I love sea salt hair sprays – I like the crunchy, beachy, wavy texture. But, many of the products I’ve found haven’t been great ingredient wise (I do list a few good ones at the bottom though). I’ve seen a lot of formal DIY recipes online, so based on researching those and comparing with the Hippie Homemaker’s one on Etsy that I bought, I’ve created a template for how to make a great sea salt spray that can be customized based on your own preference.
My first tip for a good homemade product is to use sea salt or real ocean water if you have access to it. Table salt is pure Sodium Chloride, what we know as just “regular salt.” But sea salt, and salt water, have a lot more going on. They contain potassium, magnesium, and other trace minerals like manganese, calcium, zinc, iron, and silicon. There are also different kinds of sea salt with varying mineral compositions depending on where it’s from in the world. Texturizing spray is not just about the salt, it’s also about the minerals and extras that help create that authentic beach babe wavy and tousled hair look.
This is the super simple DIY sea salt spray recipe that I use and will improve on later this summer:
- Ocean water (that I brought home from Hawaii)
- Coconut oil (unrefined)
- Lime essential oil
This is simple, but it has the four basic components of texturizing sprays: water, salt, oils, essential oils. I mixed this in a 4 oz bottle; I think I used 1 tbsp coconut oil and a few drops of lime essential oil until it had just a hint of fragrance. Now, I’m going to expand on these ingredients to you can choose what you want to use.
Water: People recommend using distilled water, because tap water is often treated with various minerals that might change the effectiveness of the spray. Since I used ocean water, I didn’t have to think about this part.
Salt: Choose the right salt is important, as I noted above. Based on my research, it looks like lots of people use Epsom salt in combination with a finely ground Celtic sea salt, Himalayan sea salt, or a sea salt blend. Most recipes suggest using 1 Tbsp salt in 1 cup of water; the Hippie Homemaker suggests 2 tbsp Epsom and 1½ tsp Dead Sea salt (she has a recipe on her blog).
Oils: Adding an emollient of some kind is important so your hair doesn’t dry out too much. I like using coconut oil since it feels beachy and I like the scent. You can also add aloe vera gel, argan oil, vegetable glycerin, jojoba oil, or avocado oil.
Essential oils: These aren’t *essential* to the product (haha), but they add a nice fragrance and some are beneficial to hair. I like using lime because again, it’s summery and beachy to me and I love the smell! It really depends on personal preference, but I think any of these would be fitting: lavender, rosemary, grapefruit, lemon, vanilla, or orange. Just remember to check that you’re using the proper concentration for essential oils, as they shouldn’t be used undiluted.
Other ingredients: In researching other DIY recipes and store bought products, there’s other stuff you can add to give the spray a little boost. These include sugar, sea kelp extract, and Vitamin E. Some people also add conditioner, which probably acts as an emulsifying agent (since conditioner is a mix of water and oils). I’m not crazy about this idea for some inexplicable reason, but it may be a good idea if you’re having issues with ingredients separating. (This is just an educated guess, I don’t know this for a fact).
I turned to DIY recipes for sea salt sprays, because I couldn’t find one that had safe ingredients. There may be more options on the market since I last checked, since it seems like they’re gaining popularity. From my knowledge at this point, if you’re interested in just buying a spray, I suggest looking into these three products:
Herbivore Botanicals Sea Mist Texturizing Salt Spray (I haven’t used this, but ingredients look good to me)
SheaMoisture Zanzibar Marine Complex Sea Salt Texture Spray (I haven’t used this, but I generally like SheaMoisture’s products)
Hippie Homemaker Gidget’s Ocean Waves Texturizing Spray (This one I bought on Etsy and I really liked it)
You can also try looking for others on Etsy.
Side note: I found an interesting article that talks about the science behind the classic beach hair. Although she does caution against bottling your own ocean water because it will go bad quickly, which I disagree with. I took home a water bottle full of ocean water when I was in Hawaii and it survived the plane ride just fine. I’ve kept it in the fridge and it’s been good for over a year now.