Sea Salt Spray for Hair

UPDATE: This post originally ran on May 23 2012, almost exactly a year ago! We still love this easy home remedy so much, we can’t wait to use it again this summer!

I always think my hair looks best after a day at the beach, when the sea salt and sun combine to create loose, carefree waves that just don’t happen anywhere else.  Sure, you can buy products to re-create the look, but you can also learn how to make sea salt spray to get beachy, wavy hair any time, any place. I did a little research online and tested out a few combinations before settling on the homemade sea salt spray below – it works like a charm and it also smells just like the beach!

What you need: an empty spray bottle, sea salt, coconut oil, a tiny bit of gel, measuring cup and teaspoon.

I used Himalayan Sea Salt, which is finely ground and contains a high amount of natural minerals, Nutiva Coconut Oil, and a dab of standard hair gel.

Fill the spray bottle with 1 cup (8 oz.) of water – use lukewarm water to help dissolve the salt and coconut oil.

Add one teaspoon of sea salt to the water.

Add about a half a teaspoon of coconut oil. When researching, I saw many types of homemade sea salt spray using different types of oil, the purpose of which is to help keep your hair from drying out from the sea salt. I chose coconut oil because of all the nutrients it contains – and also because it smells amazing!

Add a dab of hair gel (I used the amount pictured in photo above) – this is just for hold, so the waves stay in your hair.

Put the top on the spray bottle and shake thoroughly.

Spray it on damp or dry hair and scrunch the hair up towards your head to create waves.

Here’s my hair before and after!

Photos by Julia.

Try your hand at more DIY projects!

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  1. I’ve been waiting for this recipe! I love salt spray, it really helps out my natural wave. I was wondering how you mix the coconut oil back in to the spray.. I made a flax seed hair gel once, with coconut oil, and the oil re-solidified at room temp the next day. The coconut oil is good for wave definition though.
    I make a salt spray with epsom salt, conditioner, and gel (natural organic brands) that enhanced my wave a lot, but I think I’ll try adding a little sea salt too, just to create a more beachy matte look :)

  2. This is a wonderful idea for summer; I’m making it tonight since I have all the ingredients on-hand. Thanks so much!

  3. Your hair is pretty in the before but looks much healthier and exotic in the after picture, almost like you’re a Grecian goddess. I also agree with Brielle, it looks like mermaid hair. I love the pictures you took and the tutorial was very helpful, I can’t wait to try this on my hair!

  4. Oh hair that’s gotten all lovely by the sun and sea is about the only thing I’ll miss now that I have dreads, it sure looks great and has such a nice feel to it.

  5. Yes! My hair is naturally wavy, but I would love to give the waves more definition. This is going on my to-do list. And I love coconut oil already, so that makes me even more excited to try this.

  6. grace – i have pretty thin hair and it holds for several hours! it depends how much you use, and what your hair is like, but should hold for a while. hope this helps!

  7. Does it feel like this damages your hair a lot? I know sea salt always makes my hair feel really dry, which I love because it gives it great texture, but if I’m in the ocean a lot it makes my ends split like crazy.

  8. I have coconut itself and I have coconut oil, and also I have only normal salt what I can do?

  9. elle – no, salt can definitely dry out your hair but the coconut oil helps moisturize so this mixture doesn’t damage my hair :)
    kerime and ash – you can keep it as long as you want! mine just ran out, so the bottle lasted about a month.
    dylan – yes you can use another type of oil like avocado oil or tea tree oil, i just chose coconut because i love the smell!

  10. I just used this, thanks for the guidence! I have really straight hair naturally so I did the method you stated but I diffused my hair (hairdryer) after to dry it. It worked really well!

  11. I tried it today, didn’t work. My hair isn’t curly and is separated into different pieces/sections.

  12. This did NOT work for my hair…i have very thin long-ish hair and it just didnt work…on to trying some different recipes!!

  13. Thanks for the great recipe. And to the few that say it didn’t work b/c it didn’t make their hair curly….that’s not what sea salt/beach spray does. It can’t create curls where there is none. It can enhance curls or waves where there is already that texture. But the main thing it does is separate, define or “chunk” hair. It creates “piece-y-ness”, just like you get at the beach. It’s a texturizer, not a curler, if that makes sense. You could, though, curl your hair and then spray this into it to get that chunky, piece-y-ness that is so trendy.

  14. Does the sea salt matter? Wanted to use black sea salt that I had, but didn’t know if it would change the mixture or not.

  15. can i use table salt instead of the sea salt? and my hair is curly but soft.. do you think it will work on it?! THANKS xo

  16. just made this yesterday [in my empty bumble to bumble surf spray bottle :) ]. i love it! the coconut oil smells amazing in my hair and it actually felt way softer than when i use store bought spray. so happy! thanks for posting!

  17. Made this up with a couple of drops of lavender. Instead of putting the coconut oil in the bottle because it solidifies when the water cools, I put a little on my hands and applied it after the spray like a hairdressing. Works like a charm and encourages my curls.

  18. I have a cream for hair with avocado oil and shea butter. And I would know if this cream could replace the coconut oil ?
    (Sorry if there are spelling mistakes, I am French).

  19. Don’t use straight tea tree oil – it can burn or irritate your skin. Jojoba oil may also work very well. I’ve used it in the past and it was wonderful, doesn’t solidify when cool, but also didn’t have that great coconut smell.

  20. This is great and it smells amazing, my only problem was that the hair gel I used wasn’t water soluble so I had this gross chunky gel in my spray.

  21. Thank you! This came up in conversation while getting my hair cut and styled. My new stylist is so cool she told me about this mixture and told me to make it instead of buy it! I am from Montana and now live in Colorado and never knew how great the ocean was for my hair till a trip to San Diego when my son graduated from MCRD and became a Marine. He took me to the beach and for the first time in my life, my hair was curly!!

  22. I love this so much!! I keep my hair in braids as it’s drying to give it a bit of an extra curve- but I would warn against drying out your hair too much, the salt takes the moisture away… So drink lost of water to keep your precious mermaid locks soft and healthy!!

  23. My hair is a bit more than wavy so do I just spray it on my hair in the morning and scrunch it or should I straighten my hair first? Also does it stay in the whole day or does the beach effect wear off? This looks like a great recipe xx

  24. My hair is a bit more than wavy so do I just spray it on my hair in the morning and scrunch it or should I straighten my hair first? Also does it stay in the whole day or does the beach effect wear off? This looks like a great recipe xx :)

  25. My hair type is silky black straight hair. how do I scrunch it so that it would look like yours? :)

  26. I made this today and it is great! My hair is so much more stylish now that I have pretty beach waves. Love it!

  27. I used conditioner in mine, because I didn’t have coconut oil. I was so bummed that I didn’t have any, but I had conditioner on hand, so it was all good! I just like how this makes my hair look when it’s seccond day hair. My hair is stick straight, and it’s nice to have some different textures going on, without using heat to achieve them.

    Thanks for this recipe! It livened up my simply shiny, straight locks!

  28. Super bummed that this didn’t work for my hair. I’m not sure why, but my hair just stays stick straight. :(

  29. Does the Nutiva coconut oil stay in a liquid form once it has been added to the mix? I see a lot of comments that the coconut oil solidifies once it reaches room temperature again. How did you keep reusing your bottle for one month?

  30. This is a great recipe and super cheap to make. If the coconut oil solidifies, it needs to get to 76 degrees to turn to liquid. Just run the bottle under some warm water.

  31. This is my favorite hair stuff ever! I made it a couple of months ago and use it all the time. Your hair always looks & smells amazing. My favorite way to use it is to pull my hair up into twists like in this blog post:
    Then to slightly dampen the twists with the sea salt spray & let dry
    Always a great look!!!

  32. I just made this earlier and was so excited because my hair is super straight and this was one of the first things to work for my hair! I look like a mermaid. I went back to look at the bottle and the coconut oil has solidified. What do you do to melt it back to liquid?

  33. I have thick, naturally wavy hair, and I spray this on after towel drying my hair. I blow dry my hair upside down on low heat. This majorly helps enhance my natural wave, and gives great matte salt look/texture. So happy to have gotten the ingredients at Trader Joe’s for a few dollars, rather than $15 for a salon product.

    Those of you who have had issues with the coconut oil separating, throw your bottle in the microwave for a few seconds, and then shake well. This will re-combine everything.

  34. I have fairly long, thick, soft, straight hair…i followed the directions exactly but once i spray it and scrunch my hair..nothing just makes my hair greasy and gross feeling..

  35. My new hair stylist used a sea salt product on my hair which got me googling. Since I had all these ingredients in the house I made a quick bottle. LOVE IT ! I just sprayed my short bob hairstyle and it gave instant texture as I scrunched and played with it. Great DIY affordable hair potion to add to my hair styling toolbox. Thanks for posting !

  36. just a few substitutions as i was out of coconut oil. i used argon oil instead, and used half rose water, and half water…. smells super good + works great!

  37. I love this recipe and think it looks great! i have naturally straight hair thats about medium/longish length and i found i need to add more salt and a tiny but of hairspray

  38. OMG this stuff really works! I have wavy/curly hair but my waves/curls are really clumped together. This spray separates them and makes my hair looks like I just went to the beach! Just a warning though, I tried this on my friends and it doesn’t work with dense, staring hair.

  39. OMG this stuff really works! I have wavy/curly hair but my waves/curls are really clumped together. This spray separates them and makes my hair looks like I just went to the beach! Just a warning though, I tried this on my friends and it doesn’t work with dense, straight hair.

  40. Do you need to use gel? I don’t have any on hand and wanted to know if it is neccesary. Thanks

  41. Hey. I was wondering how to keep the coconut oil from solidifying once the spray has cooled. I gunks up the sprayer and ends up in a huge mass floating in the top. Any tips? I really love the way it smells and feels but no matter how hot i make the water before I mix it it always does the same thing. HELP!

  42. Absolutely love this, nice and simple. A lot of others I’ve tried have such long lists of stuff and don’t work half as well. When I made this, rather than coconut oil which I didn’t have at the time, I used my Organix Moroccan Oil Conditioner. It makes it smell gorgeous and mixes in really well.

  43. The coconut oil will solidify. Haven’t you figured this out yet? Think about it.. when it is WARM it liquefies. All you have to do is run the bottle under warm water. I usually but hot or warm water in a glass or something big enough for the spray bottle, sometimes just the bathroom sink, and leave it there for a few minutes while I shower and Magic!! It is liquid again!

  44. Hi,

    Thanks for the tips!

    I was interested in making this, and I would like to know if this recipe needs a natural preservative in it for shelf life, especially if we’re using an essential oil in it. Can bacteria even survive in a salt based solution?


  45. Hey, I haven’t made this yet, but I was wondering if you could use liquid moosse instead of gel. I am also allergic to coconut, so could I use jojoba oil instead? Thanks! I really can’t wait to try this! Love, >i< amanda

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  47. If you want volume and texture without the crunchy and weighed down hair, use the Shielo Volume HairSpray. My hair still looks clean and healthy while still has all this fullness. It also has an amazing smell!

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  49. Will this damage your hair too much? Because I recently cut my hair after having bleached the ends and I’m not trying to damage it again because I want to grow it out but my hair is too puffy at times and I think this might help?

  50. I just have one question: WHY?

    Why on earth do women put sea salt on their hair, when the first thing they do after swimming at the beach is race for the shower to wash the sea salt out of their hair?

    I just don’t get it. It seems illogical. And in all honesty, I can’t see any difference to anyone’s hair when they use it.

  51. Thanks! Just made some. Gonna wash it tonight and spraycheryl it in and sleep with this overnight hair waving thing I just got to wrap around my head lol

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