Fact: If you have stick-straight, lifeless hair, chances are you’re always after the effortlessly, undone beachy waves of your dreams. It’s messy in the best way possible and almost effortless to achieve thanks to a few spritzes of wave spray. However, no two sprays are exactly alike, and not every single formula is successful in convincing stubbornly straight strands to activate their inner wavy texture. Fortunately, some sprays pass the test, and will leave your hair with the piecy, frizz-free, tangle-free waves you get when you’re fresh out of the water. The following five sprays are the closest you’ll get to an ocean in a bottle—no sand required.
1. Bumble and bumble Surf Spray
Before Bumble and bumble bottled up this spray, beach waves were only possible with a side of sand. There's a reason this classic formula is still popular years later: it actually works. It's gritty texture lends waves and movement even on limp strands. Infused with hydrating kelp extract and seaweed, spritzing on Surf Spray never leaves hair dry and crunchy. In other words: life's always a beach.
Bumble and Bumble | $27
2. Ouai Wave Spray
This spray makes hair look and smell better than the beach. Its rice protein-infused formula really has a Ouai (pun intended) with activating the natural waves you didn't know you had, and enhancing texture that's long-lasting and doesn't weigh hair down. Bonus points for the brand's addicting signature fragrance with Italian lemon, amber, and musk notes—we seriously can’t get enough.
Ouai | $26
3. Verb Sea Spray
Verb’s turquoise-tined spray may look like it’s literally bottled up sea water, but we doubt the actual stuff would have the same effect on our hair. Spritz this natural sea salt-packed spray on damp, towel-dried hair and put it up in a few sectioned-off buns until it’s air-dried for an easy boost of texture on flat strands. Even better: If you plan on actually hitting up the closest beach, it contains sunflower seed extract that shields hair against UV rays.
Verb | $14
4. Hairstory Undressed
If your hair’s natural texture always looks like you just had sleek blowout, you know that it takes a little more than a few spritzes of a wave spray to get any sort of movement happening in your strands. Stubbornly straight hair should try spraying on Hairstory’s Undressed which can be layered on without making hair feel heavy or leaving behind product residue. What sets this spray apart from the rest is that wavy texture instantly forms in just a few sprays and scrunches. While Undressed may sound like magic, Hairstory is actually Bumble and bumble founder Michael Gordon’s new hair venture, so we really shouldn’t have expected anything less from the creator of the original Surf Spray.
Hairstory | $38
5. L'Oréal Paris Advanced Hairstyle Txt It Tousle Waves Spray
For less than what it costs to make your way to an actual beach, L'Oréal Paris’ formula will give you the effortlessly wavy hair of your dreams minus the stickiness or crunch of other sea-salt sprays.
L'Oreal | $4