Surfers have long been revered for their free-flowing, sun bleached, salty hair.

It’s iconic with the sport, and it’s at least part of what gives surfers such a cool persona.

For surfers, getting ‘surf hair’ is an afterthought, something that usually comes with being lazy, scruffy, and spending far too much time in the sun and salt water. 

But for city folk, they like this look and want to emulate it - minus the surfing part.

If that’s you keep reading as you’re about to find out how to get surfer hair without even stepping foot in the surf…


WHAT CONSTITUTES SURFER HAIR

Surfer hair, stemming from the Californian beach bums in the 60’s, hanging at the beach all day is iconic. 

Typical surfer hair will be as follows:

  • Naturally sun bleached
  • Salty and thick.
  • Long, wavy and/or scruffy.
  • Tousled.

This is the iconic surfer hair look that people are after, and we’re going to show you how to replicate this look, even if you don’t surf below. 


HOW TO GET SURFER HAIR ARTIFICIALLY

Alright, so surfers will usually get this type of hair by not really giving a crap about their hair, or how they look, so it’s kinda ironic that it actually takes a bit of time to replicate this look if you don’t actually surf.

Go figure.

But if you’re landlocked, and you resonate with the surfer lifestyle and everything that it encompasses, and you want to know how to make your hair look like a surfer, I totally get it. 

So let's get started.


STEP 1. SHORT HAIR WON’T CUT IT

Back in the 60’s & 70’s, surfer hair had to be long, but that’s changed a little in recent years. 

Sure, the look won’t be right if you’ve got proper short hair, but it doesn’t need to be crazy long is what I’m saying. 

Down to the ear or just below will suffice. 

So if you’re not quite there yet focus on growing your hair first before you move onto the other steps.


STEP 2. KEEP IT REAL

Surfers rarely, if ever, shampoo their hair.

Partly because they're in the salt water all the time so it’s naturally getting washed, but partly too because they're lazy as hell and don’t really care. 

To emulate this same look you’ve got to cut out shampoo use too.

You see, shampoo strips the hair of all it’s natural oils and minerals which really emphasise the surf hair look.

So avoid shampoo use as much as you can.


STEP 3. THE ROUGH CUT

Ok, so you’ve grown your hair out, you’ve been letting the natural oils and minerals permeate your hair, now it’s time for the surfer hair cut.

For this, it’s all about the imperfections. 

If you’re going to a barber ask them to keep things rough, rugged and imperfect, and where possible, get them to cut your hair with a razor for that extra authentic look.

For a really authentic look though, get your mate cut it, as that's what most surfers do anyway.


STEP 4. USE SEA SALT SPRAY

Surfers have salt in their hair pretty much 24/7, and it’s this saltwater that gives the hair extra volume and texture by expanding the fibres. 

You can replicate this same thing with sea salt spray. 

Simply spray it into damp hair after a shower and viola, you’re one step closer to that surfer hair look


STEP 6: THE BLEACHING PROCESS 

Surfers spend huge amounts of time with their hair exposed to UV light which causes it to bleach partially. 

This is really the icing on the cake with the surfer hair look. 

So if possible, get your locks out in the sun whenever you can, but failing that you may need to consider highlights. 

If you go down the highlight route however, be sure to tell your stylist to take it easy, as subtlety is the name of the game here. 


STEP 7: MAKING WAVES

Iconic surf hair isn’t straight and perfect, it’s disjointed, wavy and a little all over the place. 

So don’t to too crazy on having to brush your hair perfectly, instead it’s about roughening it up, keeping it raw and authentic. 

If you’re one of those that has particularly straight hair, try tying your hair up after a shower as it dries to add that wavy texture. 


CONCLUSION

If you want the surfer hair look, you can definitely get it by going through the steps above.

Or, you could just surf?

If you live in a city with no surf, move.

If you’re landlocked, move to the coast.

Not just for the hair, but the sport will pay you back in so many more waves than just looking good I promise. 

Yew!

Rowan 🤙

ROWAN CLIFFORD

Rowan is the technical nerd behind the scenes. A lover of everything entrepreneurial, and living a minimal, simple life.

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