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The ultimate guide to beach waves from the bottle

There’s nothing like stepping out of the sea and feeling the salt-saturated water dry on your skin and strands as you stretch out on the sand *longing sigh*. While that reality feels further away than ever, it’s nothing a little wishful thinking and hair styling can’t emulate; that’s where this edit of our all-time favourite beach wave wonders comes in!

If your tresses are singing out for texture and definition – like the siren you are – then let us introduce you to the effortless styling solutions with waves of loyal fans. No need to shell out on a loose perm… chance would be a fine thing.

At the helm of this hair styling voyage is Captain Blankenship: the newly docked brand that’s bound to steer your strands towards ultra-swishy, windswept waves. Just one of the jewels in this brand’s booty, the {Mermaid Sea Salt Hair Spray} is the key to a perfectly tousled (but non-crispy!) texture and juuuuust the perfect amount of ‘grit’ to fake sea-soaked waves. Atlantic sea salt adds instant ‘oomph’ for a chic, tousled texture, while organic aloe vera helps to moisturise and cherish precious fibres so your hair feels soft and silky. The addition of Atlantic sea kelp extract – naturally rich in minerals to nourish hair and scalp – even helps to fortify and ward against split ends. All aboard!

Making a splash with its versatile and beautifully scented formula, Playa’s {Endless Summer Spray} differs from other texture sprays as it doesn’t utilise drying alcohol. Instead, this intelligent yet gentle formula is infused with pure cane sugar to enhance your natural kink and curls – that’s right, it’s suited to straight, wavy and curly hair types – without drying your lengths or creating that dreaded stiff and sticky texture. There’s also Southern Californian sea salt to help add texture and flexible hold throughout the day and marine collagen which effectively nourishes strands to give your hair volume and shine for natural beachy waves you were born with, just amplified.

Plain-speaking and ultra-chic, the Davines {This is a Sea Salt Spray} marries full-bodied texture with a matte finish. The perfect way to coax your hair into non-sticky, rippled waves, this lightweight styling mist achieves that effortlessly mussed, un-tide-y definition that comes with a day at the beach, all while minimising any electrostatic that threatens to put a damper on your style.

If you’ve tried one too many salt sprays to no avail, sail your way to flexible, loose crests with OUAI Haircare’s {Wave Spray}. Formulated with rice protein instead of traditional salt, this ultra-fine mist is the secret to loose, beachy waves without the signature ‘crunch’. With OUAI’s signature ‘Smart Technology’ – a cocktail of amino acids, tamarind seed, keratin, ama oil, hibiscus and jasmine – this tames as it tousles for beautiful bounce. Beyond granting gorgeous separation and flexible hold, it also perfumes your hair with its heavenly blend of Italian lemon, rose de mai, magnolia, lily, blackberry, cedarwood, amber, patchouli, sandalwood and white musk.

For more polished and sleek-looking waves, Oribe’s {Après Beach Wave and Shine Spray} is the ideal shortcut to tousled, touchable waves and sun-kissed shine – without the salty stiffness often associated with wave sprays (or a long, languid day at the beach… if only). With a bespoke ‘beach waves complex’ – featuring hydrolysed wheat protein, pro-vitamin B5 and amber extract – the spray ‘swells’ the hair shaft and creates, wavy, ‘piece-y’ texture while also providing light hold, so you’ll look like you’ve just stepped off the St. Tropez shore.


Bethan Robinson

Bethan Robinson

Senior Copywriter

Bethan is a Senior Copywriter at Cult Beauty. When she’s not trying to perfect the ultimate ‘no make up’ make up look — she swears by Saie — or find new skin care to fall for, she’s likely playing video games, making the most of her housemate’s MUBI account or strolling around Victoria Park with a pastry in hand.