Bottle It Up. DIY Sea Spray

The best stuff in life is free.
Like sunshine, blue skies and THE OCEAN…if you have access to it, that is.
Which I don’t.
And I know it’s only January but I’m already Jonesing for spring.

So, to scratch the itch, I decided to go with beach hair.

Problem was I needed sea spray to get the really beachy look and texture.
I was fresh out.
And it is far from free. (the kind I had cost me 20 bucks for a tiny bottle)

So with much hesitation and skepticism I took on the task of making my own, with stuff I already had around the house.
You know, free stuff.

BELIEVE me when I tell you, this is BY FAR the best sea spray I have ever used, EVER.
I credit part of that being to the fact that it was so cheap to make. I felt like I could spray with reckless abandon and use as much as I wanted (which turned out to be a key to getting the look just right.)

1 Cup WARM water
3 Tablespoons Sea Salt
1 Tablespoon Gel or Spray Gel
1/2 Tablespoon Conditioner (or leave-in)
A couple spritzes of your favorite perfume

Mix Warm water and salt first and shake well.
Add the rest of the ingredients.
Spray your hair generously and scrunch.
(In this photo my hair was already a  little wavy before I began)

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  • Reply
    January 29, 2012 at 6:03 am

    Looks fantastic! Can’t believe you were able to come up with all of those ingredients and make something so awesome!! Did you start out with dry or damp hair? Thank you for sharing!!

    • Reply
      January 29, 2012 at 9:16 pm

      Thanks Anna! I started with dry hair, I got it pretty damp with the spray and scrunched until it was dry, the salt sped that up a lot.

      • Reply
        January 31, 2012 at 6:23 am

        Than you!!!

      • Reply
        April 5, 2012 at 5:07 am

        Why not just get Paul Mitchell sea spray?

        • Reply
          June 6, 2012 at 11:39 pm

          Why do that when this is SOO much cheaper!

  • Reply
    January 29, 2012 at 6:38 am

    Very clever!!

  • Reply
    January 29, 2012 at 2:47 pm

    Can’t wait to try this!

  • Reply
    Nicole Hoover
    January 29, 2012 at 6:55 pm

    Can’t wait to try this!!! I love the beach look and your hair is always so beautiful!!!

  • Reply
    Projectville Rose
    January 29, 2012 at 11:40 pm

    Oh, man! This is great! I’ll have to try this one out. I might even post it on my blog if that’s cool. I’ll credit you and your hair-genius, of course. 🙂

    • Reply
      January 29, 2012 at 11:48 pm

      absolutely post it! I hope you love it as much as I do!

  • Reply
    January 31, 2012 at 2:26 am

    So is your hair stick straight?? I love this look also but my hair is stick straight and does not really look right when I try too accomplish this style. I have not tried this recipe yet though. Thanks for sharing!

  • Reply
    January 31, 2012 at 3:30 am

    is this better to use when your hair is dry or damp? I’ve read both but i guess it just makes sense to me to do it damp? otherwise i feel like id be adding to the frizz thats already accumulated in my head hahahaha

  • Reply
    January 31, 2012 at 5:48 am

    So smart. I am totally trying this, and could not agree with you more on SPRING! Come one already, right? 🙂

    Told 3 people today (2 makeup artists) about your website! I love it. Gotta spread the word!

    Thanks again!!!!!!!

  • Reply
    January 31, 2012 at 3:34 pm

    Did you have to you sea salt?

    • Reply
      January 31, 2012 at 7:37 pm

      I doubt it, but I have never tried it with the regular stuff!

      • Reply
        April 4, 2012 at 11:21 pm

        I wouldn’t use regular salt, it doesn’t work as well and the salt shows up when your hair dries…glad I figured that out!

  • Reply
    January 31, 2012 at 10:38 pm

    I LOVE this! Thank you! I have naturally curly hair that I have such a hard time with but love anyway. Love-hate relationship, I suppose! LOL My fiance and I had gone to Rocky Point, Mexico several years ago and my hair was SO FANTASTIC there and I have always wondered how I could get that back, knowing it was from the sea salt air but I live in arid Arizona. I do have a question: What kind of gel do you use? Will it work if I use gel that’s for curly hair or should I use regular gel? And, as with a previous question from another poster, considering my curly hair and it’s propensity to frizz, I use products before my hair dries. Would damp hair get the same result? Thank you again for this! 🙂

  • Reply
    February 1, 2012 at 6:25 pm

    Have you noticed it drying your hair out? I love the look and how easy it is, but I’m hoping it wont do more drying then this winter already has!!

  • Reply
    February 2, 2012 at 8:07 am

    So, I tried this yesterday and it turned out fantastic!!! Thank you so much for this!!! I am so happy and can’t wait to show my fiance!!! <3

    • Reply
      February 21, 2012 at 9:14 pm

      Cheri, I also have curly hair but would be afraid of the kind of curl this will produce. How did it turn out for you? Voluminous? frizzy? Thanks!!

      • Reply
        March 1, 2012 at 2:06 am

        It had both more volume and brought out my curls even better than just mousse made for defining, springy curls does! I will say, I have used it on my dry hair and it created a wee bit more frizz on the top layer. But, when I use it on my damp hair, it turns out fantastic and no frizz. Here’s what I use: bottled spring water, Morton’s sea salt, Garnier Fructis Style Curl Shaping Spray Gel, and Aussie Hair Insurance Leave-In Conditioner (because I love Aussie and use their shampoo & conditioner, but also because it has a wonderful coconutty smell I think is awesome for ‘beach hair’!). I use this after every time that I shower now and have gotten so many compliments! Hope this helps, Cathy! And, THANK YOU again, Caralynee! 🙂

  • Reply
    February 4, 2012 at 1:51 am

    Your hair is absolutely gorgeous!! I am so jealous! Haha but I do have a question about the spray. Does the water have to be warm everytime you use it? Or can you use it and then continue to use it until its empty no matter if its warm or cool? Thanks so much! This is a fantastic idea!

    • Reply
      February 4, 2012 at 2:16 am

      I have used it since without warming it up or anything. so long as you shake it REALLY good! Thanks Bethany!

  • Reply
    Pam O.
    February 5, 2012 at 4:12 am

    I tried this today! I liked it enough except it left my hair a little stiff and crunchy. I put up some pictures of my before and after on my tumblr. Check it out!
    I think it’s cute for a really casual day. Thanks:)

  • Reply
    February 8, 2012 at 12:25 am

    Really excited about this one Cara!

  • Reply
    Lauren Thomas
    February 8, 2012 at 2:04 pm

    You are the best!! i have been looking for a good salt spray recipe forever! i have a natural wave to my hair, but i can NEVER make it look like it does at the beach. And this works! thank you thank you thank you!

  • Reply
    February 8, 2012 at 11:14 pm

    I was a blonde for years until a root touch up-gone terribly wrong left me back to my natural dark brunette. I have been so depressed about it and determined to get back to blonde before my wedding but, seeing how beautiful you look with that color has definitely changed my mind! Thanks for all the great videos! I’m so excited to try them out!!

  • Reply
    February 9, 2012 at 9:19 pm

    I just tried this, I love it! *Note* if you have curl products in your hair from the day before, like curling mousse, hairspray, what not, when you spray the “beach” mixture into your hair, your hair looks even more sexy and vamped up, I feel like a bay watch chick haha

  • Reply
    February 9, 2012 at 10:56 pm

    What kind of sea salt are you using for your beach in a bottle?

    • Reply
      February 11, 2012 at 4:05 am

      I was just using Kirkland Signature from Costco

  • Reply
    February 15, 2012 at 7:52 pm

    I LOVE this!! I also used to buy some sort of “beach hair” spray and can’t find it anywhere anymore… and this does the exact same thing for so much less!!! So exciting 🙂 Thanks for sharing with us

  • Reply
    February 18, 2012 at 8:06 pm

    Try adding a tablespoon or so of fresh squeezed citrus (lemon, lime, orange or a combination!) juice either in addition to, or a replacement for the gel. The sugars in it will hold your hair in place just as well and it smells amazing!

    • Reply
      February 18, 2012 at 9:52 pm

      love this idea!

  • Reply
    February 18, 2012 at 11:08 pm

    Yes, who thought that you could achieve beachy waves that occur because of saltwater with saltwater. Amazing, really.

  • Reply
    February 19, 2012 at 9:35 pm

    I was wondering…what do you mean by Gel or Spray Gel??

  • Reply
    February 20, 2012 at 5:38 am

    Is that your natural hair color? If it’s dyed could you tell me what color it is? I really like it and would like to see if I can achieve it 😉

  • Reply
    February 20, 2012 at 8:39 pm

    Great idea! Just wondering, if you use this spray often, is there a chance that it could dry/damage you hair?

  • Reply
    February 21, 2012 at 12:31 am

    Hey! I can’t wait to try this. One question though… Does the sea salt need to dissolve into the water? Like, should you boil the salt into the water? Or just put into hot water & shake it up?


    • Reply
      February 21, 2012 at 4:44 pm

      Hot and shake it! You just don’t want big salt chunks because they will clog your sprayer

  • Reply
    February 22, 2012 at 12:38 am

    Word to the wise…don’t overdo it with the salt spray. I work in a salt water pool and it can really dry out your hair.

  • Reply
    February 23, 2012 at 12:25 am

    I paid $17 for Redkens sea spray … I love the stuff but won’t buy it often because I don’t wanna fork out that much for something I necessarily need. I tried this yesterday and I am very happy with the results!! I’m going to tweak it here and there by playing with some different scents rather than using my regular perfume.
    I am very appreciative for this post thanks oh so much!

  • Reply
    Julie Dunham
    February 23, 2012 at 2:45 pm

    This is so great! I cannot wait to try it!!!! Thank you so much for sharing- I would like to share but credit you also!

  • Reply
    February 24, 2012 at 6:24 am

    I tried this recipe and I really like it!
    I used DevaCurl ‘AnGEL’, for the gel, and I used DevaCurl ‘Set It Free’ for the leave in conditioner.
    I have naturally curly hair and these were my results:

    Love it!

  • Reply
    February 25, 2012 at 6:18 am

    I love your idea and my hair looks great! but, can I use it everyday without drying out my hair? thanks 🙂 I love your blog!

    • Reply
      February 26, 2012 at 7:04 pm

      I would say no to using it daily. Anything that has salt in it is going to be a little drying for daily use:)

  • Reply
    Abbey Strine
    February 28, 2012 at 1:46 pm

    Great idea! Can’t wait to give this idea a shot. I love being able to make something at home rather then paying so much more for it at the store. Thanks so much!

  • Reply
    Donne Brescia
    February 29, 2012 at 2:02 pm

    It’s a great idea…I think I’ll try it!

  • Reply
    Hockey Wife (@HockeyWife_22)
    March 3, 2012 at 5:17 pm

    WOW! Your hair looks great here! I’ll have to give this DIY spray when we get back to the States in April!

    What color is your hair? Box / Salon?

    • Reply
      March 6, 2012 at 6:40 pm

      Thank you!! It is Garneir Fructise in Soft Black

  • Reply
    March 4, 2012 at 3:58 pm

    Do you think this would work for shorter hair? mines about shoulder length.

    • Reply
      March 6, 2012 at 6:38 pm

      Absolutely! Give it a try! The beach look will work for shoulder length great!

  • Reply
    March 5, 2012 at 2:29 pm

    I live near the beach but I’m def going to make your spray. P’s. Real beach hair doesnt look this good…takes days to get all the sand out, not to mention all of the tangles 🙂

  • Reply
    March 5, 2012 at 4:25 pm

    i really want to try this, but my hair is pretty thin and stick straight. would this add volume to my hair or make it too heavy and fall flat? any thoughts?

    • Reply
      March 6, 2012 at 6:36 pm

      You might need to curl it a bit too, but I don’t think it weighs down your hair at all, it does the opposite.

  • Reply
    Taylor Lange
    March 7, 2012 at 1:51 am

    Is the sea salt at all bad for your hair? Does it damage it at all? Because my hair is to fried and I need alternative options opposed to straightening my hair, thanks!

    • Reply
      March 18, 2012 at 12:45 am

      Sea salt can dry out your hair, and i wouldn’t put perfume in my hair like in the picture because the alchohol in most perfumes can dry out hair a ton!

  • Reply
    REI fern
    March 7, 2012 at 3:02 am

    Thanks for sharing the tip! 🙂

  • Reply
    March 7, 2012 at 7:24 am

    Wow, you hair looks beautiful! Thanks for sharing this recipe. I’m going to try it on my hair this weekend.

  • Reply
    March 7, 2012 at 10:50 pm

    Great idea!! You can also use water, salt and olive oil. The best thing i’ve found was to use water and salt. The olive oil made my hair greasy! Will have to try this recipe:)

  • Reply
    Sarah Ann
    March 13, 2012 at 12:29 am

    Thank you so much for this article! I have been searching for a salt spray product forever to no avail. I sprayed this liberally into my roots & ends and as I scrunched my hair it literally grew in volume before my eyes. I’m pretty sure this concoction is magic. I have a braided bun on top of my head while it dries.. can’t wait to see the finished product! 🙂

  • Reply
    March 17, 2012 at 2:29 am

    My hair tastes salty..

    I love it.

  • Reply
    March 20, 2012 at 4:18 am

    I couldn’t wait and had to try this the minute I found it! I need a different spray bottle, because I used an old product bottle. However, I had pulled my naturally curly hair back wet this morning, sprayed some of this on 12 hours later, and the result is fantastic! I cant wait to try it tomorrow! Thank you SO much for sharing, this is fabulous! I have tried to get the ‘beachy’ look for months with no success, until TONIGHT! Thank you!

  • Reply
    March 20, 2012 at 6:02 am

    Looks great, I would like to have my girlfriend try it.

  • Reply
    March 26, 2012 at 12:16 am

    Do i have to use a spray bottle? I can’t find one!

    • Reply
      March 28, 2012 at 2:22 am

      I don’t know how else to get it on evenly? you got any old hairspray bottles you could wash out?

    • Reply
      June 8, 2012 at 6:19 pm

      Marissa, you can find a spray bottle at Walmart in the travel section of the Health & Beauty aids…I know this cos I used to work in that dept. ;o)

  • Reply
    March 26, 2012 at 11:35 pm

    Hi! I love it that you did this…my favorite was John’s Frieda’s Beach Blond Surf Spray, and for some unknown reason…it was discontinued.

    Do you find that your spray will last awhile before it goes creepy/moldy in the spray bottle? I made one once with olive oil, and I think because of the oil, the liquid in the bottle got kind of funky after while…

    Thank you!

    • Reply
      March 28, 2012 at 2:08 am

      It’s been a month or so am mine still is lasting, I do have to shake it before each use though. 🙂

  • Reply
    March 28, 2012 at 2:25 am

    Philosophy “Falling in Love”

  • Reply
    April 4, 2012 at 2:56 pm

    What lipstick are you wearing in the picture?

  • Reply
    July 2, 2012 at 4:58 pm

    Do you think I could also do this with just regular kitchen salt, or does it have to be sea salt? Ofcourse, it’s sea-spray, but then I’d have to go shopping to get me some and I’m kind of a lazy person 😀 Anyway, thanks a lot!

    • Reply
      July 2, 2012 at 9:14 pm

      I am sure it would, pretty much the same thing right?

      • Reply
        April 23, 2014 at 8:19 am

        Hi Cara! Your shirt is so pretty! Where’s it from? (:

  • Reply
    Emma M
    July 3, 2012 at 5:03 pm

    For everyone concerned about the spray drying your hair out, try adding 1 tbsp of coconut oil to the mix, makes hair super soft, shiny and moisturized and smells amazing 🙂

    • Reply
      July 3, 2012 at 9:34 pm

      GREAT Idea! Thanks!

    • Reply
      Hearing Aids Colorado
      July 6, 2012 at 8:02 pm

      Coconut is so amazing! Smells incredible! I love beach hair, I’ll have to give this a try!

      • Reply
        August 5, 2012 at 4:23 pm

        Where do you get coconut oil?

  • Reply
    July 8, 2012 at 2:28 pm

    This is such a cute idea! One question though, what happens when the water cools down? Does it not work as well? Do you need to shake it up or put it in the microwave? Thanks! (Going to try it right now…)

  • Reply
    Rachel - Momma on Fire
    July 23, 2012 at 11:50 pm

    This is such a great idea! Totally trying this. Question – is your hair naturally wavy or is your hair straight? I have stick straight hair so would like to know before I go mixing up ingredients!

  • Reply
    July 27, 2012 at 11:51 pm

    Hi! I’ve been using your recipe for beach spray for awhile now. I have curlywavy hair and I use this as a next day curl refresher because it doesn’t make my hair as crunchy as when I use full strength curl spray gel. Oh, and I use kosher salt ;)Thank you so much!

  • Reply
    August 5, 2012 at 4:24 pm

    Where do you buy coconut oil?

  • Reply
    Rishabh Jain
    August 7, 2012 at 9:26 pm

    You already look too beautiful but with this dazzled up hair you have completed the last incomplete part of your beauty.

  • Reply
    September 3, 2012 at 3:49 am

    You shouldn’t use perfume because the alcohol can seriously dry out your hair. They sell perfume just for your hair, but you might as well just buy the beachy wave spray because it doesn’t cost much more.

  • Reply
    Megs Gelfgot
    September 5, 2012 at 4:45 pm

    Love DIY with a beach twist! Did it make your hair crunchy at all?

  • Reply
    September 9, 2012 at 12:22 am

    I was totally skeptical that this would work because I have tried using a lot of different scrunching sprays for curls that have just left half of my hair flat while the other half is curly and frizzy and none of them have worked. But I decided to try this one because I already had everything. It worked so well!!!!! Right away I had curls!!! It was crazy. I was so impressed. Thanks for saving me money and time!!

  • Reply
    October 16, 2012 at 9:27 am

    I have shoulder length fine straight hair. Will this give it the volume and wavy look? I will try this tomorrow. Looks great!

  • Reply
    October 20, 2012 at 10:19 pm

    Love this idea! I am gonna try it tonight with coconut oil. Fyi: you can buy a good sized tub at Walmart for about $6 in the baking and cooking oils aisle. 🙂

  • Reply
    November 29, 2012 at 7:08 pm

    I just made some & I love it! It did make my fine hair a but stiff so I diluted it a little more.

  • Reply
    January 6, 2013 at 9:51 am

    I know I’m coming to this conversation a little late but I only just found this blog through pinterest (what did we ever do before pinterest?) I just made this and used it on my dry, 3 day old twirl curl hair (thanks for the tutorial Cara). I used REAL Sea Salt, Coconut Oil, Tresemme Spray Gel for curls, and my Giovanni Tea Tree all natural leave in conditioner. I sprayed a bit of dry shampoo at my roots since my hair is going on 4 days unwashed and applied it until my hair was just damp, scrunched and let dry a bit. Then I used an anti frizz spray made for curls and let everything dry and sprayed with a bit of flexible hold hair spray. Overall, I like the look and texture it gave my dirty hair. It looks really pretty, but my hands are so dry from just handling it, I can only imagine what it is doing to my hair. I won’t use this spray regularly, but it is cute and fun for every so often, which is I’m sure what Cara intended for its use to begin with.

    Also, I just wanted to mention that coconut oil is a great choice for hair but it is solid at room temperature so if you choose to add it to your homemade spray you will need to warm it up a little bit and shake it really well before each use.

  • Reply
    March 9, 2013 at 6:27 am

    Woman you are genius! I made this and tried it out love it!!!! I just read through the comments and think I’ll try adding the cooconut oil 🙂 I just love you!!

  • Reply
    Gretchen Joy
    April 29, 2013 at 9:09 am

    This is AMAZING! I am loving it, and loving that it smells like “my smell” and not whatever the brand decided to put in it. So good!

  • Reply
    May 31, 2013 at 11:11 am

    What if you cant get sea salt :/

  • Reply
    August 1, 2013 at 5:22 pm

    This is hands down the most amazing sea salt spray I have EVER tried. I was expecting the beach look effect, but not WITHOUT using a blowdryer?? I cannot believe it, my silky smooth, fine, flat, scandinacian hair became fullbodied and REAL beachy in just a matter of a few spritzes!! I actually used WEN lavender in my spray, and I discovered that I needed to mix WEN with water before I added my hubby’s hairgel and the seasalt. I used a proteinshaker, and it became quite foamy, but that didn’t matter as to the end result.

    Thank you SO much for this gret tip, I will repin this to my pinterest board and share on facebook!

    Best regards,
    all the way from Norway

  • Reply
    August 25, 2013 at 3:24 am

    So I have one question; how many dl is one cup? I live in Finland and we use desiliters, and some people say that 1cup=1,5dl, others say that 1cup is about 2,5dl. So how much water should I use?

    And by the way I loooveee your blog!

  • Reply
    November 4, 2013 at 1:43 pm

    I love that Philosophy perfume too! I wonder how this would work on my fine, half-straight half-wavy hair…

  • Reply
    November 10, 2013 at 8:11 pm

    Though I seriously doubt a few sprites of perfume in the whole bottle will dry out your hair, you could always use a few drops of essential oil instead. I used lavender because I love the smell, but any should work.

  • Reply
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    September 5, 2018 at 8:11 pm

    I am looking for such things for a long time.

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