Easy, tousled beach waves? It's summer hair's M.O., but while sea salt sprays have been the de facto for getting the look for as long as we can remember, there's a category we've all been sleeping on: Hair taffy.
If you're of the camp that finds salt sprays to be too sticky or crunchy, taffy might be just the solution thanks to its soft, flexible control—especially if you have naturally wavy or curly texture. "It enhances the wave and gives the hair perfectly-imperfect separation and shine," explains Ammon Carver, creative director of L'ANZA.
As far as styling goes, a little bit goes a long way to coat your strands. "It works best on the ends of the hair," he explains. "After your hair is roughly styled, use the taffy to create detail on the mid lengths and ends."
To make waves, avoid stiffness, and keep frizz at bay this summer, try one of these five taffy stylers:
This magical, all-natural taffy is made with hemp, tamanu, bamboo, and monoi oils—the latter being a longtime beauty secret of Tahiti for intense hydration. A dime-sized amount is all you need for all-over frizz control and defined waves.
Nubian Heritage Grow and Strengthen Edge Taming Taffy, $8.18; amazon.com.
If you've got heat or colored damaged stands, this formula has it's very own Keratin Healing System, which repairs and protects the hair while creating moveable texture.
"Just apply a small amount of taffy to the ends of your hair to enhance the waves," says Carver. "Avoid applying taffy at the scalp area, unless you want to control volume."
L'ANZA Healing Style Taffy Unisex Cream by L'Anza, $15.63; amazon.com.
If you're a sucker for a sweet-smelling scent, this is your texturizer. In even the smallest doses, this lavender-hued taffy defines and separates waves without feeling tacky—especially on shorter lengths.
Kenra Platinum Texturizing Taffy #13, $12.49 (was $19.36) ; amazon.com.
If you've got especially delicate waves or curls, this styler is guaranteed not to tug or weigh on them while creating durable texture. Plus, its mineral-rich marine complex will make worn out strands happy.
"It's super-pliable and also water soluble allowing it to glide easily throughout the hair while never creating product buildup," says Jocelyn Smith, Manager of Business Development at Ouidad. Two of her favorite was to use it are:
1. On wet hair to mold braids or twists.
2. On dry hair using the scrunching method next day to add more beachy texture to existing curls.
Ouidad Wave Create Texture Taffy, $26; sephora.com.
This fibrous paste is made with a slew of certified organic ingredients, like argan oil, and boasts some serious memory control that molds waves with zero trace of stiffness.
DermOrganic Texture Taffy, $12; jet.com.