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How To Get Sand Out of Hair Even Without Washing It

Black girl with curly hair and light caramel skin wearing a yellow swimsuit

When sand starts flying through the air, a fun day at the beach can turn disastrous for your hair. Sandy hair may be the last thing on your mind when you’re in the moment. But afterward, the battle of human vs. sand begins.

Although removing sand from your hair might seem impossible, we guarantee that it can be done. Whether you’re trying to get sand out of your hair or your child’s hair, we can help.

How To Get Sand Out of Hair: DIY Step-by-Step Guide

This article will give you several techniques you can use to get sand out of your hair quickly.

Shake and Blow Dry

A quick way to get sand out of your hair is to shake it out and blow dry it. It works when you aren’t able to jump in the shower and wash the sand out.

The method is super easy to do and only takes 10 minutes or less of your time. 

Here are the steps you need to follow: 

  • If your hair is in braids or any other style, take it down. This step is necessary to release any sand stuck in your nooks and crannies.
  • Shake your hair vigorously to dislodge as much sand as possible. You can also use your hands to loosen up your curls. It’s best to do this part outdoors so that sand doesn’t get all over your furniture and floor. You can also turn your head upside down to shake loose as much sand as possible. The process works really well on a windy day.
  • If you are around a blow-dryer, plug it in and set it to its cool setting. Focus the blow-dryer on any parts where sand is visible. The force of the air will dislodge the sand. 

Note: Your hair will look a bit frizzy and unkempt after this part, so at the very least, you will need a hair tie or elastic to make your hair look presentable.

Keep in mind that, without washing your hair, there could still be a bit of sand leftover. However, this method is extremely effective and will help to remove a good amount of the sand even if you have short or braided hair. 

Comb and Shake

Cute African American lady with small frame body enjoying the fresh air at the beach

The previous tip requires you to use a blow dryer to get the sand out of your hair. But the reality is that a blow dryer may not always be available. In that case, combing and shaking could be your best option. 

To try this method, follow these steps: 

  • Allow your hair to dry, as sand particles adhere strongly to wet hair. So, give your hair some time to dry.
  • Once your hair is dry, shake it vigorously and use your hands to remove as much sand as possible.
  • Pull out your wide-tooth comb and begin combing through your hair. As you separate your strands with a wide-tooth comb, you’ll see sand falling out. Be as gentle as you possibly can because combing dry hair roughly can cause irreparable structural damage to your hair follicles. 
  • Look closely at your hair. If sand remains, use a fine-tooth comb to remove the rest. During this step, you should be particularly gentle since a fine-tooth comb can snag and break the hair more readily than a wide-tooth one. 

Note: This method works best for those with straight hair. Combing through dry curls will almost always do more harm than good. So, if you are wearing your hair in its natural state, we recommend using another method to remove sand from your hair.

Baby Powder

Baby powder is one of the lesser-known methods of removing sand from your hair. It has the ability to loosen the sand’s grip on your strands so that you can remove it with other methods.

This method works best on hair that is stretched out or straightened. 

Here are the steps to follow for the best results: 

  • If your hair is wet, let it dry completely. 
  • When the hair is dry, apply some baby powder wherever there’s sand. 
  • Now, you can use a wide-tooth comb, fine-tooth comb, a blow dryer, or any combination of the three to remove the sand from your hair. 

Vacuum Your Hair

One of the more unconventional methods of removing sand from hair is by vacuuming it. It may be necessary in cases where your hair is styled, and you’d rather not take it down.

For this method, all you need to do is turn on your vacuum cleaner, put the hose close to your hair, and get to vacuuming.

We recommend that you test the suction power of your vacuum before you put it close to your head – that way, you won’t accidentally ruin your style. 

A woman at the beach twirling to remove the remaining sand from her hair

Wash Your Hair

The most promising way to get sand out of your hair is to wash it. However, when trying to get sand out of your hair, you shouldn’t wash it like you normally would.

Here are the steps to follow when washing sand out of your hair:

  • Before you let water anywhere near your hair, make sure that you remove as much sand as possible via the above methods that we’ve covered. This step is extremely important because if sand gets in your drain, it can clog your pipes in a hurry. 
  • Once you’ve removed a good portion of the sand, you can begin the washing process. Wet your hair thoroughly with water, and then apply your shampoo. It’s best to use a shampoo that is gentle, regardless of the fact that you have sand in your hair. Massage the shampoo in, paying special attention to your scalp, since sand tends to accumulate there. But make sure that you don’t forget to scrub your hair – use the pads of your fingers to distribute the shampoo thoroughly. 
  • After you’ve thoroughly scrubbed your scalp and hair, rinse it out thoroughly. It is this step that will remove the most sand. 
  • If you notice that there is still sand in your hair, you can repeat the shampooing process. 
  • When you are done shampooing your hair, be sure to apply a moisturizing conditioner or deep conditioner. After exposing your hair to the wind, sun, and sand, chances are it can use a dose of moisture. Detangle your hair while the product is sitting on it – doing so can help to remove even more sand. 
Black girl wearing a yellow bathing suit taking a selfie at the beach

Things to Keep in Mind

It is vital to preserve the integrity of your hair, even when removing sand from it. Unfortunately, if you use the wrong method, you could end up with split ends, broken strands, and excessive shedding.

So, keep the following tips in mind when choosing your sand removal method: 

  • If your hair is super curly and you’re wearing it in its natural state, any techniques requiring dry combing should be avoided. Combing dry curly hair is one of the fastest ways to ruin it. 
  • Whenever you use a blow-dryer, it’s wise to consider the amount of heat used. Always use the cool setting on your blow dryer. If your blow dryer does not have a cool setting, we recommend using another method instead.
  • If all the sand doesn’t come out the first time, you may be tempted to rewash it or comb it until every grain of sand is removed. But this is not a good idea. Try to limit washes to 2 times a day and avoid combing your hair excessively. 
  • If your hair feels dry or crunchy at any point, condition it to restore the moisture. 

Now you’ve got several methods you can use to get sand-free hair. We’re sure that at least one of them will give you the results you’re looking for. We encourage you to give them a try and see if they work for you.