If you’ve ever spent an afternoon in the ocean, you can tell the difference between your hair’s natural texture and that charmingly tousled feel of having natural sea salt in your hair.
If you’re in love with the way your hair looks and feels after a day in the sea, but can’t swing a tropical getaway every other day, don’t fret! Sea salt spray is the perfect solution to achieving beachy, textured locks any day of the year!
But before you invest in sea salt spray for your newest beauty statement – what is it, anyway? And how does it work?
Before you consider buying or making sea salt spray, read this comprehensive guide that includes advice and tips from several expert hairstylists.
What Are Sea Salt Sprays?
Sea salt sprays are hair care products made to give your hair volume and texture, and are usually a perfect pre-styler for refreshing your hair on days you skip washing.
But it isn’t diluted salt water – sea salt sprays are a combination of oils, proteins, and of course, salt!
What does it do and why should you use it?
Sea salt spray has quite a few benefits, including adding texture and body to your hair, while leaving behind a beachy, tousled look.
If your hair is overly oily and you often find yourself struggling to style your hair because of excess grease, a sea salt spray added to damp or dry hair can help dry things up and make your hair easier to style.
The best sea salt sprays benefits even go beyond styling and extend into aiding your hair by protecting it from the sun in a few cases. Some salt sprays can include properties to protect hair from the sun’s harmful UV rays.
What are the cons and disadvantages of using sea salt spray?
Some disadvantages include the drying properties of sea salt sprays and the fact that they can be a double-edged sword, as using too much can dry hair out completely.
It all boils down to your hair type. If your hair is typically dry already, it may be best to avoid overusing certain sprays. However, that’s not to say that there aren’t sea salt sprays made specifically for people with dry hair.
Depending on how often you use it and your hair type and hair texture, your hair could be left dehydrated and brittle. So be sure to use your salt texturizing spray with caution.
What are the common ingredients?
These salt sprays are typically always made with water, sea salt, an oil for a moisturizing property, and an essential oil or two for a fresh scent.
The most common ingredients include water, sea salt, Epsom salt, propanediol, and potassium sorbate.
But all sea salt sprays work differently, with unique ingredients that have different effects on hair. But you can expect to find aloe vera, coconut oil, or a specific fragrance on your bottle’s list of ingredients.
What does sea salt spray smell and feel like?
The best sea salt sprays typically smell like a fresh ocean breeze, but more often than not, there will be alternate ingredients to give your spray its own scent.
You can typically find your own salt spray in scents such as lavender or tropical banana – but most of them will smell like the ocean.
As for hair texture and hair types, sea salt spray will recreate how your hair feels after swimming in the ocean! You can expect a slightly messy, beachy feel – as well as beachy waves!
How Do You Use Sea Salt Spray?
There are a few different uses for sea salt sprays – from styling the hair atop your head to freshening a beard – so we’ll begin by explaining how to style longer hair first.
Styling your hair
Start by getting your hair nice and damp, or using your bottle of sea salt spray after showering while you still have wet hair. You’ll want your hair to be wet enough to be noticeable, but not dripping wet. Once your hair is just damp, comb through it to make sure it’s tangle-free.
Next, you want to shake your chosen spray to make sure all of the ingredients are thoroughly mixed.
Then finally, you’ll want to spray your hair in sections. You should spray the roots and move down to about mid-length before moving on and working on the next section. Try not to focus too much on the ends of your hair, because that’s where your hair is most prone to becoming dried out and brittle.
Make sure to use your best judgment when trying to decide how much sea spray to use, because the right amount depends on your hair’s natural texture and thickness.
After you’ve sprayed your hair to your liking, you can style it however you like! A couple of great options are to either allow your hair to dry naturally, or use a hairdryer with a diffuser attachment if you’re looking to add more volume to your hair.
Be sure to experiment and have fun with your look to figure out what you like the best!
Styling your beard
Because beards are typically so much drier than the hair on top of your head, using sea salt spray to style a beard can be tricky business.
If your beard is naturally soft, you’re most likely in the clear to use a touch of sea salt spray to add texture and give the illusion of a fuller beard.
Start by choosing a spray that is specifically designed for use on beards, and be sure to have beard oil or some other type of moisturizer to keep your beard from drying out.
Are There Any Technical Terms You Should Know?
The best part about sea salt spray is its simplicity – there isn’t a lot of fancy or scientific jargon to go along with this hair care product. It’s easy to use and understand!
All you really need is a basic understanding of your hair type and the definition of a few commonly-found ingredients.
Earlier, we touched on common ingredients found in sea salt spray, so we’ll dive deeper into some of the complicated components.
We’ll begin with propanediol, which is a natural alternative to propylene glycol that boosts the efficacy of preservatives and keeps your skin moist.
Then there’s potassium sorbate, another preservative that fights against yeast and mold. It’s not very effective all by itself, which is why you’ll often see it paired with another preservative – like propanediol!
Where Can You Buy Sea Salt Spray?
You can get your own bottle of sea salt spray almost anywhere – if you’re looking for a basic spray to test out, you can find reasonably-priced bottles at local stores such as Walmart, Target, Macy’s, and Bed Bath & Beyond. Bumble Surf Spray is one of the best products out there due to its ability to add volume and texture.
If you’re looking for something slightly more complicated or expensive for your hair’s deeper needs, you can find higher-end sea salt sprays at Ulta Beauty and Amazon.
Or if you’re searching for a natural sea salt spray specifically for a beard, you’ll probably have the most luck shopping with Mercari or Beardbrand.
What Are the Price Ranges?
Sea salt spray can range in price because bottles range in size.
You can get your own spray for between as little as $3.29 to as much as $32.73 – and while the price fluctuates with the size of the bottle, it’s safe to say that overall, sea salt spray is a relatively affordable pre-styler.
High Quality vs Low Quality Sea Salt Spray
The biggest difference between a cheaply made sea salt spray and one of higher quality is the overall impact it will have on your hair. Not simply the appearance, but also the overall health of your hair.
One big difference is the shelf life. Because different types of sea salt spray have their own set of ingredients, they may contain different preservatives.
We reached out to multiple top stylists and asked them about everything you need to know about sea salt spray – here are their expert answers!
Please note that their responses have been edited for length and/or clarity.
Is sea salt spray bad for hair?
Our specialists want to say no, but because sea salt spray is a dehydrating product, it can be bad for your hair if you use too much.
Does sea salt spray damage hair?
In general, the salt sprays do not cause hair loss or breakage, however, overusing sea salt spray can dry out your hair. As long as you use your sea salt spray in moderation, your hair won’t suffer harsh consequences.
How do you apply sea salt spray?
The absolute best way to apply sea salt spray is to spray it on damp hair and scrunch it in. You can also apply your sea salt spray on dry hair after curling to add additional texture, if you’re in a hurry!
Does sea salt spray work on straight hair?
Yes – sea salt spray is designed to add extra body and texture, and will work on straight hair! However, it won’t add new curls to your hair unless you curl it yourself.
Does sea salt spray make hair curly?
While it does add to any natural waves that already exist in your wavy hair, the best sea salt spray will not create brand new curls all on its own. When you pair sea salt spray with another product to create curls, you’re more likely to see results. Learn more about whether or not salt water is good or bad for curly hair types.
How much sea salt spray should you use?
There is no golden rule – because everyone’s hair is different, there are different amounts that will work for certain types of hair.
Our commenting stylists said that they recommend different sea salt sprays to different people, alongside different application techniques.
How do you use sea salt spray on short hair?
There isn’t a lot of difference between using sea salt spray on short hair and using your spray on long hair. Though it’s important to use less spray the shorter your hair, as to not dry your strands out.
What does sea salt spray do to your hair?
Sea salt spray is designed to utilize sea salt to create a look similar to how your hair looks and feels after swimming in the ocean. By absorbing moisture, your spray will leave your hair with more texture and body for a touseled “fun in the sun” type of look!
Can you put sea salt spray on dry hair?
Yes, but you should towel it onto dry hair instead of spraying directly. Because your hair is typically wet when applying sea salt spray, the sea salt doesn’t have as harsh of an impact on your strands – so when your hair is already dry, you run the risk of over-drying your hair. Apply to dry hair with caution.
Does sea salt spray make hair wavy?
Yes! Sea salt sprays will add to natural waves and give them a little extra body, but it will not create brand new curls all on its own.
How do you style with sea salt spray?
It’s best to just dive right in – apply your sea salt spray on clean, damp hair, and then scrunch dry as you style your hair to your liking and let it air dry.
What does sea salt spray do for men’s hair?
Sea salt spray has the exact same effect on men’s hair as it does for other types of hair – it adds texture.
Can you make sea salt spray?
Yes, though store-bought sea salt spray already has all the necessary ingredients and nutrients your hair has been craving – so homemade sea salt spray may not have what store-bought does.
Does sea salt spray add volume?
Generally, yes! A large majority of sea salt sprays will add volume to both fine hair and thick hair by opening up the cuticles and temporarily plumping up your strands.
Does sea salt spray cause hair loss?
Generally, no. Though It depends on the type of hair you have. If you have drier hair, sea salt spray may overly dry out your strands and leave them prone to breakage.
Does sea salt spray dry out hair?
While our experts want to lean towards no, the answer isn’t so black and white. Sea salt spray does have the potential to dry out hair because salt is drying.
Does sea salt spray help with frizz?
Sea salt spray won’t help with frizz because frizz is always combated through hydration. Because sea salt can potentially dry out hair if you overuse it, it could actually make frizz worse.
Does sea salt spray hold hair?
Most sea salt spray has a slight hold all on its own, but it isn’t the same as a flexi-hold gel. Sea salt spray is best paired with your favorite type of hold gel to achieve maximum holding power!
Will sea salt spray hold curls?
While sea salt spray will not hold your curls all on its own, it does aid in tightening existing curls – giving you a little more bounce for your buck.
Does sea salt spray lighten your hair?
No, because sea salt spray does not include any natural hair lightening ingredients, it will not lighten your hair.
How long does sea salt spray last?
Sea salt spray will last until your next wash! Any texture sea salt spray adds to your hair will stay put until you wash it out. But because sea salt spray is a far cry from hairspray, any specific style you create with your spray will not last more than a day.
How often should you use sea salt spray?
Because sea salt spray can dry out your hair, it’s important to determine whether your hair is oily or dry prior to choosing a spray for you. A good rule to go by is this: the thicker your hair, the more often you can use sea salt spray without worrying about lasting damage.
Is sea salt spray safe for color-treated hair?
Most brands are fine for color-treated hair, though you should use sea salt spray in moderation. When you color your hair, the dye can dry out your strands, and using too much sea salt spray may amplify your hair’s dehydration.
As far as the actual hair color itself goes, it’s very unlikely that sea salt spray will negatively affect it.
Is sea salt spray good for fine hair?
Generally, yes, but only when used in moderation. Finer hair is a little more delicate, so it’s important to avoid using too much sea salt spray, and not use your spray daily. Using sea salt spray on your fine hair is great on occasion, but don’t make it a habit!
Does sea salt spray make your hair greasy?
It can depend on where your sea salt spray is coming from, as most of them “have an effect of absorbing superfluous oils and provide pliable dry structure at the same time.”
Does sea salt spray thicken hair?
No, sea salt spray does not technically thicken hair. It can create the illusion of thicker hair when paired with a foundation product that has been applied before using your spray. But once you wash sea salt spray out of your hair, it will look like it did prior to use.
Does sea salt spray expire?
Yes, sea salt spray products do expire. The higher quality of your sea salt spray, the longer it is likely to last. You can find your sea salt spray’s shelf-life on its information label.