Let me clarify: Very rarely will you be able to just get in the water, get out, just dry your hair, and have it look flawless. That just isn't going to happen as a surfer. There are a few do's and don't's for making sure those gorgeous locks stay healthy and happy.
1. The water is salty AF. This is going to DRY your hair out - bad. Salt is going to cake itself into your hair and its going to get hard and crunchy. This is not a good look for hair, and it's also horribly damaging.
How to Fix! So to combat the salty crunch, before I paddle out I spray my hair with a leave in conditioner. This helps add moisture to the cuticles, and pre-softens the hair. Next just lather your hair with coconut oil. Coconut oil acts as a barrier between the salty ocean and your hair. It also locks in the moisture you just added from the leave in conditioner. The Coconut oil should be more oily than hard when you put it in your hair, because the water will make it chunky if its not saturated into the hair properly.
2. Tangles are a horrible nightmare! The nature of surfing - being tossed around, bracing the wind, being held underwater, all creates just some wonderful scenarios for your hair to become a horrible mess. Step 1 above can help in the detangling process at the end. But that is ONLY IF, you hair was down the entire time.
How to Fix! PLEASE do not put your hair up, in a braid, or in a bun when on the water. You are going to be pulling so much hair out of those hair ties. I learned this such a hard way, and it was gut wrenching to see all that hair get ripped out. Leave your hair down. When putting in the coconut oil before you paddle out, push your hair away from your face and back towards your neck. This will help keep your hair in roughly that position while you surf. Just do hair flips when you have to get back on the board. This will save you so much heart ache. I pinky promise.
3. Conditioners are your best friend. After every session, when you get home, brush out your hair (gently), and do a quick shampoo to get the oil from the coconut oil out, and then do a deep condition. This will help keep your hair looking amazing. You have now protected your hair at all points. Before you got in, while you're surfing, and when you get home.
Congrats, you've learned from my mistakes!