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How to get sick surfer hair without stepping foot in the ocean

Your complete guide to styling surfer hair

Tavis Beck/Unsplash

Re-watching Point Break (the original, not the abomination of a remake) inspired equal parts envy over Johnny Utah’s and Bodhi’s badass surfing skills and their rad, salt-baked, wind-whipped manes. After all, the artfully rumpled surfer hairstyle strikes just the right balance between scruffy and overly groomed, making it perfect for summer. “It’s a much lower maintenance style for guys who enjoy a free and adventurous lifestyle,” explains Baxter Finley barbers Erik Taylor and Carmen Serna. “There is not much upkeep so it’s great when you’re on-the-go or want to spend less time on styling.”

Even the most laid back bros care about their hair a little, though. And the first and most important step of hair care is taking care of your scalp. While the most obvious method for replicating their Cali beach bum texture is to actually get up on a board, salty seawater does tend to leave locks parched and crispy. To avoid these adverse effects and assist those who want the look, but have no intention of riding a wave or even lounging by the shore, we asked Taylor and Serna how to fake a beachin’ texture.

Length matters

“Your hair needs to be long enough to run your hands through it,” says Taylor. As long as you have some length, whether it’s just on top or all over, you can easily rock this style.

Adjust for length

Because the goal is to get texture without any excessive crunch, modify the amount of texturizing spray you use based on your hair. That can vary from three pumps for shorter, finer hair to eight for thicker, longer manes. “You want to use just enough to leave your hair with a lived-in look,” says Serna.

Mess it up

You don’t want to smooth over this style, so skip the comb and up the dishevelment a bit by roughing your hair up with your hands. If you’re taking the beach bum look more literally and not washing your hair for a day or two, you can refresh it by hitting it with a spritz or two of texturizing spray.

Spritz it up

No matter how long your hair might be, a quick and easy way to get those beach curls is to use a sea salt spray. There are plenty out there to choose from, but they basically all have the same active ingredients. Sea salt draws oils out of your hair, which gives it that extra voluminous texture after spending some time at the beach.

Using these sprays is as simple as you’d expect — no need for pomades or hair dryers — just spray a few times in your hair and give it the ole’ tussle. Here are a few products to help you score the look sans swells.

Best surfer hair products

Triumph & Disaster Karekare Sea Salt Spray

triump and disaster karekare sea salt spray how to get surfer hair
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Containing epsom salt, sea beet, and willow herb, this sea salt spray hair tonic from Triumph & Disaster, a New Zealand grooming brand, removes excess oil, volumizes hair, and nourishes the scalp, all while offering that textured, sun-kissed look every wannabe surfer aspires to.

Baxter of California Clay Effect Style Spray

Sufer Hair Sprays
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Serna and Taylor helped develop this clay-in-a-spray, which offers hair the right amount of grit and thickness without making it feel fried thanks to a blend of natural oils.

Byrd Texturizing Surfspray

byrd texture spray
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Because salt water provides hair with the desired texture but saps it of moisture, this spray is rich in hydrating coconut water and sea buckthorn extract. Bonus: It’s scented with sea salt, coconuts, and pineapple so your hair smells as if you’ve been sitting seaside sipping on a tropical cocktail.

R+Co Rockaway Salt Spray

Sufer Hair Sprays
Image used with permission by copyright holder

This spray roughs up your hair in a way that suggests you spent the day at Rockaway Beach (hence the name) while a blend of Sicilian lemon, tangerine, and tree moss makes it smell like you summered on the Amalfi Coast.

Get It

Now that you’ve got the right hair, it’s time to book the right surfing vacation.

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Hunter Reis
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Hunter has worked with E! News and Entertainment Tonight, where he won a Daytime Emmy in 2022 for video production.
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