Fellow surfer chicks and dudes, beach bums and sun-lovers, don’t you just love being in the ocean? If you’re like me, you can’t get enough sun, sand, and sea. There’s no better feeling than a nice, crunchy layer of salt on your hair and skin after a long day in the sea, and the warm after-glow of the sun lingering on your slightly-sun-burnt back.
What I don’t love, however, is damage. Damage to my hair from the constant sun and salt exposure, damage to my skin from the UVA and UVB rays, damage to my eyes from reflected or refracted light, and damage to my body from wipeouts.
There are plenty of ways to combat damage, however, and I’ll be sending out my #beachbumbeauty and #beachbumbody hacks as I discover them, to help you be your healthiest self so you can maximize your time in your favorite place-the ocean!
To kick-off this series, I’ll be sharing some tips I got just last week from my new hair stylist, who was the inspiration for these hacks—shout-out to Cheryl at Paris Green Salon in Kailua!
1. 1 Part Coconut Oil + 2 Parts Castor Oil= Magic
Castor oil is a fantastic oil you can get from most health food stores or online, or even in some CVS stores. Coconut oil is just the best. Use can use coconut oil for cooking and baking, in hot coffee, green tea, or foamed into MUDWTR (my personal favorite), but it’s also a great beauty product.
Combine the two and you’ve got a super elixir perfect for closing-up those sun-damaged ends, while sealing moisture into the hair cuticle at the same time.
Castor oil isn’t just for your hair, either! Click below to read for all its other benefits and uses from wound healing to acne reduction.
2. Wet Your Hair Before You Get Wet.
Our hair is most vulnerable when it is wet, because moisture makes it pliable. My stylist recommended simply braiding, then submerging, my hair, in tap-water before paddling out.
Dunk your head under the beach shower before paddling out, or keep a jug of water in your car for pre-soaking your hair. By first hydrating your hair with tap water, you can make it more resistant to absorbing the damaging sea-water, thus protecting it from further damage. Think of your hair as a sponge.
If it’s already filled with the tap water, it’s less able to absorb the more damaging salt water.
3. Loosen Up!
Another hair-hack I’ve just learned is that I’ve been braiding, bunning, and pony-tailing my hair all wrong. When we pull on our hair, it’s like pulling an old hair tie. Eventually, it snaps.
This concept is no different for the strands of your hair. And, while you can get another hair tie, you can’t quite as easily grow more hair. I highly recommend tying up your hair before any activity, but try loosening it.
Unless you need your hair to be super-smooth and tight for a job or particularly hair-unfriendly task, loosen up! Your hair will thank you.
I’ve found that for surfing with very long hair, a regular braid doesn’t cut it—a French braid or two is the way to go to keep as much hair out of your face while surfing, without having to make it super tight (because the braid starts higher on your head).
Here’s a how-to video for exactly how I braid my hair before a session:
4. Try Petroleum Jelly on Your Ends for Longer Sessions.
Start putting petroleum jelly on your ends before paddling out, diving, boating, paddling for any extended length of time. I don’t recommend this every time you surf, because it definitely leaves your hair feeling a bit greasy afterwards.
I do recommend for sessions longer than 2 hours, though. Simply take a fingerful or 2 of the jelly and smooth it along the ends of your hair. It will seal in moisture while protecting the cuticles from damage.
5. Find a Chelating Shampoo
Creating a 1X a week chelating (pronounced key-late-ing) shampoo routine is a great way to rejuvenate your hair by removing the extra build-up from hard water, other products, and damaging saltwater. Once a week, I wet my hair, suds it up with Loma Nourishing Shampoo, shave my legs while letting it do it’s thang (a 10-minute soak is optimal), rinse, and know that my hair has been recharged and nourished from root to tip. If you want to read more about what chelating shampoos do, click here.
I hope you enjoyed reading these tricks for protecting your lovely locks. I’ll be posting more #beachbumbeauty and #beachbumbody hacks along with my other posts as I discover more ways for us to protect our beautiful selves.
As always, please comment below if you have a question, beauty trick of your own you use, or just to say hi. I always want to hear from you.
BeachBumPoet Note: None of the products, videos, or photos are affiliate links. I simply want make it as easy as possible for you to start protecting your hair.
Feature Image Credit: @joshua_edumcation