I remember the first time I tried beach/ wave/ sea spray like it was yesterday. It was John Frieda Beach Blonde Sea Waves Sea Salt Spray ($9) and it changed my life (or at least the life of my locks). You could call it love at first spray. No more blowdries! No more pencil straight strands! I was on my way to Gisele surfer-girl hair, circa late ’90s/ early 2000s. I could now let my mane air dry, mist a healthy dose of this magic potion that left my hair looking like I had just walked off of a Sport’s Illustrated Swimsuit photo shoot (you know that sexy, tousled thing that all those hotties have going on), and BAM! I was ready to face the world, beautiful, voluminous, textured hair to boot.
I also remember when John Frieda decided to discontinue this cult-classic product. You could practically hear the tears of adolescents the nation over after discovering that our favorite hair savior had just… disappeared without so much as a goodbye. I hoarded my last bottle like it was a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow.
Like most, I went on a quest to find a similar product and, like most, I was vastly underwhelmed. The sea sprays of yesteryear were either stinky (smelling like perfume instead of… the sea) or left my gorgeous, shiny locks crunchy, hard, and dry. Sigh.
But then, as if the hair God’s had been listening to our prayers, brands started stepping up their beach spray game. And now, in 2016, we have a plethora of damn good sprays that give damn great results! Oh, and John Frieda has relaunched their coveted Sea Spray (finally!).
Here are the best beachy hair sprays on the market today:
John Frieda Beach Blonde Sea Waves Sea Salt Spray ($9) – The OG of beach sprays, this stuff is the real deal. Leaves locks shiny, bouncy, and smelling like a piña colada.
Verb Sea Spray ($13) – Before finding my beloved John Frieda (take two), this was as close to the good stuff as I got. It even has the same turquoise hue. The scent is different, but the formulas both provide a hint of shine with a messy, tousled, beachy wave. In other words, this stuff is the bomb.
Kevin Murphy Hair Resort Spray ($28) – Oil-free formula that gives strands shine and that undone, wavy beach hair that we all know and love. I heart it.
Ouai Wave Spray ($26) – Celeb stylist Jen Atkin’s star product, this formula will have you wanting to drink it… it’s that good. Results are tousled, Khloe K-looking strands. And the sprayer is pure perfection: It actually mists equally across your head, instead of squirting out a heap of product on a single section.
The Gnarly Whale Hair Beach Waves ($14) – With just 6 ingredients, this stuff is as close to a bottle of ocean water as you’ll get. And bonus: It smells like a ripe coconut.
Redken Nature’s Rescue Radiant Sea Spray – Definitely more “perfume-y” than the rest, but the formula is oh-so good, I had to include. It’s a lightweight mist that produces some serious texture without weighing down the mane.