Clarifying Shampoo Three

Girl stuff: Hair care for divers

On a good weekend I do four dives. This isn’t nearly enough, but it goes a little way to getting me sane through the week. The result, however, is that my hair spends a lot of time submerged in salt water. This isn’t healthy.

There are a couple of ways to make this less of an issue, and ensure that my hair stays at least reasonably healthy. I really am the last person you should take grooming advice from, since my idea of a hairstyle is a folded-over ponytail using a hairband I found in the bottom of my gym bag and all the make up I own I got as hand me downs from my mother, but here goes…

Soft hair accessories

Use fabric hairbands instead of elastic ones. Elastics can tear and break the hairs, especially if you put them in and pull them out when your hair is wet.

Wet your hair

Wet hair doesn’t absorb water. Wetting your hair with fresh water before going in the sea prevents it from getting too salty. It also helps with putting your hoodie on – no fly-away strands!

Leave-in conditioners

Philip Kingsley Swimcap
Philip Kingsley Swimcap

My favourite solution is to use a leave-in conditioner designed especially for swimmers, called Swimcap. It’s manufactured by British hair care guru Philip Kingsley, and it used to be available at Woolworths for about R400 a tube. One tube lasts about six months, or longer if you don’t dive so often.

To apply Swimcap, wet your hair in the shower and towel dry it slightly. You can either comb the product through with a wide-toothed comb, or work it through with your fingers. (Your hair will probably look a bit funny after that.)

When I rinse out my hair after a day of diving, it feels soft rather than totally crusty, and an application of Swimcap lasts all day if I don’t shower and rub my hair between dives.

You do need to wash it out of your hair after diving, and then shampoo as per normal – preferably using one of the shampoos below…

Clarifying shampoos

Clarifying Shampoo Three
Clarifying Shampoo Three
GHD Purifying Shampoo
GHD Purifying Shampoo

Use a shampoo that’s specifically designed to remove salt, product build-up and chlorine residue from your hair. These shampoos deep cleanse the hair without stripping it of its natural oils.

My favourites include GHD Purifying Shampoo (which seems to have been discontinued) and Paul Mitchell’s clarifying Shampoo Three. Both of these leave hair feeling squeaky clean but not dry.

You can follow these shampoos with another shampoo for moisture, otherwise conditioning on top of either of these works really well.

Happy hair! Happy diving!

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Lapsed mathematician, creator of order, formulator of hypotheses. Lover of the ocean, being outdoors, the bush, reading, photography, travelling (especially in Africa) and road trips.

2 thoughts on “Girl stuff: Hair care for divers”

    1. Thank you for the compliment! No, nothing on here is paid – we just write about what we use ourselves and can recommend from experience. If we do ever get asked to do sponsored posts we’d disclose that right up front!

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