How to Get Healthy Surf Hair
Even if you are not a surfer, we all feel the beach is calling and want to be there occasionally. The bright sun, salt water, the crashing waves… The beach has a special healing power for our souls. But the combination of UV rays and sea water is not so friendly to your skin and hair, especially to the hair. Many surfers and beach lovers try protecting their hair, but also many people want the laid-back, beachy look of surfer hair.
How can you achieve this look without damaging your hair? We will explore the science behind surf hair, whether you can get it without hitting the beach, and how to care for it post-beach. So, grab your sunscreen, and let's dive in!
Why the Beach Hair Look is So Popular
One of the main reasons why the surf hair look is so popular is because it exudes a relaxed, beachy vibe that appeals to many people. The idea of effortlessly tousled hair that looks like you just stepped off a surfboard is undeniably alluring. Not only does it give off carefree and natural energy, but it's also a versatile style that can work for any occasion, whether it's a day at the beach or a night out in the town.
But what is it about beach hair that makes it so unique? The answer lies in the combination of factors – seawater and sunshine. When hair gets exposed to these, it causes the cuticles to lift and the hair shaft to dry out, resulting in a slightly bleached and shaggy appearance. However, as we all know, too much exposure to the sun and alkalic sea water can also be damaging to hair, causing it to become brittle and prone to breakage.
If you are a surfer or a beach lover, it's important to take care of your hair before and after you hit the beach to keep your hair healthy. If you just want surfer hair, choose the right products and techniques. You can create the beachy, surfer hair looks you've been dreaming of without unnecessarily damaging hair treatments. So, let's take a deeper dive into the science behind surf hair and how to make it work for you.
What makes the surf hair
But what is it about beach hair that makes it so unique? How is the look created? Beachy surf hair has medium to long length, loose waves, a highlight of bright color that looks naturally bleached, and natural style (or no styling at all). It is not necessary to have curly blonde hair or style your hair perfectly.
What happens to the hair strands when you go into the ocean? There are two elements to learn about, seawater and sunlight. Sea water has an alkalic pH (around 8.2), and it makes the cuticles on the hair open. Sea water contains salt, but salt is not the one affecting the hair. In fact, if you dissolve salt in tap water, the pH will not change from pH 7. Cuticles get open in an alkalic environment and close in an acidic environment. Closed flat cuticles give your hair shine and protect the inner layers from damage. However, when cuticles are open, the inner layers of the hair are exposed. This makes protein, moisture, and color (natural or chemically treated) escape from the hair.
As you know, sunlight also affects the color and texture of the hair. Just like overusing a hair dryer, it makes your hair dryer, frizzier, and more brittle. Sun’s rays act like bleach on hair by reacting and removing the color and protein. Reasonable exposure to sunlight provides a dose of vitamin D, which helps to create new hair. But prolonged exposure to sunlight can damage the cells in follicles and can cause graying or losing hair over time. Your scalp is pretty much the same as the skin on the other parts of the body and too much sunlight can accelerate the aging process.
This is how surfers get wavy and bleached surfer hair. So, how can you look after your scalp and hair while surfing or enjoying beach holidays?
After Beach Hair Care Tips
After a day at the beach, you will find your hair feels dry, tangled, and damaged because of the effects of seawater and sunlight. Here are some after-beach hair care tips to help you take care of your hair.
Hydrate your hair before heading to the beach – You can wet your hair with fresh water or give it a light coat with coconut oil. When the hair is dry, it will absorb sea water as soon as you get into the ocean. Sea water contains chemicals such as chlorine and sulfur that are not good for the hair. You can prevent seawater from reaching the inner layers of hair easily by filling up the inside with fresh water and coat with oil.
Rise off seawater well – As soon as you come out from the ocean, rinse off seawater thoroughly with fresh water. Leaving alkalic sea water on the hair will let the cuticles open, and sunlight will further damage the hair structure.
Use Hydrating shampoo and conditioner every time – You may want to clean your scalp and hair well but choose gentle formula for daily shampoo and conditioner. Especially pay attention to pH and choose the one formulated in the 4.5 to 5.5 range. Acidic pH is gentler on your scalp and keeps cuticles on your hair smooth and flat. Deep conditioner contains an innovative ingredient that can seal the cuticle well. It can even coat and fix more than 80% of sprit ends with the first use. It also has other ingredients to keep moisture in the hair for long hours.
Apply Leave-In Conditioner or Oil if needed - After you washed and conditioned your hair, apply a leave-in conditioner or oil to lock in moisture and reduce frizz. Frizz happens due to the difference between the amount of moisture in the hair strand and the outside environment. Your hair gets frizzy when the air has more moisture than the inside of your hair. Therefore, you can prevent frizzy hair by giving more moisture to the hair. Coating with oil can help seal moisture inside the hair, but it does not add moisture and could weigh down your hair. When you choose hair products, you would want to see humectants such as Glycerin and Panthenol in the ingredients list.
Avoid Heat Styling - Heat styling tools like flat irons and curling wands can further damage your hair if used on wet or damp hair. Instead, air dry your hair naturally. If you must use heat styling tools, make sure to use a heat protectant spray and keep the temperature low.
Can we get surfer hair without going into the ocean?
Anyone can have long hair. You either wait for your hair to grow or can have hair extensions. The good thing about hair extensions is you can get lighter colors for highlighting without bleaching your own hair. If your natural hair is black and straight, your hair will not be wavy and blonde by spending time on a beach. Hair extension is the option for you. Remember, your hair doesn’t need to be blonde. Black hair can also have a beachy look by adding texture and style.
There are a couple of ways to create the texture. You can use a sea salt spray or texturizing spray, and you can achieve those desirable beachy waves without ever stepping foot into the ocean. These products are perfect for anyone who wants to enhance the natural texture and create effortless waves. Another way to create loose waves is braiding hair before going to bed and breaking the braids from the roots very well in the morning.
Can You Surf with Hair Extensions?
Firstly, not all hair extensions are created equal. There are different qualities and methods of application. We recommend following the guidelines provided by the hair extension supplier or the salon, but there are a few things to know.
Surfing or swimming with hair extensions is possible, but it does require a bit of extra care and attention. The first step is choosing the right technique to secure your extensions. Braids or twists can help keep hair extensions in place and prevent them from tangling or getting pulled out in the water. You could also use a swim cap to protect your hair from salt water and sun exposure, but make sure the cap does not pull the extension.
After a day in the water, it's crucial to rinse your hair thoroughly with fresh water to remove any salt, sand, or chlorine that may have accumulated. Use a gentle shampoo and conditioner to hydrate your hair and extensions, and be sure to use a wide-tooth comb to detangle gently. With a little extra care, you can enjoy a day of surfing without causing damage to your hair or extensions.
The beachy, surf hair look is a popular style that many people want to achieve. With the right techniques, it is possible to get this look without damaging your hair. Whether you're a surfer or just a beach lover, taking care of your hair after a day at the beach is important to maintain healthy and sun-kissed locks. So, go ahead and enjoy the beach life, but remember to practice good hair care habits to keep your strands looking their best. As the saying goes, "Life is short, but your hair doesn't have to be."
Best Ways To Protect Your Hair From Sun Damage - https://health.clevelandclinic.org/best-ways-to-protect-your-hair-from-sun-damage
Hair Cosmetics: An Overview - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4387693/