Hair Care While Sailing


Last Updated on September 11, 2019 by Amy

The first thing EVERYONE is saying to me back home is a comment on my hair. I’ve allowed my hair to grow much longer since we took off cruising. Due to all of our sun exposure, it’s also lingering closer towards the strawberry-blonde part of the spectrum then it ever has before. 

On the left, in July 2014. on the right, June 2016

Washing Hair

On land, I washed my hair after every workout, or every other day if I wasn’t exercising.  I used to blow dry my hair every time I washed it. I mostly kept my hair in a bun, a ponytail, or straight. 

Onboard, I used to wash my hair in our shower – the logical place. But our shower water goes through a holding tank and then through a pump. I was having to snake and clean the drain every two weeks.

Now, I wash my hair off the back deck. I wash after every swim in the saltwater. If I don’t condition, my ends get very dry and coarse.

When I’m done washing my hair, I first use a Turbie Twist Microfiber Hair Towel. I love these towels, as they are small and easy to clean and dry, instead of using a full-size bath towel (which, it seems, always smells funky). The Turbie Twists also keep the hair out of my face for cleaning my face at the sink or moisturizing. Then I brush my wet hair off the stern, so any shed hair gets blown back into the water. Then I braid my hair and I’m all done!


I am also keeping my hair in braids. Often, I pull my hair down into a low side ponytail and then braid the ponytail down. This style works well because:

  • It doesn’t get in the way of hats
  • It doesn’t get in the way of my snorkel mask
  • It doesn’t have a part to expose my scalp to the sun 
  • The braid keeps the ends of my hair from sticking to sweaty skin and fanning out on my back
  • I shed less hair all over the boat 

Otherwise, my hair goes into a tight, high bun. It keeps my hair out of my face, though it means I have to stick with a visor for a hat.

Protecting My Hair

When my hair needs a good treatment, I use a leave-in oil-based spray such as this Avon Advance Techniques.

I do have a swim cap made specifically for long hair on board, should I want to swim without the hassle of getting my hair wet and salty.

While moving around the boat, I also have a buff which I can use to protect my hair from the elements (and my ears, and neck, and forehead…).


  1. I agree w the previous comments!
    Do you find you are shedding more on the boat than on land? I know I am.
    I have never been able to braid so mine is al aye in a pony.
    Yesterday Frank cut off 3″ for me and in February Hunter had cut off about the same amount. Mine is so hot I’m thinking about going super short.
    We bought these little drains for our shower and they catch a lot of hair. I’ll send you a picture.
    Safe travels back to SH.

  2. Your hair is beautiful, Amy, but what happened to the other half of David’s face? It’s been a long time since I’ve seen him and would love to see how you two look together!! Sorry, only half of David doesn’t quite do it for his Grandma!!
    Hugs to you both 🙂

  3. Your hair grows faster than anyone else U’ve ever known! It is always gorgeous, whether short or long, sun lightened or winter darkened!

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