This is the question on the lips of a lot of new divers, ‘how can I protect my hair and skin from the sea?’. Warm sun feels glorious on our skin. Floating in the ocean soothes our busy minds. Scuba diving invigorates our every cell and wiggling one’s toes in the soft, warm sand is simply divine. These elemental joys, however, play havoc with a girl’s (or guy’s!) beauty regime and, if you’re not careful, you could start looking like a rather crispy critter in no time.

So, here’s how we recommend to protect your hair and skin from the sea…

Turns out that it’s pretty easy when you’ve got these tricks up your wetsuit sleeve.


Short, long, blonde, brunette or redhead; the sea sucks all the life out of your locks pretty quickly. Salt is a natural abrasive. Excessive exposure dehydrates our hair by stripping away our natural oils and taking off the outer keratin coating – leaving our hair dry, brittle and dull.

The answer is rather simple. Coconut oil. Our team of vain instructors recommend Nutiva, Organic Coconut Oil.

Raw, simple and natural coconut oil. It’s the nectar of the Gods believe me! Simply coat your hair in the stuff, I mean really lather it on and pay special attention to the ends. Divers with long hair and has habits of braiding their hair can end up looking like Pocahontas! By using coconut oil, smelling like a bounty bar is my fragrance for the summer.  Simply stick a couple of handfuls of coconut oil through your hair, braid it up and jump in!  You can do three dives a day and still feel it in the braid when you finally get under the shower in the evening.

The best thing? Tangle free. Completely tangle free. You can even give up your conditioner! And Coconut oil has many other usages as well. For our senior divers, did you know that coconut oil reduces Inflammation and help manage pain if you have arthritis. We know it because we have been using it to aid dogs in managing their arthritis. And on a dive trip, Coconut oil is easy to digest and also produces a longer sustained energy and increases your metabolism. When taking a quality unrefined coconut oil, you can get the most coconut oil benefits as its MCFAs are sent directly to the liver to be converted into energy.


Sun exposure causes irreversible damage, and to quote the Australians, “There is nothing beautiful about a tan”.

Sun cream is good, it is your friend and a nice high factor is your best bet. However, recent research is showing compounds in many types of sunscreen harm ocean life, especially coral. This is because these compounds may awaken dormant viruses in symbiotic algae called zooxanthellae. These Zooxanthellae algae provide food and color to the coral. Sunscreen chemicals cause the dormant viruses in these Zooxanthellae to replicate until the algae host dies. This, in turn, causes the coral to die.Researchers estimate that over 5,000 metric tons of sunscreen wash off of swimmers each year. This “swimmer pollution” threatens a large part of the coral life in the ocean and indirectly many other ocean species as well.

If you have sometime, do consider making your own sun screen. Several recent articles claim that homemade sunscreens are harmful and that a person should never consider making their own sunscreen. Their reasoning is that you can’t verify the SPF with homemade sunscreens so the chance of burning is higher. So to balance it, use home-made sunscreen and make use of shades and UV Rashguards when you are out on a dive trip.

DIY Home-Made Sunscreen

Many of the ingredients in this recipe have a natural SPF (sun protection factor). This is a natural recipe and has not been tested by a regulatory organization for exact SPF. For this reason, I can’t (and don’t) make any claims or even guesses as to the combined SPF. The individual ingredients are considered low SPF and generally quoted at these levels:

Almond Oil- SPF around 5
Coconut Oil– SPF 4-6
Zinc Oxide SPF 2-20 depending on how much is used
Red Raspberry Seed Oil SPF 25-50
Carrot Seed Oil – SPF 35-40
Shea Butter – SPF 4-6

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