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July 13, 2011

Sea Salt Spray

Who cares if I live thousands of miles from any of our beautiful saltwater seas…come midsummer, all I want is sexy, beachy, wind-swept waves! But paying twenty-plus dollars for fancy salon salt sprays seems straight-up cray cray—it’s glorified salt water for cripes sake!—so I’ve learned to whip up my own. I squirrel away empty shine and heat-protectant spray bottles throughout the year, and make a big batch in early summer to share with pals. I’ve tried several iterations of DIY salt sprays, but the formula below, lifted from a post circa 2009, plays nicely with all kinds of hair textures. My usual MO? Spritz it on liberally root to tip after shampooing, conditioning and towel-drying. Then I make two super tight low buns behind my ears and let it air dry. When I take out the buns later in the morning or afternoon, I’ve got super sweet ‘70s-style waves—no heat-styling required! You could also spray, crunch and diffuse or spray, crunch and air dry—whatever floats your boat!  —Meghan

Clean plastic spray bottle (reuse old ones!), 8 ounces minimum in size

1 c. of water

1-3 t. of fine sea salt (use closer to 3 t. if your hair is thick, closer to 1 t. if it’s thin or super dry. You can always add more salt to the bottle, ½ t. at a time, if your results aren’t “beachy” enough!)

1-3 t. coconut-scented conditioner (I use good old-fashioned Suave!)

a little dab of hair gel (I use an unscented VO5 gel)

Optional: a few drops of essential oil—chamomile for us blondes, rosemary for brunettes, tea tree for those with oilier scalps, lavender for everyone else

Combine the water, salt, conditioner and gel (and essential oils) in the bottle. Shake it up and you’re ready to go! To make sure it’s perfectly combined each time you use it, give it a good shake before you get to spraying. (Also, if you’re reusing an old bottle, be sure you label it somehow to avoid any mix-ups!)

  • Elizabeth Dehn
    Born and raised in Minnesota by surprisingly low-maintenance parents, beauty writer and lifestyle editor Elizabeth Dehn (aka Bets) spent her awkward years buying Mood lipstick and whipping up DIY face masks before founding Beauty Bets in 2009.
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