Believe me when I say that I'm a lover of a wavy look year-round, but something about summertime makes the look feel especially right. A perfectly tousled, texturized beach wave is the ultimate warm weather look, whether you're channeling Blake Lively's boho locks or actual mermaid hair, and achieving the look is all about using the right products. Lucky for you, I've tested just about every salt spray and texture mist under the sun, and I've gathered up the 9 best wave sprays for summer strands.
The tools I use to achieve a good wave all depend on how carefree I want the vibe to be. I'll sometimes use a hot tool to create waves with a slightly more polished, longer-lasting look, and then finish with a texturizing mist to mess it up and give a more lived-in feel. If I'm going for true fresh-from-the-ocean beach vibes, though, damp strands and a good sea salt spray allow me to air dry to the texture of my dreams. Having both in your product arsenal isn't a bad idea with summer just around the corner, so I've rounded up my most-loved picks so that you can stock up for yourself.
First up, natch, is the cult-favorite Ouai Wave Spray ($26, sephora.com):
Ouai founder and celeb hairstylist Jen Atkin is the absolute master of the effortless, messy-sexy beach wave, so it's no surprise her formula is a favorite. This lightweight mist uses rice protein instead of sea salt to create texture, so it's a particularly good pick if you have color-treated tresses.
Another go-to for me is the IGK Beach Club Texture Spray ($29, sephora.com):
IGK create the epitome of cool-girl hair products, and this aerosol spray delivers volume, body, and texture, for the ultimate "I Came Out Of The Ocean Like This" finish. (BTW, "I Came Out Of The Ocean Like This" hair is officially more desireable than "I Woke Up Like This" hair. It's a big summer mood.)
UNITE Hair create some of my favorite haircare products, and I'll definitely be reaching for their Beach Day Texturizing Spray ($28, unitehair.com):
This baby can be used on wet or dry hair, and utilizes real natural sea salt for texture, thickness, and wave. There's also the added benefit or moringa seed extract, to protect hair from pollution and ensure your dye job isn't affected. Consider this one a must-pack for the beach bag.
Now, excuse me while I imulse buy the Eva NYC Surf's Up Texture Spray ($12, amazon.com), because yep, it's available on Amazon:
Eva NYC's products are as fun as they are effective, so it's no surprise that their wave spray is an amazing pick at a super reasonable pricepoint. This formula includes volcanic mineral zeolite for matte texture and hold, contrasted with shine-enhancing vitamin C to ensure strands look healthy and lush.
Another low-priced fave that yields high-end results? The Kristin Ess Soft Shine Beach Wave Spray ($14, target.com), of course:
I am seriously so impressed by the Kristin Ess brand — all of their products perform with salon-level quality, but I can snag them with ease at my local Target. Score. This one in particular goes on after styling or air-drying your strands, and manages to enhance wavy texture without going crunchy or weighing hair down.
The Mo Mi By Modern Minerals Texture Mist ($35, momibeauty.com) wins first prize for most chic packaging, if you ask me:
Too cute, right? This product reminds me of an elevated version of the hair scrunching gels of my childhood. Use it to scrunch and twist to your heart's content, and then blow dry or let air dry for the cool, carefree finish you've always wanted.
I love Davines shampoos and conditioners, so I was excited to put the This Is A Sea Salt Spray ($28, us.davines.com) to the test:
Davines is a brand that prides itself on not just product results, but the ingredients behind them. This matte spray utilizes citric acid and sea salt for a truly beachy texture that will have friends wondering why they didn't see you posting about your latest oceanside getaway.
It's no surprise that the texture pros at Verb have an incredible Sea Salt Spray ($16, sephora.com), too:
Out of all the products on this list, this one feels the most mermaid-approved. Maybe it's the natural sea salt for volume, or the sweet almond oil fruit extract for moisture, but it's most likely the seaweed and kelp extracts, which absorb excess oil and keep strands looking Ariel-level hydrated.
Last but not least, the Joico Beach Shake Texturizing Finisher ($20, ulta.com) will give limp waves a little extra oomph:
Dry hair lacking shape? This texturizer is a quick fix, as a few spritzes will separate and define dreamy waves in no time, without making strands look too "done."