If you claim to love surfing, then you should know a thing or two about surfer’s hair. Popularized by the surfing community in the 50s, surfer’s hair is recognized by the tousled and windswept appearance of messy or disheveled locks of surfers. It appears as if surfers have spent a lot of time on the waves with the ocean breeze and saltwater shaping their locks.
The reason for the popularity of surfer’s hair is that it’s so effortlessly cool and gives off a stylish yet carefree/relaxed vibe. There is also the fact that blonde is seen as the hair of surfers since being exposed to the elements tends to make hair lighter although this will be more pronounced in people with blonde or brown hair.
People that are not blonde can easily change their hair color to blonde by using lemon juice, olive oil, and honey. You could also just apply a solution of peroxide to your hair. And you can achieve the messy and wavy hairstyle that has been associated with surfers with one or two hair products.
In this article, I’ll be focusing on how surfing can make your hair blonde or lighter and how to get surfer’s hair.
Why Does Surfing Cause Blonde Hair?
Most surfers spend 2 to 4 hours on surfing sessions per day. For those that surf regularly, they’ll be more exposed to sunshine and saltwater, two factors responsible for lightening hair color. Sunshine and saltwater naturally tint hair.
People with blonde hair will find their hair becoming lighter while those with light brown hair can become completely blonde. People with dark hair won’t get blonde hair but they can notice their hair color becoming lighter in tone.
How Does Sunshine Change Hair Color?
You’ll notice your skin becomes darker after spending some time at the beach. Some people go to the beach solely for this reason to tan their skin. But sunshine has a different effect on your hair. While exposure to sunshine causes the color of the skin to darken, the reverse is the case for your hair as it becomes lighter. Both scenarios depend on a pigment called ‘melanin‘ which is present in both the skin and hair.
When the sun shines on your skin, it stimulates the skin to produce more melanin. Melanin is responsible for the color of the skin and the more melanin is produced, the darker the skin will become. But in the case of hair, sunshine stimulates the breakdown of melanin. Melanin is also responsible for the hair color and as it breaks down, the hair color becomes lighter as it starts to lose its natural tone.
Since surfers are exposed to a lot of sunshine, their hair color will change from a darker tone to a lighter tone. For people whose hair color is naturally light, they’ll get blonde hair. People with red or brown hair are unlikely to get blonde hair since sunshine can’t deplete the melanin levels in their hair to achieve blonde color. But they may notice a lighter shade of their hair color after some time.
How Does Saltwater Change Hair Color?
Sunshine works together with saltwater to change the color of your hair. Surfers are always floating, paddling, or being challenged by bigger and bigger water swells. This makes exposure to saltwater inevitable. Now, saltwater strips the hair of ‘keratin‘, a pigment that confers elasticity to the hair. Keratin is also found in other body parts such as nails and skin.
By stripping the hair of its keratin content, the hair is directly exposed to salt and the effect of this is gradual lightening of the hair. This effect combined with sunshine will lighten the tone of the hair.
Do All Surfers Have Blonde Hair?
Obviously, all surfers don’t have blonde hair. Hair or skin isn’t a prerequisite for surfing and people of all skin and hair colors engage in the beautiful sport we know as surfing.
Early surfer films such as Beach Party (1963) depicted surfers with blonde hair. That combined with the tendency of sunshine and saltwater to tint surfers’ hair is why many people associate blonde hair with surfer’s hair.
But surfer’s hair has more to do with the messy, curly, or wavy curls that give off that stylish and relaxed vibe. However, if you are into the blonde surfer hair thing, you can always dye your hair blonde.
How to Get Surfer Hair?
Below are steps to get surfer hair:
1. Be realistic about what you can achieve
If you want to get blonde hair and your hair isn’t naturally blonde, you will have to dye your hair. There are different shades of blonde and some shades may not be achievable with your hair color. For example, if you want to be super blonde and your hair color is dark or red, you may only come out with a lighter or warmer blonde.
Surfer hairstyles can also be long, medium, or short. Long is the most popular and trendy. Medium also looks great and short surfer hair can look fantastic with the right style. But can your hair grow long to at least 4 inches? Not everyone has hair that can grow long. So before you start out, be realistic about what you can achieve.
2. Let your hair grow
Yes, let your hair grow as long as possible. You should be willing to trim your hair as getting a trim helps ensure your hair is healthy and the growth you have is only the good stuff. Naturally, you wouldn’t want any scissors near your hair as you are growing it but it may be necessary at times. There are several hair products you can use to boost hair growth and strength. Do your research and choose the best products.
As your hair grows, be sure to eat your greens as they promote hair growth and healthy skin, nail, and hair. Also, avoid shampooing your hair every day and whenever you shampoo your hair, use a conditioner afterward. Conditioner strengthens hair and keeps it healthy.
3. Find a trusted stylist
When your hair has grown as long as it can or when you feel you have enough hair, visit a trusted stylist with a picture of the surfer style you want. Your stylist will work the magic on your hair to achieve the look you want.
Some stylists may opt to use a blade rather than scissors on your hair to bring about a “deconstructed” look, the opposite of styling. You can also ask your stylist to add highlights to make your hair more closely resemble the true surfer look.
4. Maintain your hair
After getting that surfer style, you have to maintain it by using a salt-infused matte-finish product as this ensures your hair maintains its windblown and sun-exposed appearance. You should also endeavor to always blow dry your hair lightly, without too much heat.
Anytime you go surfing, put an oil or hair mask on your hair to protect it from the sun and seawater.
Surfer hair is cool and requires low maintenance. You may have this hair naturally or get it after hours of surfing. But for those that don’t have surfer hair naturally, you can always get the hairstyle by the steps I discussed above.