As far as men’s hairstyle trends go, surfer hair is one that’s popular all over the world – even if you live nowhere near a beach. Whether you’re an actual surfing enthusiast is irrelevant because it’s not the activity itself that’s so appealing, it’s the post-surf, perfectly-windswept hair that we’re all after. The style has become hugely popular since the 1950s and combines undone texture with grown-out lengths, typically with highlighted or bleached strands that exude year-round summer vibes. Want the style for yourself? Find out how to get the look and the styles we’re loving below.
How to Get Surfer Hair
Starting with the obvious, grow your hair. While you may be tempted to visit the barber and go for your regular short style, we suggest spacing out your appointments to allow for more growth. It’s also important to inform your barber that you’re growing your hair so they don’t get too scissor happy!
There will be some awkward stages along the way but again, resist the urge to chop off all your hard work. Research or talk to your barber about styles you can wear as your hair starts to grow and when your hair is long enough we suggest styling it in a man bun – not only trendy but it’s practical too!
Colour! While it’s not essential, surfer hair is known for its sunkissed look so you may want to consider adding highlights. If you just so happen to be in the sun most of the year then your hair will naturally get that sunkissed look, but for others, we suggest asking a professional colourist to add some natural-looking highlights to your hair.
If Jason Mamoa is your idea of surfer hair goals but you have naturally straight hair you may be swayed to get a wavy perm. Perms are a chemical treatment that lasts approximately 2-6 months depending on your hair length (shorter duration for shorter hair and longer duration for longer hair). However, there are some styling tips you can do at home to help give your hair a surf-like wave, like scrunching your hair while drying, or using a sea salt spray.
How to Style Surfer Hair
Now you know how to get surfer hair, how are you going to style it? We’ve shortlisted our top surfer looks below.
Jason Mamoa’s Surfer Hair
You may want to fool everyone into thinking you’re far too busy living that Baywatch life to bother with your hair but there’s more to this tousled look than meets the eye. Jason Momoa’s surfer haircut is the epitome of effortless “oh, it grew like this” vibes but still in a controlled and non-straggly way, thanks to its full-bodied look.
His intense facial hair also helps to tie the whole look together really well, so why not consider retiring your razor for a while?
Dougie Poynter’s Surfer Hair
What makes men’s surfer hair so great is it’s weathered finish, so the key to emulating this effect at home is to make it look like you’ve been caught in a breeze.
Give yourself a deep side parting like McFly’s Dougie Poynter by sweeping all of your hair over to one side with your fingers. This is a quick trick to make it look like you’ve been riding the waves all day, even if you’ve not moved from the sofa.
Not all surfer hair looks are laid-back, they can work for more formal situations, too. This slicked back hairdo from David Beckham is all about the ’90s Kurt Cobain-esque long hair vibes but in a sleek, shiny finish.
If you’re worried about how you’d wear long hair for work, this is a great way to smarten it up.
Editor’s tip: To neaten up your style and add that high-shine finish, pick yourself the VO5 Styling Wax. This shaping wax offers long hold to keep your look in place but doesn’t have that crunchy feeling you can sometimes experience with gels.
If you’re attempting to grow out your hair, layers are an absolute must for maintaining shape.
Hair that’s all one length can look unkempt but by adding in some layers (particularly around the front, like Dylan Sprouse, here), you’ll have a look that’s totally tailored to you and you’ll always look well-groomed.
Pretty Boy Hair
Call Me By Your Name and Lady Bird actor Timothée Chalamet is absolutely everywhere right now and that’s probably got quite a lot to do with his envy-inducing head of hair.
Whether it’s the retro length or the there-but-not-quite-there curls, all we know is we want to steal his style pronto.
Most surfer styles are all about the texture, so if you’ve got naturally curly hair you’re already off to a good start!
Aussie singer-songwriter Vance Joy has quite a short cut compared to some of its counterpart surfer styles but what he lacks in length he more than makes up for with his beachy, coiled locks.
A lot of guys consider anything longer than a crew cut ‘long’ so it’s all relative, but if you’ve already got mid to jaw-length hair, why not go all the way and really push your lengths to the limits?
Twilight star Booboo Stewart’s chest-length look certainly makes a statement, but the low-key wavy texture and simple centre part keep it balanced and wearable.
Editor’s tip: With longer looks you risk looking weighed down (especially if your hair is naturally more oily) so prepare for styling with something like the VO5 Rework Texture Foam.
This light, aerated foam is great for adding lift at the roots and adds texture to strands. You can also use it together with your blow dryer to really amp up the volume.
Short Surfer Style
While we tend to think of a surfer hairstyle as being a predominantly longer look, you can still nod to the trend even if your hair is shorter – just look at Justin! Bieber’s floppy front layers give him an undeniable skater/surfer aura that’s just classically cool without being too daring.