The Best Beach Hair Products

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If you're at the beach (or spending time outdoors), exposure to the sun can dry out your hair, mess with your color, and even cause damage to your scalp. While a hat is your greatest weapon of defense, the best beach hair products will help keep your hair and scalp protected from UVA and UVB rays, as well as the damaging effects of swimming in the ocean or pools. Look for mists or masks that offer UV protection and contain plenty of moisturizing oils, since both the sun and sea/pool water can dry out your hair. Proteins, like hydrolyzed elastin and hydrolyzed keratin, can help reduce breakage, while harsher ingredients like sulfates should be avoided.

Of course, it's impossible to talk about beach hair products without bringing up tousled, beachy waves. Texturizing sprays that mimic the effect sea water has on your hair are the easiest way to enhance (or fake) tousled waves. Sea salt is the obvious ingredient to look for to add texture and grit to your hair, but because it can be drying — especially if you’ve already spent the day swimming in the ocean — you can look for salt-free alternatives with ingredients like rice protein, sugar, or hydrolyzed wheat protein. Leave-in conditioners and hair oils are great to bring to the beach, too, to counteract the drying effects of swimming and soaking in the sun.

From scalp sunscreens and wave sprays to brightening shampoos and even one very clever brush, these are the best hair products to pack in your beach bag.

1. Editor’s Pick: Best Product For Post-Beach Hair

“My hair always feels dry and slightly crunchy after a day at the beach, so I like to slather SACHAJUAN’s Hair After The Sun cream through my damp hair after my last dip in the ocean. It helps reverse that post-beach dullness by making my hair softer and shinier, and it offers just the right amount of hold to create a damp messy bun that looks intentional. For best results, pair it with the brand’s Hair In The Sun treatment, which offers long-lasting UV protection.” — Adeline Duff, Elite Daily beauty editor

2. Best SPF Spray For Your Scalp & Hair

As diligent as I am about putting on sunscreen, I've made the unfortunate mistake of forgetting about my part line a time or two. To avoid getting burned, there's this COOLA scalp and hair mist with SPF 30. The lightweight mist doesn't leave your hair looking greasy, it smells amazing — like sea water and sage — and it's water-resistant for up to 80 minutes. Best of all, it's super simple to apply. Just give it a shake and spray it on your scalp and along your hairline, holding the nozzle 4 to 6 inches away from your hair. Or, for all-over protection, mist it through your hair and use a comb or your fingers to make sure the product is evenly distributed throughout.

3. Best Hair Product For Swimmers

Those who spend a lot of time swimming in the ocean or in chlorinated pools need something stronger than a typical mist to prevent damage. If an actual swim cap isn't your thing, try saturating your hair with the Philip Kingsley Swimcap mask before hopping in the water. The tried-and-true formula was designed by hair and scalp specialist Philip Kingsley for the first U.S. Olympic Synchronized Swimming Team to provide water-resistant UV and chlorine protection. Free from sulfates and parabens, the mask uses castor oil, olive oil, and hydrolyzed elastin to help lock in moisture and boost elasticity and shine.

4. Best Leave-In Conditioner For The Beach

A leave-in conditioner is just as practical for everyday use as it is when you're at the beach, thanks to its detangling, softening, and moisturizing abilities. Marc Anthony’s Coconut & Shea Nourishing Leave-In Conditioner has a tropical, coconut-y scent that’s particularly perfect for beach days and sunny holidays. It's packed with moisturizing, smoothing, and strengthening ingredients like coconut oil, shea butter, hydrolyzed silk, hydrolyzed keratin, and biotin. An Amazon-shopper favorite with over 4,000 five-star ratings, this leave-in conditioner makes hair noticeably softer, silkier, and easier to comb.

5. Best Texturizing Spray For Beachy Waves

For just-out-of-the-ocean hair in a bottle, there's the Ouai Wave Spray. One of my personal favorites for vacation (they even make a travel-size bottle that's TSA-approved), the salt-free spray uses hydrolyzed keratin and rice proteins to give your hair some definition and texture. Plenty of nourishing ingredients like coconut oil, pro-vitamin B5, and vitamin E are included in the formula, which is color-safe and sulfate-free. Not your average tropical-scented product, the wave spray has a lighter, more floral smell with its blend of bergamot, Italian lemon, and rose. It was developed by Jen Atkin, the stylist behind Hailey Bieber’s and Kendall Jenner's undone waves, so she definitely knows a thing or two.

6. Best Splurge-Worthy Spray For Beachy Waves

If you've ever admired the tousled, undone waves of a runway model, chances are Oribe’s Après Beach Wave And Shine Spray was the secret behind their effortless look. Free from salt, which can leave hair feeling stiff and dry, the spray adds texture and shine thanks to nourishing ingredients like hydrolyzed wheat protein, pro-vitamin B5, and glycerin. If you're using this while sitting in the sun, you can kick back and relax knowing that the brand's signature blend of watermelon extract, lychee extract, and edelweiss flower extract are shielding your hair from the drying and color-stripping effects of the sun. It doesn't contain any sulfates or parabens, and like all Oribe products, the texturizing spray is infused with the brand’s signature Côte d'Azur scent (so even if you can’t make it to the French Riviera, you can still smell like it).

7. Best All-Natural Spray For Beachy Waves

Traditional salt sprays have remained popular for a reason: they really work. Hair Dance’s Texturizing Wave Spray is an affordable, under-$15 option that uses mineral-rich Dead Sea salt and magnesium sulfate to give your hair volume and gritty texture. To help counteract the drying effects of the salt, Hair Dance added aloe leaf juice and hydrolyzed soy protein into the mix. Grapefruit peel oil gives this wave spray a light, citrusy scent, but you won't find any artificial fragrances (or artificial dyes, parabens, silicones, or alcohols) in the all-natural formula.

8. Best Dry Shampoo Spray For Beachy Waves

For finer hair types that don't have a lot of natural texture or hold a curl well, the easiest way to fake beachy waves is to take out the curling wand. When curling your hair, leave the roots of your hair and an inch or two of the ends out for a more natural look, and load up on a spray that adds volume and hold, like Joico’s Body Shake Texturizing Finisher. Rice starch gives this a dry shampoo-like effect that's perfect for fine hair that tends to get oily fast. This also provides UVA/UVB, pollution, and humidity protection if you're headed outside, as well as heat protection up to 450 degrees Fahrenheit if you're concerned about avoiding damage from your hot styling tools.

9. Best Toning Spray For Enhancing Sun-Kissed Hair

Forget the lightening (and very damaging) hydrogen peroxide sprays of the past. Whether you have a full head of highlights or a subtle balayage, it's now possible to battle brassy tones without compromising the health of your hair. Sun Bum’s Blonde Tone Enhancer combines antioxidant-rich ingredients like violet extract and blue spirulina with a violet colorant to fight discoloration caused by sun exposure whilst imparting a cool blonde color in the process. For more UV protection, you'll find argan and coconut oils in the formula, too, which have the added benefit of being conditioning.

10. Best Shampoo & Conditioner For Brightening Sun-Kissed Hair

You can channel sunny days all-year long with John Frieda's Sheer Blonde Go Blonder Lightening Shampoo & Conditioner Set. The duo was designed to gradually lighten natural and color-treated blonde hair by depositing color, rather than bleaching it with ammonia or peroxide. Though the shampoo does contain sulfates, both the shampoo and conditioner are formulated with moisturizing glycerin, castor oil, sunflower seed extract, and grape seed extract. This set is perfect for keeping in your shower during the summer to amp up the natural lightening effects of the sun, if you already have hair that’s on the lighter side.

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Whether you're brushing through your hair right after a dip in the ocean or pool (which you should be doing, FYI), or you're detangling your hair post-shower, you need a gentle brush. The Original Wet Brush Detangler Hair Brush features innovative nylon bristles that are softer and more flexible than those found on your average brush, so you can use it on both wet and dry hair. This allows it to work for all hair types, too, as it breaks up knots without causing pain or ripping through your hair. Because of the brush's unique design, it can even be used in the shower while your hair is soaking wet.