10 Tips to Protect Your Hair and Skin When Diving

Diving is an incredibly fun activity that can become very addictive. But consistent time in the sun and saltwater can take a toll on your hair and skin. If you are a regular water baby looking to take care of yourself, we have made a list of the best tips, tricks, and products to protect your hair and keep your skin safe.

How to protect your hair and skin from harm:


Leaving your hair free and flowing underwater can make for some cool photographs, but it is not all that practical. Many long-haired scuba divers swear by braiding their hair to keep it from tangling.

There are some cool braiding options: French braid, Dutch braid, double braids, mermaid braid, or cornrow-style smaller braids. Get creative with it! Protect your hair while looking great, too.

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2. Coconut oil.

Coconut oil has many benefits to help protect your hair and nourish your skin. Applying some coconut oil to your hair before braiding can help keep the hair silky smooth after a dive and help to avoid the salt from drying it out.

Avoid using coconut oil on your skin before spending time in the sun though as oil can make you more prone to burning. Using coconut oil on your skin after a long day of diving can add moisture to dry skin, and it smells amazing!

3. Leave-in conditioner.

A leave-in hair conditioner or detangler can be a lifesaver for your hair as a regular diver. Add some of the conditioner to your hair before you braid it or tie it back for diving. Or use it when you rinse off after a dive to help brush out any tangles.

When using products like these in the sea, it is important to think about preserving the health of the ocean and those who live in it. For this reason, please choose a reef-safe product such as the Steam2Sea leave-in hair conditioner. 

4. Sunscreen.

Sunscreen is so important when we are out in the sunshine for any amount of time. Divers can often become burnt easily. They might not realize they are getting too much sun exposure because they are cool and wet from being in the water, and they can forget to reapply their sunscreen after each dive.

Sunscreen protects your skin and reduces your risk of getting skin cancer. Remember to reapply sunscreen throughout the day, especially after getting out of the water. The SPF 50 Sea & Summit Sunscreen is reef-safe and comes in 100% recycled and recyclable packaging.

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5. SPF moisturizer.

Some faces do not suit general sunscreen and might require a facial moisturizer that has SPF protection added. It is good to have a moisturizer with SPF that you can keep nearby and apply throughout the day.

Often, it is easier to cover your body up than your face, which is likely to be exposed to the sun a lot more. Moisturizing your face after a dive can help to rehydrate the skin after it has been covered in salt, too. The Skin Defence Multi-Protection Light Essence moisturizer from the Body Shop offers SPF 50 protection and is vegan and cruelty-free.

6. Bandana or hood.

A bandana can help protect your hair and keep it out of your face and it can protect your forehead and scalp from sunburn. It can also help keep your hair from becoming tangled in your mask strap.

There are some great bandanas and headbands made with water activities in mind. The BLUE ADAPTATION headband is a great example. An alternative option to keep your hair in check is a neoprene diving hood, which keeps you warmer in the water, too.

7. Mask strap cover.

Many mermaids and mermen find that rubber or silicone mask straps can rip their hair as they take it on and off their heads. A neoprene mask strap can be added to most regular diving masks to help protect your hair from damage. 

Girls that Scuba has some beautiful mask straps to choose from in a selection of marine prints, including whale shark and blue-ringed octopus.

8. Hat and sunglasses.

When you are on the boat waiting for your next dive, it is important to keep your head and face out of the sun. It is easy to burn and not realize until it is too late. A hat will help protect your hair, scalp, and forehead from sun exposure, and sunglasses will protect your eyes and the skin around your eyes. 

Avoid long-term skin damage and wrinkles, while also considering the planet, by choosing a sustainable sunglasses brand. Ozeano Vision offers a range of beautiful shades for eco-conscious ocean lovers.

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9. Dive skin/rash vest/wetsuit.

A wetsuit can be worn when diving, not only to keep you warm in cooler waters but to protect your skin from sun exposure and stings. Even when diving or snorkeling in warmer waters, you should consider covering your body.

We recommend wearing a rash vest or dive skin over your swimsuit for your dives in warm waters, this is to keep your back, arms, and even legs covered and protected. Slipins Swimwear offers some pretty impressive styles that will make you the envy of every diver on the boat.

10. Fresh water.

It has been said that the best way to protect your hair from the damage that regular exposure to saltwater can cause, is to soak your hair in freshwater before going for a dive. British freediving champion Ruth Osborn swears by this trick and says:

"Hair is porous, so it soaks up whatever you put it in. If you pre-soak your hair in freshwater it soaks up less of the sea water or pool water and so less damage is done."

This technique also allows you to avoid using products and chemicals that might pollute the ocean and damage corals and fish. Sometimes the simplest option is the most effective.

Looking for other ways to be a more eco-conscious diver? Then join the SSI Blue Oceans community today.