Hair Care

What to Do with Curly Hair at the Beach

Managing curly hair can be a challenging task.

What do you do with your hair on beach days?

There is no need for this to become a project. I take care of my voluminous curls using a minimalistic approach and very few but crucial products for my beach days. Do you want to know what my essentials are? Keep reading!

Saltwater and sun can be more damaging to curls because of their fragile and uneven shape. However, healthy and bouncy curls are still achievable when at the beach.

Preparing My Curls for the Beach

Deep conditioning curls before going to the beach is essential irrespective of the length, tightness, and density of the hair. Practice these habits regularly so that the curls are always in good condition and shape. Moisturizing curls is the best way to prepare them for the harsh sunlight and saltwater.

Coconut oil is an excellent way to prep hair for the beach because of its natural SPF and other properties. I add this product to my hair by gently scrunching a small amount of the oil around my curly hair.

While there is a low level of SPF in coconut oil, it still has protective and beneficial characteristics for your hair. When using coconut oil, a little goes a long way, and it is extremely light on your curls.

What to Do When on the Beach

It is a great idea to keep curly hair up on the beach to protect it and prevent the curls from knotting. My personal preferences include buns so that the hair is out of my face entirely.

Hair accessories that are helpful in achieving this include bobby pins and hairbands. Apart from keeping my hair tame, this helps me to feel like a true island girl when swimming in the ocean.

I also advise taking breaks and getting out of the sun occasionally during the day, as the heat from the sun can strip the hair of its natural moisture. If possible, do this during the middle of the day, as this is when the sun is the hottest.

Various beaches also have outdoor showers. I recommend using these to wet the curls and apply a conditioner to keep the curls hydrated. It is also crucial to rinse the saltwater out of the hair after swimming.

Another thing I recommend using is a microfiber material towel or cloth for drying hair at the beach, as a regular towel can be damaging to wet curls.

A woman in a bikini sat on the beach

After Swimming

One of the most crucial steps is to rinse the saltwater out of curly hair when taking a break from the direct sunlight or swimming.

I personally use my own DIY spray that consists of water infused with peppermint, rosemary, or lavender essential oil. The oil I choose depends on what I am in the mood for, but this proves that an expensive product is not necessary.

Continue to apply coconut oil or another oil throughout the day to retain moisture in the curls. This is vital when spending various hours in the sun. Washing my hair with shampoo and conditioner is also a must after a day on the beach and sand.

Hairstyles for Curly Hair on Beach Days

I have to admit that there are days when I really want to style my hair before going to the beach. A curl cream or gel is helpful these days. Additionally, I add an oil to the curls if they feel a little too dry after applying the cream or gel.

In terms of letting my hair dry, I either let it air dry or use a diffuser. Using a diffuser is not really necessary for days at the beach since the sun dries the curls quickly and they are constantly getting wet when swimming.

Unfortunately, letting curls air dry does not always result in the desired volume; however, I simply shake the curls with my fingers or use a hair pick to resolve this issue and bring life back to my hair.

A few hairstyles to try at the beach include Dutch or French braids, micro braids, or box braids. These protective styles are ideal for keeping hair out of the way.

A Stylish Braid for a Day at the Beach

One of my favorite beach hairstyles is a braid, which can be achieved by the following steps:

  1. Add coconut oil or the preferred conditioner to the hair and let the curls fall naturally.
  2. Place the hair backward so that it is not in the face.
  3. Gather a horizontal section of hair with fingers below the head’s round – This is crucial as it forms the starting point of the braid. It initially starts off small but gets bigger the further down the braid goes. The size and position can be adjusted throughout the process as well depending on the texture, length, and density of the hair
  4. Part this section into three separate sections.
  5. Start braiding
  6. Continue the process until the end of the hair strands.
  7. Secure the braid in place with a hairband or ponytail holder.
  8. Use a spray on the braid to give it moisture and added shine.
  9. For a ‘messy’ or ‘loose’ look, pull apart the braid gently and ever so slightly.

Applying a Hair Mask

Make sure to follow up with a nourishing mask or deep conditioner at the end of the week to keep the curls healthy and restore moisture into the curls. A shea butter mask or Moroccan oil can work wonders!

The Bottom Line

With a proper hair care routine, taking care of curly hair at the beach does not have to be a task of its own. Prepare beforehand so that the trip to the beach is filled with fun and adventure. No matter what style is used, it is essential to apply the tips consistently, so the curls do not get stripped of any natural oils. What do you do to prepare your curly hair for a day on the sand and in the water?


Hi I'm Hati and my hair is naturally very curly, obviously! I have started this blog to share curly hair stories and what I use to manage my own hair. Hopefully you will find it useful! My other main passions are food, art and animlas. I have a little cat who I love very much.

Related Articles