Picture 5

Illustration by Kirsty Felcher

by Chas Smith

Surf hair is the crown that adorns the surfer’s head. Hair. Long beautiful hair. Shining, gleaming, streaming, flaxen, waxen. Hair. Hair kissed by the sun and coated by the salts touched with wax. Surf hair.

And surf hair is a treasure. Our treasure. It can be spotted from across a crowded bar, the way overhead lights refract off the salts, the way it stays stuck in place without any product. It can be used to seduce even the most hardened woman. Because surf hair is a crown and even the most hardened woman loves a prince.

And while it is easy to get the surf hair it can be a trick to maintain. To get involves simply surfing. To maintain involves towel drying, lightly, after a session (which must include at least three duck dives) and not showering, not even rinsing. If going out to the crowded bar later in the evening a nap is recommended. Slightly damp surf hair pressed upon a fresh pillow and mussed by sleep is ideal. Sex, if it can be had before the nap and before going out to the crowded bar, is highly recommended. Sex before the nap makes the mussing even more ideal. The passion adds a certain sheen and the right amount of body, for a great danger of surf hair, one of the mines in the minefield of maintenance, is flatness. Surf hair can be weighed down by salts and wax and must be mussed. Sex musses naturally. Mussing with one’s fingers is a lesser option (it adds no sheen) but necessary if no sex can be found. Never use a comb or a brush. Ever.

Once out at the crowded bar, the surf hair should be touched with one’s fingers periodically but not too much. Maybe once every 30 minutes. Too much touching destroys the valence holding it all together. It breaks up the salts and the wax and the remnants of sun and soon it will look not like surf hair at all but rather day laborer hair. Almost the opposite of surf hair. Such a fine fine line.

If a hardened woman insists on rubbing her fingers through and through and through know that the surf hair will be destroyed and she may move along before the night is through. Take her by the wrist, firmly, and shout “no" in her face. Then place her hand on your chest, or upper thigh, and wink. Hardened women need rules.

Make sure to be home before two in the morning or surf hair will flee. The magical gilded horse drawn carriage will turn back into a pumpkin of dull.

A night’s sleep will refresh, but being back in the water before noon is highly recommended.

After one week of surfing and maintaining, a rinse in fresh water is necessary. But only rinse directly before a surf. Rinsing after a surf will guarantee exhausted preschool teacher hair. Truly the opposite of surf hair.

If, when going for a haircut, the surf hair is washed by a sultry stylist, let it be. The hands of a stylist massaging herbal shampoos into the scalp are one of this life’s great pleasures. But directly afterward go for another surf and then lock yourself in your home for four days, only exiting for surfs. It takes time to build up the right amount of salts and wax.

When away from the ocean never try to mimic surf hair by rinsing it with table salt or squirting with lemon juice. Simply weep for the ocean and know it only looks half as good as it does when you go in it.