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Now that summer is out, you couldn’t wait to make a quick trip to the beach. This year has been hard enough as is, and an afternoon relaxing underneath the sun sounded like an amazing idea.
You come home from the beach fabulously tanned, but a quick glimpse in the mirror has you rooted in place. All that surf and sand has taken a liking to you, and now it’s everywhere on your body. Worse, it’s decided to make a home in your hair.
Before you panic-book an appointment at the nearest salon, take a couple of seconds to review your bathroom supply closet. You probably already have all that you need right at home.
Now all that remains to be learned is the technique. Fear not, we have you covered in that department. Here’s how to get sand out of your hair.
Practices on How to Avoid Getting Sand in Your Hair
Before we teach you how to get rid of sand in your hair, you want to work towards making sure your hair doesn’t even meet the sand. While it’s always helpful to know how to get sand out of hair, it’s far more effective to prevent the sand from getting in your hair in the first place. Some helpful tips and tricks include to:
- Tie your hair up when at the beach. Long, undone ’dos are the fastest way to get sand in your hair.
- Cover your hair with a scarf or a hat, especially on windy days. Even if your hair is tied up, a strong gust of wind is more than capable of delivering sand onto your scalp.
- Keep separate towels for lying down and drying off; using one towel for both is one of the most common ways of accidentally putting sand in your hair.
- Submerge your hair in the water away from the shore, if you’re going to swim. The sand is far less settled near the shore, which means it’s constantly suspended. Putting your hair into the water here is akin to an open invitation.
How to Get Sand out of Hair
Yet, if it were all so simple, this post along with so many others wouldn’t have been required in the first place. But sand is sneaky, and there’s a fair chance that even after following all the above practices to a tee, you find yourself with sandy hair after an evening at the beach. Not to worry. Here’s all you need to know on how to get sand out of hair:
1. Shake It Off
The most effective method is also the simplest. Let your hair dry fully, flip it over, and shake it with all you got.
Finish up with a blow-dry and brushing, and you should be almost entirely sand-free in the hair department.
It is important that your hair is fully dry before you try this. Wet hair, especially when wet from saltwater, is weak at the roots and prone to damage.
2. Comb the sand out of your hair
If you’re in a bit of a hurry, and can’t wait until your hair is fully dried, try combing your damp hair.
Use a wide-toothed comb first to detangle, and then follow it up with a finer comb to get all the sand out.
If you don’t have a wide-toothed comb, run your fingers through your hair before you begin combing.
Make sure you draw the comb steadily throughout the entire length of your hair; letting go mid-stroke can lead to sand accumulation somewhere in the middle, and can result in some gnarly-like-never-before knots.
You can try combing on dry hair as well, but be prepared to deal with a far greater frequency of tangles as the salty seawater acts as a natural curler and coaxes your hair into knots when drying.
This is another very effective means of ensuring sand-free hair, and—if creatively done—can be accomplished at the beach itself.
If you’re in a large body of water, move away from the shore, and simply let your hair float in the water. Soaking it in water allows your hair to fan out so that the heavier clumps of sand fall out on their own.
Gently swivel your head or employ your fingers to get to the more stubborn tangles, but in a couple of minutes, your hair should be clean.
Afterward, make it a point to thoroughly rinse your hair with cold water, to both get to any remnant grains of sand and wash out all the salt from the seawater.
If the tangles prove too difficult to undo with just your fingers, try gently shampooing and conditioning your hair to help smoothen them out.
Repeat this until your hair is fully knot-free.
4. Powdered Away
One of the reasons sand is able to hold onto your hair so effectively is the high moisture content of your scalp.
Using talcum or baby powder on your hair helps bring down your scalp’s moisture content, essentially weakening the force that adheres sand to it.
After letting your hair air-dry fully, work powder into your scalp gently with your fingertips. Make it a point to keep your fingers directly on your scalp and not along the lengths of your hair.
While some powder doesn’t do much damage, too much talcum powder along your hair strand can cause it to become brittle and break long-term.
Give the powder a couple of minutes to settle in and dehydrate your scalp, and then flip your hair over and shake the loose sand out. Any remnant powder can then be cleaned with shampoo.
5. Vacuum Therapy
If you’ve tried all the above tips and still can’t get the sand out of your hair, then it’s time to bring out the big guns—your vacuum cleaners. It’s unconventional, to say the least, but dire situations call for funky measures.
After shaking your hair to get as much sand out as possible, use the smaller nozzle (typically used for corners and other hard-to-places when normally vacuuming) to run along small sections of your hair, from the scalp outwards.
Make sure you keep shaking your hair out between small vacuuming sessions.
This technique, however, is only effective against shorter or tied-up hair. If you made the mistake of leaving your long hair open when at the beach, using a vacuum cleaner on it is only bound to create more tangles than there were before.
What Happens if You Leave the Sand In?
Why do you have to get sand out of your hair? Can’t you just leave it be and let it come out on its own? Well, frankly, you can. But it would be at the expense of your hair’s health.
Sand needs moisture and oil to cling to your hair and holds onto the sweat that your scalp releases. This creates an environment conducive to dandruff and bacterial growth. If left alone for too long, this can fester into infections.
It also makes for a very itchy scalp and frequent scratching at your scalp can damage your follicles.
Further, sand often needs your strands to tangle for it to be safely nestled in your hair. The constant friction of your hair against the grains of sand at these tangles can make it brittle and prone to breakage or split ends.
Takeaway – Healthy Locks and a Glorious Summer
At the end of the day, going to the beach and spending a day relaxing by a giant pool of water far outweighs the risk of getting some beach-glitter on you, especially now that you know how to get sand out of your hair, both metaphorically and literally.
Follow the above practices and tips to make sure you walk around sandy knots entirely and move on directly to healthy, beachy waves in your crowning glory. Here’s to many more summers at the beach!