7 Tips All Surfer Girls Should Know for Healthier Hair December 05 2016

All surfer girls deal with hair issues. You know the drill: Surf ( hair is baking in the sun), duck dive (hair is absorbing salt water) after surf, hair is drying out from the salt... Then repeat, for hours at a time, weeks in a row.... Ahhhh, hair issues. The result  often leaves us with hair that is tangled and dehydrated. While we wouldn't trade time in the water for well, almost anything, our hair doesn't have to take the abuse if we treat it right. Pura Vida Board Gear consulted Surf Girl Magazine and also talked to local surfer girls in Playa Jacó and Hermosa to share some tips.

Follow the seven tricks below for healthier hair, even after hours of salt water, duck-diving and sunshine. Surf on! 

1.    Wet your hair and apply conditioner before you go in the water.

By having your hair absorb regular water first, it will absorb less salt water in the ocean. Think of conditioner as sunscreen for your hair. Both Merary Jimenez of Playa Jacó and Erika Valverde of Playa Hermosa stress the importance of using a good conditioner before and after surf sessions. Make sure the conditioner is ocean-friendly. Rememer that some ingredients are toxic to corals.  Avoid parabens, oxybenzone (benzophenone derivatives), propylene glycol if possible. Also, use conditioners that have UV (ultra-violet) protection. If you live somewhere that coconuts are plentiful, fresh coconut milk is a great choice.

2. Braid your hair before surfing

If you have long hair, braiding it will help keep the conditioner in. It will also protect your hair from too much sun exposure and keep it out of your face on a big air drop!

Surfer Girl Merary Jimenez takes good care to have healthy hair

3. Give your hair a good rinse after surfing

A good rinse will remove the salt that dries out your hair after a surf session. Merary says " I always rinse my hair when I get home from surfing; then I put in more conditioner." 

4. Coconut oil Hair Mask 

The amazing benefits of coconut oil also include making a great hair mask for dry hair. After shampooing, rub a teaspoon of coconut oil between your palms and apply to the ends of your hair first, then the rest of your head. Wait ten minutes then rinse thoroughly. Surfer Katia Caparella of Playa Jacó likes to use a mixture of one teaspoon coconut oil with one teaspoon of olive oil once a month as a hair mask. She applies at night "mostly to the ends" and covers her hair with a shower cap. In the morning, she rinses her hair well for silky shiny results. 

Photo: Katia on the way to Pavones where she loves to catch a good swell. 

5.  Don't "Over" Shampoo

Many surfer girls actually use conditioner as their shampoo. Shampooing once a week is great, to clean build up and start fresh. More than that is not really necessary.

6. Eat healthy

Surfer Allison Talbird of Playa Jacó knows it's important to "eat healthy always, with natural good fats, nuts, avocados, olive and coconut oil for cooking." Get your vitamin B's and B-12 through foods like whole grain cereals, almonds, eggs, yogurt, chicken, fruits and green leafy vegetables. Healthy eating means healthier hair. 

Surfer Allison Talbird enjoys her home break in Playa Jacó 

Fresh coconut milk and coconut oil have great benefits for your hair 

7. Whenever possible, let your hair dry naturally

Blow drying or straightening hair with a flat iron will dry it out and make it more susceptible to damage. Erika says, "I never use a dryer or flat iron. I let my hair dry naturally and also trim the ends regularly."  Erika says she uses a lot of conditioner to keep her hair well protected when surfing. 

Surfer Erika Valverde, healthy shiny hair means taking care to protect it and let it dry naturally. Playa Hermosa 

Thank you Merary, Erika, Katia and Allison for sharing some tips for healthy hair! 

See you girls in the water. :) 

Article by Kate Hanley, Pura Vida Board Gear @puravidaboardgear 

Photos by Merary Jimenez, Erika Valverde, Katia Caparella and Allison Talbird

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Kate is the owner of Pura Vida Board Gear, a surf brand that promotes surf and a quality, positive lifestyle. Currently living near Playa Jacó, Costa Rica. she enjoys connecting with the culture and diversity of the community. Connect with her on instagram @puravidaboardgear Find Pura Vida Board Gear on Facebook. Subscribe to email list here.  Photo: Jorge A. Russell, Playa Jaco