Diving and Hair

By Julius
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Diving and Hair

Especially if you have long hair, you know the trouble with it while scuba diving. Women know this issue above all.

Scuba diving and hair seem to be an endless struggle and if you have gone diving you probably know.

Here are a few tips to take care of your hair while diving and how to keep it from breaking.

If you are looking for skincare tips, check out our scuba diving skin care article right after!

What to do with your hair while scuba diving

Let’s start off with a few tips what you can do with your hair while diving.

  • Let it loose
  • Wear a hood
  • Short hair
  • Braids
  • Ponytail
  • Mask strap cover
  • Headband or bandana

Let it loose

The first and most obvious choice is to just let your hair float loosely around.

This is by far the easiest, cheapest, and quickest way to way your hair while diving.

The longer your hair, the higher the chance of diver’s hair, meaning it floating everywhere including your face, but then again, it takes just one brush of your hand to fix that temporarily.

Female diver with floating hair underwater
Hang loose!

Wear a hood

A neoprene hood is not only a good way to stay warm and protect your ears, but it also keeps your hair safe on a dive.

People with long hair find the most interesting ways to fit their hair under it but it works.

Scuba diving instructor in the water with student
A dive hood always works.

Short hair

For most guys, this is often an obvious answer, while for most women it’s complete nonsense. However, for completeness’ sake here it is.

Short hair has A LOT of advantages for scuba divers. Less trouble with keeping it together, lower chance of it breaking, and cheaper to keep healthy.

Scuba diver selfie underwater
No (long) hair, no hassle!


Braids look cool and are an optimal way to keep hair tidy in a hood.

Of course, it’s not everyone’s look or style, but a great option for those with longer hair.


The good old ponytail works like a charm while diving, especially in warm waters or in combination with a headband.

Granted, you won’t win any fashion prices with it in a neoprene hood, but at least it keeps your hair healthy.

Divers in pool
Ponytails just work anywhere.

Headband or bandana

A headband or bandana not only looks super cool, it also keeps long hair out of your face and protects your ears.

There are lots of cool-looking ones that won’t break the bank.

Female diver selfie underwater
Headbands help manage floating hair underwater.

If you care for sustainable diving, get one made from recycled plastic!

Mask strap cover

We all know how annoying entangled hair in a mask strap can be.

A neoprene mask strap cover is the perfect way to prevent this from happening.

It’s also much more comfortable to put on and off and every diver should use one!

Old cave diver on the surface
Mask strap covers are always useful.

Hair elastics

When diving in warm water, a pack of hair elastics can work wonders for long hair.

Combine it with a ponytail and it will stay in place and won’t rip or break.

They are also much simpler to use than making braids!

Scuba diving trip packing list

How to care for your hair before and after a dive

Hair care is just as important as skin care for divers, snorkelers, and freedivers.

Here are a few tips and tricks to keep your hair intact:

  • Use coconut oil
  • Soak it in freshwater before diving
  • Treat it with Reef-Safe Conditioner
  • Dry gently
  • Use a detangling brush

Use coconut oil

Coconut oil will strengthen and protect your hair from extended saltwater exposure.

The saltwater strips away natural oils and coconut oil helps to bring them back.

There are plenty of options, but this one is highly recommended for divers:

Soak it in freshwater before diving

Soaking your hair in freshwater before diving in saltwater will prevent it from breaking and prevents it from getting completely soaked in seawater.

On a liveaboard boat, just jump under the deck shower quickly to soak it and then start your dive.

Woman showering
Rinse your hair in freshwater before and after each dive.

This will also make it much easier to get into a diving hood!

Treat it with Reef-Safe Conditioner

Conditioner is the optimal way to keep your hair from breaking.

As sustainable divers, we use reef-safe conditioners as to protect our reefs and corals.

Stream2Sea is known for its quality products and they make a super nice conditioner for a low price.

Dry gently

Saltwater exposure makes your hair more prone to breaking. Remember to dry it only gently with a towel after a dive.

Afterward, let it dry naturally in the wind and sun (but not too much!)

Use a detangling brush

A detangling brush is a handy little accessory for all divers with long hair and works wonders on a dive trip.

It prevents tangles, knots, and other annoying things that happen all the time.

These ones have a great travel size and will fit into any dive bag:


Long hair can be annoying underwater but it’s no reason to feel stressed.

Follow the tips above to take care of diving and your hair and you won’t have any problems!

Check out our diving skin care article, to also make sure your skin is protected while scuba diving.

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Always dive with friends and happy bubbles. 😃



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About the author

Hey! I'm Julius, professional scuba instructor, diver, outdoor lover, entrepreneur and CEO and founder of Social Diving. I write about scuba diving (including tech, cave, sidemount, and freediving), travel, and love what I do. If you have any questions, send me a message. :-)

©2024 Social Diving. All rights reserved. The content presented here is the exclusive property of Social Diving and may not be copied or distributed, in whole or in part, without the express permission of Social Diving.

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