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Ladies- What to do With your Hair Before During and After Diving

a woman sitting at a beach

Diving & Long Hair


Ladies- What to do With your Hair Before During and After Diving

One of the biggest questions I get from students or fellow lady divers is “what do I do with my hair and how do I keep it under control while diving?!” Having long hair while diving can be a struggle, but it doesn’t have to be! After numerous rips, breakage and spending countless hours brushing out dreadlocked knots, I finally found a method that works to keep hair dread, tear, tangle and rip free!

Preparation is Key

I find this to be the most important step! Preparation is key in keeping your hair tangle free. Just before I’m about to hop in the water, I rinse my hair with fresh water. I’ve noticed this to be a GAME CHANGER! Your hair will become less absorbent in the salt water because there won’t be much room left inside the hair strands.

Also before my dive, I put an oil serum or conditioner in my hair. This helps to keep your hair moisturized and easier to keep tangle free. Since oil and water don’t mix, the oil acts as a barrier from salt water being absorbed and drying out your hair. I prefer to use natural serums, because they don’t have any chemical toxins that are harmful to myself or the environment (especially important since you’re diving in the ocean with fragile corals!). I’ve been using Sun Bums Coconut Argan oil and it works great. It’s the perfect pre dive treatment to help protect hair from the salt water while naturally hydrating, restoring, and strengthening hair. Just plain old Coconut oil is also my favorite go to; it’s cheap, natural, effective, and smells amazing. I recommend using fractionated coconut oil because it stays in liquid form and is easier to work into your hair. Another favorite is Stream2Sea leave in hair conditioner. I love this product because its fully biodegradable in fresh & salt water


Hair Tie Placement

Low ponytail with multiple ties going down length of hair

Figuring this out was a game changer!!! I like to call this hair style the Ocean Ramsey, because it was her who gave me the inspiration to write this blog (if you don’t know her, she’s a badass mermaid & marine biologist and lover of all things diving!). Trying to figure out how to tie my hair back and keep it under control was one of the biggest struggles I was dealing with for years, especially having long hair! I use to do a single low braid, but after every dive (mostly after scuba) my braid was half the length (compressed due to pressure?). Maybe I didn’t braid my hair tight enough, or who knows, but this method never worked for me!  Having a low pony tail, with multiple hair ties going down the length of the pony tail keeps your hair from getting tangled. It’s also a lot easier to get out after the dive! Simply roll the hair ties down and off (rip and tangle free!). If you’re scuba diving, I recommend having a low pony tail off to the side so your hair doesn’t get caught around the regulator first stage.

Low or high bun

If you don’t have multiple hair ties, this is my other go to. Wrap your hair in a high or low bun. If I’m scuba diving, I prefer the high bun so my hair won’t get stuck in my first stage. If I’m freediving, I prefer a low bun, in case I need to wear my hood.

Post Dive Deep Conditioning

One of my FAVORITE products is Revive hair moisturizer from lush. It’s nourishing, conditioning, hydrating and smells absolutely AMAZING!!! I sometimes put this in my hair after a dive so I can comb my hair easier, or I put it on after a shower. The best part is, a little bit goes along way!

Being in the sun and salt water everyday can be really taxing on your hair. I liked to do a deep conditioning hair mask treatment about once a week (or sometimes multiple days during the summer) to keep hair healthy and help prevent breakage. This Shea butter and coconut oil hair mask by Trader Joes is amazing!

Mermaid at the Blue Heron Bridge

DIY Mermaid Hairspray

In between deep conditioning, I like to use an essential oil blend daily, called Mermaid Hair. I put this in my hair after I get out of the shower. It’s a blend of therapeutic-grade natural essential oils that nourishes, strengthens, softens, promotes hair growth and smells amazing!

There are many essential oils on the market, but when choosing oils it’s important to know where they came from, what’s the method of extraction and if they are pure.

Here’s the recipe:

– 10 drops Cerdarwood essential oil

– 10 drops Lavender essential oil

– 10 drops Rosemary essential oil

– 10 drops Geranium essential oil

– 4oz glass spray bottle

– Witch hazel

– Jojoba oil, Argan oil or coconut oil

Here’s the steps:

1. Add about 3 table spoons of alcohol free witch hazel to spray bottle. This helps the essential oils bond

2. Add 1 tablespoon Jojoba oil, Argan oil or coconut oil. This helps to hydrate hair

3. Add essential oils

4. Fill the rest of the spray bottle with filtered water. (Make sure you leave room for spray top)

5. Shake well before use & enjoy

6. Apply this mermaid hair blend to clean, wet hair after I get out of the shower. I also use this daily!

Combing these 3 methods into my dive and daily routine has helped keep my long hair happy and healthy! Happy diving!

Let me know in the comments below if you found this helpful or if you have any of your own special tips & tricks!

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