13 Best Sea-Salt Sprays for Beachy Waves and Texture (Tested and Reviewed 2023)

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1

Best Overall Sea-Salt Spray

Beauty by Earth Sea Salt Spray for Hair

Editor’s Choice

Sea Salt Spray for Hair

1

Best Overall Sea-Salt Spray

Beauty by Earth Sea Salt Spray for Hair

Credit: Beauty by Earth
Cons
  • The Tropical Coconut scent contains a bit of vodka, which can be drying (though the oils help mitigate this)

If you just want a quick, one-and-done, click-and-buy, please-make-this-decision-for-me product, allow me to introduce you to this seriously excellent sea-salt spray from Beauty by Earth. And I’m not just saying that—it’s one of those rare unicorn formulas that works for virtually everyone. The spray is clean, cruelty free, vegan, made in America, formulated without parabens and dyes (if you’re not into that), aaaand has more than 6,000 reviews on Amazon for its ability to add beach-y texture and definition on straight, wavy, and curly hair.

And, thanks to its mix of hydrating aloe vera and moisturizing shea butter and plant oils (castor, argan, and moringa oils), it won’t leave your hair feeling like straw, even with its salty base. The only decision you will have to make? Whether to grab this one in the citrus scent (which has a lighter-weight formula) or the tropical-coconut scent (which has a more moisturizing formula).

  • Key ingredients (Tropical Coconut): aloe vera, Epsom salt, oils (castor, argan, moringa)
  • Size: 6 fluid ounces

THE REVIEWS: “I have natural wavy hair and sometimes it looks fuzzy and flat, but this product adds the volume back to it,” one product reviewer writes. “I just wet my hair and spray; super easy way to style. And it smells sooooo good … like summer time on the beach.”

2

Best Drugstore Sea-Salt Spray

OGX Argan Oil of Morocco Hair-Texturizing Sea Salt Spray

Amazon’s Choice

Argan Oil of Morocco Hair-Texturizing Sea Salt Spray

2

Best Drugstore Sea-Salt Spray

OGX Argan Oil of Morocco Hair-Texturizing Sea Salt Spray

Now 12% Off

Credit: Ogx

This drugstore sea-salt spray from OXG is arguably one of the most popular salt sprays to ever exist, and has more than 7,000+ rave reviews on Amazon to prove it. Why? Because its 11-ingredient formula is simple yet effective: Magnesium sulfate (Epsom salt) and sodium chloride (sea salt) work together to add beach-y texture to your hair, while a touch of argan oil keeps your hair from feeling too crunchy or stiff.

There’s technically no right or wrong way to use a sea-salt spray, but for me and my curls (which can easily get tangle from salt sprays), I like to spritz this one through my damp hair, blow-dry with a hair diffuser for volume, then twist it into a loose updo or fat braid.

  • Key ingredients: magnesium sulfate (Epsom salt), sodium chloride (salt), kelp extract, argan oil
  • Size: 6 fluid ounces

THE REVIEWS: “I had nice beachy waves with hair I could still run my fingers through,” one tester writes. “It was soft and there was no oily or gritty feeling like I’ve gotten with some products. It also added the volume I was looking for.

3

Best Sea-Salt Spray for Fine Hair

Not Your Mother’s Beach Babe Texturizing Sea Salt Spray

Beach Babe Texturizing Sea Salt Spray

3

Best Sea-Salt Spray for Fine Hair

Not Your Mother’s Beach Babe Texturizing Sea Salt Spray

Credit: Not Your Mothers
Cons
  • One of the stronger sea-salt sprays on this list, so can leave hair feeling a bit dry

When you want major beach-y, piece-y texture, you turn to this best-selling sea-salt spray from Not Your Mother’s, which Cosmo beauty editor Beth Gillette describes as “very no-nonsense” in the ~salty~ department. “It sprays out in a super-fine mist, so you can really load it up on denser hair if you want, whereas I can just lightly mist it onto my damp hair, air-dry it, and then add some waves with a three-barrel waver or put my hair into braids,” says Gillette after testing. “I like that it gives me a little grit so my hair isn’t so silky.”

  • Key ingredients: sea salt, sunflower seed extract, kelp extract
  • Size: 8 fluid ounces

THE REVIEWS: “I have thin, fine, wavy hair and have used this product on damp or dry hair after showering every single time for over 7 years, and it adds such amazing waves and texture,” one reviewer writes, “I’m someone who hates the feeling of hairspray, and this product feels like it helps bring out my waves and curls and sets them and keeps their shape all day and doesn’t feel gross like hairspray.”

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4

Best Sea-Salt Spray for Oily Hair

Sun Bum Sea Spray Sea Salt Spray

Sea Spray Sea Salt Spray

4

Best Sea-Salt Spray for Oily Hair

Sun Bum Sea Spray Sea Salt Spray

Credit: Sun Bum

Based on my completely made-up data analysis, half of the population—including myself—has tested Sun Bum’s cult-favorite sea-salt spray by this point in time (it’s basically the number-one answer to “what’s the best sea-salt spray” on Google/Reddit/my group chats). The first two ingredients of this formula are good ol’ water and salt to give your hair true ocean-like texture, along with a bit of charcoal powder to soak up excess oils for a matte finish. So even if you get hella sweaty in the summer sun, your hair will look purposely textured and messy, rather than a hot mess.

  • Key ingredients: magnesium sulfate (Epsom salt), sea salt extract, charcoal powder
  • Size: 6 fluid ounces

THE REVIEWS: “I have really thin/fine hair and it gets oily so easily,” one product reviewer notes. “Usually when I let my hair dry naturally, it’s already oily by the time it’s completely dry, [but] this eliminates most of the oily texture and leaves my hair looking messy but in a cute and natural way. Overall, this is an incredible product if you want a more natural way to style your hair.”

5

Best Sea-Salt Spray Dry Hair

Briogeo Superfoods Banana + Coconut Hydrating Soft Wave Texture Spray

Superfoods Banana + Coconut Hydrating Soft Wave Texture Spray

5

Best Sea-Salt Spray Dry Hair

Briogeo Superfoods Banana + Coconut Hydrating Soft Wave Texture Spray

Credit: Briogeo

If you were to combine a lightweight leave-in conditioner with a sea-salt spray, you’d get this formula from Briogeo. The tropical-scented spray is surprisingly hydrating for a texturizer, thanks to its mix of aloe leaf juice, glycerin, panthenol, and coconut sugar (yup, sugar—not salt) that help add “some much-needed moisture to your hair, while also keeping that beachy, matte texture,” says tester (and Cosmo beauty editor) Beth Gillette. “I feel like this would be especially good for spraying on after swimming in the ocean or a pool, when your hair feels like straw and you don’t have time to shower,” she notes.

  • Key ingredients: coconut sugar, aloe leaf juice, mango juice
  • Size: 5.75 fluid ounces

THE REVIEWS: “I love this product!” writes one tester. “I have 2c/3a curls and always let my hair air dry, [and] it really helps my hair dry less frizzy and gives more definition.” Another product reviewer agrees: “It gives my wavy hair the piece-y, tousled look that usually takes a day or two after washing to achieve. [My hair] feels super hydrated, but not weighed down or greasy.”

6

Best Natural Sea-Salt Spray

Ceremonia Guava Beach Waves Hair Texturizing Spray

Guava Beach Waves Hair Texturizing Spray

6

Best Natural Sea-Salt Spray

Ceremonia Guava Beach Waves Hair Texturizing Spray

Credit: Ceremonia

If you’re into clean beauty—which, like, ideally all of us are—you need to try this salt spray from Ceremonia that smells like actual heaven (i.e., warm, zesty guava). The clean formula is made with natural ingredients derived from Latin America (an homage to founder Babba C. Rivera’s Latinx roots) and includes pink Bolivian salt, guava extract, and aloe. Just spritz it through damp or dry hair, focusing on your ends, then let air-dry for some piece-y, non-crunchy definition.

  • Key ingredients: sodium chloride (salt), glycerin, guava extract, aloe leaf powder
  • Size: 4.2 fluid ounces

THE REVIEWS: “I have tried my fair share of salt sprays and wave-enhancing products, and this is by far my favorite,” one tester writes. “The scent is to die for, and it gave my hair perfect messy beach waves without any stickiness and without weighing it down. I typically use this by wetting already-dry hair and applying a generous amount (I shower at night so I just wet my hair in the shower in the morning, so it’s clean hair and also not saturated with water).”

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7

Best Hydrating Sea-Salt Spray

Rizos Curls Beach Waves Texturizing Salt Spray

Beach Waves Texturizing Salt Spray

7

Best Hydrating Sea-Salt Spray

Rizos Curls Beach Waves Texturizing Salt Spray

Credit: Rizos Curls

This salt spray—like the rest of Rizos Curls products—were formulated by someone with curly hair (hi, founder Julissa Prado) for people with curly hair, meaning it was created with dry hair in mind. The spray is rich in hydrating aloe vera juice and moisture-boosting humectants (see: glycerin, propanediol, and polyglutamic acid) to help offset the drying effects of sea salt.

The result? A sea-salt spray that’s a tiny bit less harsh for daily use (though, if you’ve got curls, you’ll still want to load up on deep conditioner to keep them healthy). And, as an added feel-good bonus, the formula is made with 96 percent naturally derived and organic ingredients, because why not?

  • Key ingredients: sea salt, aloe vera juice, glycerin
  • Size: 6.8 fluid ounces

THE REVIEWS: “This product provides my wavy hair with so much volume and bounciness!” one product tester writes. “The first beach wave spray that doesn’t dry my hair. The smell is so delicious; I spray it over all of my styles! This is a definite must-use product!”

8

Best Strong-Hold Sea-Salt Spray

Bumble and Bumble Surf Spray

Surf Spray

8

Best Strong-Hold Sea-Salt Spray

Bumble and Bumble Surf Spray

Credit: Bumble and Bumble

You can’t talk sea-salt sprays without mentioning the O.G. zaddy of the texture world: Bumble and Bumble’s Surf Spray that launched back in 2001—i.e., the salt spray that started it all. The original goal was simple: Concoct a formula that’ll give you the same cool texture you get after a day at the beach, without having to mix literal salt and water in a spray bottle (yes, that’s what people did back then). The result? This now-iconic formula that uses salt and kelp extract for the perfect amount of salty, textured grit on both wet and dry hair.

  • Key ingredients: magnesium sulfate (Epsom salt), kelp extract
  • Size: 4.2 fluid ounces

THE REVIEWS: “I was looking for something to give my fine hair some extra texture in order to hold styles better,” one review reads. “This is great! It’s not nearly as sticky and crunchy as other salt sprays and a little goes a long way. I use this before blow drying and it gives my hair nice texture and a piece-y look.”

9

Best Sustainable Sea-Salt Spray

Davines This Is A Sea Salt Spray

This Is A Sea Salt Spray

9

Best Sustainable Sea-Salt Spray

Davines This Is A Sea Salt Spray

Credit: Davines

Davines is one of my favorite sustainable beauty brands that was doing eco-friendly long before it was ~cool~. Not only is the Italian-born brand B Corp certified and the recipient of the “Best for the Environment” award, but its products are legit freakin’ good (like, I’ve spent my own money on them since high school, when I very much couldn’t afford them). This best-selling salt spray uses three types of salt to really, truly make your hair feel like it got soaked in the ocean, and it’s also one of the saltiest formulas we tried from this list.

Oh, and just because I think this is v awesome: For every plastic-packaged product that Davines sells in 2023—including this salt spray—an equivalent amount of plastic will be collected and removed from the coasts of Indonesia, Brazil, and the Philippines. We <3 blue beauty.

  • Key ingredients: magnesium sulfate (Epsom salt), sodium chloride (salt), sea salt
  • Size: 8.45 fluid ounces

THE REVIEWS: “This product is a total game change,” one product tester writes. “I’ll never buy another product. I spray it on towel-dried hair, do a quick scrunch, and when it dries, I’ve got great, effortless, natural-looking texture without the frizz. And unlike a lot of salt sprays, there’s no crunch and no grease.”

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10

Best “Sea-Salt Spray” for Curly Hair

Curlsmith Bouncy Strength Volume Foam

Bouncy Strength Volume Foam

10

Best “Sea-Salt Spray” for Curly Hair

Curlsmith Bouncy Strength Volume Foam

Credit: Curlsmith

If you have curly hair (hi, me), you already know that sea-salt sprays + curls = a tangled, knotted, gritty nightmare. So when I’m wearing my natural curls and want a beach-y finish, I skip traditional salt sprays and instead reach for this texturizing foam from Curlsmith. It helps clump and define my curls without drying them out—ty, glycerin and water-soluble castor oil—while also adding some strength and structure with hydrolyzed rice protein. I just rake and squish a palmful of foam through my wet hair after showering, then air-dry.

  • Key ingredients: hydrolyzed rice protein, hydrolyzed hemp seed extract, PEF-40 hydrogenated castor oil
  • Size: 7.5 fluid ounces

THE REVIEWS: “I love this curling foam,” reads one tester’s review. “This one doesn’t make my hair super crunchy. It’s a lighter foam and it makes really good beach-looking waves. It’s getting warmer, so I’ve been using this for a beachy summer look. It smells amazing too.”

11

Best Salt-Free Sea-Salt Spray

Redken Beach Spray Texturizing Hairspray

Beach Spray Texturizing Hairspray

11

Best Salt-Free Sea-Salt Spray

Redken Beach Spray Texturizing Hairspray

Credit: Redken

The one downside to sea-salt sprays? How drying they can be, especially for already-dry hair types. So if you’re planning to use yours every day but don’t want to risk the dryness (especially if you have curly or color-treated hair), try this salt-free texturizing spray that uses a mix of film-forming polymers and water-soluble silicones to give your hair soft definition without a straw-like finish.

  • Key ingredients: acrylates copolymer (film-forming texturizer), PEG-12 dimethicone (water-soluble silicone)
  • Size: 4.2 fluid ounces

THE REVIEWS: “I often find sea salt sprays can be quite drying on my hair, but this spray left my hair feeling soft and natural,” reads one review. “I found that it gave my hair a nice texture and definition, without making it feel crunchy or stiff. The matte finish is also a nice touch, as it gives a more natural look and prevents hair from looking too shiny or greasy.”

12

Best Clean Sea-Salt Spray

Pacifica Beauty Salty Waves Texture Spray

Beauty Salty Waves Texture Spray

12

Best Clean Sea-Salt Spray

Pacifica Beauty Salty Waves Texture Spray

This clean, vegan, and cruelty-free sea-salt spray not only looks cute and minimal on your vanity, but also smells like a banana smoothie after you spritz it on (don’t worry—testers say the scent doesn’t stick around all day). The formula is made with just nine ingredients, almost all of which are derived from nature, that work together to give your hair some lightweight gritty hold, without the tongue-twisting ingredients list.

  • Key ingredients: salt, natural extracts (banana, kelp, algae, and chia seed)
  • Size: 4 fluid ounces

THE REVIEWS:This texture spray does exactly what the title say: It adds texture,” notes one tester. “Does is magically make your hair wavy like humid ocean air? No. “But it does give your hair grit and texture, which gives your hair a fuller look. It’s especially nice for up-dos when you need some more volume and grip for a bun or braid or ponytail.”

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13

Best Sea-Salt Spray for Men or Short Hair

Pete & Pedro Salt Sea Salt Spray for Hair

Salt Sea Salt Spray for Hair

13

Best Sea-Salt Spray for Men or Short Hair

Pete & Pedro Salt Sea Salt Spray for Hair

I actually bought this Amazon best-seller last year for my boyfriend’s wavy hair (it’s technically a sea-salt spray for ~men~ but, like, what even is gender? Hair is hair, and salt is salt), and now I find myself borrowing it every time I need to add some texture to my flat-iron waves. The brand—which, fun fact, recently struck a deal on Shark Tank—is geared toward shorter hair types, but trust me (and the 2,500 reviews) when I say this salt spray can work for any hair that’s looking for some gritty texture.

  • Key ingredients: magnesium sulfate (Epsom salt), sea salt, kelp extract, brown seaweed extract
  • Size: 8.5 fluid ounces

THE REVIEWS: “It smells great and your hair will stay styled without being stiff,” one tester writes, while another reviewer adds, “out of the three different sea-salt sprays I’ve tried, this is my current favorite. I use this after the shower to get rid of the frizz and give it a natural, tousled look. I always hated having neat hair, so this gives me a little bit more edge that I’ve always liked, without looking like there’s tons of hair gel or product.”

What does sea-salt spray do?

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Sea-salt spray adds gritty texture and definition to your hair, creating a similar effect to what you’d get after swimming in the ocean. Unlike other texturizing hair products that rely on a variety of powders, polymers, and 16-letter-long ingredients to create definition and texture in your hair, traditional sea-salt sprays use water and salt as their primary texturizers.

That’s not to say store-bought sea-salt sprays are just two clean and natural ingredients (though many of them are clean products, like the Ceremonia Guava Beach Waves Spray). Instead, most formulas also contain a mix of lightweight moisturizers to offset dryness (see: the Rizos Curls Salt Spray), and/or ingredients to add volume or shine in addition to texture (like the Ogx Argan Oil Sea Salt Spray).

Does sea-salt spray make hair wavy?

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No, sea-salt spray won’t make your hair wavy if it’s not already naturally wavy (just like a curl product can’t make your hair curly if it’s naturally straight). Instead, a sea-salt spray works by “clumping” together sections of your hair and enhancing its natural texture, which can make wavy hair look wavier and more defined. So if you want beachy waves, you’ll need to grab a flat iron, curling iron, or hair-waver iron, and follow one of these beach-waves tutorials.

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How to use sea-salt spray:

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How to use sea-salt spray will depend on your hair type and texture. But, in general, you’ll want to spritz your salt spray all throughout your very-damp hair, focusing on your mid-lengths to ends, before air-drying or diffusing. And if you’re starting with dry hair (like if you just created beachy waves with hot tools), you’ll want to lightly mist your dry ends, then twist and twirl sections of hair around your finger to help your waves clump together.

How to choose the best sea-salt spray:

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Avoid drying ingredients

Sea-salt sprays are naturally a bit drying, thanks to their salt-water base, so you’ll want to skip any formula that includes additional dehydrators, like alcohol, especially if you plan to use your salt spray every day. For our testing and reviewing purposes, we excluded any sea-salt spray with a base of denatured alcohol or isopropyl alcohol, so you’ll be safe in whichever formula you choose.

Look for hydrators and moisturizers

No, there’s no sea-salt spray in the world that’s going to hydrate your hair as well as a styling cream or leave-in conditioner, but there are formulas that either omit the drying salt altogether (like the Redken Beach Spray), and/or use a mix of water-absorbing humectants and oils to keep hair from feeling like straw (like the Briogeo Superfoods Soft Wave Texture Spray).

Why trust Cosmo?

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Chloe Metzger is the deputy beauty director at Cosmopolitan with nearly 10 years of experience researching, writing, and editing haircare stories in print and digital, including the best hair straighteners and the best hair-dryer brushes. She’s an expert in all hair categories, but especially sea-salt sprays and texturizing products, thanks to a lifetime of testing formulas on her own thin curly hair. Her salt-spray picks were based on product reviews, ratings, and personal testing, along with information from experts.

Headshot of Chloe Metzger

Chloe Metzger

Deputy Beauty Director

Chloe Metzger is the deputy beauty director at Cosmopolitan, overseeing the editorial content and growth strategy of the hair, makeup, and skin space on digital, while also obsessively writing about the best hair products for every hair type (curly girl here; whattup), and the skincare routines that really, truly work (follow her on Instagram to see behind-the-scenes pics of that magazine life). She brings nearly a decade of writing and editing expertise, and her work has appeared in Allure, Health, Fitness, Marie Claire, StyleCaster, and Parents. She also has an unhealthy adoration for Tom Hanks and would like to please meet him one day, if you could arrange that. Thanks.

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