The Blue Lagoon in Iceland is a one-of-a-kind place ~ & being so close to the international airport in Keflavik (20 mins), it’s one of the most popular tourist attractions in all of Iceland! Though it’s expensive compared to other nature baths in Iceland, I would still put it on my Icelandic “must-see” list, because quite simply: there’s just no place like it.
BUT ~ before you go, you need to know what the Blue Lagoon does to your hair!!! Knowing this prior to getting in the water will be a very good thing ~ or, of course, you can deal with horrific horse-hair like I did for two weeks! This post is meant to get you (& your hair) prepared for a visit to the Blue Lagoon in Iceland, and how to fix any problems that may arise with your hair, should you decide to get it wet.
So, without further ado…
Let’s head to the Blue Lagoon in Iceland!
So….What Does the Blue Lagoon Do to Your Hair??
Okay, so you’re at the Blue Lagoon, and you figure ~ you’re only going to be here once in your lifetime, right?! So why not get your hair wet?? Well, I totally understand the reasoning there. And that’s exactly how I felt on my first visit. I came straight from the airport at 6:30AM with a bus-full of other tourists, all headed to the Lagoon. And not only did I dunk my hair in the water ~ I had it in there for hours.
So…What Happened to It?
Well, the Blue Lagoon happened to it. More specifically: my hair turned into HORSE HAIR. It became stiff, brittle, impossible to brush through (for weeks after!), tangly, coarse, and basically, a complete pain in the butt. My hair is naturally thick and wavy, but usually feels pretty soft to the touch. Not the case anymore. It felt like complete straw. The mangiest horse you’ve ever seen, with tangled-up, matted hair? Yup ~ that was me, for two weeks. I wore my hair in a bun & never took it down.
Why Does the Blue Lagoon Ruin Your Hair?
First off ~ the Blue Lagoon is careful to stress that the water will not ruin your hair. In fact, they tell you that the minerals found in the water, in the long run, will actually be good for your hair. This may be true. However, when you are ripping chunks out of your hair while trying to comb it, after being in the Lagoon ~ you tell me how good that is for your hair! (Don’t worry, the solution to all of this can be found below…)
It is the high levels of silica found in the Blue Lagoon which are responsible for making your hair so unruly and coarse. This is ironic, because silica is normally considered to be good for your skin & hair. Silica is a naturally-occurring mineral in our bodies, that helps to maintain bone and tissue health. It also helps to maintain collagen, which gives skin elasticity & keeps hair strong. At the Blue Lagoon though, you can basically think of silica this way:
Silica = Stiff Hair!
I wondered if the Lagoon affected everyone’s hair similarly. On my second visit to the Blue Lagoon, I went with two of my best friends. I’m a blonde, and they’re both brunettes with naturally wavy hair ~ but the consistency of each of our hair is different. And the answer is: we ALL got our hair wet, and we ALL had stiff hair afterwards. The Blue Lagoon says to use their conditioner afterwards, to help your hair recover. Problem is ~ it didn’t work for any of us.
So….Is My Hair Ruined?!
How Do I Fix It??
Here is the answer you have been waiting for: the type of shampoo & conditioner you use afterwards has a direct impact on how your hair will recover from the Blue Lagoon! I brought an excellent, organic Shea Moisture Conditioner with me to Iceland, that (in normal life) I love. SheaMoisture 13 oz Coconut & Hibiscus Curl & Shine Conditioner
But it didn’t work one dang bit in Iceland.
The short answer: because it had protein in it. Any shampoo or conditioner with protein in it will interact with the silica in extremely negative ways! Meaning: it won’t fix the problem. Even with my (very moisturizing) Shea Moisture Conditioner ~ I still couldn’t run a comb through my hair without it getting tangled, & my hair still felt coarse.
So….What Shampoo & Conditioner Actually Works?
The short answer: you need a shampoo & conditioner without protein in them! If you carefully study labels at the drugstore, you’ll realize this is actually quite hard to find. Most shampoo & conditioners have some kind of protein: soy, silk, rice, hydrolyzed ~ you name it! And believe me, none of these will help you at the Blue Lagoon.
3-Step Process to Fix Hair:
1) First off, you need a clarifying shampoo, to remove ALL of the minerals (& silica) from your hair. Once I got home, the shampoo I had the best results with was actually a charcoal shampoo. Why charcoal? Because charcoal actually pulls out unwanted materials from your hair ~ that’s it’s #1 job. Once I used this shampoo, my hair actually felt normal for the first time in weeks!
2) Second, you need a regular conditioner WITHOUT protein in it! Read the labels carefully. If there’s any protein in there, it will react with the silica & keep your hair stiff. I ditched my organic conditioner for awhile, & went with Herbal Essences Rose Color-Safe Conditioner ~ one of the only conditioners I found at the drugstore with zero protein in it. Luckily, it’s also safe to use on color-treated hair.
3) Finally, you need a great deep conditioner treatment to really get your hair back to normal after the Blue Lagoon ~ & of course, with zero protein in it. Leave this deep conditioner in for at least 3-5 minutes ~ or you could leave it on, as I did, overnight & really let it penetrate deep into your hair. After doing this, your hair should feel silky soft again, or at the very least ~ not like horse hair anymore!
And That’s It!
In three steps, your hair should definitely be on its way back to normal! If not ~ give it a few more shampoos, & really work that charcoal shampoo into your hair to make sure you’ve removed all of the silica. And if you haven’t left the deep conditioner in overnight, give that a try. You’ll be on your way to having your glamorous, silky hair back!
Have you been to the Blue Lagoon in Iceland? Did you get your hair wet? (It’s hard not to…it’s too inviting!) What happened to your hair & how did you fix it?! If you’ve tried my tips & they worked for you, let me know in the comment section below! And most importantly…
Enjoy Your Icelandic Adventure!