineral additives that can boost hair sheen and volume. Still, Epsom salt should be used sparingly on all hair types.

Sea Salt Is a Natural Exfoliant

Sea salt is a crystal with rough, irregular edges. The texture and density of sea salt make it a natural abrasive that can exfoliate hair follicles.

People with an itchy scalp or dandruff can use a solution of sea salt and coconut oil to remove excess dead skin cells and hair product residues that cause scalp irritation. Be aware that sea salt can strip your hair of too much oil when used excessively, leaving hair susceptible to UV and heat damage.

Use sea salt as a natural exfoliant sparingly, preferably one to three times a month for most people. Always pair sea salt with coconut or extra virgin olive oil when used as a scalp exfoliant to protect and nourish hair.

Is Too Much Sea Salt in My Hair a Bad Thing?

Yes, sea salt works best when applied in moderation. Applying too much of it to your hair will dehydrate your scalp and may irritate your skin.

Sea salt can dry out your hair if used in excessive amounts because it naturally breaks down the fatty acids of oils. Additionally, because sea salt acts as an exfoliant, it could damage hair in large amounts.

Frequently Asked Questions

Woman showing us why sea salt scrub is good for your hair by applying it to her scalp

Garna Zarina/Shutterstock

Below are some frequently asked questions about whether sea salt is good for your hair.

Does sea salt damage your hair?

Sea salt damages processed hair. Hair exposed to excessive heat, dyes, or products reacts poorly to sea salt. Natural hair responds favorably to sea salt in small amounts.

Does sea salt stimulate hair growth?

Ocean salts may contain trace amounts of minerals, such as zinc and magnesium. Studies show that exposure to these minerals, along with sea salt, may stimulate hair growth. Whether or not sea salt will stimulate your hair growth depends on the health of your hair and the origin and quality of sea salt used in your hair.

Should I put salt in my shampoo?

People with exceptionally oily hair may consider adding two to three tablespoons of high-quality sea salt to shampoo bottles of 12 fluid oz or more to reduce the appearance of greasy hair. For smaller shampoo bottles, reduce the amount of salt used. Ensure the added sea salt is distributed uniformly throughout your shampoo before use.

Why does salt water make my hair look good?

Salt is a natural corrosive that works as a scrubbing agent when massaged into the scalp. The coarse texture of salt works as a gentle abrasive that removes built-up dead skin cells and products from hair follicles. Salt also aids in the breakdown of oils, a feature beneficial for those with oily hair.

Should I use natural sea salt or a sea salt hair product for my hair?

Sea salt hair products may contain phthalates, parabens, mineral oils, alcohol, and other manufactured chemicals that can damage hair and scalp health. Always choose a solution of high-quality sea salt and pure food oil (like extra virgin olive oil) when cleansing your hair and scalp for the best results.

What should I do if I dried out my scalp with sea salt?

Apply a moisturizing mask to your hair for thirty minutes to an hour, then rinse. Use a moisturizing hair product or coconut oil for your hair mask. Refrain from using sea salt for at least a month after dehydrating your scalp to allow your scalp to resume its natural production of oil.

So, Is Sea Salt Good for Your Hair?

Yes, sea salt is good for your hair in small amounts. Sea salt helps regulate your scalp’s oil production, can inhibit the spread of fungus, and has exfoliating properties that increase blood flow to the scalp when applied in moderation. If you suffer from dandruff or excess oil production, sea salt is worth trying.