Top 5 Best Surf Hair Products | Reviews (Sun Bum)

The surfer’s hairstyle strikes just the right balance between scruffy and overly groomed. It looks simple and low-maintenance. But, is it really?

If you’ve ever experienced being on the beach for too long, you’ll know the natural surf hair – UV beached, sun-fried, split ends, wavey like the ocean swells, and dry like the Gobi Desert. It isn’t the hair we like. We like it wavy and scruffy, but we don’t like it dry and brittle.

There are hair products that can help you achieve the perfect beach waves sans brittleness and dryness. We reviewed five of the best hair products you can arm your hair and scalp with. Plus, a few reminders before hitting the waves.

Top 5 Best Surf Hair Products Reviewed

The saltwater, sun, and breeze may give you that stylish beach look, but it can also leave damage that may be hard to reverse if left untreated. Good thing, there are surf hair products you can use to protect and nourish your hair from the harsh effects of the sun rays.

If surf hats can’t be enough to keep your hair and scalp from being fried under the sun, you may try these top five best surf hair products in the market today:

  1. COLOR WOW Dream Coat Anti-Frizz Treatment – Our Top Pick
  2. Sun Bum Revitalizing 3 in 1 Leave-In Conditioner – Best for Curly Hair
  3. Moroccanoil Protect & Prevent Spray –Best for Color Treated Hair
  4. IT NATURALS 12-in-ONE Argan Oil Leave-In Treatment – Best for Hydrating
  5. It’s a 10 Haircare Miracle Leave-In Product– Best Budget

1. COLOR WOW Dream Coat Anti-Frizz Treatment – Our Top Pick

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COLOR WOW ascribes the humidity shielding powers of its formula to heat-activated polymers that are also known to protect against the damaging effects of hot hair tools. When heated, these polymers respond by forming an invisible water-repelling coat on each strand.

The thin coat aids in smoothing hair and boosting shine without weighing it down or leaving a slick and greasy feel. In addition, the Dream Coat Anti-Frizz Treatment contains calendula and chamomile extracts to help with shine and smoothness.

Use it before or after surfing, and you won’t even feel like it’s there. Its consistency is as pure as water that no matter how much you spray on, the mist will come out fine and featherweight like it’s not there at all.

Overall, the Dream Coat Anti-Frizz Treatment is easy to use. It won’t be long until you notice the before and after results when you start using it. This hair treatment is very convenient that it beats booking a professional salon service.

No sulfates, parabens. Cruelty-free, gluten-free, and veganNot for colored or treated hair
Acts like mini keratin treatment
Best for all hair types

2. Sun Bum Revitalizing 3 in 1 Leave-In Conditioner – Best for Curly Hair

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Sun Bum claims this leave-in conditioner is by far their most “borrowed” item from their beach house. The 3 in 1 Leave-In Conditioner from Sun Bum’s collection is well-known for detangling, conditioning, and protecting.

Surfers and other watersports enthusiasts love this conditioner, especially those concerned about their hair color fading from too much sun exposure. Every 3 in 1 Leave-In Conditioner bottle is packed with argan, coconut, sweet almond, and sunflower seed oil. All of which are recommended to be put on before getting out in the sun and the waters.

These ingredients help your hair shine like a mirror that reflects the sun. This reflection keeps your hair from breaking and its color fading. Dull and dry hair absorbs the sun’s heat and fades the hair color. If it is shiny, the heat will bounce off instead of getting into your strands.

The sunflower seed oil in this 3 in 1 Leave-In Conditioner should remind you just how much the sunflower follows where the sun shines but never gets its color faded. It must be the reason why.

It acts as an SPF against the sun’s UVIt leaves a strong smell
Works as an everyday hair treatment
Detangles, conditions, and protects

3. Moroccanoil Protect & Prevent Spray –Best for Color Treated Hair

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One of the most popular hair products in the market today, Moroccanoil has been getting a lot of buzz from users, bloggers, and salon professionals. It has gone so viral that everyone’s flocking to get their hands on this hair care miracle.

The Moroccanoil Protect and Prevent Spray, just like most of Moroccanoil’s hair products, is inspired by the transformative power of argan oil – naturally occurring and with a high content of antioxidants, essential fatty acids, and vitamin E. Who knew our hair needed those, too?

This brand combines the power of argan oil with its unique formulation to create a product that offers a whole host of hair cosmetic benefits, including preventing split ends, UV protection, frizz control, and super conditioning.

Best of all, the Protect & Prevent Spray helps even out the hair’s porosity. Use this product regularly for your hair’s ultimate protection, shine, elasticity, and maximum absorption of nutrients.

Neutralizes free radicals generated by UV, pollution, and other stressorsThe spray pump feels cheap and flimsy
Sunscreens to help deflect UV rays
Protect hair color from fading

4. IT NATURALS 12-in-ONE Argan Oil Leave-In Treatment – Best for Hydrating

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This leave-in treatment from IT Naturals is named 12-in-1 as it claims to address 12 common hair care concerns. It is one of the go-to surf hair products for surfers whose hair gets split ends, dull, and thinning.

The Argan Oil Leave-In Treatment is infused with Abyssinian Oil and Silk Amino Acids for keeping the hair smooth up to 72 hours, even in humidity. It repairs damage and split ends. It detangles, thus giving you more manageable hair.

Aside from the common hair problems this surf hair product addresses, it also derives its name from the 12 excellent benefits it offers – volumizing, coating, hydrolyzing, uplifting, keratin proteins, anti-aging, strengthening, UV protection, detangling, and more.

This 12-in-ONE Argan Oil Leave-In Treatment is your all-in-one solution to extraordinarily healing and restoring your hair in its healthiest state.

Lightweight, non-greasy and paraben-freeIt may be too greasy for some users
Protects from split ends and breakage
Amber extracts deliver antioxidants

5. It’s a 10 Haircare Miracle Leave-In Product – Best Budget

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The sun, wind, and saltwater can do quite some damage to your hair. If it’s as easy to protect your hair as how earplugs can protect your ears, surfers wouldn’t be trying different surf hair products just to keep their crowning glory healthy, shiny, and bouncy.

Thanks to It’s a 10 Haircare Miracle Leave-In Product; it is almost too easy to keep the hair restored and protected at the same time. This holy-grail surf hair product repairs damaged hair, adds shine, smoothens frizz, and acts as a heat protectant.

Using this leave-in is one of the easiest ways to guarantee your hair stays healthy despite the prolonged exposure to sun and saltwater. It’s not a hair mask that you have to leave on for a certain period. It’s a standard wash and wear conditioner that you can rinse after almost immediately.

This product is perfect for hair that’s dried out from constant exposure to the sun and humidity. It comes in two different sizes allowing you to test out a smaller size bottle first. Trust me, after finishing the small bottle, you’ll grab the bigger bottle.

Guards against color fading and brassinessIt feels heavy on the hair
Fortified with natural ingredients
It comes in trial size bottle

Surf Hair Care

Saltwater combined with the sun’s harmful rays can dry out your hair and strip it of all its water. Both can quickly leave your locks rough and dehydrated. Over time, if left untreated, it can lead to split ends, breakage, and sometimes even dandruff.

To maintain beautiful hair while enjoying the exciting world of surfing, you must put in a bit of effort. Here are a few tips to take care of your surf hair.

girl with a nice hairPut coconut oil on your hair before you surf

Before hitting the waters, take a teaspoon of coconut oil and brush it from the midlength to the ends of your hair. Coconut oil is the most abundant source of medium chain fatty acids. These nourish the hair and penetrate deeper and faster than most conditioners.

With coconut oil rub against your hair, you get deep conditioning treatment and a barrier between the saltwater and your hair.

Put leave-in conditioner after you surf

Be sure to moisture your hair after you surf by letting it dry with a leave-in conditioner on. Most pro surfers, including 6x World Champion Stephanie Gilmore, have leave-in conditioners as a beauty item they can’t live without. Now, that’s giving you an idea of what to give as a gift for a surfer!

Get hair treatments once in a while

While some are lucky enough to have genes that guarantee luscious locks, others aren’t. If you belong to the latter group, don’t fret! That’s what hair treatments are for. Once in a while, get a session of deep conditioning treatments or Kerastase.

Wash the salt out immediately

Did you know that salt is used to dehydrate food and suck the moisture out of it? Your hair goes through the same thing of drying out when the saltwater is left to dry on your hair. As soon as you come out of the surf, rinse with fresh water and make sure you wash out all salty residue.

Braid or leave your hair down when surfing

Braiding keeps the oil or hair mask (if you applied any) in your hair and keeps it from the harmful heat of the sun. Leaving it down can also keep it from breaking and any damage that a hairband can do, especially when you get tossed around underwater.

Don’t over shampoo

You might feel the need to put too much shampoo to clean your hair of salt and ocean debris. You shouldn’t. If you surf twice a day, it doesn’t mean you should shampoo twice, too. Otherwise, you will be stripping your hair of its natural oils. Instead, you can rinse with fresh water and add conditioner.

Invest in a tangle teaser brush

Cheap brushes can be stiff and rough for your hair. Do not cause additional damage to your already dry hair by using such brushes. Tangle teasers are revolutionized hairbrushes that can help you untangle your hair without the ouch.

How To Choose a Surf Hair Product – Buying Guide

The damage your hair gets from surfing is mainly from the sun, the saltwater, and the wind. Therefore, these are the three things you must keep in mind when picking a surf hair product. To counter these, you have to be sure the surf hair product you are getting has:

UV Protection

Not only is UV Protection good for our skin, but the hair too. Heat, especially during the hot summer months, can bring havoc to hair. Thus, getting a surf hair product that offers UV protection is of utmost importance.


Avoid chemically treated surf hair products as they may just cause more damage to your hair. It is recommended to go for natural ingredients such as argan oil and herbal extracts. While chemicals give instant gratifying results such as a shiny look and clean feel, they leave long-term damage on the hair, such as extreme dryness.

Natural ingredients boost equally natural oils on your scalp, promoting growth, shine, and a healthier scalp.


A lot of times, we only think about our skin when we go out in the waters. We make sure we are wearing the right boardshorts to keep our legs on full coverage. We wear surf sandals to give extra protection around our toes.

But, it’s very seldom that we think of our hair. We should, too! The best hair products make sure we have healthy and good-looking hair in and out of the water.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

Q: Is ocean water terrible for hair?

A: Especially when surfing, the ocean water, humid breeze, and sun exposure leave the hair brittle, dry, broken, and dull. The ocean water has too much salt that it can lighten your hair, no matter if it is color-treated or naturally dark.

Q: Why does the surfer’s hair go blonde?

A: Not that they intended to look or color their hair blond but, it is their exposure to sunlight, humidity, and salty water that causes their hair to get damaged and look bleached. Blonds and redheads tend to be more affected, considering their pheomelanin is more sensitive.

Q: What is the surfer hair called?

A: Surfer’s hair falls into the classification of “tousled hairstyles.” Tousled hairstyles are patterned to a surfer’s hair who just came out of the waters – messy, chaotic, and untidy. They are usually long, unkempt, and most often are curly or wavy.

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