Sea salt, which is known for its larger granules and lower sodium content compared to ordinary table salt, is a food seasoning and a beauty product that has been used since prehistoric times.
The significant differences between the two types of salt lie in their molecular structure and their chemical composition.
Sea salt (sodium chloride) is minimally processed and contains some minerals such as potassium, calcium, and iron, while table salt is heavily processed and has most of its nutrients removed.
Also, a teaspoon of sea salt contains around 2,000 mg of sodium, while the same amount of table salt contains 2,300 mg of sodium. The contrast between the two is mainly due to the difference in the size of the granules.
Over the years, sea salt has been linked to several health benefits, ranging from skin and hair care to being a therapeutic aid for inflammation and issues with the digestive system.
This article will provide details on using sea salt for hair growth, hair breakage, and much more.
Although, before we dive deep into those details, let’s see what sea salt is, how it’s extracted, and what makes it unique from ordinary table salt.
Table of Contents
- 1 What Is Sea Salt?
- 2 Can Sea Salt Help Hair Growth?
- 3 How to Use Sea Salt for Hair Growth and More
- 4 The Benefits of Sea Salt for Hair
- 5 Does Sea Salt Make your Hair Thicker?
- 6 Is Sea Salt Safe for Hair?
- 7 Can Sea Salt Stop Hair Loss?
- 8 Can Sea Salt Lighten Your Hair?
What Is Sea Salt?
Unlike regular table salt, sea salt is made by evaporating saltwater, which leaves behind granules packed with natural minerals such as magnesium, sulfur, calcium, iron, zinc, and potassium.
On the other hand, table salt is mined from underground salt deposits before removing minerals and other naturally occurring components. Additives that prevent clumping of the salt granules and iodine, an essential nutrient that helps maintain a healthy thyroid, are further added.
The mineral composition of sea salt (i.e., mostly sodium chloride), particularly the high magnesium level, is responsible for the skin and hair care benefits. An NCBI study has linked the magnesium content in sea salt to improved skin hydration and reduced inflammation in dry skin.
Sea salt has found broader adoption in the beauty industry thanks to the nutrients packed in the naturally occurring minerals.
Besides being a great hair care product, below are the other common uses of sea salt:
- For several years, sea salt mixed with honey has been used as a balancing mask to soothe inflamed skin conditions and calm breakouts and irritations.
- Sea salt mixed with coconut oil or other essential oils is used as a natural exfoliant to remove dead skin while allowing minerals to penetrate the skin, softening and restoring hydration. Our favorite natural oils to use for removing dead skin cells are lavender oil, tea tree oil, olive oil, jojoba oil, and argan oil.
- Sea salt mixed with baking soda dissolved in water acts as a natural mouthwash. It disinfects the mouth, killing bacteria that cause bad breath and gingivitis.
- Sea salt and baking soda can also be used as a teeth whitener. Sea salt contains natural fluoride, which is a bonus for your teeth and gums.
There are several brands of sea salt and dead sea salt, including PureScrubs, Minera, and Thena Natural Wellness.
Can Sea Salt Help Hair Growth?
Sea salt is rich in minerals such as potassium, calcium, and sodium, which help to break down excess oil buildup on your scalp using a “salt scrub.” This salt scrub is thought to mitigate fungal or yeast infections, which would otherwise cause itchiness.
Applying sea salt sprays or hair masks regularly also cleanses the pores, helping boost the regeneration of new skin cells.
For people with flaky dandruff, sea salt can help absorb excess moisture and oil, stimulate blood flow, and encourage new, healthy skin cells. While sea salt has apparent benefits for the skin and hair, you should always use it in moderation.
How to Use Sea Salt for Hair Growth and More
There are five ways you can use sea salt to improve the health of your scalp and even boost the growth of new and healthy skin cells.
Each hair treatment includes mixing different ingredients with sea salt to achieve a specific formulation that offers various benefits to the hair. These include:
1. Sea Salt Mask Recipe for Hair loss
- 1 teaspoon of wheat-germ oil
- 2 tablespoons of sea salt
- 2 tablespoons of almond oil
- Wash your hair and allow it to hair dry until it’s moist or damp.
- Using a bowl, mix all three ingredients and stir it for 10 to 15 minutes.
- Apply the mixture to your scalp while massaging it gently. Make sure the hair is still moist (but not wet) while applying the mixture. It’s more difficult to work the mixture into completely dry hair.
- Use the remaining formulation to work through all of your hair strands before rinsing your hair with a mild shampoo.
- Condition your hair and style as usual.
2. Sea Salt Scalp Tonic for Rashes
- 1 cup of hot water
- 1 tablespoon of sea salt
- Heat a cup of water in a pan until it boils.
- Add one tablespoon of sea salt and wait till it all dissolves.
- Immerse a soft cloth (preferably cotton) into the solution and squeeze out the excess before patting the fabric gently on the scalp.
- Use this solution every day for better results.
Sea salt dissolved in warm water helps detoxify the scalp. It can also kill bacteria and other fungi infections, making it an excellent remedy for rashes.
3. Sea Salt Shampoo for Hair Growth
- 1 cup of your (favorite) mild shampoo
- 2 tablespoons of salt
- Pour your regular shampoo into a bowl.
- Add sea salt and stir the mixture for several minutes and let it dissolve for one hour.
- Apply the mixture to your scalp and hair strands just like you would with the regular shampoo.
- Rinse your hair and condition it afterward.
4. Anti-Dandruff Sea Salt Mask
- 1 egg yolk
- 10 drops of castor oil
- 1 tablespoon of yogurt
- 2 tablespoons of sea salt
- Mix all four ingredients in a bowl and stir them until you get a smooth consistency.
- Wet your hair, then apply the mask topically from your scalp all throughout your hair strands.
- Cover your hair with a clean cloth or towel and leave the mask for about 30 minutes.
- Wash your hair using a mild shampoo.
- Condition your hair and style as usual.
The benefit of using yogurt and egg yolk is that they offset the drying nature of sea salt, keeping your follicles moisturized, well-nourished, and healthy all day long.
Additionally, feel free to incorporate your favorite ingredients such as coconut oil or avocado oil to make your mask even more nutritious for the scalp.
You should also avoid using ingredients that might be allergic to your skin. A rule of thumb is to test patch any element before using it in the mixture.
For instance, if you plan to use camphor oil, canola oil, and castor oil, or any ingredient of choice, apply a small portion on the skin under your armpit and wait for 24 hours to see if there’s any reaction.
5. Homemade Sea Salt Rinse
A homemade sea salt rinse is an alternative to the commercial seal salt spray, which contains several non-natural ingredients. The homemade version contains more natural ingredients such as honey, green tea, coconut oil, etc.
- 1 bag of green tea
- 1 tablespoon of honey
- 1 tablespoon of coconut/Avocado oil
- 1 teaspoon of sea salt
- Brew one cup of green tea, then add honey, sea salt, and coconut oil afterward.
- Use your favorite shampoo to cleanse your hair, gently massaging your scalp
- Use your homemade sea salt solution to rinse your hair after shampooing.
- Allow the solution to sit on your hair strands and scalp for 10 to 20 minutes before rinsing it further with lukewarm water.
The Benefits of Sea Salt for Hair
Below are some of the benefits of using sea salt in your hair care routine.
Naturally occurring salt or saltwater contains antifungal properties. Research shows that the active ingredient in salt, sodium chloride, inhibits fungus growth by disrupting their osmoregulatory function. This causes electrolyte imbalance, which impedes the fungus’ feeding ability, reducing their development rates.
It Removes Excess Oil
Sea salt absorbs excess oils and sebum on your scalp, helping reduce scalp acne and dandruff. It also helps to unclog hair follicles to enhance the growth of new and healthy hair.
It Contains Nutrients Beneficial for the Scalp
Seawater penetrates the hair shaft allowing the scalp to absorb all the essential nutrients. An example is Magnesium that has been shown to strengthen the neuro system with a calming effect on the body.
Helps With Exfoliation and Blood Flow
Using sea salt with other ingredients such as coconut oil helps exfoliate the scalp, removing dead skin buildup from the hair roots. This stimulates blood flow and enhances the growth of strong, healthy hair.
Does Sea Salt Make your Hair Thicker?
Homemade sea salt recipes plump and expand the hair follicles, making them look thicker and more voluminous.
It’s worth noting that sea salt alone doesn’t make your hair look thicker; instead, it’s the combined benefits of using sea salt with the other ingredients such as coconut oil, honey, egg yolk, etc., that deliver these results.
Is Sea Salt Safe for Hair?
Sea salt is safe for your hair when used in moderation. Using sea salt on oily hair helps absorb excess oil, which would otherwise cause a buildup of dead skin cells and dandruff.
For people with dandruff or flaky skin cells on their scalp, sea salt can alleviate rashes, exfoliate the skin, and allow for blood circulation and the growth of new and healthy skin cells.
To avoid the drying effect of sea salt on your scalp, always avoid commercial sea salt sprays with poorly labeled ingredients. Before you buy and apply sea salt spray, double-check to make sure that it doesn’t contain any alcohol content or anything you might be allergic to.
Similarly, it’s advisable to always use a conditioner after applying a sea salt mask or shampoo to your scalp and hair. The benefit is that it restores your hair’s natural moisture balance, especially if you didn’t balance the ingredients well or used more sea salt in the formulation.
Can Sea Salt Stop Hair Loss?
Hair Loss is a common condition that affects many people at some point in their lives. Several factors can cause hair loss, from poor hair hygiene, diseases, hormonal changes such as pregnancy to genetics. Hair loss prevention requires good hair hygiene, good nutrition, and regular shampooing.
People who suffer from hair loss or alopecia can benefit from regular use of sea salt combined with other scalp-enriching ingredients. When using sea salt formulation, always massage the scalp gently to stimulate blood flow and ensure the hair roots absorb all the essential nutrients.
The scalp should also be moist, and the massage should last around 10 to 15 minutes for maximum effect. You can use the two recipes interchangeably, i.e., sea salt hair mask for hair loss and sea salt shampoo for hair growth.
While incorporate sea salt into your hair care regimen is recommended, the frequency should not exceed two times a week.
Can Sea Salt Lighten Your Hair?
Salty water is naturally known to lighten hair strands, especially when you swim in the ocean with your hair exposed to the sun. Most people love to naturally lighten their hair during the summer, i.e., without using harsh chemicals to bleach their natural hair color.
Sea salt is one of the ingredients commonly used to naturally lighten the hair without necessarily exposing your scalp to harsh commercial dyes and bleaches.
However, sea salt alone isn’t going to make your hair color lighter. Other ingredients such as lemon juice, honey mask, and cinnamon have been shown to give your hair the summer “beach look.”
And since you’ll be using sea salt with hair growth ingredients that have more superior scalp-nourishing nutrients, it’s less likely that your hair color will change.
In other words, if you are using sea salt minus the other hair-lightening ingredients, you don’t need to worry about losing your natural hair color.
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From what we’ve documented above, sea salt offers several benefits for your hair. You can use sea salt to stimulate hair growth (or hair thickening), mitigate hair loss, encourage a healthy scalp, and even remove dead skin cells using a sea salt scalp scrub.
While sea salt can be used as a hair product, it’s not a miracle solution that will repair damaged hair overnight. In fact, everyone’s hair is different, so it may not work for you at all.
If you decide to use sea salt on your hair, we recommend starting slowly and using the product in moderation.
Kenneth Byrd holds a BS in Accounting and Management Information Systems and an MBA from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. He is a serial hair blogger that has been writing about hair care since 2008, when he co-founded Curl Centric and Natural Hair Box. Curl Centric is a website operated by a husband and wife team that encourages healthy hair care.