The Blue Lagoon in Iceland is one of the country’s most popular attractions. The relaxing location is known for its vibrant blue waters and geothermal spa experience. While visitors rave about the relaxation and rejuvenation they experience in the lagoon, many also encounter an unwanted side effect: blue lagoon hair.
The high silica content in the water can leave hair feeling dry, brittle, and discolored, and this can be a frustrating experience for anyone who wants to maintain healthy hair. In this post, we’ll explore what causes blue lagoon hair, how to prevent it, and what to do if you’re already experiencing the after-effects. Whether you’re planning your first visit or you’re a seasoned Blue Lagoon visitor, we’ve got you covered.
What Is The Blue Lagoon?
The Blue Lagoon is a geothermal spa located in a lava field in Grindavík, Iceland. The lagoon is fed by water from a nearby geothermal power plant, which is heated deep within the earth’s mantle before being pumped up to the surface. The water is rich in minerals, particularly silica, which is what gives the lagoon its signature blue color.
The Blue Lagoon is a popular destination for visitors to Iceland, who come to relax in the warm, mineral-rich waters and enjoy the spa facilities, which include saunas, steam rooms, and in-water massages. The lagoon is also surrounded by stunning scenery, with lava fields, moss-covered hills, and snow-capped mountains providing a picturesque backdrop.
Since its opening in 1987, the Blue Lagoon has become one of Iceland’s most famous attractions, drawing in visitors from around the world. However, the popularity of the lagoon has also led to some concerns about its sustainability, as the high number of visitors and the use of geothermal energy have put a strain on the local ecosystem.
The owners of the Blue Lagoon have taken steps to address these concerns, including investing in renewable energy and implementing measures to reduce the environmental impact of the spa.
How Does The Blue Lagoon’s Water Affect Hair?
The Blue Lagoon’s water contains high levels of silica, a mineral that can have both positive and negative effects on hair. Silica is known to strengthen hair and promote growth, but in high concentrations, it can also cause hair to become dry, brittle, and prone to breakage. The silica in the water can also build up on the hair, causing it to feel stiff and heavy.
In addition to silica, the Blue Lagoon’s water also contains high levels of salt, which can further dehydrate the hair and scalp. This can leave hair feeling stripped of its natural oils and looking dull and lifeless. The combination of silica and salt can also cause discoloration in some hair types, leading to a green or blue tinge that is often referred to as “blue lagoon hair.”
While the effects of Blue Lagoon’s water on hair can vary depending on individual hair type and condition, it’s important to take steps to prevent damage and treat any negative effects. By packing the right supplies and following a few simple tips, you can keep your hair healthy and beautiful during and after your visit to the Blue Lagoon.
For a comprehensive comparison between the Blue Lagoon and Iceland’s other famous blue hot springs, the Myvatn Nature Baths, check out our guide here.
Preventing Blue Lagoon Hair
While the Blue Lagoon can be a relaxing and rejuvenating experience, the silica and salt content in the water can wreak havoc on your hair. To prevent “blue lagoon hair” and keep your locks looking healthy and beautiful, it’s important to take some precautions before, during, and after your visit.
In this section, we’ll explore some tips and tricks for preventing blue lagoon hair, including how to prepare your hair before entering the water, what to do while in the lagoon, and how to treat your hair afterward to minimize the effects of the silica and salt.
Before Entering The Water
- Apply a protective hair mask: To protect your hair from the high silica content in the Blue Lagoon water, it’s important to apply a protective hair mask or conditioner before entering the water. Look for a product that is specifically designed for use in mineral-rich water, and apply it generously from root to tip. Leave the mask on for at least 10 minutes before entering the water to allow it to fully absorb into your hair.
- Wet your hair with fresh water: To minimize the amount of silica and salt that your hair absorbs, it’s recommended to wet your hair with fresh water before entering the Blue Lagoon. Simply rinse your hair under the shower before getting into the lagoon. This can help to reduce the porosity of your hair and prevent it from becoming overly saturated with minerals.
- Tie up your hair: Before entering the water, it’s a good idea to tie up your hair to prevent it from getting tangled and matted. A high bun or top knot is a great option, as it keeps your hair away from your face and neck while also preventing saturation with mineral-rich water.
- Protect your scalp: In addition to protecting your hair, it’s also important to protect your scalp from the minerals in the water. Applying a mineral-safe sunscreen or wearing a hat can help to prevent irritation and dryness of the scalp, which can also contribute to “blue lagoon hair”.
While In The Water
- Wear a swimming cap: Wearing a swimming cap can be an effective way to protect your hair from the mineral-rich water and prevent it from becoming overly saturated. Look for a cap that is made from silicone or latex, as these materials are more effective at creating a seal than fabric caps. If you don’t want to wear a cap, try to keep your hair above the waterline as much as possible.
- Avoid submerging your hair: The longer your hair is submerged in the Blue Lagoon water, the more silica and salt it will absorb. Try to keep your hair above the waterline as much as possible, or use a clip or hair tie to keep it out of the water.
- Rinse your hair frequently: If your hair does get submerged in the water, rinse it frequently with fresh water to minimize the amount of minerals that it absorbs. You can use the showers located around the Blue Lagoon to rinse your hair, or simply dunk your head under one of the fresh water spouts in the lagoon.
- Don’t use the silica mud mask on your hair: The Blue Lagoon provides silica mud masks for guests to use on their skin, but it’s important to avoid applying the mask to your hair. The silica in the mask can build up on your hair and contribute to “blue lagoon hair”, so it’s best to keep it away from your locks.
After Leaving The Water
- Rinse your hair with fresh water: To remove any excess silica or salt from your hair, it’s important to rinse it thoroughly with fresh water immediately after leaving the Blue Lagoon. Use the showers located near the exit to rinse your hair, or simply dunk your head under one of the fresh water spouts in the lagoon. Rinse your hair for at least 5 minutes to ensure that all of the minerals have been removed.
- Apply a hair mask or conditioner: After rinsing your hair, apply a moisturizing hair mask or conditioner to help restore hydration and nourishment. Look for products that are designed to repair and protect hair that has been exposed to mineral-rich water. Apply the product generously to your hair and leave it on for at least 10 minutes to allow it to fully penetrate your hair.
- Avoid rubbing your hair with a towel: To prevent further damage and breakage to your hair, avoid rubbing it vigorously with a towel. Instead, gently squeeze out any excess water and pat your hair dry with a soft towel. You can also wrap your hair in a microfiber towel or turban to help absorb excess water.
- Use a detangling spray: After your hair has dried slightly, use a detangling spray to help work out any knots or tangles. Look for a product that is designed for use on wet hair and gently spray it onto your hair, working it through with your fingers or a wide-tooth comb.
- Avoid using heat styling tools: To prevent further damage to your hair, avoid using heat styling tools like blow dryers, straighteners, and curling irons for at least a few days after visiting the Blue Lagoon. Instead, let your hair air dry naturally, or use a diffuser on your blow dryer to minimize heat exposure.
What To Do if Your Hair Is Damaged
If your hair has already been damaged by exposure to the Blue Lagoon water, don’t worry. There are steps you can take to help repair and restore it. Here are some tips for treating damaged hair:
- Use a clarifying shampoo: To remove any excess minerals from your hair, use a clarifying shampoo that is designed to strip away buildup. Look for a product that contains chelating agents, which can help break down mineral deposits and remove them from your hair. Be sure to follow up with a moisturizing conditioner to help restore hydration.
- Deep condition regularly: To help repair and restore your hair, deep condition it regularly with a product that is designed for use on damaged hair. Look for a product that contains ingredients like keratin, amino acids, and natural oils, which can help strengthen and nourish your hair. Apply the product generously to your hair and leave it on for at least 30 minutes to allow it to fully penetrate your hair.
- Avoid heat styling tools: To prevent further damage to your hair, avoid using heat styling tools like blow dryers, straighteners, and curling irons. Instead, let your hair air dry naturally, or use a diffuser on your blow dryer to minimize heat exposure.
- Get regular trims: To remove any split ends or damaged hair, get regular trims every 6-8 weeks. This will help keep your hair healthy and prevent further damage from spreading.
With these tips, you can help repair and restore your hair after exposure to the Blue Lagoon water. Remember to take precautions to protect your hair before, during, and after your visit to the Blue Lagoon to minimize damage in the first place.
Our Final Thoughts on Preventing Blue Lagoon Hair
While the Blue Lagoon can be a relaxing and rejuvenating experience, it’s important to take precautions to prevent and treat “blue lagoon hair”. By using protective products before entering the water, avoiding submerging your hair in the water, and taking steps to rinse and moisturize your hair after leaving the lagoon, you can help minimize the effects of the silica and salt in the water.
With these tips and tricks, you can enjoy all that Iceland’s Blue Lagoon has to offer without having to worry about damaging your hair.