Why Surfers Have Blonde Hair?

Why do surfers have blonde hair?

It’s a common view at the beach – people relaxing in the sun, families, and friends spending time together, some building sandcastles, and some coming to tan. Some dudes catch waves and their hairstyle is actually short and black, brown, or gray.

But wait you expected them to also have blonde hair right? Perhaps it’s time to explain, in detail, why surfers have blonde hair and whether or not they really do.

Continue reading and you will know where this stereotype came from, why it’s sometimes true (and sometimes wrong), and why it’s so popular.

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Surfer Stereotype Is Known For Their Blonde Hair

What does a surfer look like? If I ask you this question, chances are that you will describe a dude with long, blonde hair.

This is the popular image of a surfer, and it’s not entirely wrong. However, it’s not always true either. So where does this stereotype come from?

The surfer hairstyle is a tousled look that was popularized by surfers in the 1950s and 1960s onwards, where it was typically long, thick, and bleached due to exposure to the sun and sea water.

At that time, the long hair and lack of personal grooming were notably linked with hippie culture in the late 1960s and 1970s.

Due to the media, surfers are often portrayed as blonde-haired, long-haired dudes in movies, TV shows, and advertising.

This reinforces the stereotype and also makes some surfers and people who want to look like a surfer dye their hair blonde.

Surfing is seen as a cool, carefree activity, and many people want to associate themselves with that cool image, and having blonde hair and long hair is one way to do that.

In the late 60s and early 70s, surfers were typecast in a negative light by the media. They were often called “beach bums” or “surfer dudes”, and it was assumed that they didn’t have any discipline or self-control, or even jobs. It’s almost absurd to think of surfers that way these days.

The image of the modern-day surfer is much different from what it used to be. Now, surfers are often times more well-groomed and hold jobs, as opposed to the primitive appearance that was once associated with them.

What Are The Reasons For The Surfer’s Blonde Hair?

Think of surfers as coal miners – a coal miner’s hands are darkened with coal dust, and the more they are the more they worked inside the miner, meaning they worked really hard.

Same goes for surfers – the more you surfed, the more you stayed under the sun, which can allegedly show how good surfer you are.

Hair is made up of pigments, which give it its color. The majority of the color in hair comes from melanin, which also colors people’s skin and eyes.

There are many types of melanin, all of which result in different hair colors. For instance, brown hair is a product of eumelanin while red hair is mostly made up of pheomelanin.

When hair is bleached, the melanin it contains goes through a chemical reaction where it becomes colorless. Melanin is still present in the hair, but because of this process – blonde hair may appear.

So it’s true – surfers do tend to have lighter hair. This is because of the time they spend in the sun and the salt water, which bleaches their hair.

Over time the sun “destroys” the melanin in your hair, causing it to light your hair each time. As surfers are known for staying under the sun for hours or for a long period of time, it’s easier for them to get their hair blonder.

It means that surfers’ blonde light hair can also be more frazzled and sun-damaged – salt water and sun can take a toll on your hair. It can become dry, brittle, and more susceptible to breakage.

Surprisingly, it’s actually the salty water that makes your hair lighter – ocean water is high in salt content, which strips away the protein keratin from your hair.

Keratin not only protects your hair but also gives it elasticity and keeps its natural moisture intact.

Salty water makes your hair brittle and straw-like because of that which leaves your hair susceptible to damage, and eventually causes desired (or not, depending on who you ask) lighter hair color.

Surfers might have blonde hair, but they often have long hair too. Many surfers do have long hair – not only because it looks cool and attractive, but it also helps to protect them from the burning sun and naturally covers their head and rear neck.

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How to Prevent Your Hair From Bleaching?

Even though it looks cool and some may say it’s also attractive, it’s important to take care of your hair.

If you’re a surfer, or if you spend a lot of time in the sun, there are some things you can do to prevent your hair from bleaching too much.

First, use a leave-in conditioner or an oil treatment to help protect your hair from the salty water and sun.

Second, try to avoid using hot tools such as curling irons or hair straighteners as much as possible.

You should also make sure to shampoo and condition your hair regularly to keep it healthy and hydrated.

Personally, I favor coconut oil as it’s a natural eco-friendly product and it really does wonders for your hair.


We already knew that the surfer stereotype is one that is often portrayed in the media – blonde-haired, tanned, and carefree.

But what many people don’t know is that this image is often perpetuated by advertising and movies, especially due to the surfer’s stereotype in the 60s and 70s that is made about surfing, while it is a fact that surfers tend to have lighter hair.

Many surfers do have light hair because of the bleaching effect of the sun and salt water and if you’re a surfer or spending a lot of time under the sun, you consider taking care of hair as it bleaching hair is actually damaging your hair.

Whatever you decide, absorb sun rays each day even for just a few minutes, and embrace your hairstyle. It’s cool I promise!