While it’s true that SCUBA diving is not a fashion show, there is much consideration to be given in the hair department. One of the most common issues for lady divers is how to manage your hair’s aversion to saltwater, whether long or short. Trying to run your fingers through your hair after a dive is like trying to run your fingers through a tangled fishing net. Your once lustrous locks have now been reduced to a sticky, matted clump that is begging you not to touch it with a hairbrush until the conditioner has been applied liberally. But you can’t just sit there, looking like that. So what’s a lady to do to beat the SCUBA hair day blues?
All that salt is going to gunk up your strands, there’s just no getting around it. So, a little preparation is needed to help combat the gunk, since we can’t eradicate it. Refrain from washing your hair before a dive. We’ve all been told how shampooing daily is not good for hair, as it strips it of natural oils that actually help to increase shine and body. Even if you don’t subscribe to this way of thinking, follow it before a dive. The more natural oils in your hair when you subject it to seawater, the better your hair is going to be at deflecting the dehydrating salts.
Although you won’t be shampooing, you will be conditioning. The conditioner will give you an even greater layer of protection from the elements. Don’t fret over how heavy it makes your hair feel, because you’re not styling it for a night on the town. You’re protecting it, like a savage tiger protects its cubs from poachers. See what we did there? Salt = poachers. Poachers of all the hard work and effort you put into keeping those strands healthy!
After you’ve rinsed the conditioner from your locks, do not do any kind of drying to your hair. No towel drying, and absolutely no blow drying. Keeping the moisture in your hair will play a vital part in keeping it under control.
If your hair is below chin level, we’ll consider this long hair. Take your wet, drippy, moisturized hair, and tightly braid it into pigtails, one on each side of your head. If you know how to French braid, this is even better. If you have bangs, braid them into the rest of your hair if possible, or just clip them back towards the back of your head. If braids aren’t your thing, try buns on each side, close to the nape of your neck.
For short hair, spray with a leave-in conditioner, and slick your hair back with a comb. Now, short hair is nearly impossible to keep under control underwater, so a swim cap, dive beanie, or dive hood is going to be your friend. Not a fashion show, remember? Bring your leave-in conditioner on the dive with you so that you can reapply as needed. If you forgot your conditioner, but someone has lotion, don’t be afraid to improvise. All of it will be down the drain when you take that splendid hot shower after the dive!