6 Hair Hacks for the Everyday Mermaid
Hi I’m Xanthe, I live on Finding Avalon she’s a 38 foot Elan impression. I’ve been sailing her around the world for a bit more than a year now with my Captain, Jackson.
I wanted to start this Mermaid Survival Guide for any other mermaids out there who spend their lives on the ocean in some way. Maybe you’re a surfer, a sailor scuba babe, freediver, ocean swimmer or every day beach goer. Mostly just to share handy hacks for how to survive out there as much as mama ocean feeds us, she can bite.
Today I want to talk about one of the biggest areas of strife in this mermaid life- hair. Trying to look after your hair when it’s in salt water every day and at the same time trying to steer clear of toxic chemicals and be waste aware is quite the challenge.
I would like to preface this by saying, I am not genetically blessed with the best hair – it is fine, tends to be dry and is prone to breakage. It’s been a daily struggle for me that I’ve somewhat managed to master and have seen amazing improvements to my hair. So here are six tips that might just change your world…
1. Shampoo Bars
This thing has dead set changed my life. Chemical free, waste free, inexpensive, lasts forever and makes your hair amazing... once you work out how to use it that is.
Mine is a coconut oil based bar and From my own experience and feedback I’ve had from other mermaids is usually the first time you use bars like these there’s a lot of build up residue left behind and the hair goes dull and heavy and limp. Don’t give up yet my friends! I’ve found a way around this. Once you're up and running with your shampoo bar, your hair will be super soft, moisturised and manageable.
Your hair takes a little bit of time getting used to shampoo bars and these are some things you can do to help it along. Everyone is different so I invite you to try what works for your hair type but here’s what you can do:
After using your shampoo bar try one or all of the following...
Sprinkle baking soda into your hair and rinse. (Try to only do the baking soda part as much as you need to and ween yourself down to a maximum of every two weeks. The reason being, the pH levels of your hair can be disturbed by the baking soda so it is not a long-term solution.)
Apple cider vinegar rinse : 1 part apple cider vinegar to one part water
Another thing I’ve found is to just cycle it with your regular shampoo and conditioner whilst your hair is adapting.
2. Coconut Oil
A pure and natural, antimicrobial alternative to expensive, chemical-laden hair serums. Spread it thinly onto the ends of your hair every three days. It will both nourish your hair and add lustre. Plus it will add a layer of protection for next time you’re in the ocean. If you use your hairbrush to brush it through, it will leave an infusion on your hairbrush, which will help with everyday detangling.
3. Wear Braids to Bed
As you toss and turn in bed, your hair will tangle together and friction with your pillow case causing damage and frizz. Putting your hair into braids will circumvent this problem aaand you’ll wake up with a cheeky little crimp in your hair that you can rock the next day.
I love these biodegradeable hair bands.
4. Wear Piggy Buns in the Sea.
I find this is the only way I’m guaranteed to exit a long session in the water without my hair getting matted. Other mermaids have told me they smother their hair in conditioner or heaps of coconut oil before diving in, but that’s not so good for the fishies. So the best option is to rock a hairstyle where it doesn’t have room to move.
I have definitely found the Ocean Ramsay signature ponytail works really well too. But I feel Ocean has earnt the rite of passage to have that style as ‘her thing’, so I personally don’t feel right wearing it that way.
5. Snag-free Snorkel Set
I have lost so much hair to bad snorkel sets, it’s not even funny. Over the years though I have found a kind and gentle mask and snorkel set where the love is very much requited. Onto my freediving mask, I’ve attached a neoprene strap cover which has been a total game changer.
6. Eat Your Way to Beautiful Hair
When you squeeze an orange, what’s inside comes out. It’s amazing how your diet affects the state of your hair.
Load up on:
Eggs – An amazing source of biotin which is in the B-group and is THE vitamin for hair growth
Spinach – A source of iron, which aids hair growth and repair
Berries – A source of Vitamin C which the body uses to produce collagen
Nuts / Seeds - A source of Omega 3 which adds density and lustre to your hair
Avocados – Rich in Vitamin E, which is nourishing to skin and hair
Sweet potatoes, pumpkin, beetroot, carrots – Any vegetables with that deep orange/ red colour contain Beta-Carotene, which is a protein essential to hair growth and repair
Beans – A gorgeous vegetarian source of Zinc, which is a hair nourishing mineral
Alcohol – Dehydrating and puts the body under stress. Don’t forget it is a poison in large doses, which is what we get hangovers.
Sugar - Spikes in blood sugar levels interfere with absorption of protein and cause damage to hair follicles
Smoking - Inhibits flow of oxygen to your follicles
Suggested dietary supplements:
Well there you have it – A comprehensive guide essentially amalgamated from all the mistakes I’ve learnt from in my salty lifestyle. I hope there was some juice and goodness in there for you and I wish you and your mane a thriving and beautiful relationship together.
See you in the sea, mermaids. X