The 17 Best Sea Salt Sprays for Vacation Hair

Get the beachy waves of your dreams with these fake-it-'til-you-make-it sea salt sprays.

model with beachy, wavy hair after using a sea salt spray
(Image credit: Astrid Stawiarz)

Let's face it: We all love looking effortlessly fabulous, and that goes for our hair, too. And while the key to luscious, flowing locks is to take thorough care of your hair by staying hydrated, maintaining a healthy diet, and investing in high-quality hair essentials like shampoos and conditioners, scalp treatments, and hair growth oils, there are also a number of styling products that go a long way in terms of getting you the look you desire. One of my favorite hair products is sea salt spray, which I especially love using when my hair needs a little extra something. 

But what is sea salt spray, exactly? Hairstylist and founder of Hair Addict Salon Michelle Cleveland explains: "Sea salt spray is a product that when added to the hair will mimic the effects of spending the day at the beach with a tousled, textured look." So, if your hair is feeling weighted down, a sea salt spray is the perfect solution for creating that effortless summer mane no matter what season we're in.

What to Look for in a Sea Salt Spray

Not all sea salt sprays are built alike and, as with all products, you should strive to find ingredients that won't harm or dry out your hair. "The active ingredient in most sea salt sprays is magnesium sulfate," admits Cleveland, "however, some better brands will also include more nourishing ingredients to protect the hair from damage." In particular, she highlights sage, balm mint, and yarrow plant as healthy ingredients that combat damage and dryness.

How Do You Use Sea Salt Spray?

There are so many hair product options on the market that it's difficult to understand when and how to apply each one. Luckily, Cleveland has the answers. She advises that when it comes to sea salt spray, users "apply it to wet hair, and let it air dry or blow dry it in. You can also add it after the blow dry for a more matte texture. I would, however, avoid putting it in your hair more than one time between washes, as it can make the hair dry and brittle."

In that vein, Cleveland warns that there are, in fact, times when you shouldn't use a sea salt spray. Consistent with the spray's goal of giving you that windswept beachy look, she says, "sea salt spray will add a gritty and matte texture to your hair, so if you are already experiencing over-processed, dry, and damaged hair, I would totally avoid using sea salt spray altogether. On the contrary, if your hair is stronger and can handle the texture, you can add it sparingly onto wet or dry hair to create loose, natural-looking beach waves."

The Best Sea Salt Sprays

Meet the Experts

Michelle Cleveland, hair stylist
Michelle Cleveland

Michelle Cleveland is a hair stylist and hair extension artist based in Toms River, New Jersey, where she styles for the Hair Addict Salon and Extension Bar. She has worked with a number of celebrities, including Christina Milian, and has also had her work featured on television networks such as TLC and the Style Network. 

Clayton Hawkins
Clayton Hawkins

Clayton Hawkins is a hair stylist who takes a collaborative approach to creating inventive and relevant styles for his clients. Among those clients are Emma Roberts, Elizabeth Olson, Dakota Johnson, Elizabeth Banks, and more. Hawkins is currently based in Los Angeles. 

Ryan Babbitt
Ryan Babbitt

Ryan Babbitt is a hairstylist with a passion for educating his clients about how to keep their hair healthy and well-maintained. Comfortable with both cutting and coloring, he is particularly enthusiastic about creating lasting, structured looks. He is currently based in Chicago, where he has worked for 15 years, and can be booked via the Klicked Salon.

Gabrielle Ulubay
E-Commerce Writer

Gabrielle Ulubay is an E-Commerce Writer at Marie Claire and writes about all things beauty, sexual wellness, and fashion. She's also written about sex, gender, and politics for publications like The New York Times, Bustle, and HuffPost Personal since 2018. She has worked extensively in the e-commerce and sales spaces since 2020, including two years at Drizly, where she developed an expertise in finding the best, highest quality goods and experiences money can buy. As a film school graduate, she loves all things media and can be found making art when she's not busy writing.