Great for giving texture to fine hair and for defining curls for curly or wavy hair. Has a nice ginger scent. Lightweight formula keeps hair soft.
Can dry out hair a bit if used too much.
Doesn't leave hair sticky or heavy. Not overly scented. Best for fine to medium thickness hair that is short to medium in length.
Not ideal for thick, long hair as it doesn't produce that many waves with this hair type.
Enhances curls for curly or wavy hair. For straight hair, it's recommended to blow dry soft waves and then spray to hold and enhance. Not sticky or heavy.
The waves the spray creates for straight hair are pretty subtle.
Offers UV protection for your hair while also creating subtle waves. Lightweight with a great coconut scent. Works even on thick hair.
A little goes a long way – using too much can make your hair feel greasy.
The smell alone is worth mention, never mind the fact that this spray will bring out natural waves. Leaves your hair soft and voluminous without making it sticky. Saltitude West’s spray works best for enhancing natural curls and waves.
Not the best choice for fine hair.
We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.
Who doesn’t love hair with natural-looking beach waves? The perfectly relaxed, tousled look works for any occasion, whether you’re headed to work or a night out on the town.
While you could achieve this carefree style after a day in the ocean, not all of us have easy access to a beach or year-round beach weather. The answer? Sea salt spray. These salt-infused sprays add texture and volume to your hair and can hold your waves in place for hours.
But before you go off to buy one, there are some considerations to keep in mind. The kind of hair you have — whether it’s straight, curly, or thin — dictates the kind of sea salt spray you should use and how to use it. Some sea salt sprays even include a conditioner, helping to combat the salt’s drying effect.
Regardless of hair type or gender, there’s a sea salt spray for everyone. To learn more, keep reading our shopping guide below. If you’re ready to buy, consider one of our top picks.
Looking for the right sea salt spray for your hair type? Here’s a rundown on what works best:
Sea salt spray works wonders for people with thinning hair. The salt thickens the hair follicle, giving you instant volume. For best results, use sea salt spray on slightly damp hair. Carry the bottle with you throughout the day for needed touch-ups once your beach waves lose their hold. Start with a conservative amount of spray (it can weigh down your hair when used in excess) or choose one with a lightweight formula. Find a sea salt spray that has extra moisturizer, too.
Beach waves are more of a challenge with thick hair. Those with thick tresses can have trouble finding products that hold, so a sea salt spray with extra moisturizer is key. Choose a spray with extra conditioner or hydration and one specifically formulated to hold. Massage or comb the product into damp hair, scrunching the locks between your fingers to get waves.
It won’t take much product to give natural curls and waves a lift. Wavy hair only needs a few spritzes in damp hair, then scrunch with your fingers as necessary. To smooth curly hair into waves, apply the sea salt spray to damp hair and comb it with a wide-tooth comb, making sure you don’t miss the ends. Then shake your hair gently and air dry. For smoother waves, you can put your hair up in a tight bun to dry. Sea salt can make curly hair extra dry, so it’s best to use a small amount of spray or choose a spray that includes conditioner.
If you're looking for instant curls, sea salt sprays aren't the way to go. But it’s definitely the way to achieve waves that look effortless. Sea salt sprays will add texture and volume to your hair and will hold your waves in place. There are two ways to use it: you can use some spray after a curling iron to enhance your curls or, to use the spray alone, mist the spray on your hair, comb through it with your fingers, and, lastly, scrunch up the hair for optimal beach waves.
Sea salts already exacerbate dryness, so you’ll want to choose a spray that has extra moisturizing properties, like built-in conditioner or essential oils. Sea salt spray should be the last product applied to your hair after a series of moisturizers or serums.
The salt in sea salt sprays absorbs excessive oiliness, so the good news is that you’ll be able to go longer without washing your hair. Because oily hair may be limp as well, sea salt spray will add much-needed volume.
Sea salt sprays are easiest to apply on medium to long hair, but you can produce the beachy effect on short hair, too. With short hair, you can apply the spray with the aforementioned methods. For extra hold, try sectioning off your hair and using a curling iron first. Then, enhance the curling iron waves with a sea salt spray. Gently tousle your hair, and you’re good to go!
Sea salt spray adds texture to existing short hair styles, such as a pompadour. To add volume with the spray, you can mist it through your hair, then grab a comb or brush and a hair dryer, and dry your hair as you comb it out. Add the cream or pomade of your choice to finish things off.
Inexpensive: Most bottles contain between six and eight ounces of product. The $8 to $15 range is plenty if you’re looking for a straightforward spray that gets the job done. These sprays may contain additional ingredients like kelp, essential oils, or even actual sea water.
Mid-range: For $15 to $20, you can find a professional-quality sea salt spray. Sprays that contain added hydration or conditioner can cost more but that’s not always the case.
Expensive: Sprays that go for more than $20 tend to boast all-organic, GMO-certified ingredients in addition to salon-quality name recognition. If you have the extra money to splurge, go for one of these sprays. Otherwise, the $10 to $20 range will do fine.
We’re confident in all the sea salt sprays we recommended, but there were a couple more we liked that didn’t quite make the cut. Oliology’s Coconut Oil Sea Salt Mist is perfect for those who have dry hair. Two pumps of product is all it takes to get dreamy beach waves. Users praise its hydrating qualities (no doubt thanks to the coconut oil and bamboo extract), and some say it works wonders as a leave-in conditioner. Great for dry scalps and curly hair, this spray holds curls in place and combats frizz. You won’t get any dry, crunchy waves here. Bonus: it smells pretty great, too.
We also like Captain Blankenship’s Organic Sea Salt Spray. While it’s definitely a splurge for not much product (the bottle is the perfect size for travel), you won’t find ingredients like Pacific sea salt, aloe vera, sea kelp extract, and essential oil in most sprays. All those active ingredients not only smell wonderful, but also create soft beach waves. It’s a good eco-friendly option, too, as it’s a cruelty-free product made without sulfates or GMO ingredients. The salt will add some texture to fine hair and give wavy hair an extra boost, but it won’t hold as well for curly hair.
Q. Does sea salt spray damage colored hair?
A. While sea salt spray is drying, you can choose a formula with moisturizer. For added protection, wet color-treated hair with some water and olive oil before applying the spray.
Q. Does sea salt spray lighten hair?
A. If you have blonde hair and use sea salt spray in the summer, you may notice a subtle lightening. Otherwise, the spray alone won’t have too much of an effect on hair color.
Q. Can sea salt spray cause hair loss?
A. This is uncommon. However, over time, sea salt spray can exacerbate the dryness in thin hair, making it brittle. If this happens, opt for a sea salt spray loaded with moisturizer or stop using one at all.
Q. Can sea salt spray expire?
A. All hair products expire. Check the area near the botte code to find the expiration date — it’s often an image of an open jar with a number inside it, followed by the letter M (example: 12M means 12 months). If the spray starts to cause irritation or works less effectively, it’s time to toss it.
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