When I was younger, every time I heard the term saltwater, I’d immediately think of ocean water. Besides swimming in the ocean’s salty water, there are saltwater pools that – as the name suggests – contain salty water. They aren’t incredibly common, but they serve as an alternative to chlorinated pools. So, is a saltwater pool good for your hair?
We know that constant exposure to chlorinated water can leave your hair with chlorine damage. So are these saltwater pools a good alternative?
A saltwater pool refers to a swimming pool that uses salt chlorine generators to sanitize its pool water. Salt is used in complex reactions to create chlorine.
There is a difference between saltwater pools and ocean water pools.
Ocean water pools have ocean water in the swimming pools, and they are mostly available near the ocean water.
Saltwater pools, however, are slightly different in that you add 3000ppm (per million range) of actual salt in your pool water.
This type of concentration is considerably low and is undetectable by the human taste buds and cannot leave any noticeable traces on the skin or the hair.
Saltwater pool conversion (pros and cons)
Saltwater pools have their advantages and disadvantages. Before we get to that, let’s quickly go through how it all happens.
You are probably wondering how salt changes and becomes chlorine.
The process is quite simple and not as complicated as you might think.
Well, there are a couple of reactions that take place to produce chlorine in a saltwater pool.
To create salt pools, you initially add salt to the pool water in the presence of a salt-chlorine generator.
The saltwater from the pool passes through the generator, and a process known as electrolysis leads to the formation of hypochlorous acid and hydrogen.
The solution created replaces the chlorine tablets you have always known to sanitize swimming pools.
So in reality, a saltwater pool is not chlorine-free.
Advantages of converting to saltwater pools
Some of the advantages of using saltwater pools include the following:
Maintaining salt water pools is easier compared to the chlorine water pools.
The salt added into pools regularly undergoes a chemical process to produce chlorine as opposed to traditional pools where you have to consistently add chlorine tablets to the water to make sure it is well disinfected.
The routine task of adding chlorine granules into a pool is taken off your hands.
However, you have to keep checking the pool’s alkalinity regularly.
Milder on skin and hair
Although saltwater pools also contain chlorine, the water is much milder to your skin and hair.
This is not the case when it comes to chlorinated pools which have a considerable amount of chlorine that is harsh to the hair and skin.
You are probably thinking that the salt present in the water makes it taste salty.
Well, the saltwater is relatively similar to the liquid you use to clean contact lenses (or even similar to your tears).
Opening your eyes in the pool, therefore, does not sting as much as it would have in traditional pools.
The chemicals used in saltwater pools are way more affordable than the chlorine tablets and granules.
Salt does not evaporate as fast as chlorine does.
Hence, one input is guaranteed to take you a long way.
The hypochlorous acid and hydrogen produced during electrolysis, forming a solution, does not smell as much as chlorine does and is milder to your nose.
Swimming in a pool that does not make you feel like you are drowning in chlorine would be an enjoyable experience.
Disadvantages of saltwater pools
The following are some of the disadvantages of using saltwater pools:
Converting a traditional chlorine water pool into a saltwater pool can significant hustle.
Pricing is something we’d all like to consider.
The initial cost is relatively high compared to installing a chlorinated swimming pool for the first time.
The salt chlorine generators can cost your about 2,000 bucks.
This initial expense is the major disadvantage of the saltwater pool.
On the upside, you won’t have recurring costs that are involved when you have a traditional chlorinated pool where you have to keep buying chlorine tablets.
As you know, salt is a corrosive substance.
If the salt amount is above the normal range and goes above 5,500ppm, there is a high chance that it can corrode the system.
If this is the case, then replacing the metal in your saltwater pool is likely to be done more often.
If you find yourself replacing your pool’s metal equipment more often, please consider reducing the amount salt used in the salt chlorine generator.
This will greatly reduce your overall operating costs.
Is a saltwater pool good for your hair?
Sometimes you want to go out and swim without having to put on a swim cap.
However, the thought of chlorine getting into contact with your hair makes you cringe.
You quickly rethink your idea.
Chlorine getting into contact with your hair can make it appear sticky when wet and straw-like when dry.
When your hair suffers from chlorine damage, there is a build-up of chlorine on the hair follicle.
This can lead to stunted hair growth since chlorine blocks the pores of the scalp.
When it comes to saltwater pools, the situation is a little different.
With these pools, the water actually benefits your hair in some ways.
Good for greasy hair
Do you have greasy hair that is just difficult to control?
Saltwater helps you in controlling the oil levels in your hair.
The minerals present in the saltwater break down the oils present in your hair and help to keep the amount of oil balanced.
Saltwater practically acts like your very own natural shampoo.
Your greasy, irritated scalp also receives a soothing effect.
So the next time you go for a swim in a saltwater pool, think of it as killing two birds with one stone.
Saltwater has an antibiotic effect.
The salt in these pools can help to kill some certain types of bacteria, by sucking the water out of them.
This can be very beneficial to your scalp, especially if you have skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis.
Acts as an exfoliator
Is dandruff also a common problem for you?
Saltwater absorbs water from your scalp, which is likely to host fungus hence keeping dandruff away.
Since the saltwater acts as an exfoliator for your scalp, you’ll have a good chance of having a dandruff-free scalp.
The salt particles from saltwater pools create some friction on your hair.
This is good for the hair because it contributes to making it voluminous.
Helps to remove of minerals
Saltwater can help in some way to remove hard water minerals such as calcium and magnesium.
These minerals are harmful to your hair.
Some of the signs of hard water on hair include stunted hair growth, dandruff, hair thinning, split ends and dull hair.
While the salt in the pool’s water may not be as effective as hard water shampoos, it helps in reducing these minerals.
As much as the saltwater has benefits to your hair, excessive exposure might not be too good for your hair, especially when your hair is naturally dry.
When you have dry hair, the degreasing factor of saltwater will make your hair drier.
This will eventually lead to hair breakage, and you do not want that to happen to your hair.
When you expose your dry hair to saltwater for an extended period, it may also lead to your hair losing its natural moisture.
Saltwater cannot have the same effects on everyone; thus if you have naturally dry hair, you must control your hair’s exposure to saltwater swimming pools.
Saltwater swimming pools substitute the traditional chlorine pellets with salt.
The saltwater pools are overall cheaper to run than the traditional chlorine water pools as discussed above.
The initial costs are, however, more expensive, but manageable.
The repairing costs maybe be higher, but it is worth your money since you don’t have to take frequent trips to your local store to buy more chlorine granules for your pool.
One great advantage of a saltwater pool is that it aids in keeping your hair healthy.
It levels the oils present in your hair.
The saltwater also has therapeutic effects and helps to soothe your scalp.
Is a saltwater pool good for your hair?
Well, it depends. If you have naturally dry hair, you may want to swim there just occasionally.
If you really want to take a dip in a saltwater pool and you have dry hair, consider throwing a swim cap on.