Tips & Tricks for the girls that scuba!
So I’m pretty sure by now ladies, that you’ve realised being a woman ain’t easy. Especially in an industry which up until fairly recently has been very male dominated. Being a female dive instructor myself, I have faced many of these issues and can hopefully share with you some scuba wisdom! So boys, if you’re reading perhaps its time to move on to one of our other blogs. This ones for the ladies!
Done with the post dive raster look?
For all those with long luscious locks, you’ve probably suffered the terrible experience of getting your hair stuck in your mask strap. It sticks to the velcro on your wetsuit and even getting stuck in the tank valve! Each is a rather unpleasant experience, that’s for sure. So what to do if you have long hair? If you’re not ready to cut it to shoulder length, (which is what I did in the end). Below are some options for you.
To Tie or not to Tie
The best position is to tie it up! Either high on the top of your head or very low at the base of you scull. This way it leaves room for your mask strap so you can get it off and on easily and not get in the way. Either a braid or tight bun will work well. A strong hair tie is also compulsory, (avoid mental bobby pins as they rust and stain your hair orange!).
Bandanas are the best
The very best way to keep all those small bits of hair that are out of control is using a stretchy, seamless hair bandana. You can buy them in Bali from Pulau Outfitters and all our staff swear by them. We also sell some in the shop. The best things is they come in a range of awesome patterns and colours for men and women!
We like to avoid un-natural products in our hair. so that it doesn’t pollute the ocean. Rather than using a ‘leave in’ conditioner like some people do, (full of chemicals), we recommend virgin coconut oil! Just rub it through the ends of your hair before and after diving to help protect it from the salt and to help it detangle when brushing.
That Time Of The Month
Believe it or not, we quite often get asked the question “Can I still dive if I have my period”? “Am I at risk of shark attack”?
The quick answer is no, you’re not at risk of shark attack. But more importantly how to deal with it and be comfortable on the boat?
A perfect solution for scuba diving woman, (and maybe non scuba women), is what’s known as a menstrual cup. Not only is it reducing your pollution on the planet but is the most “spill free” method of stemming your flow. I swear by them and have been using one for 5 years. They cost around $30-$60 depending on the brand and they last a very long time. Being made from silicon they’re easy to clean and soft so you barely feel it. There is a slight learning curve to using one but once you get used to it, its great. Plus you don’t normally need to refresh it more than once per day. Leaving you to relax until you’re off the boat and in the comfort of your own bathroom.
Nails & Skin Care
If you dive a lot, like I do, you’ll notice quickly the wear and tear on your body. Perfect nails become a thing of the past and your skin suffers from the sun and salt. My nails break a lot and the skin gets dry when sunburn is always an issue. Again coconut oil is great for all of these problems particularly dry skin and nails. Just rub in in before and after diving and notice the difference. For the sunburn fresh aloe vera is the best, (we even have it growing at our shop so feel free to break off a piece 🙂 )
Reef Safe Sunscreen
We all know that suncream is incredibly toxic for our reefs. It can pollute a large body of water with only a few drops. To tackle this, there are many brands now that offer natural ‘reef safe’ products for sun protection. In short, the absence of two chemicals oxybenzone and octinoxate means its reef safe. Read more about it here
Must have gear for extra comfort
Mask Strap Cover
If you don’t have one already, definitely sort your self out with a nice neoprene mask cover. This also helps with the hair in mask strap problem. It stops the sticky rubber from gripping in your hair. Even better, get the mask strap which is neoprene with velcro straps… then you can entirely replace your mask strap. This gets rid of the bits that trap your hair on the sides! The velcro option means you set the length of your strap and never need to adjust it again.
As the neoprene strap easily stretches over your head so no need to loosen and tighten each time.
Mouldable Mouth Piece
Ever noticed how sometimes your jaw aches from diving? Often because the mouth piece is not the right fit for a feminine sized mouth. This can mean you have to bite down to hold it in place. Mouldable mouth pieces can be trimmed and shaped to your teeth using hot water and a sharp blade. You can then bring it with you when you travel, (if you don’t have your own regulators), and just ask you dive guide to put it on your rental regulator (more hygienic also!).
Events and Communities
Girls That Scuba
If you want to get involved with more female dive communities, dive trips or events, go on over to ‘Girls That Scuba’ and join the fun!
They host all sorts of events and even have a facebook group for sharing ideas, asking questions or getting recommendations. Check it out!
There is also ‘Girls That Freedive’ and ‘Girls That Tech Dive’ so you can choose your category to suit!
PADI Womens Dive Day 2019 – Saturday 20 July
Keep your eyes out for next years PADI Womens Day for special events and offers all around the world in celebration!
This year at Siren we had a fantastic day out with these bunch of ladies (see picture). We also made a limited edition, ‘Part Time Mermaid’ T shirt as a give away. This was followed by lunch at Sandy Bay Beach club and some bubbles! If you want to join this even next year send us an email and look out for our event on Facebook.
I hope you find these suggestions useful, but drop us a line if you have some more tips!
Have you heard the Sirens call?