Surfer/Writer
Community
girl holding hair above surf break in australia

A post-surf shower can go a long ways to keeping hair undamaged and healthy. Photo: Jaiden Peters via Unsplash


The Inertia

It’s no secret that saltwater isn’t gentle on your hair. While it may give you beachy waves and sun-bleached highlights, it dries everything out, from roots to the ends, leaving your hair rough and dehydrated. Staying out of the ocean may seem like the obvious solution, but we know that’s not going to happen. Your best move is to take steps to prevent the damage by using products that will help set you up for success. With proper care and attention, it’s possible to keep the tousled, sun-bleached highlights and have healthy hair at the same time.

There’s a million and one different products out there to keep your hair protected while you surf, there’s even a whole category of products that do just the opposite – salt water sprays designed to beachify your hair no matter how close you are to the ocean. With so many different products out there, we did some digging to find out what pro surfers use. It goes without saying that when your career involves hours of water time per day and maybe a photoshoot or two, you’ll need the best hair care you can get. Here are the best hair care products for surfers, according to the pros.

The Best Hair Care Products for Surfers

It’s a 10 Haircare Miracle Leave-In ($15)
Sun Bum Leave-In Conditioner ($14)
Moroccanoil Treatment Oil ($44)
Paul Mitchell Awapuhi Moisture Mist ($11)
Coconut Oil ($10)
Hair, Skin, & Nails Vitamins ($11)
RinseKit Pod ($150)

How to Protect Your Hair While Surfing

There are a few simple tricks to help protect your hair from saltwater damage. Before you paddle out for a surf, rinse your hair with fresh water — this helps prevent your hair from soaking up as much saltwater. It can also be helpful to spray on a leave-in conditioner before heading out, as it coats the hair in a protective layer and helps lock in moisture. Some surfers even use coconut oil. As soon as you get out of the water, thoroughly rinse your hair to get the saltwater off as quickly as possible, and again, a leave-in conditioner will do wonders.

Advice from the Pros

“After swimming or surfing, I like to let my hair air-dry, and then throw it into a tight bun and leave it tied up for a few hours.” Roxy surfer Monyca Eleogram told Refinery29. “When I let it down, the dryness of the sun and salt mixture creates really nice, salty beach waves.”

“Just like sunscreen, you need to coat your hair with something to keep it from frying,” Kelia Moniz tells Glamour. “I’m a freak about putting product in my hair before and after I surf.”

“If you don’t shower off in fresh water after a surf, your hair stays salty, feels fried, and sometimes breaks off,” says longboarding champion Honolua Blomfield.

“After a long day in the sun and surf, I’ll use coconut oil in my hair as an awesome rejuvenating hair mask,” says Sally Fitzgibbons.

“In competition, a lot of people wear their hair up, but I love mine down,” Courtney Conlogue told Harpers Bazaar. “And I’ve been told it’s actually better for your hair to have it down or in a braid because it won’t tear your hair as much.”

it's a 10 miracle hair care

‘It’s a 10’ Haircare Miracle Leave-In ($15)

Holly Obermeyer, Kelia Moniz, Alessa Quizon, and Tati Weston-Webb (just to name a few), all swear by this product. I’ve had the chance to give it a shot myself and damn, this stuff works. A few spritzes can be applied to wet or dry hair to hydrate, tame frizz, or protect before hitting the water. “I love It’s a 10!says Laura Enever. “It’s by far my favorite, without a doubt. I use it every time I get out of the surf and after showers. It makes my hair feel feel amazing, hydrates, and helps with sun damage.”

Check Price on Amazon.

sun bum leave in conditioner

Sun Bum Leave-In Conditioner ($14)

There are plenty of leave-in conditioners out there, but Sun Bum’s is my personal favorite. The 3-in-1 leave-in conditioner spray triples as a detangler, conditioner, and anti-frizz solution. Isabella Nichols and Nique Miller are both brand ambassadors who swear by this product. Vegan and paraben-free, the spray smells amazing and works to restore moisture, repair damage, reduce tangles, and slow color fading. I use this spray before surfing and after showering and love how it helps protect my hair and makes brushing my long, thick locks a battle I can actually win.

Check Price on Amazon and Jack’s Surfboards.

moroccanoil treatment oil best hair care for surfers

Moroccanoil Treatment Oil ($44)

If you’ve done any searching for “hair care products for dry hair,” there’s no doubt you’ve stumbled across some mention of the mythical properties of Argan Oil. Well, Moroccanoil is where that trend began. It works on wet or dry hair to tame flyaways, frizz, detangle, and keep your hair healthy and glowing. A favorite of pros such as Kassia Meador, Sally Fitzgibbons, Courtney Conlogue, and others, there’s no doubt that the “Pioneering Argan Oil Product” lives up to its name.

Check Price on Amazon.

paul mitchell hair spray

Paul Mitchell Awapuhi Moisture Mist ($11)

This multi-purpose moisture mist is my go-to when I need a little hydration boost. It works for hair and skin and contains lactic acid and Hawaiian Awapuhi, also known as “Shampoo Ginger,” allowing it to give you that much needed deep moisture and a little extra shine. Vegan and paraben-free, the moisture mist also contains spirulina, plankton extracts, amino acids, and vitamins that work together to make hair soft and hydrated. I like to keep this mist in my beach bag and spritz a little on my hair and skin after I get out of the water. Pro surfer Malia Manuel is a big fan of Awapuhi as well. “I use Paul Mitchell Awapuhi Styling Treatment Oil,” she told The Cut. “I love the Awapuhi collection. It’s called a styling oil, but I use it after I come in from the water because my hair gets fried.”

Check Price on Amazon.

viva naturals organic coconut oil

Coconut Oil ($10)

Coconut oil, a.k.a. the miracle worker, is the perfect at-home remedy for dry and damaged hair. The lauric acid in coconut oil has nourishing properties and the oil absorbs easily into hair, working to tame frizz and heal breakage. There are a couple of ways to take advantage of the oil — you can rub it into your hair before washing to help minimize damage from washing, coat your hair with it after washing to make it smoother and shinier, or leave it on for 30-minutes for a deep conditioning treatment. Pro tip: melt the oil before attempting to apply to hair.

Check Price on Amazon.

hair nail skin vitamins

Hair, Skin, & Nails Vitamins ($11)

These vitamins contain biotin, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and other nutrients that help promote healthy hair. I love long hair but due to saltwater damage, I chop off 5-7 inches twice a year. I’ve been taking these vitamins for a couple years and it may just be a placebo, but I definitely think they help my hair grow back quicker and healthier. At just under $12 a bottle, I’ll take whatever help I can get.

Check Price on Amazon.

rinsekit pod

RinseKit Pod ($150)

I try to be good about freshwater rinses pre and post surf but oftentimes, the beaches I’m at don’t have showers and I wind up leaving my hair salty. The RinseKit Pod has been the solution to my saltwater woes. The 1.5 gallon insulated tank keeps hot water hot, which is something to look forward to after a chilly surf. The Pod fills in just thirty seconds and its lightweight and portable, making it easy to stash in the car. In addition to rinsing my hair, the hose makes it ideal for rinsing off boards, pets, kids, the car, and whatever else you might need.

Check Price on Amazon.

Editor’s Note: For more gear reviews and features on The Inertia, click here.

Disclosure: The Inertia may receive a small commission if you make a purchase from the affiliate links included in this feature at no additional cost to you. Our goal is always to entertain, educate, and inspire, and we hope you find this feature useful.

Newsletter

Only the best. We promise.

Contribute

Join our community of contributors.

Apply