DIY Beach Waves Spray

DIY Beach Waves Sea Salt Spray Recipe Cheap and works great DIY Beach Waves Spray

Second to Dry Shampoo, sea salt spray is probably my most used hair product, and it is also super easy to make yourself!

Sea Salt spray or Beach Waves Spray has gained popularity lately, and it is the product most often used for those beachy waves that are so popular. Many of the sea salt sprays are also drying to the hair, as salt pulls moisture and natural oils out.

The gold standard of beach sprays for hair (in my opinion) is Bumble to Bumble Surf Spray, which does work great, but costs $25 a bottle which is about $24.50 out of my price range for hair products. This particular brand uses Magnesium Sulfate (aka Epsom Salt) instead of Sea Salt, which makes it less drying to hair. It also has some natural oils (aka Conditioner) to replenish hair.

This is one of the simplest natural hair care recipes to make at home, and it literally costs about 1/50th of the store bought versions. It adds great texture and volume to hair without the chemicals. If you make it yourself, you can also customize to your hair type to get the texture you want.

DIY Beach Spray Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of hot water (not boiling)- Can also use strong Chamomile Tea as the base if you want to lighten hair or black tea as the base if you want to darken hair, but you will need to keep in the fridge.
  • 2 tablespoons epsom salts (or more for extra texture)
  • 1/2 tsp Himalayan or Sea Salt (optional but adds stiffness- I get it here)
  • 1 teaspoon aloe vera gel (I get it here)
  • 1/2 tsp conditioner (I’ve used this Organix coconut one and Dr. Bronners Lavender Coconut ) or a few drops of almond oil or jajoba oil
  • Optional: a few drops of essential oils or a spritz of your favorite perfume for scent- Lavender and citrus are great options
  • Optional: 1 teaspoon lemon juice and 1 teaspoon vodka or alcohol- if you want to lighten hair (the lemon juice lightens and the alcohol preserves)

How to Make:

Get a spray bottle that holds at least 10 ounces. I used a glass bottle made from an old apple cider vinegar bottle and a regular spray top. I also tripled the recipe to accomodate the size of my bottle. Put the hot water (or tea) in the spray bottle and add the epsom salts, sea salt (optional), aloe vera, conditioner, scent (optional) and lemon juice/vodka (if using). Put the cap on the bottle and shake for 1-2 minutes or until epsom salts and sea salt are dissolved. Store in the fridge if using lemon juice or tea base, or at room temperature if you aren’t. Will last 3-4 months or longer.

To Use:

DIY Sea Salt Texturizing Spray Recipe DIY Beach Waves Spray

Spray on damp hair and scrunch with a towel to dry for loose beach waves. (See picture of me- please excuse how large my nose looks in this picture and the fact that I am not wearing any make-up! Also, please excuse my lack of hair photography skills!)

Spray on dry hair and on roots for volume and texture without the waves. (See picture of the volume it gave my three year old. Excuse the apple eating and unorganized bookshelf!)

diy beach waves spray recipe DIY Beach Waves Spray

If your hair is straight and thin and you want all-day waves: Wash hair the night before and spray hair with Beach Spray while still damp. Then, either french braid into pigtails or wrap in a tight scrunched bun on top of your head. and leave overnight. By morning, your hair should be dry. Spritz with a little more spray and take out the braid/bun. Voila- all day beach waves. Spray with additional spray and scrunch if you want more stiffness.

Ever used Sea Salt Spray? Ever made your own hair products? Tell me below!

Reader Comments

  1. Smoochagator says

    This. Is. So. Cool! I can’t wait to try it! Also, it’s nice to see a picture of you FINALLY :-)

  2. says

    I love it!!  Having the Beach wave hair without going to the beach.  I often do mine through curling iron then using my hands to separate the waves.  I will try this one soon, but one question, won’t it leave the hair stiff and dry?

  3. says

    I can’t wait to try this! I’m almost out of my “Dream Curls” spray, which is very similar to the beach waves spray… So you’ve saved me a trip to the store! 
    And I agree with Smoochagator above — nice to see a picture of YOU! You’re lovely! 

  4. ChiropracticConsultant says

    Now that’s something new and really helpful. saves you a lot of money. how did you discover these? by the way the hair in the photos looks gorgeous! 

  5. says

    That is AWESOME! I’ve seen “homemade salt spray” recipes before, but they always call for adding some commercial hair gel, which for me defeats the purpose of avoiding those chemicals. I make my own shampoo and conditioner, but have not had any success with homemade styling product yet – this looks like it could be my first big win in that arena. Thank you!

  6. Cari Osborne says

    I just want to say THANK YOU! I have recently educated myself about the dangers of chemicals in household products and as I’ve been looking for alternative solutions I came across your site. It is THE most complete (and useful) site I’ve found for making your own without being too complicated, and the things I’ve tried so far really work! Thank you so much!

  7. says

    I have thicker hair that is sadly prone to frizz :( does this cause a lot of frizz or control frizz at all? It looks great and I hate having to dry & straighten my hair everyday or pull it back in a pony tail when I don’t feel like it.

  8. roxanne says

    This is fantastic!  I buy those beach hair sprays and they are expensive!  I’m definitely gonna try this!

  9. says

    Thanks to another great blog (Crunchy Betty, if you’re wondering!), I tried rinsing my hair with the water that quinoa has been washed in. Pour it through your hair after washing, leave in for 3 minutes, then rinse out. I have fine hair that wants to wave, but can’t so much and this little trick gives me silky waves. It’s amazing! I am definitely trying your recipe, though. I absolutely love beach hair! Thanks for the share!

  10. Jenny P says

    I have everything but the aloe vera gel, do you think I could get the same effect without it?  Or should I go grab a little for this? 

  11. Kym Camac says

    I have decided to embrace my curls cant afford store bought stuff and they leave my curls crunchy. just made this and dryed my hair with a diffuser wow my curls are spiral and defined firm no crunch. i will never use anything else thankyou

  12. Regina says

    I have very thin hair but I am going to try this. Does anyone have a recipe for homemade hair spray? thanks

  13. Jaden says

    I bought not your mothers beach spray stuff, and it doesn’t work at all for my hair. Excited to try this out! Hope it works,

    • Alyson says

      I tired that as well, I Hated it!! It made my hair so dry and dead looking, it was sticky also. Not for me at all. I can’t wait to try this. I love how my hair looks at the beach.

  14. Erica says

    We are in the midst of a lifestyle change in our house. First I switched to all natural homemade cleaning supplies. Hair products were a bit scarier…. I have naturally curly, thin (since having kids), hair and admit that I am a hair product junkie. I made the coconut milk shampoo and was soooo surprised at the results. With a small amount of coconut oil run through my hair after it was dry, the frizz disappeared! It was a bit limp though, especially since I’m used to dream curls daily, so I mixed up a batch of the beach spray….. Love it! I didn’t have any aloe, but went for it. My hair is not as soft to touch, but I looks great, ringlets and all! Thanks so much Wellness Mama! Can’t wait till the new baby comes in feb. to try out some more recipes!

  15. Elaine Kwok says

    Would this work as an alternative to dry shampoo, if I have the time to let it dry out?

    My hair is very fine and oily, and I’m trying to find a great, volumizing option for the in-between wash days. I’ve been using cornstarch and commercial dry shampoos, and they just leave it somewhat less greasy and flat.

      • Elaine Kwok says

        It worked perfectly and kept my roots dry even through the next day! (though it was kind of stiff and required some styling). Thanks for the great recipe!

  16. says

    Hey I just wanted to ask what the Aloe Vera Gel is for? I just made it and tried it once, I smell wonderfully beach like its amazing, it worked okay, I think I need to try on wet hair as my hair is pretty straight and limp. The way I made it was Epson Salt, Aloe Vera Gel, Organix Coconut Milk Conditioner as well as the the Coconut Milk anti-breakage Serum, and i used a water base.

  17. Yolanda Dobler says

    I made this and my hair is thick and well not curly but wavy and frizzy. It made my hair stiff, should I add some more distilled water to it??

  18. Tia says

    Howdy! I was just wondering if I could use some other alternative to Almond or Jajoba oil. Would coconut work?

  19. Melisa Crosby says

    I absolutely love this stuff. After I developed autoimmune thyroid disease my once thick and wavy hair fell out and grew back in thin and lank. I’m finally able to grow it out again but any attempt to braid my hair or put it into any kind of undo was foiled by its slippery, lank texture. Enter the sea salt spray! Suddenly my hair will hold in braids or rolls and even loose it has far more body. I am thrilled. My only question: will this damage my hair if I use it long term? Should I condition more frequently if I use the salt spray regularly?

    • says

      I do a coconut oil and honey treatment once a week to make sure it isn’t damaged and I havent had any trouble (and I’m hard on my hair in the summer with swimming, time in the sun, etc)

  20. Jessica says

    WM, I’m finally out of my other {chemical} hair goop & am going to try making this sometime this week! One question though–my epsom salts have eucalyptus & lavender scent added. Will that throw off the recipe or just count as the added scent? Thanks so much! Love all your posts!

  21. Starr Swaqq-Master Ware says

    I absolutely L O V E my Waves (: They’re Perf. Thanks.! I also used twist holders and then towel bunched then and took them out (:

  22. Jane Carr says

    I just tried this! Since my hair is only shoulder length I wrapped my hair into four loose buns. :D hopefully it comes out well and not too tight.

  23. Miranda Nickerson says

    I’ve got some organic leave in conditioner and frizz-ease that I will be adding because of my SUPER frizzy hair, but other than that I can’t wait to try this!! c:

  24. Mommy34567 says

    Can you just use regular conditioner with a smell or does it have to be coconut? I am having a had time finding the kind you got in a store. I have been trying to buy a spray like this. I can not find it. Going to try this.

  25. Mommy34567 says

    I am going to use the suave coconut conditioner and add tee tree oil. I heard that it is good for your hair and scalp if you have oily hair. I went today looking for a beach spray. I am going to try this. We ran into a problem that will cost us some money. This would save me more money then to buy it. Thanks!

  26. Bek says

    Epsom salt, genius!!!!! I have thick hair, I’m hoping this is the key ingredient I’ve been missing, I’ve tried nearly every spray out there and they just won’t hold for me. I’m curious about the use of the Aloe Vera gel. I’ll let you know if this works for my mop, lol

  27. LORE SMITH says

    I love, love, love this stuff!!! I live in Mexico now and have had a heck of a time with frizzy hair. It’s only gotten worse as the summer is super humid here. Anyways, I made your recipe this morning and now, already a few hours later, my hair still looks amazing! And of course, the price just rocks! Thanks ever so much! You saved me a bundle by not having to buy the bumble and bumble. I’ll be sharing this one with all my friends here!

  28. Justine Kennis says

    Thanks for posting this! The only thing im a little worried about is that my aloe vrea gel is not 100% pure aloe vera gel, so there is chemicals added to it. Do you think it will affect the way it will look on the hair? If it will, what should i do?

  29. Lauren says

    Thank you so much for this recipe! Years ago I was a Bumble & Bumble addict, but the combination of cost and unnatural ingredients made me stop. This DIY spray is wonderful! I doubled the conditioner and added a half-teaspoon of raw honey. It works as perfectly as the Bumble & Bumble… and is healthy and thrifty.

  30. says

    Katie, thanks for this recipe! Just made it – I added a few drops of Lemongrass essential oil. You are inspiring me to start making more of my own products at home, free from chemicals and healthier for my family. Thank you!

  31. Turtlestravel says

    This sounds great, and so easy. Can’t wait to try it. I currently don’t use any kind of “product” on my hair, so boring, so it would be fun to try this!

  32. teri says

    I have short stick-straight hair; I have been dragging my feet on going natural with hair care. I use mousse, gel, and hairspray to give my limp, straight, curl-less hair some volume and style. Can I use a curling iron with this? Would this even be a product for me?

  33. Natalie Davis says

    This would go bad WAY before 3-4 months! Especially with lemon (a fresh fruit) in it!!!!! With the ingredients you’ve listed, it would last maybe 2-3 weeks..

  34. AngelGabe says

    I just made this and used it and I really love it! My hair tends to straighten and flatten out when I comb it after showering. I hate flattened hair! The Beach Waves spray makes it a bit ‘messy’ but leaves NO feeling of residue in it. It gives it more body as well. I used it with the chamomile tea and the vodka and lemon. I also added a few drops of lemon, orange and lavender essential oils. Great stuff!!!

  35. Kelly Monzo says

    OMG! I love this. I have super straight long hair that even perms don’t stay in. I used this on my dry hair and was going to wrap in a bun like you said, but it maid my hair wavy just by spraying and scrunching it on my dry hair. Thank you I love all your whole site! Thanks for all the work you put into it.

  36. Sami Nichole Hinton says

    I have really thick hair that is very slick and will hardly hold curl. Do you think this would help hold in some curl if I used a curling iron once this dried in my hair, since it’s supposed to add some texture? I hate the smell and crunchiness of hairspray!

  37. says

    I had to come back and give you some kudos — I made this and it works REALLY well for volume and texture. I didn’t get a lot of waves, but my hair definitely falls into the straight and fine category so I’ll probably have to try the french-braid method. But otherwise, it’s great and it didn’t frizz the hell out of my hair like most “volume” products do. Yay for you!

  38. DaOkie says

    I have salt and pepper hair (mostly salt). Needless to say, it has a mind of its own. Recently went to no poo to prevent yellowing of the white hair. I was so pleased with the result, I thought a more natural styling product was in order. Made your recipe last week, and thought I should use it a couple of times before commenting. I LOVE THIS! So easy, and I couldn’t be more pleased with the result. Thank you for a great recipe!!

  39. Amaretto says

    I’ve made beach sprays without the alcohol/vodka before and after a week, it smells off. Does the alcohol/vodka really work to preserve it?

  40. Sylihra says

    hmm..I followed the measurements, but this mixture leaves my hair very dry and like hay…as well as being able to see the salt residue on the ends of my hair…not really a fun look. lol It did feel thicker and I no longer had to worry about static in this cold weather…but it was so stiff. I’ve used purchased salt sprays in the past, but love the idea of making it at home so I may just play with the measurements a bit. My hair may just be weird. :p

  41. Lina Msl says

    This is my favorite post about DIY beach hair spray; I like the explanation of salts :P
    Also a note, if you want some extra hold you can add a little bit of a cheap water based hair gel!

  42. Sydney says

    Thank you so much for posting this! Just one question, I used Myer lemon tea for my recipe and I was wondering if this made your hair lighter as well?

  43. Caitlin says

    Hi! So glad I found this recipe! It brought my curls back along with tons of volume. I have fine curly/wavy hair and my all natural hair care quest has been leaving my locks less than pleasing. Any idea if long term use will dry out my hair? So excited right now!!

  44. Rachel Cox says

    I made the recipe with a chamomile lavender organic tea and used fresh aloe off a plant along with almond oil and the 2 salts. It worked great except for leaving a white flaky lawr on my hair. What else should I add to not have this residue? Also since I have gray hairs, could I additionally add the lemon and vodka to the mix? Thank you so much for sharing all your wisdom! I have officially gone almost all natural in my “beauty” regime. I just need to get a natural mascara and eye liner.

  45. Kris says

    Great recipe that actually works! It gives my fine, normal-to-oily hair all day volume without crispness or residue. Only need to apply a little to see good results.

    I followed the base recipe, but cut it in half for a small spray bottle. No extra scents, oils, or lemon, vodka or tea – though I used a bit of Aveda Smooth Infusion conditioner. I mixed it all in a Pyrex cup and when it seemed as though the epsom salt would never dissolve, I microwaved it for 20 seconds and all was good. Let it cool for a bit before adding it to the plastic bottle.

    Thanks for the easy solution!

  46. Jojo says

    Do you have any recommendations for a diy hair spray that doesn’t contain alcohol but is good for curling and updos?

  47. Sara says

    I have made this several times and I love it but the spray bottles I have used always end up getting corroded by the salt and not working! Any suggestions…

  48. Bluebird says

    Can I use Magnesium flakes instead of epsom salts? If I cut out the epsom salts altogether, should I replace that amount with sea salt? (i.e. 2 tbsp + 1/2 tsp sea salt) Thanks!

  49. Shaban says

    Thanks for your great blog and useful suggestions Katie. I just had a quick question – how can I make this spray last longer? I don’t use hair products that often, maybe several times a month, and therefore I don’t want to waste the ingredients. Can this last for say 6 months? If not, what can I do? I read that a small amount of alcohols could preserve the ingredients, but I have no idea how much to add…

  50. Scarlett says

    Just want to say thank you! I have been using your beach spray for about 6 months and love it. I have fine, naturally curly hair and this works better for me than all the other commercial products I’ve tried. Gives so much volume and (as long as I don’t put too much on) is never crunchy. I was inspired to make it after my hairstylist suggested I buy a fancy Swiss-made sea salt spray, and I figured that instead of paying big bucks for that, I could make my own…and it works great. Big, big plus is that it’s all natural ingredients, which I’m trying to use more of. Thank you!!

  51. Sara says

    This is my second time making this spray–THANK YOU! I’m presently growing out a pixie cut, so texture and body are really important to get through the growing-out stage with minimal awkwardness. My hair and my bank account are both very grateful to you. :)

  52. Juli says

    Hi! Can I use rock salt instead of Epsom salt? I try to avoid buying as much as possible and I only have rock salt. Will using rock salt have the same effect as using Sea salt and Epsom salt?
    Thank you very much! And the hair looks very nice in the photos!

  53. Ashley says

    Do you have to use a glass bottle for this and for you other sea spray? Or would a regular plastic spray bottle work?

  54. Kassy says

    LOVE the spray! I just made it last night and tried it on my hair this morning. I have really fine, straight hair, so I sprayed, then scrunched, and then put it in a loose bun until I was on my in for work this morning. When I got to work my co-worker literally said, “Your hair looks great. It looks like beach waves!” Score!

  55. Deni says

    Wow! I have very fine hair that will not stay ‘up’ in an updo – no matter how ‘dirty’ it is!! Your spray has
    worked magic – my hair has body and ‘grip’ and even looks great when I take the pins out and it’s loose. The bun works great for waves – THANKYOU! THANKYOU!

  56. Amber says

    I have seen many recipes all over the web and such that call for aloe vera gel, which i have, but it goes pretty fast, and isnt very economical for me. Do you know if it is possible to substitute aloe vera juice (which i can buy by the gallon at my local grocery store) since you mix it into the recipes anyway? Does it have the same moisturizing effect?

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