Hold on tight because blonde surfers are going to be surfing in your mind’s eye from here on out. A study found that over 80% of male and female surfer’s hair is blonde, surpassing the total amount of people with this natural hue worldwide!
Researchers suspect it has something do with a stereotype perpetuated by popular culture representations; Hollywood films cast dark-haired actors as villains while portraying heroes or protagonists who have light brownish hair tones.
The stereotypical surfer is perceived as being blonde haired no matter what their gender may be – people think of them having blond or even bleach-blond like strands if you’re watching any movie about surfers they’ll probably have either one these two options for hairstyles too.
So, why do surfers have blond hair.
Does surfing lighten you hair?
While surfers sit on their wooden boards in the sunshine, they are bleaching away melanin. Melanin is a pigment that determines your hair color and it does this by absorbing light wavelengths.
The sun’s rays bleach what little melanin there was left in the surfer’s blonde locks of hair- making them look like platinum blondes from afar.
The sun may be the main culprit for giving surfers their blond hair, but salt water is a close second. Surfing in salty ocean waters can lighten up natural haircolor because of its effects on keratin–a protein found in human skin and nails that gives them strength and helps keep moisture out or hold it inside.
Salt from seawater reacts with your hair follicles to make you lighter – just like how chlorine bleaches clothes during washing.
That’s not to say that the sun and salt water have no other effects on your hair- they do, they can make it healthier.
The sun is good because it provides a source of vitamin D for some surfers whose diets are lacking in this essential nutrient. Vitamin D isn’t just for healthy bones; it also promotes hair growth. And being in the sun can help bleach out those pesky gray or white hairs that pop up as we age.
How to prevent your hair from lightening while surfing
Luckily, you will not get your hair bleached just by sitting on a surfboard for hours. You can prevent it from happening with these tips.
- Wear a hat or use an umbrella to avoid getting sunburned and keep your skin covered as much as possible.
- ·Wear long-sleeved rash guards or long pants to protect your skin and hair from the sun.
- Wear sunscreen on any exposed skin, especially parts of your scalp that show when you wear a hat.
- Use a non-sulfate shampoo and conditioner after you shower to remove all traces of salt water and surf waxes out of your hair. This will help maintain your hair’s natural color and prevent fading.
Like most things that are good for you, surfing is a bit of a double-edged sword; the fun factor may very well be outweighed by the fact that you have to expose yourself to harmful skin aging rays or even burning your scalp will make you look older than those who don’t spend hours in the sun.
Are you going to stop surfing just because of what it does to your hair or skin? No, at least I won’t stop doing both, but then again my goal isn’t to look good once I become an old man..
Famous blonde hair surfers
Typical to the stereotype, here are the top 5 famous blonde hair surfers (on and off screen):
1. Kelly Slater
2. Peter Townend
3. Nicole Kidman (actress)
4. Chris Jericho (wrestler)
5. Michelle Wie (golfer)
A popular stereotype often constructed by Hollywood is that surfers have blonde hair. This leads people to believe that this isn’t an option for them, if they want to be like a stereotypical surfer.
However, surfers can prevent their hair from lightening in the sun by wearing hats and sunscreen.
In addition, it has been proven that surfers who spend time on the beach get Vitamin D, which boosts their immune system and also promotes hair growth.