How Do You Remove Sand From Hair

Enjoy the beach with sand-free hair!

How do you remove sand from hair? This question plagues all beach goers and parents of young children, but fortunately there are several techniques you can use to easily and thoroughly remove sand and minimize the gritty feeling it can leave in hair.

Avoiding Sand

The best way to get sand out of hair is to avoid getting it in the hair in the first place. A snug ponytail or braid can minimize the scalp area that sand can get to, ensuring that less sand is in the hair. Wearing a hat, particularly on a windy day at the beach, can also minimize the sand that comes into contact with your hair. If you are sunbathing on the beach, always lie on a clean towel and use another clean towel for drying off so you don't inadvertently put sand in your hair. While swimming at the beach, avoid putting your hair in the water close to shore where the sand is more easily stirred up.

How Do You Remove Sand from Hair: 4 Techniques

No matter how hard you try to keep sand out of your hair, it is inevitable that some grit will make it into your locks if you spend any time at the beach. Young children, in particular, enjoy playing in the sand and are likely to get sand in their hair, but fortunately there are several ways to remove sand from hair easily and painlessly.

Before trying any of these techniques, the best first step is to shake as much sand out of the hair as possible. Hold your head upside down so the sand will fall out instead of landing on the scalp, and as you shake your head run your fingers through your hair to help loosen the sand. If you have too much sand in your hair for this to be completely effective, however, other techniques can help.


Combing your hair with a very fine toothed comb can remove a lot of sand. The hair can be wet or dry for this technique.

  1. Start by removing all large snarls from the hair.
  2. Once hair is smooth, use a fine toothed comb and start as close to the scalp as possible.
  3. Draw the comb smoothly and steadily all the way down the hair to draw sand out the ends.
  4. Comb each section of hair several times for the maximum effects.

Baby Powder

Talcum powder absorbs moisture and can loosen sand from hair.

  1. Let hair air dry thoroughly.
  2. Shake out as much sand as possible.
  3. Dust the scalp lightly with powder, working it in gently with dry fingers.
  4. Hold the head upside down and shake out loose sand.
  5. Comb out additional sand if necessary.
  6. Shampoo hair normally to remove the powder.

Washing and Rinsing

While it may be easiest to remove sand from dry hair, thoroughly washing and rinsing hair can also be effective techniques.

  1. If swimming in a lake or ocean, let hair float in deep water and use your fingers to loosen sand. Sand is heavier and will drop away from the hair.
  2. After swimming, rinse hair thoroughly with a shower or cups of water poured over the head. Rinse the hair from different angles to remove the most sand.
  3. Wash hair gently with a conditioning shampoo to prevent tangles that can trap sand. Several washes may be necessary.


While it may seem unusual, vacuuming short or braided hair can be very effective for removing sand. For the best results, the hair should be dry before attempting this.

  1. Shake out as much loose sand as possible.
  2. Using the bristle attachment, gently vacuum small sections of hair from the scalp outwards.
  3. Pause during vacuuming to reshake the hair and loosen more sand for the vacuum to catch.

Note: This technique should be done very gently and is not suitable for long hair, which can tangle much more easily.

When Sand Won't Come Out

There will be times when your hair has so much sand in it that it won't come out easily. Wavy and curly hair can be especially difficult for removing sand, but using multiple techniques repeatedly will remove as much sand as possible.

How do you remove sand from hair? With great care and patience. Using several techniques can minimize the amount of sand in hair, and it is always best to try to prevent sand from getting in the hair from the start. Still, there are ways to remove sand from hair, so don't let the prospect of gritty hair keep you away from the beach!

Was this page useful?
Related & Popular
How Do You Remove Sand From Hair