Hood’s and Hair – How to deal with your hair while scuba diving
Scuba and Hair
Dive Diva’s everywhere have questioned how to tame their wild tresses. While we know that we aren’t going to look like the Sports Illustrated models after a dive, we certainly shouldn’t surrender to a shaved head either. Saltwater wreaks havoc on our hair leaving a salt residue that depletes the hair of it’s natural moisture. Add blowing wind into the equation and the result is split ends and brittle hair that feels like straw.
Hair care for Girl Divers is three fold. You must treat your hair before you subject it to the elements, manage your hair during the dives, and restore your hair after the dives.
Chlorine and saltwater can discolor and dry out the hairs cuticle. Before diving, wet down hair with cool tap water, which will seal the cuticle. Hair is like a sponge; it can only absorb so much water. If it’s wet to begin with, it won’t absorb as much damaging chlorine and saltwater.
Swear by leave-in conditioner and never leave for the dive without it. Protecting skin with sunscreen is good sense, and the same goes for hair. If you can find a conditioner with a sunscreen in it, all the better, as the UV rays will turn your hair a brassy shade. Also, using some hair cr?me or pomade as a conditioning barrier will reduce the amount of salt that can adhere to the hair follicles.
During the dive, if you have long hair, you’ll want to secure it before pulling and tugging on your neoprene hood. Putting hair into a braid or a series of pony holders keeps hair from becoming caught in the hood. Using the conditioner before braiding, will help to hold the braid in place. You may want to wear a lycra “doo rag” over your hair before putting on your hood. Alternatively, a “shark skin” or “titanium” lining in the hood will also ease with removal of the hood off at the end of your dive.
If you’re diving a tropical destination, you may consider a beanie for night dives (as this will not only tame your tresses but avoid getting blood worms tangling in your locks). For day use, a “slap strap”, available at most dive stores will keep the mask strap from catching on your hair.
We are told to rinse our gear thoroughly after a dive, but any good Girl Diver knows, that beauty comes before gear rinsing. As soon as possible, rinse out your hair with fresh water. You may find a fresh water shower on the boat or at the dive site. There are also a myriad of shampoos made to remove harsh elements from your hair at your local salon.
Put a wide-toothed comb in your Save-A-Dive kit, so that you can get through those tangles on your way to the pizza place. Again, if you’ve got some spray in conditioner with you, now would be a great time to add another round to the hair, as it’s just been through the dehydration routine.
Keep your hair trimmed of split ends and use a clarifying shampoo weekly to keep your hair looking great.
Even the divas of diving have to treat their locks. “I’m not very good with my hair and don’t think about it much,” Tanya Streeter said from her home in Austin, Texas. “When I know I’m going to be in the water, I just coat it with a ton of conditioner, braid it, and wear it down my wet suit.”