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The Salt Spray Steph Has Been Using for Years

Instant Haim hair in a bottle.
Sachajuan Ocean Mist, $31, available here.

Sachajuan Ocean Mist, $31, available here.

Salt spray is something I don't talk about often because there's nothing new or trendy about it — Bumble and Bumble launched its cult-favorite Surf Spray back in 2001, with just about every other salon and mass hair brand following suit in the decades since — but I've tried 'em all. My hair texture is fine, with a slight bit of natural wave. It's also way too soft, if you ask me. Its super-smooth, slippery texture may sound nice in theory (very few knots to contend with!), but it's also super annoying for times when I'd like my hair to show any semblance of a style. It tends to fall flat very quickly, slips out of braids and fails to hold onto most hair accessories.

That's why, even if I'm not going for an overtly beachy look, I'll reach for salt spray. Other than dry shampoo (which I also use abundantly) salt spray is the best way to create instant texture and grip. I also tend to favor what I call "un-straight" hair as my go-to style — it's smooth-ish, but with slight bends and almost-waves occurring randomly throughout. In other words, my ideal hair aesthetic can best be summed up in any photo of the Haim sisters.

With all of that said, I've tested just about every salt spray on the market, and Sachajuan Ocean Mist is the one I always return to. (I also like Herbivore's a lot, as I've written before — but that one has a softer, less intense effect.) I like to use it in a slightly unconventional way: I run a flatiron through my air-dried hair to de-pouf it a bit and create some shine, and then I'll go in and mist this product through the lengths of my dry hair, working it through with my fingers. Boom: Instant Haim hair (at least that's what I tell myself). 

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Now, there is one caveat to all of my glowing adoration for this product: The scent. To me, it smells like dog shampoo — powdery and soapy and slightly cloying — and definitely not my favorite aroma to come out of the hair-product world. (I do, however, adore the scents from brands like Playa, Oribe, Herbivore, Serge Normant and Amika. If scent is super important to you, seek out those brands, instead.) And if you have dry hair, it's a good idea to stay away from salt sprays entirely, since they can sap additional moisture from strands. But luckily, that doesn't apply to me, so I'll be over here, forever devoted to this salty hair miracle in a bottle.

Sachajuan Ocean Mist, $31, available here.

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