The Best Sea Salt Sprays to Score Beach Waves

We independently research, test, review, and recommend the best products—learn more about our process. If you buy something through our links, we may earn a commission.

Commerce Photo Composite

Byrdie / Sabrina Jiang

A day at the beach does more than just work wonders for your soul. A dip in the ocean is a surefire way to score ah-mazing hair. There’s something about the combo of the saltwater plus a little sand plus a little beachy air that can transform even the most blah of hair into a mermaid-esque mane, those covetable beachy waves that would otherwise require hot tools and styling steps galore.

If only there was a way to capture that magic and recreate that look at home…oh wait, there is. A quick spritz of a salt spray is the easiest way to score seaside hair, no trip to the seaside is required. Plus, most of the formulas out there are extremely versatile and can be used on either damp or dry hair, as a refresher for second-day hair, or to impart grip and texture before creating an updo or braid.

So beach, please—pick up one of these best sea salt sprays.

Best Overall: Sachajuan Ocean Mist

4.8
Sachajuan Ocean Mist Spray

 Courtesy of Sephora

What We Like
  • Adds volume

  • Matte finish

  • Flexible hold

What We Don't Like
  • Strong scent

Who else recommends it? Allure, Marie Claire, and GQ all picked Sachajuan Ocean Mist.

What do buyers say? 75% of 200+ Amazon reviewers rated this product 4 stars or above.

This spritz works on every hair type, from fine and flat to kinky and coiled—and everything in between. It uses not only salt but also sugar (another choice texturizer) to create waves, plus add a bit of volume and hold, along with a matte finish. “I love how nicely this works into the hair, creating a beautifully textured look without feeling too rough,” says Cedric, stylist, and owner of Cedric Salon in New York City. Spray it onto damp hair and let it air dry; you can even brush it out post-spraying if you want a more subtle effect.

Active Ingredients: Salt, sugar, vitamin B5, castor oil | Size: 5 fluid ounces | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: No

Best for Fine Hair: Odele Texturizing Sea Salt Spray

Odele Texturizing Sea Salt Spray
What We Like
  • Affordable

  • Lightweight

  • Smells good

What We Don't Like
  • May leave a sticky residue

This affordable haircare brand truly can do no wrong in our book, and this wave-enhancing spritz is proof positive. Ideal for fine to medium hair,  it contains sea salt to impart a tousled texture and lots of fullness. The formula is squeaky clean, free of over 1,300 questionable ingredients. Even the delicious scent, a fresh mix of cucumber and ylang-ylang, is totally naturally derived.

Active Ingredients: Sea salt | Size: 8 fluid ounces | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: Yes

Best for Thick Hair: Kristin Ess Soft Shine Beach Wave Spray

Kristin Ess Soft Shine Beach Wave Spray
What We Like
  • Affordable

  • Smells good

  • Seals split ends

What We Don't Like
  • Can feel heavy

While this pick works for all hair types, it’s an especially great option for those with thicker hair. Meant to be used on dry hair, you can layer on as much of this as you need (and those with thick hair do need a bit more product) without worrying about it ever starting to feel crunchy or stiff. It’s also great if your hair requires a little extra TLC since the formula touts a proprietary technology that helps to “seal” split ends.

Active Ingredients: Zip-up Technology | Size: 6.7 ounces | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: No

Best for All Hair Types: Bumble and bumble Surf Spray

Bumble and bumble Surf Spray

 Courtesy of Sephora

What We Like
  • Absorbs excess oil

  • Adds shine

  • Lightweight

What We Don't Like
  • May leave a sticky residue

Arguably one of, if not the, most popular salt sprays out there, many would also say that this is the OG formula that spawned a thousand different copycats. It boasts Epsom salts, which make for a tousled texture and have astringent properties to absorb excess oil. Meanwhile, seaweed and kelp extracts impart smoothness and shine. The result is a spritz that almost instantly transforms even the finest, limpest of hair—but never weighs them down.

Active Ingredients: Sea salt | Size: 1.7 fluid ounces, 4.2 fluid ounces | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: Yes

Best for Volume: R+Co Rockaway Salt Spray

R+Co Rockaway Salt Spray
What We Like
  • Adds volume

  • Strengthening

  • Smells good

What We Don't Like
  • Reviewers note the bottle leaks

Craving not only waves but added volume, too? Try this mist. A plant-based ingredient known as cranesbill plumps each shaft for added fullness, while salt leaves hair looking naturally tousled. Not to mention that there’s also antioxidant-rich and protective vitamin C and strengthening sage in the formula, too. Cedric is a big fan of this formula, as well, lauding both how easy it is to work with and the great scent.

Active Ingredients: Cranesbill, yarrow plant extract, balm mint, sage, vitamin C | Size: 1.7 ounces, 4.2 ounces | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: No

What Our Editors Say

"Love the name. Love that the packaging looks like a Gray Malin photo. Love that it makes magic out of my kind-of wavy texture."—Leah Wyar, Byrdie SVP/GM

Best Splurge: Oribe Après Beach Wave and Shine Spray

4.5
Oribe Aprés Beach Wave and Shine Spray

 Courtesy of Oribe

What We Like
  • Lightweight

  • A little goes a long way

  • Provides UV protection

What We Don't Like
  • Pricey

True to its name, a quick hit of this really does leave you with ‘just got back from the beach’ hair. Another salt-free option, it instead uses a combination of wheat protein, pro-vitamin B5, and a co-polymer that work together to swell the hair shaft and create that coveted beachy texture. But what makes this worth the price is the addition of other good-for-your hair ingredients, namely an antioxidant complex to protect against damaging and color fading effects, plus a plant-based extract that offers UV protection to further safeguard your hue.

Active Ingredients: Oribe Signature Complex, Exotic oil extract blend, beach wave complex, glycerin, ginger root extract | Size: 2.1 ounces, 8.5 ounces | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: No

What Our Testers Say

"Oribe's Après Beach Wave and Shine Spray elevated my rushed curling efforts into perfectly piece-y beach waves. It softened my hair and gave it a healthier feel and appearance without the use of multiple products." — Ashley Rubell, Product Tester

Best for Dry Hair: Amika Bushwick Beach No-Salt Wave Spray

Amika Bushwick Beach No-Salt Wave Spray

 Courtesy of Sephora

What We Like
  • Hydrating

  • Adds shine

  • Prevents frizz

What We Don't Like
  • May leave a sticky residue

We know, this technically isn’t a salt spray, but here’s the thing—salt can be drying on your hair, particularly if your hair is already on the drier side, to begin with. This formula uses a mineral known as zeolite in place of salt to create piece-y, surfer girl texture, coupled with hydrating sea buckthorn oil for added hydration and shine. Oh, and the other nice thing about zeolite? It also helps ward off frizz, making this choice for summertime styling.

Active Ingredients: Zeolite, silica, sodium hyaluronate | Size: 5.1 fluid ounces | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: Yes

What Our Editors Say

“Okay, this sea salt spray doesn't contain any salt, but the ingredients mimic salt and won't dry out your hair. This is my go-to after a shower for texture and body without heat tools. I also have an oily scalp, and the Zeolite and Silica in the formula help prevent grease and extend my style." —Kathryn Vandervalk, Byrdie Editorial & Strategy Director

Best for Colored Hair: Sun Bum Sea Spray

Sun Bum Texturizing Sea Spray

Courtesy of Ulta

What We Like
  • Blocks out humidity

  • Provides UV protection

  • Affordable

What We Don't Like
  • Can be drying

Along with giving you beachy hair, this also goes above and beyond the call of duty. It offers UV protection—very important if you color your hair since the sun can cause serious fading and color changes—but also blocks out humidity. Hence why it’s an awesome pick if you actually are going to the beach and just want to enhance the effects of a swim in the sea (or aren’t planning on going in the water but want to make it look like you did).

Active Ingredients: Hawaiin sea salt, sea kelp | Size: 6 fluid ounces | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: Yes

Best Multi-Tasker: Playa Endless Summer Spray

Playa Endless Summer Spray
What We Like
  • Adds volume

  • Provides UV protection

  • Smells good

What We Don't Like
  • May leave a sticky residue

What’s better than a great sea salt spray? One that can do more than just give you great beachy hair. This aptly-named pick (which, fun fact, relies on sea salt harvested from Southern California) not only helps enhance and coax out waves, it also boosts volume and contains antioxidant-rich beta-carotene to shield both scalp and hair from UV rays and pollution. The scent is the cherry on top, a more sophisticated take on the classic tropical notes, combining black coconut with sandalwood and musk.

Active Ingredients: California sea salt, cane sugar, marine collagen | Size: 3.65 fluid ounces | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: Yes

Best Natural: Alaffia Everyday Coconut Texturizing Spray - Purely Coconut

Alaffia Everyday Coconut Texturizing Spray
What We Like
  • Hydrating

  • Certified fair-trade ingredients

  • Adds volume

What We Don't Like
  • May leave a sticky residue

Talk about a clean ingredient profile—there are only nine ingredients total in this spray. Neem extract and coconut water are the first two, both super hydrating, helping to balance out any potentially drying effects of the salt. Plus, all of the ingredients are certified fair-trade.

Active Ingredients: Sea salt, coconut water | Size: 12 ounces | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: Yes

Best Scent: Herbivore Botanicals Coconut Sea Mist Texturizing Salt Spray

Herbivore Botanicals Natural Sea Mist Texturizing Salt Spray
What We Like
  • Smells good

  • Adds volume

  • Lightweight

What We Don't Like
  • Reviewers note the bottle leaks

You’ll be hard-pressed to figure out what you like more about this spray—is it the amazing texture it creates or is it the delicious scent, a (completely natural) fragrance that balances coconut with a hint of lime? Happily, there’s no need to choose. That fragrance smells legitimately tropical in the best way possible, never artificial and cloying. (For those who don’t love those types of scents, there’s also a lavender variant available.) Worth noting: The amount of sea salt used in this formula is the same as the natural salinity of the ocean, meaning the texturizing effects are about as close to what you’d get from an actual dip in the sea as possible.

Active Ingredients: Salt, aloe vera | Size: 8.11 ounces |Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: Yes

Final Verdict

Sea salt sprays are the secret weapon to creating an effortlessly tousled texture. The Sachajuan Ocean Mist (view at Dermstore) is our top choice, a pro favorite that works on all hair types and combines both salt and sugar to enhance waves. If you’re looking for not only more texture but also volume, try the R+ Co Rockaway Salt Spray (view at Amazon), which contains a hair-plumping ingredient along with salt. And if your hair is super dry, try the salt-free Amika Bushwick Beach No-Salt Wave Spray (view at Sephora), which relies on a mineral to create surfer girl pieceiness and touts plenty of hydrating ingredients, too.

What to Look for in a Sea Salt Spray

Hydrating Ingredients

Salt is undoubtedly a great texture-enhancing ingredient, but, as anyone who’s spent a day at the beach will tell you, it can dry out your hair. That’s the beauty of using a salt spray; you can seek out options that contain hydrating ingredients—aloe, glycerin, coconut water—to balance out those potentially drying effects.

FAQ
  • How do sea salt sprays work?

    “Sea salt sprays work by giving hair texture and body, imparting movement, and making hair look wavier,” explains Cedric. That being said, they work with your natural hair texture, coaxing out or enhancing any waves that are actually there. The point being, if your hair is pin-straight, you may also need the assistance of a hot tool to get that super beachy vibe. 

  • How do you apply sea salt spray?

    You’ll get the most dramatic effects if you mist it onto damp hair (spray all over) before blow-drying or air-drying, says Cedric. That being said, you can also use it as a finishing spray and work it on dry hair. 

  • Do sea salt sprays dry out your hair?

    “Your hair will likely feel a bit dryer when you use one—similarly to when you are at the beach—but that’s not permanent,” says Cedric. Simply wash it out, and your hair will be clean. You can also use a mask after the fact if you feel like your hair needs extra moisture, he adds. 

How We Researched & Tested

To compile this list, our team of editors and contributors spent hours researching the best products on the market in this category, evaluating their key features—like ingredients, shade range, or design—in addition to reviews from customers and other trusted sources. Our team also incorporated their own personal experiences testing products in their own lives. We then used these insights from our research and testing to assign a star rating from one to five (five being the best; one being the worst) to certain products on the list.

Why Trust Byrdie?

Byrdie contributor Melanie Rud has over a decade of experience in the beauty industry, writing for some of the biggest magazines and websites out there. She loves herself some beachy waves, be they a result of a day spent at the Jersey Shore or of a good sea salt spray.

Meet the Expert

Cedric is a master stylist and the owner of Cedric Salon in New York City. He has over 25 years of experience working with celebrities in both Europe and across the United States.

According to our Diversity Pledge, 15% of products in our newly-published market roundups will feature Black-owned and/or Black-founded brands. At the time of publishing, we were not able to find enough sea salt sprays from Black-owned and/or Black-founded businesses to meet this percentage. If you know of one we should consider, please email us at contact@byrdie.com and we will evaluate the product ASAP.

Article Sources
Byrdie takes every opportunity to use high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial guidelines to learn more about how we keep our content accurate, reliable and trustworthy.
  1. The 17 Best Sea Salt Sprays for Beautiful, Beachy Hair. Allure. https://www.allure.com/gallery/best-sea-salt-spray-beach-hair

  2. The 28 Best Sea Salt Sprays for Beachy, Wavy Hair. Marie Claire. https://www.marieclaire.com/beauty/news/g2902/best-beach-wave-salt-sprays/

  3. Sea Salt Spray Will Give You Beach Hair 365 Days a Year. GQ. https://www.gq.com/story/best-sea-salt-sprays-for-beach-hair

Related Stories