How to take care of your hair when scuba diving?
Updated: Feb 28
Mermaid hair, don't care! Except that us land mermaids do care. Even though we would rather be spending all of our time underwater looking and feeling good, we can be sometimes distracted by our usually lovely hair. While being in our second favorite environment we would also like this to be true. However, exposure to sun, wind, and saltwater can make it quite challenging.
Hair underwater looks magical; I mean we’ve all seen Ariel’s red mane flowing in the water while she swims around flipping her tail and making it look like her hair actually likes saltwater. But let's all be honest, the exact opposite is true. Saltwater damages your hair. Those beautiful blonde mermaid locks that I had before I became a diver, are now dry, brittle and broken. So I started doing a bit of experimentation to see what could make my hair look as good on land as it does when I’m underwater. Whether you’re a diver, surfer, swimmer or are just addicted to swimming in the sea, your hair is going to need a little extra TLC (Tender loving care) after your ocean activities; so here are a few tips.
1. Coconut oil or argan oil is the key! Before diving or going into the water put either oil on your hands and run it through your hair, especially the ends. I put my hair into a ponytail first and then put the oil in...it makes life a little less messy and easier to get into your hair.
2. Rinse your hair after every dive. As soon as you’re out of the water, get some freshwater and give your hair a bit of a rinse. I do this even between dives.
3. Use a neoprene mask strap - these fit over those annoying, sticky plastic mask straps and make sure that your hair doesn't get stuck in your mask. The constant pulling off and putting on takes its toll on your hair and a neoprene mask strap not only makes your mask look awesome but stops your hair ripping out and keeps it in place. It is also another way to express yourself or an easy way to distinguish yourself on a dive in a buddy team. Aurora Wetsuits currently sends each customer who orders a female diving wetsuit a free Aurora mask strap as a gift.
4. The way you tie your hair is also key. Leaving it loose will get it tangled which causes knots, breakage and is just a general pain in the ass. I always put my hair in a high ponytail, it looks pretty underwater and is still easy to manage. Plaits or braids work well for people with hair too long to just put into a ponytail and another option for those longer haired mermaids is a ponytail with smaller elastics being tied at regular intervals to keep the hair together, this is a bit time consuming though, but tends to look pretty cool underwater and is a favorite method of shark Activist; Ocean Ramsey.
5. Avoid shampooing your hair too much, but always use conditioner every night. Shampoo tends to dry your hair out and since it’s already dry thanks to all that salty water, you only really need conditioner. Your hair doesn't get dirty since it's always in the water, so a shampoo once or twice a week is more than enough.
As a side note: since we try as far as possible to be as Eco-friendly as possible try not to use products that aren’t natural in your hair when diving because those more often than not contain ingredients that are toxic to the coral reefs and fish. There are 100% natural shampoos and conditioners available that come in a great travel size package. Head over to How to replace your single-use plastic beauty products to get some great tips on shampoo bars and conditioners.
6. Keep it short. To be perfectly honest if you are a professional diver and soak your hair in salt or chlorine water daily this might be your last resort for healthy-looking hair. Following the steps above while cutting your hair regularly and keeping it short works for many divers. It's much easier to detangle and rinse short hair after every dive. And cutting dry ends off frequently makes your hair look nice and healthy.