Hair extensions have gained in popularity in the last few years and do wonders to make less than voluminous hair look full and lustrous. If you have hair extensions but also like to spend time in the ocean, whether surfing, bodyboarding, or just splashing about in the waves, you want to make sure that your expensive extensions are protected.
Ocean water contains high amounts of salt and other minerals that can cling on to hair, especially where your extensions are bonded. As your hair dries, the minerals in your hair form sticky deposits that can cause tangling and matting. On top of this, salt can dry out hair, stripping it of any oils and moisture; in turn, this leaves your extensions more vulnerable to breaking and dullness.
Obviously, if you are wearing clip-in extensions you can simply remove them before going in the ocean, but if your extensions are the sew or glue-in type, read the following tips to make sure that your expensive investments don't get ruined by salt water.
Before setting off to the beach, give your hair and extensions a wash using a shampoo and conditioner that offer UV (ultraviolet) protection, which will help protect your hair from the sun. It's worth adding extra conditioner in the form of a leave-in conditioner for that extra boost of moisture.
Before you enter the ocean, soak your hair with some fresh water so that your extensions are less likely to be damaged by the salt water. Extensions tend to be drier than regular hair, and if they are already sopping wet, the salt water won't make such an impact.
When you're being whipped around by the waves, your extensions can easily become tangled. The best way to prevent this is to plait your hair before you go in the sea, which means it will still in place and out of your way. If you can bear the look of a swimming cap, that is even better. Before you protest, there are some cute swimming caps on the market these days; it's no longer a look solely for old ladies in swimming pools!
As soon as you get out of the sea, apply more of your leave-in conditioner to your hair and very gently comb it through using a wide-tooth comb. By doing this, you'll make sure that your extensions don't have time to become matted and tangled. If you're on holiday and think you'll be in the ocean every day, it's worth giving your hair a deep-conditioning treatment nightly to make sure you keep your extensions in tip-top condition.