When did salt sprays get so good?! (I may never use my curling iron again…)

Um when did salt sprays get so AMAZING?!

While I know a thing or two about skincare and makeup, when it comes to hair I’ve only recently (this past year) realized investing in good haircare makes a huge difference. This is partially due to the fact that I was all consumed for so long with skincare and the fact that my hair was (emphasis on ‘was’ pretty low maintenance.

For decades, my hair was relatively low maintenance: long, straight, air dried well and looked O.K. with an uncomplicated, cheap haircut. I paid little heed to it and cared for it with the same ill regard. This meant Pert Plus shampoo as a teen (I’m pretty sure most rug cleaners share the same ingredient list *shudders*), Costco shampoo and conditioner as an adult, and the occasional trip to Chinatown (when I lived in Manhattan) and Korea town (when I moved to LA) for a $30 haircut were my hair care methods of choice.

But thanks to good ole’ aging, a year or so ago my scalp became sensitized to products (probably due to years of exposing it to harsh surfactants); my hair started to thin and fall out; and dandruff, irritation and itchiness abounded. I was a woman desperate to regain the head of hair I took for granted for so long, and began learning about how to take care of my scalp/hair with the same care, diligence and love I had been lavishing upon my skin. I dove head first into the world of haircare testing this and that, and while it’s been a year-long journey, but my hair is now thicker, stronger, healthier than it has been ever, and I’ve realized along the way that 1) good products make a HUGE difference, 2) an expert cut haircut relieves the time it takes to style it since it falls perfectly air dried (thank you Kristen Shaw for the best.haircut.of.my.life.) and 3) hair styling products these days are H*&$# F-ing SO GOOD!

Point and case: Salt Sprays.

Honestly now, when did salt sprays get so amazing?!?! That was my first thought when I tried Playa’s salt spray a few months ago. My second thought: I may never use my curling iron ever again. I remember years ago salt sprays made hair crunchy, frizzy and unmanageable, but now, these new salt sprays are able to create texture, volume, and lift on air dried hair and have become my latest product addiction.

I recently tested out three nontoxic salt sprays: LA celebrity stylist Garrett Markenson’s Reverie MARE, newly launched Playa’s Endless Summer Salt Spray, and Rahua’s Enchanted Island Salt Spray (also the makers of my favorite shampoo). I have found myself smitten with them all for various reasons. Read on for which one is best for your hair styling habits and lifestyle.

Product: Reverie MARE Mediterranean Sea Mist 

Best for: Date night, girls’ night out and anywhere else where you want sexy volume and texture that’s still soft enough for you to run your fingers through your hair.

Texture: Boho chic, messy texture, slightly piece-y at ends

Mist: Sprays a light, fine mist; lightest of the three

Why you’ll love it: If you only use texturizing products for special occasions like when you go out and want sexy oomph, I recommend you try this salt spray. The end results kind of remind me of that messy, boho, chic, hair look Rachel Zoe made famous in the early aughts. You’ll achieve voluminous, tousled hair that will last through drinks and dancing.

Longevity: I noticed the texture/curls softened after 3-4 hours, but I could scrunch it up a little and regain a little of the lost volume and texture.

Tip: Twist dry hair into a low bun while you do your makeup, then release and mist with salt spray to enhance hair body. No curling iron needed!

Scent: Sweet apple, hint of spice; slight alcohol scent is noticeable upon spraying, but quickly dissipates

Ingredients: Water, Sea Salt/Sodium Chloride/Maris Sal (Mediterranean Salt), Alcohol Denatured*, Oryza Sativa (Rice) Seed Extract*, Spirulina Platensis (Algae) Extract*, Pyrus Malus (Apple) Fruit Extract, Glycerin, Quercus Rubra (Amaretto) Flavor, Citrus Madurensis Fruit Juice, Water, Polyglycerin-3, Decylglucoside, Polyglyceryl-4 Caprate, Citrus Bergamia (Bergamot) Peel Oil*, Vanilla Planifolia (Bourbon Vanilla) Bean Oil*, Santalum Spicatum (Sandalwood) Wood Oil, Prunus Amygdalus (Almond) Flavor, Piper Nigrum (Black Pepper) Fruit Oil, Citrus Medica Limonum (Lemon) Peel Oil*, Phenethyl Alcohol, Caprylyl/Capryl Glycosides, Sodium Cocoyl, Glutamate, Polyglyceryl-10 Myristate, Glyceryl, Caprylate, Citric Acid. *Certified Organic.

Price: $34, 5oz – dermstore.com – (get 25% Off with code Happy18 until 8/12/17)

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salt spray

Product: Playa Endless Summer

Best for: Soft, sophisticated volume and texture that is office appropriate. And I recommend keeping one of these at your desk for an afternoon or before HH pick-me-up; the scent is subtle and pleasant, so your office mates won’t mind.

Texture: Soft waves, subtle texture, pliable

Mist: Slightly wetter mist than the Reverie MARE, but still a light mist

Why you’ll love it: This mist creates beautiful soft volume and texture that is voluminous, but not sex kitten like the Reverie MARE; the look is more subtle, refined and less dramatic. I recommend this salt spray as a great option for someone who wants to use it for daily styling to achieve the “I tried, but I didn’t” everyday look.

Longevity: After 1-2 hours texture and lift will soften, but it’s so light you can mist again later in the day for a pick me up.

Tip: Spray damp roots and then blow dry for added lift and volume.

Scent: Coconut, beach-y, fresh, slightly sweet

Ingredients: Aqua, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Pacific Sea Salt, Betaine (Sugar Beet), Playa Marine Collagen Complex (Soluble Collagen, Spirulina Maxima Extract, Digitata (Icelandic Sea Kelp) Extract, Kappaphycus Alvarezii (Hawaiian Red Algae) Extract, Sea Water Extract), Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Water, Caprylyl/Capryl Glucoside (Coconut Derived), Cinnamidopropyltrimonium Chloride (Plant Derived), Gardenia Tahitensis (Tiare) Flower Extract, Linum Usitatissimum (Linseed) Seed Extract, Salvia Hispanica (Chia) Seed Extract, *Trisodium Ethylenediamine Disuccinate, Sucrose (Sugar), Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E), Panthenol (Vitamin B5), *Propanediol, Glycerin, Citric Acid, Hydrolyzed Adansonia Digitata (Baobab) Seed Extract, Illicium Verum (Star Anise) Extract, Manuka Honey Extract, Lonicera Caprifolium (Honeysuckle) Flower Extract, Lonicera Japanica (Honeysuckle) Flower Fragrance Extract, Fragrance. *Ingredients are naturally occuring or plant-derived

Price: $26, 3.65oz – violetgrey.com



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Product: Rahua Enchanted Island Salt Spray

Best for: When you need a long lasting hair style at the beach, out sightseeing, or at a hot and humid BBQ, and won’t mind not being able to run your hands through your hair.

Texture: Piece-y texture, mega volume, slightly stiff

Mist: More concentrated, wetter mist than the other two

Why you’ll love it: This salt spray has a slight wet application, creates a little bit of a stiff texture to hair, but with it you can achieve big volume texture that won’t limp in humid weather. I think this one is great for vacations, hot summer outdoor activities, and those who like to set their hair and not worry about it all day long (and don’t mind a little crunch.)

Longevity: Because the Rahua has the wettest mist and creates the stiffest texture, it lasts the longest. And the buildable volume and lift with each round of misting is intense. While the lift at my roots softened after 1-2 hours, the texture, body and volume from mid-shaft to ends lasted all day!

Tip: Spray underneath the hair for lift and overall volume, and spray on top of hair for a volumized piece-y look.

Scent: Mildly sweet, tropical

Ingredients: Water, Sodium Chloride (Sea salt), Glycerin, Sorbitan Oleate Decylglucoside Crosspolymer, Aloe Barbadensis (Aloe Vera) Leaf Juice*, Psidium Guajava (Guayaba) Fruit Juice, Caprylyl Glycol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Passiflora Incarnata (Passion) Fruit Extract, Phenethyl Alcohol, Caprylyl/Capryl Glycosides, Sodium Cocoyl Glutamate, Hibiscus Sabdariffa (Hibiscus) Flower Extract, Polyglyceryl-5 Oleate, Glyceryl Caprylate, Citric Acid, Alcohol (SDA 38B Lavender Oil) Lavandula Angustifolia, Eclipta Prostrata Extract (King of hair), Melia Azadirachta Leaf Extract, Moringa Pterygosperma Seed Oil. *Denotes Certified Organic

Price: $32, 4.2oz – netaporter.com


Written & Photographed by Amy Chang, founder + editor