If you have fine, straight hair but love the look of beachy waves, you already know that sea salt spray is your secret weapon. But not all sea salt sprays are created equally: Some are intended for people with thick or curly hair, so they're more moisturizing, while others can leave your hair feeling crunchy and stiff. The best sea salt sprays for fine, straight hair, on the other hand, strike the perfect balance. They use — you guessed it — sea salt to give your hair texture, body, and movement, but they're also balanced out by other ingredients that tend to be beneficial for fine hair, such as charcoal powder to soak up oil, or lightweight hydrators, like aloe and glycerin, to prevent an overly drying feeling. Beyond that, choosing your ideal sea salt spray will come down to your budget, scent preference, and preferred finish (i.e. shiny versus matte).
To learn more about using sea salt spray on fine, straight hair, Bustle spoke with Amy Abramite, Creative Director and stylist at Maxine Salon in Chicago. To boost volume and create waves, Abramite suggests misting your sea salt spray onto towel-blotted hair. Then, loosely braid your hair and use a blowdryer with a diffuser attachment, or let your hair air dry naturally, to create a wavy texture. “The woven sections will control frizz by taming flyaways while adding supple movement and expanded body on straight hair,” she explains. Once your braids have dried, take them out and shake them loose with your fingers. If, after that, you want even more fullness and separation, feel free to apply a few more mists of sea salt spray.
With those tips in mind, scroll on to shop three of the best sea salt sprays for beachy waves and texture, plus two other, similar styling products you may love.
1. The Overall Best Sea Salt Spray For Fine, Straight Hair
There's a lot to love about this alcohol-free sea salt spray from Sun Bum. Made with sea kelp, seaweed, charcoal powder, and Hawaiian black lava sea salt (aka a beach in a bottle), it gives hair texture and volume with each spritz, while also leaving behind a matte finish and offering up some UV protection as well. The 6-ounce bottle costs just $15, and since a little product goes a long way, you should be set for a while. Bonus points for being vegan and cruelty-free.
2. The Expert's Pick
Abramite likes working with John Masters Organics' Sea Mist Spray on her clients. The spray is designed to give hair that's flat and lacking in volume a loose, effortless texture, and best of all, it's been certified organic by the USDA as well. Made with sea salt, lavender (which contributes to this spray's lovely, herbal scent), and aloe vera and glycerin for non-greasy hydration, this spray will help make your hair shiny and soft, instead of crunchy or stiff.
3. The Drugstore Classic
The sea salt spray that started it all, John Frieda's Sea Waves Spray has been a cult-classic for literally decades (in fact, it was discontinued for a few years, but after petitioning from fans, a new and improved version of the classic sea salt spray was released back onto the market). As its name implies, this is ideal for mimicking the type of waves that come from spending a day in the sea — think matte, tousled, and messy in that cool, effortless way. It smells like the ocean, too, with its tropical, coconut-y scent. If you can't get enough of the surfer-chic vibes, consider picking up the Cool Dip Purifying Shampoo and Smooth Seas Detangling Conditioner, also from the brand's iconic Beach Blonde line.
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This Luxe, Salt-Free Spray For Touchable Waves & Mega Shine
If you're looking to give your hair texture, volume, and so much shine, splurge on this Oribe Apres Beach Wave and Shine Spray. Like all Oribe products, it's made with the highest quality, naturally derived ingredients, like watermelon, lychee, and edelweiss, while the brand's Beach Wave Complex helps create piece-y, tousled waves. This actually doesn't contain any salt, so it won't leave your hair feeling even remotely dry or stiff. Instead, it's loaded with moisturizing oils, antioxidant-rich botanicals, and wheat proteins, which work together to leave your hair feeling silky, strong, and soft — and looking super shiny, instead of matte.
This Salt-Free Mousse For Beachy Waves & All-Day Hold
Mousses are great for locking styles in place and creating long-lasting hold. And this one, from Moroccanoil, is also great for creating beachy, textured waves without making your hair feel crunchy or sticky. That's because the formula, which is salt-free, contains lots of moisturizing ingredients, including glycerin, argan oil, and safflower seed oil, as well as a couple of hair-strengthening proteins. And like every Moroccanoil product, the mousse boasts the brand's signature, spicy-sweet scent, with top notes of warm amber and luscious florals.
Amy Abramite, Creative Director and Stylist, Maxine Salon, Chicago