If you’ve ever had your hair grown out — even just an inch or two — and taken a dip in the sea, then you know the incredible effects that salt water has on your hair. The high salinity gives your hair some grit in the form of texture, volume, and definition. That’s what we in the biz call “surfer texture,” since it gives you this effortless, no-product effervescence.
Now, to replicate the experience at home, we don’t suggest dumping salt into a spray water bottle and spritzing it throughout your strands. Nor do we suggest bottling ocean water and toting it home. Instead, you can buy a sea salt spray, which carefully (and hygienically) replicates the salinity of seawater to give your strands this same effortless, beach-wavy finish.
Best of all, these products typically offer more benefits for hair than a dip in the sea (which, in fact, can be rather drying on the strands). Read on for the benefits of salt water sprays.
Why you should use sea salt spray
1. Sea salt spray enhances your natural hair texture
If you have a natural wave or curl pattern, then sea salt will further enhance and define this texture. (So, by that same logic, you should avoid sea salt spray if you want to minimize the curl pattern for any reason.) The ingredients coat the hair strands and “lock in” the curl without giving it any crunchiness or weight. Better yet, you can even scrunch up your strands when applying the salt spray if you want to further magnify the texturizing effect. Now you know one of the secrets behind “beach wave” hairstyles.
2. Salt spray adds volume and fullness to hair
Similar to a dry shampoo, the salts in sea salt spray can help soak up excess oil at the scalp and along the hair shaft, which gives strands an instant lift. Not only does this give hair the extra volume, but the overall effect adds body and definition to the strands, too. It will catch more light and look more dimensional, as well as fuller.
3. Some salt sprays can purify the scalp and hair
The reason you don’t want to bottle up seawater and take it home is because, well, that stuff could grow pretty funky, pretty fast (salinity be damned). What haircare brands do is use thoughtful ingredients and careful formulas, and these recipes often temper bacterial and fungal breakouts on the scalp, while also regulating sebum production (and hence preventing oil buildup on the strands). The minerals in sea salts nourish both scalp and strand alike, while simultaneously purifying and soothing.
4. Sea salt gives you light, touchable style
Sea salt spray sits somewhere between dry shampoo and hair cream in terms of its finishing effect. It gives you some gritty texture as dry shampoo, but half the volumizing, plus the control and touchable style of a cream. It easily rinses from your hair, and works well in all hair lengths and textures. (Much like dry shampoo and cream.)
5. Salt sprays can texturize beards, too
All of the above benefits are also applicable to beards. So, don’t shy away from spritzing your scruff with sea salt spray for a conditioning, bodifying, touchable finish.
6. Sea salt sprays often smell terrific
Most brands give their salt sprays a refreshing aroma, whether it’s woodsy or spicy, or even reminiscent of the beach itself (think coconut and sea breeze). In fact, we’d suggest buying one that does carry such a scent — you’ll enjoy said freshness all day — especially if it’s spritzed in long hairs or beards.
Our favorite sea salt sprays
1. Beardbrand sea salt spray
As the brand’s name suggests, this salt spray isn’t just for the hairs sprouting out your scalp. You can also use it to get a fuller, tamer beard — and with a refreshing scent, on top of all the other benefits.
2. Billy Jealousy sea salt spray
A salt spray for hair and beards of all shapes, textures, and sizes, with a matte finish and conditioning, dye-friendly formula. The Devil’s Delight scent is broody: Soothing black pepper and sandalwood.
3. VERB sea spray
On top of the sea-water texturizing effects, this spray also carries a breezy scent of mango, paired with coconut water in the recipe—simply transportive!
You know, when you’re ready to become a dry shampoo guy, and we’ve got your guide.
Photo via Beardbrand