Those perfectly tousled, piece-y, just-napped-on-a-beach waves? Yeah, those don't just happen. Blake Lively didn't just come out of the womb with gorgeously textured waves, and Chrissy Teigen doesn't emerge from bed each morning with gently mussed "tendrils." No, the secret to getting the ultimate "what, this ol' thing?" beachy waves is to use the actual beach on your hair—via sea salt sprays.
Salt sprays are exactly what they sound like: Sprays that are formulated with your classic sodium chloride (i.e. salt). When the formula is done well—i.e. it also contains a mix of softening, volumizing, and shine-enhancing ingredients—you'll be blessed with red carpet–level beachy waves. When it's done poorly, however—i.e. it's mainly just salt and alcohol—you'll be left with a sticky, straw-like mess. Thankfully, we rounded up only the best of the best for you, ahead. Spritz them over damp or dry hair (or both!) for a perfectly wavy finish, even if your beach vacation isn't for months.
Oribe Apres Beach Wave and Shine Spray, $44
Sultry, shiny waves are at your disposal with this moisturizing salt spray. While you're island-hopping this summer, this blend of botanical extracts and oils will keep your texture tousled and nourished without the stiffness most salt sprays come with.
Moroccanoil Beach Waves Mousse, $28
Toss that old sea salt spray you've been using since summer 2016, and upgrade to this mousse. This argan oil-infused formula will give you wind-swept waves that won't feel like they're about to fall off your head due to dehydration by the end of the day.
Ouai Wave Spray, $26
You'll be able to fake full, voluminous extensions in a flash with this thickening sea salt spray. Transform life-less morning hair to I-woke-up-like-this waves with a few spritz of this rice protein-packed formula all over your hair from root to tip.
Balmain Paris Texturizing Salt Spray, $38
This humidity-resistant formula will let your waves live their best freakin' life for hours on end, as it's made to give your hair a long-lasting hold. That means it's one less thing to carry around in your beach bag because you won't need to reapply it throughout the day.
R+Co Rockaway Salt Spray, $26
Sun, sand, and salty wind may feel far in the distance, but that doesn't mean your hair can't have that memo. You're looking at vacation hair in a bottle, thanks to summertime salt spray that volumizes your texture in seconds and provides color protection.
Rahua Enchanted Island Salt Spray, $32
Combining natural elements, like organic pink sea salt for texture and volume, this salt spray delivers sun-kissed waves with a brushable hold. Plus, its intoxicating scent of of guayaba, hibiscus, and passion fruit will transport you to the tropics.
Playa Endless Summer Spray, $24
The name says it all: endless summer spray. This alcohol-free formula uses chia seeds extracts to cloak your hair in a veil of shine that will enhance your curl patten and amp up your volume.
Innersense I Create Waves Pink Himalayan Salt Spray, $30
Lived-in looking waves are tricky to get. I still can't wrap my mind around the illusion of "effortless" hairstyles, which still require work to pull off. This, on the other hand, makes life easy because it has a special mineral and amethyst crystal-rich formula for bombshell waves that will make you feel like a goddamn goddess.
Alterna Caviar Professional Styling Sea Chic Foam, $32
Get excited: you can finally leave your flat-iron at home, and create piece-y waves without styling tools thanks to this texturizing foam. Shake this bottle up, then mist it throughout your hair to watch its mineral-rich, dead sea salt-infused formula work its magic.
Verb Sea Texture Spray, $16
Technically all sea salt sprays add some grit to your hair, because salt is a natural texturizer, but not all sea salt sprays give your hair an amped-up, wind-blown finish in the process. Luckily, this dry spray does. It's essentially a mix between a salt mist and a dry shampoo, so it manages to give your hair a touchable, non-matted texture (and won't weigh down fine hair).
Captain Blankenship Golden Waves Sea Salt Shimmer Spray, $28
Yes, the idea of spritzing a shimmer-flecked spray over your hair probably conjures flashbacks to your middle-school days, but trust me: This gilded formula is anything but gaudy. Infused with subtle, finely milled flecks of shimmer, the light-hold formula gives hair a softly tousled finish that looks ethereal when the light hits it—as if you got really, really excellent highlights yesterday.
OGX Moroccan Sea Salt Spray, $6
If you're still not totally sold on the idea of salt sprays ("I don't want tangles!" or "I have curly hair!"), try a formula that's less salt, more moisture, like this spray from OGX. It's filled with argan oil and kelp extracts, which leave hair shiny and soft—yet still definitively beachy—for a laid-back, trying-but-not-trying vibe.
IGK Beach Club Texture Spray, $29
This lightweight texturizing spray mimics the effect of salt-soaked waves, leaving your hair looking full, textured, and piece-y. But unlike most sea-salt sprays that give you a shiny, crunchy feel, this salt-free formula (gasp! Yup! It uses wheat proteins, instead) dries down to a semi-matte and flexible finish.
Herbivore Coconut + Sea Salt Beach Wave Mist, $26
This coconut-infused spray contains the same degree of salinity as the Pacific Ocean, so it's the closest you'll get to an actual beach day while sitting on your couch. Extra salt would usually mean extra stickiness, but this formula uses a dose of aloe water to keep your hair moisturized all day.
Bumble and Bumble Surf Spray, $27
The goal of any good salt spray is to help you get Baywatch-worthy, just-romped-in-the-surf beachy waves, and this cult-favorite helps get you there 100 percent of the time. Its saltwater base is infused with shine-enhancing fruit oils and hydrating coconut water to keep hair from feeling stiff, along with a mix of UVA- and UVB-protecting agents that'll keep your hair color (whether it's natural or bottled) from fading in the sun.
John Frieda Beach Blonde Sea Waves Sea Salt Spray, $9
Don't be fooled by the name—this iconic spray works just as well for any hair color, from brunettes to redheads to raven-black beauties. The title is a throwback to its '90s counterpart, the O.G. formula that became a decade-long sensation as a result of its ability to create shiny, smooth, piece-y waves in even the straightest of hair. Thankfully, the formula is back and, dare I say, better than before, so you'll be able to get dream-level waves without a time machine.
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