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Tame your Mermaid Mane


Enough with the out-of-control, tangled, sticky, dread-locked hair that seems to be unavoidable while diving. It doesn’t have to be that way! After 13 years of diving and 23 years of loving my locks, I have finally uncovered the secrets to managing my hair both above and below the water and prevent hair damage and broken bristles to my brush. Here are 5 tips to taming your mermaid mane and looking cute while you dive!


5. Spare hair ties! Most save-a-dive kits contain things like a spare mouth piece and a back-up fin-strap. Yours should contain spare hair ties! There is nothing worse than having your hair tie break and being forced to jump in the water with loose hair. I guarantee you will surface with tangles and tears! Plus, a hair tie makes a decent snorkel keeper in case that ever breaks.


4. Low & tight, ladies! Whether by pony-tail, bun or braid, your hair is best off being worn low and tight. Ponytails are fine if you have shorter hair, but buns and braids are a better choice for longer hair. If you choose to braid your hair, be sure to make the braids tight. Loose braids won’t last very long underwater. Why wear it low? It makes getting your mask on and off a very easy process.

3. Ditch the silicone strap; they were not made with ladies in mind. They tug, they grab, they rip and they ruin our beloved hair. Neoprene straps are gentle on your hair and have other added benefits in addition to protecting your hair. Slap straps with a Velcro fitting only need to be adjusted once and then never have to be adjusted again! They also come in a wide variety of colors so you can personalize your mask to make it more identifiable to you and to your dive buddy while underwater. Neoprene straps are much more durable than the silicone straps so having a back-up mask strap isn’t really needed.

2. Bio-degradable leave-in conditioner- it is reef safe and smells like coconuts! There is no better way to show your hair love than by treating it with eco-friendly leave-in conditioner by Gnarly Head. I put a quarter-size drop in my hands and run it all through my hair. This allows me to comfortably get a brush through my hair without breakage and without using an entire bottle of conditioner later on in the shower.

 

1. Scuba headbands! Hoods are great but they aren’t the only way to cover your hair while diving. There are many different brands and styles of scuba headbands, just find one that covers your bangs and fragile baby hairs and looks cute for that underwater photo for your Facebook profile picture! Learning how to wear it in a way that is compatible with your scuba mask is very important! It should be worn toward the middle of your forehead, over your ears and 1-3 inches into your hairline. My headband covers the outside skirt of my mask so that I don’t have any bangs sneak out the front (that is the key to wearing it successfully). And, for an added bonus, the headbands are perfect for wrangling your bangs on the boat.