With salt water and sun being able to beat down on every strand, even more so being out that far into the water, you’d think wearing your hair down to surf is the last thing you should be doing. As someone who has shared that reasoning and learned the hard way I can assure you, it’s a mistake.
“Instead it ripped out hair ties, tightened tangles, and twisted around necklaces”
The first couple times I paddled out when I was learning how to surf I was throwing my long hair into a bun on the top of my head thinking it would keep it from whipping around and out of my eyes. Of course I didn’t take into account the clumsy mess I would be falling off the board every two seconds, never realized how fast those waves were actually moving, and being flipped over and dunked under by white wash doesn’t give mercy to a tight top knot.
Instead it ripped out hair ties, tightened tangles, and twisted around necklaces (also never wear a necklace while surfing but I feel like more people have probably already thought about that).
So I tried two tight French braids, closer to my head, less loose hair strewn about, nice and neat.
The ocean has a way of loosening and tightening at its own will. What started out as tight braids quickly became a salty mess that I needed help to untwist when I got out.
Living on North Shore, O'ahu I was surrounded by competitive and professional surfers. They all had their hair down (just look at action shots of Alana Blanchard, her sun soaked blonde hair reaches past her waist and she doesn’t tie it up) but I thought loose hair was only for the professionals, once you got good at surfing. I realized they just knew what I didn’t.
Loose hair while surfing actually tangles less and therefore breaks less than hair tied up while surfing.
So seriously, you should always wear your hair down to surf.
Leaving it down doesn’t come without my own protective precautions though. Remember when I said salt and sun can beat down on every strand? That’s still true and still can be damaging.
Instead of accepting this damage vs. hair tie ripping damage, I take my solid dip conditioner bar with me to every surf session.
It’s my secret weapon, I don’t wait just until after to run it down my hair, I jump into the waves and soak my hair, wet the bar, and coat every strand with the best conditioner bar to exist and then continue on to paddle out. When I leave the water I run the wet bar down my hair one more time since most of the conditioner was soaked up or washed out in the ocean, let it air dry and I’m ready to go.
My hair has never been as soft or tangle free which has seriously saved it from the ripping and drying damage the salt water can cause.
The Sun Shield bar in particular also has UV protectant in it, like a sunscreen but for your hair. That plus the moisturizing effect let’s my hair strands slide right past each other when I wipe out (still never said I was GOOD at surfing) and instead of tangling into knots I’m actually able to comb through my hair with me fingers when I’m done surfing.
To sum it up, the golden routine to keeping your hair amazing when you surf:
Leave your hair down
Coat it with the Sun Shield dip conditioner bar before your surf session
Love the ends a little extra with the bar when you’re done surfing
Say thank you to the compliments you’re about to receive :)