The mestiza muse

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I'm Verna,
Your Curly-Haired Friend.

Curly hair is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you're going to get. It could be super-defined one day and a frizzy concoction the next day – and it's never exactly the same from one head to another. Our mission is to equip you with the necessary tools for restoring and maintaining healthy locks and celebrating the hair you were born with! 

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Curl care

I am highly experienced in the beauty industry and specialize in writing for brands and websites that focus on curly hair care. Moreover, I actually have curly hair and have curly-haired children with varying hair textures. I am also surrounded by curly-haired friends, including curly hairstylists and curly-haired family members. You get the point :) I’m well-versed in the language and nuances of curly hair care, styling tips, and product recommendations.

Furthermore, I collaborate with my friend who has a Ph.D. in organic and inorganic chemistry and works as an R&D Chemist to help us navigate through the misinformation around curly hair care. He advises us on Hair Care Science to ensure we are well-informed.

Hi,I'm Verna

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Last Updated on April 9, 2023 by Verna Meachum

Wondering how to get sand out of curly hair? You’re not alone!

It’s the worst. You’re at the beach, enjoying the sun and the waves, and then you realize that you’ve got it in your hair. It’s creeped into the crevices of your curls and it’s just not budging.

You start slapping the sand out of your hair, but it’s no use. The sand seems to be stuck in there for good. You can feel it every time you move your head, and it’s driving you crazy.

But it’s not just any sand. It’s the coarse, irritating kind that gets stuck in your curls and won’t come out no matter how much you brush or shake your head.

Sand is difficult to get out of your hair because it is so coarse and rough. It gets stuck in your curls and even if you manage to get most of the sand out, there will still be some left behind that will make your hair feel gritty and uncomfortable.

This can be a tricky task, but with a little perseverance, you’ll be on your way to beach-sand-free bliss. If you’re dealing with sand in your curly hair, we’ve got the best tips and tricks for you! We’ll show you how to get that sand out without damaging it.

How to get sand out of curly hair: Tips for each method 

There are a few ways to get sand out of curly hair, and they all involve a bit of elbow grease (or a lot, depending on how bad the sand situation is).

Shake It Out

This is a no-brainer, but it’s worth mentioning because it’s the first step in getting sand out of your hair.

If you can’t take a shower immediately or have access to clean water to shampoo your hair until you get home, start by shaking your head vigorously from side to side, flip it over, and shake some more to remove as much sand as possible.

This won’t get all of the sand out, but it’s a good place to start.

Use Your Hands

After you’ve shaken your head to loosen the sand, it’s time to start using your hands to remove it.

Start by running your fingers through your hair, paying close attention to the roots and scalp. This will help to remove any sand that’s clinging to your hair.

Brushing It Out

If shaking your head doesn’t do the trick, you can try gently brushing the sand out of your hair with a wide-tooth comb. Start at the bottom of your hair and work your way up, being careful not to tug or pull too hard on your curls.

Vacuum It Out

Yep, you read that right. You can use a vacuum cleaner to get the sand out of your hair. Just make sure that the attachment you’re using is clean and dry, otherwise you’ll end up with more dirt in your hair than when you started.

Finally, keep the nozzle at least a few inches from your scalp to avoid tangles and damage.

To vacuum the sand out of your hair, start by shaking your hair to remove as much sand as possible. Then, hold the vacuum cleaner nozzle close to your head and turn it on. The suction will pull the sand out of your hair. Be sure to move the nozzle around so that you don’t miss any spots.

If you were prepared beforehand, you would have your hair up in a bun, twists, or braids while at the beach since it’s ideal to avoid getting sand in your hair in the first place. But, if you find yourself with sandy locks, don’t fret! Just vacuum it out!

Shampoo It

Once you’ve removed as much sand as possible, it’s time to shampoo your hair. Start by wetting your hair and massaging a generous amount of shampoo into your scalp.

Be sure to really work the shampoo in, paying close attention to the roots and any areas where there is still sand. Rinse your hair thoroughly and repeat the shampooing process if necessary.

Treat It

After you’ve shampooed your hair, you’ll want to give it some extra love with a deep conditioner or hair mask. This will help to hydrate your curls and repair any damage that might have been caused by the sand.

To deep condition your hair, apply a generous amount of conditioner to wet hair and let it sit for at least 5 minutes. Rinse it out thoroughly and style your hair as usual.

Other tricks for getting sand out of your hair

Dry shampoo

If you don’t have time to wash your hair, dry shampoo can help get the sand out of your hair. Apply it to your roots and let it sit for a few minutes before brushing it through your hair.


If you’re in a pinch, you can use a hairdryer to remove the sand from your hair. Just be sure to keep the hairdryer on the cool setting and hold it at least a few inches away from your head, rubbing your hair with your fingers to help remove the sand.

How To Take Sand Out of Coily / Kinky Hair

Kinky or coily hair is more susceptible to dryness and breakage, so it’s important to be extra careful when removing sand from these types of curls. On top of that, it doesn’t do well if handled roughly or has to be washed frequently.

Here are a few tips without damaging it:

  • Use water to gently remove sand to loosen and remove the sand from your hair.
  • Pre-treat your hair with a leave-in conditioner and comb it out, then rinse. Repeat if necessary.
  • Wash your hair with a gentle shampoo and conditioner.
  • Use a wide tooth comb to remove any knots or tangles.

How to Get the Sand Out of Braids

Whether you’re coming back from the beach or just have particularly sandy hair, getting the sand out of your braids can be a frustrating task. But don’t despair- there are a few simple tricks that can help.

  1. First, gentle run your hair through water to remove some of the sand off the top layer of your hair.
  2. Coat the ends of your braids with conditioner
  3. Rinse
  4. Coat hair with more conditioner, then rinse again. Shake hair to loosen sand from your hair.
  5. Apply conditioner and try running a wide-tooth comb through your hair to loosen any small clumps of sand.
  6. Finally, rinse your hair thoroughly with clean water.

What Are the Risks of Leaving Sand In Your Hair?

Although sand in your hair will not cause any structural damage, it can lead to scalp irritation if not removed promptly.

In addition, if you don’t remove all the sand from your hair before going to bed, you might end up with a sand pillow that’s not very comfortable!

So next time you’re at the beach, take a few minutes to rinse off before heading home. Your scalp will thank you for it!


While it’s better to protect your hair by wearing a hat or putting it up in a bun or ponytail before getting sand in it, sometimes you can’t avoid it.

With a little effort, you can remove it quickly and easily. Just follow the tips above and you’ll have sand-free hair in no time!


I had to listen to what my hair curls are finally ready to take in some moisture again!!!


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- renee, Stylist Liaison

“I truly couldn't have gotten through this without her knowledge, advice and support...after suffering from Hygral Fatigue and getting tons of advice @themestizamuse.”

“@themestizamuse: for ESSENTIAL information you will NEED TO KNOW in order to see results.”

See how easy the topics are to find on her page (a few posts screenshot)? There is no topic Verna hasn't covered.

- dominique P, wavy hair enthusiast


- dominique P, wavy hair enthusiast

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Inspiring hair tutor, grateful for what she offers the Curly Community in authenticity, passion, and knowledge.

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- zoe F, Producer & Host of The Curl Squad

“I was so excited to embrace my curls and take better care of them. As I started to dive in, I immediately became overwhelmed with the information.”

I read books and tried doing things because "that's what I'm supposed to do," but it didn't always work and I didn't understand why. I'm so grateful for Verna and her blog. Her info. actually helped me understand more of the science of why some methods helped and what products or ingredients to use and why. Anyone that compliments my hair and wants to start a curly journey, I tell them to start here. My hair is so much healthier and I'm so happy with it.

- stephanie, Curly hair enthusiast


- stephanie, Curly hair enthusiast

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