View Full Version : How to deal with saltwater?

November 6th, 2013, 05:47 AM
I SCUBA dive, and it seems even if I secure my hair well beforehand, I always come back up with nasty, matted, tangled hair. I have a soft neoprene mask strap, but that doesn't seem to make a difference. Likewise, wearing a wetsuit hood doesn't seem to help. Basically, if my hair gets saltwater on it at all (even just swimming without a mask), it becomes a wet mess of awfulness. I lost so much hair on my last dive trip trying to detangle it. Even trying to gently tease it apart with lots of conditioner didn't help much.

What do I do?? I can't imagine wearing a swim-cap all the time, first because any mask rubbing would still be a problem, and second because swimming in the ocean with my hair down feels excellent (until I get back to land and combing, of course!)...anything else I can do pre dive/swim to keep this from happening?

November 6th, 2013, 06:25 AM
Can you saturate it with an oil? I don't know if thats a good thing for the sea and it inhabitants though.

November 6th, 2013, 06:39 AM
I can't think of a reason why a natural plant oil would be bad, honestly. If there was a lot of excess oil on the hair it would be lost on the descent anyway, and not diffusing so much once I was near sensitive sea-friends. Thanks! I have swimmer friends who use conditioner to protect their hair from chlorine, but I was wary of globbing on conditioner in the ocean...For some reason oil totally slipped my mind! I'll have to try it next time I'm out!

November 6th, 2013, 08:24 AM
I was thinking mostly of seabirds getting on their feathers. I know Crude oil is TOTALLY different, but I didn't know if plant oils might affect their waterproofing too ;)

November 6th, 2013, 11:06 AM
Given the amount of people that go in the ocean smothered head to toe in tanning oil, I doubt a little hair oil will make much of a difference!

November 6th, 2013, 12:09 PM
Oil beforehand, yes. And do you use a chelating shampoo? That might help get all the salt and minerals off that are coating your hair and making it tangly.

ETA: I always swim with my hair braided. It seems to contain better and keep tangles at bay better than a bun. Have you tried that?

ETA again: Are you trying to detangle your hair right after getting out of the water? I know personally, my hair is next to impossible to detangle wet. If I try, I get lots of breakage, lost hair and frustration--and that's even without my hair being coated in salty, mineral-rich seawater. Perhaps you shouldn't even try to detangle until after you've chelated, conditioned, and waited for your hair to dry.

November 6th, 2013, 01:08 PM
The most prep I do when I hit the beach is putting my hair in a pony.

November 6th, 2013, 04:01 PM
This summer I went to the beach and I just gooped coconut oil onto my hair before I swam or snokled. It made it much easier to detangle and I had less fallout and breakage.