Buff Headwear for Snorkeling – Comfy Alternative to a Swim Cap

Snorkeler wearing half buff underwater.

I, Nicole, decided to try Buff Headwear for snorkeling because my new swim caps were hurting my ears. I used a swim cap for years to contain my hair and protect my forehead and ears from the sun.

So, I went in search of an alternative. I kept coming across the Buff and wondered if it would really work for me. The Buff is simply a fabric tube with no seams, so there are many ways to wear them. I figured I could find a way for it to work for me and I did.

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I recommend buying a Half Buff (on Amazon) made of UV resistant fabric, double it up and wear it like a headband (see picture above). The reason for choosing the UV resistant fabric is that it protects your ears and forehead from the sun.

Most Buffs come in bright colors and bold designs. I chose a plain colored one, an off white called Cru. In retrospect, the light colored fabric was probably not the best choice because when it gets wet it gets more transparent and maybe lets more sun in. The company does say on the tags that the UV protection may decrease when the fabric is wet.

Snorkeler wearing buff headwear.
Nicole wearing Buff Headwear snorkeling on Kauai.

After watching the videos showing the ways you can wear a Buff, I decided the best way to wear my full size one (on Amazon) was as you would a headband with the excess covering my hair in the back. But, I found that it was too much fabric hanging out the back.

That was when I chose to cut it in half. It was definitely better with less fabric to deal with, but it was still transparent when wet (see picture above).

Snorkeler wearing half buff headwear.

So, the next step was to double it up. This was the best solution for me. I got the UV protection and did not have to deal with a bunch of excess fabric. Not to mention that it was very comfortable to wear and did not cause me any pain.

I still wear my hair in a bun at the back of my head and split my mask strap around it to keep it from sliding down, like I did while wearing my swim cap. I make improvements to my snorkeling headwear regularly. Keep up on those changes by signing up for our newsletter.

If you need to contain your hair and don’t want to put sunscreen on your forehead and ears, consider wearing Buff Headwear for snorkeling. It elegantly solves both problems and does not have tight elastic that can cause pain.

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