The 15 Best Sea Salt Sprays for Creating Carefree, Beachy Waves in 2023

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Make every day a beach day.

<p>InStyle / David Hattan</p>

InStyle / David Hattan

As our calendars fill with weekend getaways, and long-awaited trips, there’s one effortless hair style we turn to for every occasion: Carefree, beachy waves. This tousled look is laidback in a way that makes us feel like we’re living in a California daydream — no swimsuit or sunscreen required — and it’s a lifesaver when we don’t have our trusty styling tools on hand. All you really need to get perfectly undone waves is a good sea salt spray and some easy styling tips. These sprays are so low-maintenance and easy to use, you might even break up with your blow dryer.

To help you get textured waves worthy of a close-up, we combed through an ocean of options to find the best sea salt sprays for every budget and hair type. The following products have been tested and vetted by our team, and are recommended by celebrity hairstylists who swear by their fuss-free formulas.

Related: The 10 Best Curly Hair Products To Create a Full, Frizz-Free Routine

Best Overall : Rahua Enchanted Island Salt Spray

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What We Love: This spray creates soft, volumized waves and features a refreshing tropical fragrance.

What We Don’t Love: It doesn’t provide a very strong hold.

Rahua uses the highest quality ingredients sourced from the Amazon rainforest to create products that help us achieve salon-worthy results at home. One of our favorites is the Enchanted Island Salt Spray. Like the name suggests, it magically gives us voluminous island beach waves with just a few spritzes.

Made with detoxifying pink sea salt, hydrating guava, and pH-balancing passion fruit, this spray’s luscious, tropical scent immediately drew us in, but the results keep us coming back for more. Along with delivering a supermodel-esque tousled look, it softens and strengthens hair, so we’re never left with any stickiness or crunch.

Simply mist through damp hair to add texture and light hold. We find ourselves misting every few hours when we want extra body and grit, but truthfully, we don’t mind because the intoxicating fragrance boosts our mood, too.

Price at time of publish: $34

Hair Type: All | Size: 4.2 oz  | Key Ingredients: Pink sea salt, guava, hibiscus, passion fruit

Best Budget: Not Your Mother’s Beach Babe Texturizing Sea Salt Spray

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What We Love: Beyond giving hair a soft, beachy texture, it also offers UV protection at an affordable price.

What We Don’t Love: It has a strong coconut scent that’s not for everyone.

A longtime staple for beach babes and hairstylists alike, this sea salt spray offers just the right amount of volume, texture, and grit — all at a super-affordable price, to boot. We love the easy-to-use spray nozzle, which makes it a cinch to pump up hair at the roots or mist from a distance.

To create messy, separated waves with a matte finish, just spritz this through damp hair and scrunch it up. The formula also provides UV protection to keep hair safe from the sun. And even if you’re nowhere near a beach, the coconut scent will transport you to the tropics.

Price at time of publish: $7

Hair Type: All | Size: 8 oz | Key Ingredients: Dead sea salt, sea kelp

Best Splurge: Oribe Après Beach Wave and Shine Spray

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What We Love: This moisturizing spray delivers texture and shine without making hair look stiff.

What We Don’t Love: It’s more of a texturizer than a wave-maker.

Calling all bohemian goddesses: Oribe’s Aprés Beach Wave and Shine Spray is one of the most luxe and effective picks on the market. We love its moisturizing formula, which includes a blend of exotic oils that give strands a silky texture while protecting them from free radical damage. Along with the spray itself, the fine nozzle enhances the experience with a pinpointed application that helps create a piecey texture for all hair types, from baby-fine strands to thicker curls.

However, beyond the texturizing effect and the shine-boosting qualities, the spray doesn’t create waves so much as it enhances them. If you have stick-straight hair, you may want to add waves with curlers or an iron before using this to finish your look.

Price at time of publish: $44

Hair Type: All | Size: 8.5 oz | Key Ingredients: Oribe signature complex (watermelon, lychee and edelweiss flower), safflower seed oil, ginger root extract

Best Drugstore: OGX Moroccan Sea Salt Spray

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What We Love: Simple and effective, this formula features moisturizing argan oil that leaves hair feeling extra hydrated. 

What We Don’t Love: It’s formulated for normal to oily hair, so it’s not ideal for those with dry or damaged strands.

Some of our favorite beauty products are the ones we pick up at the drugstore, and OGX’s Moroccan Sea Salt Spray is one of the mainstays you’ll find in our basket year after year. Its straightforward formula makes the most of naturally-derived ingredients like argan oil and sea kelp that are known for their hydrating and shine-promoting properties. Meanwhile, a generous amount of sea salt helps create the messy, beachy texture we crave.

Another notable ingredient — citric acid — helps to balance the scalp’s pH, but it can be harsh on dry or damaged strands. Those with normal to oily hair can (and should) use this product to their heart’s content. Pro tip: Flip your hair upside-down and spritz your roots for additional volume.

Price at time of publish: $8

Hair Type: Normal to oily | Size: 6 oz | Key Ingredients: Sea kelp, Moroccan argan oil

Best for Straight Hair: R+Co Rockaway Salt Spray

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What We Love: This spray adds major texture and volume to all hair types — plus, it looks classy on our vanity.

What We Don’t Love: It can feel a bit crunchy if you apply too much.

Almost every hairstylist we interviewed recommends R+Co products, but this sea salt spray was by far the most mentioned. Rockaway Salt Spray creates tousled texture and buildable volume to make you look like you just spent the day on the water. It also includes vitamin C and balm mint to prevent color-fading.

It can feel a little crunchy if you go overboard on application, but Tennessee-based hairstylist Tyler Chase Bishop has a tip that will fix that in a pinch: “One of my favorite tricks to combat the sticky or wet look while maintaining volume is using R+Co Skyline Dry Shampoo Powder,” he says. “It comes in an easy-to-use pump and layers beautifully on top of this sea salt spray.” If you don’t have this specific powder on hand, any dry shampoo will do the trick.

Price at time of publish: $32

Hair Type: Straight to wavy | Size: 4.2 oz | Key Ingredients: Cranesbill, yarrow plant extract, balm mint, sage, vitamin C

Best for Wavy Hair: Sachajuan Ocean Mist

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What We Love: This mist is made with vitamin B12, which nourishes hair and enhances natural waves. 

What We Don’t Love: It has a noticeably strong fragrance.

Sachajuan’s Ocean Mist combines the benefits of a sea salt spray and a leave-in conditioner to create bombshell beach waves. Its lightweight formula features nourishing vitamin B12, which protects tresses from heat tools and enhances natural texture.

Though this spray can be used on all hair types, it’s best suited for those who want to give their natural waves a boost, as its gentle formula doesn’t create curls, it simply enhances them. We will note that this has a strong scent reminiscent of men’s cologne; however, the smell fades quickly and will appeal to those who like unisex fragrances.

Price at time of publish: $36

Hair Type: All | Size: 5.1 oz | Key Ingredients: Castor oil, panthenol

Best for Curly Hair: Rizos Curls Beach Waves Texturizing Salt Spray

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What We Love: The lightweight moisturizing formula adds volume and texture to curls.

What We Don’t Love: This product doesn’t work as well on straight hair.

If you already have curly hair and are in search of a tousled, voluminous look, New York-based celebrity hairstylist Jae-Manuel Cardenas recommends Rizos Beach Waves Texturizing Salt Spray. “It’s ultra-nourishing and contains 96 percent naturally derived ingredients,” he says. The gentle, curl-enhancing formula also includes blue agave (a natural humectant that binds hydration to hair), antioxidant-rich red algae, and prickly pear cactus, which helps strengthen strands.

“If you are going for an air-dried look and have curly or wavy hair, add this spray when hair is damp. Start light and add more as needed, but be careful not to apply too much — that’s when you get crunchy hair, no matter what spray you use,” advises Cardenas. For even more volume and texture, spritz this through your curls before drying them with a diffuser.

Price at time of publish: $20

Hair Type: Curly | Size: 6.8 oz | Key Ingredients: Sea salt, blue agave, red algae, prickly pear cactus

Best for Fine Hair: Kevin Murphy Hair Resort Spray

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What We Love: This incredibly light spray adds volume and texture without weighing down fine strands.

What We Don’t Love: Its firm hold may cause some stiffness if you use too much.

Kevin Murphy is renowned for his surfer-cool hairstyles, so it’s no surprise that the stylist’s sea salt spray made our list. The Hair Resort Spray contains wheat amino acids that boosts shine, as well as hydrolysed silk that gives hair a soft, touchable feel. Tangerine peel oil also helps protect strands from free radical damage.

With a generous concentration of sea salt, this spray is ideal for fine tresses that need extra “oomph” without weighing them down — but use it sparingly because it can start to feel a little stiff if you apply too much. (Three to four spritzes should do the trick.) For effortless beachy waves, mist onto dry hair from root to tip.

Price at time of publish: $35

Hair Type: Fine | Size: 5.1 oz | Key Ingredients: Wheat amino acids, hydrolysed silk, tangerine peel oil

Best for Thick Hair: Unite Hair Beach Day

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What We Love: It contains natural sea salt and humectants that prevent waves from falling flat.

What We Don’t Love: You’ll end up with sticky strands if you use too much.

Give thicker hair a dose of weightless body with Unite Hair’s Beach Day spray. Made with natural salt that creates a volume and humectants that stop waves from falling flat, this spray helps hair retain a beachy look all day.

You don’t have to worry about this formula drying out your strands — moringa seed extract will keep them feeling soft and hydrated. Just be sure not to spritz too much: Anything more than two or three mists can result in sticky hair.

Price at time of publish: $28

Hair Type: Thick and curly | Size: 8 oz | Key Ingredients: Magnesium sulfate, glycerin, moringa seed extract

Best for Dry Hair: Briogeo Superfoods Banana + Coconut Hydrating Soft Wave Texture Spray

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What We Love: Instead of sea salt, this gentle formula is made with coconut sugar.

What We Don’t Love: The spray nozzle can be difficult to use.

Sea salt spray can be drying for some hair types, but luckily there are some amazing alternatives that achieve the same effect for dry and damaged hair. Briogeo’s Soft Wave Spray skips the salt altogether, replacing it with coconut sugar and fruit extracts that create volume and texture. It’s safe for keratin and color-treated hair, and contains vitamins E and B5, which support long-term hair health.

While the formula performs beautifully, the nozzle can be tricky to use — it shoots a direct stream of product, rather than a fine mist, making it difficult to distribute evenly. Hopefully Briogeo will improve the nozzle design, but in the meantime you can combat this flaw by spraying the product into your hands and using your fingers to comb through your strands.

Price at time of publish: $25

Hair Type: Straight and Wavy | Size: 5.75 oz | Key Ingredients: Coconut sugar, banana extract, coconut extract

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

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What We Love: This spray enhances waves by giving them a soft, frizz-free finish.

What We Don’t Love: It’s more of a finishing spray than a traditional sea salt spray.

Unlike most sea salt sprays, Kristin Ess’ Wave Spray is made to be used after styling your hair — a clever hack for those with oilier strands. Apply this lightweight spray as the last step in your routine to give your waves volume, texture, and hold. Its smoothing formula helps to zip up split ends while promoting lift for perfectly piecey beach hair, every time.

Price at time of publish: $15

Hair Type: All | Size: 6.7 oz | Key Ingredients: Salvia hispanica seed oil, hydrolyzed keratin

Best Volumizing : Bumble and bumble Surf Spray

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What We Love: It adds mega volume and texture without weighing down hair.

What We Don’t Love: Hair can feel very gritty if you spritz on too much.

Turn up the volume on your beach waves with Bumble and bumble’s Surf Spray, a beloved staple in many hairstylists’ kits. Suitable for all hair types, this salt-enriched spray adds volume and texture without feeling sticky or crunchy; plus, it offers medium hold so it looks like you just stepped off the sandbar even if you're nowhere near the water.

The powerhouse ingredient here is seaweed extract, which reduces static charge to promote extra lift. One to two spritzes is plenty to achieve your desired results. Anything more and hair can begin to feel and look too stiff, so use sparingly.

Price at time of publish: $30

Hair Type: Straight to wavy | Size: 4.2 oz | Key Ingredients: Seaweed extract, kelp extract, epsom salts

Best Anti-Frizz: Sun Bum Sea Spray

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What We Love: It prevents frizz and keeps flyaways in check.

What We Don’t Love: This product doesn’t create waves for stick-straight hair.

Looking for a low-maintenance sea salt spray that will make your waves look full, not frizzy? We trust Sun Bum Sea Spray to get the job done. This sea kelp-infused spray enhances definition and body while keeping flyaways at bay, and it smells like a tropical dream.

This is a go-to for those with natural waves and curls, but the product doesn’t necessarily create them. If you have super straight hair, try adding waves using a curling iron before misting this to reduce frizz and create lots of piecey texture.

Price at time of publish: $17

Hair Type: All | Size: 6 oz | Key Ingredients: Hawaiian black lava sea salt, sea kelp, seaweed

Best Lightweight: Odele Texturizing Sea Salt Spray

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What We Love: This formula is vegan, cruelty-free, and color-safe. 

What We Don’t Love: It has a strong natural fragrance.

Count us among Odele’s long list of fans — the brand’s clean formulas and accessible prices have transformed our hair from dull and brittle to shiny and healthy, and this Texturizing Sea Salt Spray is our trick for quick styling. Designed for fine to medium hair that’s straight or wavy, it adds definition and texture without drying strands out. Plus, the minimalist packaging looks positively polished on our bathroom counter.

Price at time of publish: $12

Hair Type: Straight to wavy | Size: 8 oz | Key Ingredients: Sea salt, amaranthus caudatus seed extract, hydrolyzed rice protein

Best Natural : Oway Sea Salt Spray

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What We Love: The organic formula and ethically-sourced ingredients make us feel good about spritizing this on our mane.

What We Don’t Love: It contains a blend of natural oils that can weigh down hair.

Oway’s organic sea salt spray offers medium hold and a gritty texture, which gives hair that just-got-back-from-the-beach look. It’s a favorite of Jon Reyman, NYC-based celebrity hairstylist and founder of Spoke & Weal salon, who says it is his overall favorite. “It’s universal, lightweight, and buildable, and can be used on wet or dry hair to refresh curls,” he says.

This is another pick to spray sparingly: Though extremely hydrating, the mix of natural oils can make hair feel heavy when too much is applied.

Price at time of publish: $53

Hair Type: All | Size: 8 oz | Key Ingredients: Biodynamic marrubium, organic black quinoa, marula oil, sunflower seed essential oil

What to Keep in Mind

Your Hair Type

Every sea salt spray is different, so it’s important to choose one that works with your hair type. “If you have fine hair you may want to stick with a salt spray that doesn’t contain oils, as they can weigh hair down,” explains Cardenas. We recommend trying Kevin Murphy Hair Resort Spray because its lightweight texture helps boost finer strands.

The opposite applies to those with wavy or curly hair, which benefits from richer, moisturizing ingredients including sea kelp, blue agave, and red algae, like those found in Rizos Beach Waves Texturizing Salt Spray. When in doubt, make a date with your hairdresser and ask for their expert opinion.


Yes, sea salt sprays are primarily made up of water and sea salt, but they can also include ingredients that boost volume, increase hydration, and strengthen hair. Some of the most common and effective ingredients found in sea salt sprays are kelp and seaweed extract, which contain a cornucopia of vitamins and minerals that support hair’s vitality and promote growth. Both kelp and seaweed are the star ingredients in Bumble and bumble Surf Spray.

Other sea salt sprays contain extracts from fruit, such as guava and passionfruit, that balance hair’s pH while lending a lush fragrance. Rahua Enchanted Island Salt Spray is a prime example of a spray that leaves hair feeling soft while smelling absolutely amazing.

Your Questions, Answered

What is sea salt spray and what does it do?

Most sea salt sprays contain a mix of water, sea salt, epsom salt, and hydrating ingredients like botanical extracts and seed oils. It adds a layer of gritty texture and volumizes hair, giving it extra body. “Salt is osmotic — it ends up pulling water from the hair and scalp,” explains Reyman. “The fullness, volume, and grip you feel in your hair after being in the ocean (besides some sand which also adds to the texture) is due to the way salt interacts with the hair cuticle as it swells and dries.”

Stylists love to use sea salt spray as a foundation for different styles because it helps hair hold its shape and reduces frizz. You can use it after styling your hair for a messy matte texture, or apply it before styling with heat tools for extra grip. “Sea salt sprays have so many applications,” says Bishop. “If you have thinner hair, you can use it for texture and lift. It’s also amazing for people with naturally curly hair, accentuating their curls while adding bounce.”

Is sea salt spray good for hair?

In general, sea salt spray is safe for most hair types as long as it’s used in moderation. If your hair is particularly damaged or brittle, there are plenty of alternatives to sea salt spray that provide the same textured effect with sugar or rice protein, like Briogeo Superfoods Banana + Coconut Hydrating Soft Wave Texture Spray on our list.

“I always look for salt sprays that contain ingredients that add moisture to hair,” says Cardenas. “If you have really dry hair or extremely chemically processed hair, then opt for a salt- and alcohol-free dry texture spray instead.”

How should I apply sea salt spray?

Whether you’re styling loose waves or pinning your hair into a textured updo, a good sea salt spray can help increase volume, structure, and definition. “I normally apply on damp hair and blow dry it, then add it on top of any finished style for extra volume or grit,” says Bishop. “It is also great to apply to dry hair before doing a half-up or full ponytail to create an undone look. Be sure to spray about 10 to 12 inches away from the head so it’s not too concentrated.”

Remember: Less is more when using sea salt spray. You can always add more, but you can’t remove it without starting over.

Why Shop With Us

Allison Taylor is a freelance commerce writer for InStyle, where she covers beauty, lifestyle, and fashion. She interviewed three professional hairstylists for this story: Jon Reyman, Tyler Chase Bishop, and Jae-Manuel Cardenas. After researching their recommendations, and test-driving sea salt sprays on her wavy (read: unruly) strands, she rounded up the top picks for a wide range of hair types and concerns. Allison has nine years of experience researching, testing, and writing about beauty products, including several sea salt sprays from the brands above. For those with fine-to-medium wavy hair like hers, she recommends sea salt sprays from R+Co, Rahua, and Oribe.

Related: We Tested 22 Texturizing Sprays, These 10 Hold The Secret to Instant Volume and Tousled Waves

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