Some people collect seashells, some collect matches, I collect surf spray. Somewhere in the turbulence of my twenties, I threw in the towel on high maintenance hair care and opted instead for messy, undone beach waves. I wanted carefree, surfer-girl hair, and I also wanted to be as lazy as possible to achieve it. That means no heat, minimal styling, and an unspoken rule that I will frequently hit the hay with wet hair. Sometimes it works in my favor, and sometimes it calls for a ponytail, but you better believe it’s pumped up with surf spray.
I find it’s best to apply shaken surf spray to damp hair, root to tip, and then let air dry. If you want extra curl, create ringlets by twisting hair and pulling it all back into a bun, just until hair is around 90% dry. Never use a brush, just use hands to shake out any kinks.
Here are my favorite surf sprays:
R+Co Rockaway I’m a big fan of R+Co’s paraben/sulfate free shampoo and their surf spray did not disappoint. My hair felt a lot thicker like my hair shaft had swelled and received some added volume, just as if I had spent the day at Rockaway! The smell is very clean, not overly scented, and the touch wasn’t sticky or overly textured.
OUAI Wave Spray OUAI from Jen Atkin is touted as a weightless texture mist best used to activate natural waves. If you don’t have natural waves, I doubt this would do much to your hair, as it truly is lightweight. I usually use this as a first step, mostly because I can’t resist the packaging and smell, and then double down with a spray with a stickier texture.
Drybar Mai Tai Spritzer I like a little grit sometimes, and this miniature spray from Drybar is the champ in the corner. While not as vegan as the others, it’s like a Diet Coke; it’s got some pep, is probably not ideal for healthy locks, but does the trick when needed.
Oribe Matte Waves, Texture Lotion Totally different than normal surf products, this is a lotion for your hair. It’s medium-hold and much more matte. My hair felt super soft, considerably thicker, and still had a beachey look without the rough pieces or stiffness.
Oribe Apres Beach Wave and Shine Spray More like a hairspray, this one is good to use after texture lotion for a little texture after hair has been volumized. It’s not stiff or salty, and has a stronger smell when first applied compared to other hair products. What’s cool about this one is that it provides UV protection, and it is paraben and chloride-free and it is safe for color and keratin-treated hair. Tousle hair after applying.
IGK Beach Club Volumizing Texture Spray Similar to the Apres Beach Spray, this one from IGK comes in an aerosol can. I think it’s better for volume vs a surfer salt look. I gave my hair a few more touches of it at different stages of dying for added dimension.
Oribe SurfComber Tousled Texture Mousse I love this stuff. Not spray, more mousse, but worth mentioning if we are talking surf sprays. It’s sticky – very sticky – so you can use just a touch of it on ends. I usually flip my head over when applying and use a crunch hand movement to work it through hair.