beauty on a budget: make-it-yourself beach spray

As my hair gets longer and longer, I’m really into texture and wave and curl. It’s mostly because I’m lazy, and when faced with the decision of an hour of blow-out/flat iron vs. quick easy waves, the latter wins every time.

Until recently, beachy tousled waves eluded me. All the magazines say I need to drop about $30 on a little bottle of surf spray from a-famous-brand-that-shall-go-unnamed to get the look I want, and they’ve almost convinced me to make the splurge…


I hit The Internets to look for some kitchen beautician alternatives. My fellow bloggers never disappoint. There were several variations, but the basic recipe is super simple. You probably have all the ingredients right under your nose…


Search your bathroom cabinets and find a spray bottle with a fine mist {I used an old body spray bottle}. Clean it really well to remove any traces of its former inhabitant. Fill the bottle about 3/4 full with warm water, and add a couple healthy spoonfuls of sea salt. [Note: some bloggers suggest epsom salt, but I felt like this could leave a yucky film on your hair, and sea salt is probably as close as your going to get to er, the sea.]. Shake things up to dissolve the salt. Then fill the remaining space in the bottle with a water-based hair gel. Shake it again. Done and done

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Since mixing up my first batch last week, I’m a woman obsessed.

There are a couple of ways to use it. In the photo on the left, I washed my hair in the evening and towel-dried, then rubbed a nourishing oil into the ends — I love Shu Uemura Essence Absolue — and sprayed the beach spray generously throughout my damp tresses (avoiding the roots). I slept on it, woke up, and sprayed a little more through the ends. In the photo on the right, I did the same thing at night, but curled my hair with a large barreled curling iron and re-misted.

I haven’t tried the original, so I can’t give you an apples-to-apples comparison to the DIY version. But I will say that this is the closest thing I’ve found to spending a day at the beach to achieve easy surf hair. So it’s a win.

Cover photo: Summer lovin – Kris Atomic

About Keira Lennox

I'm a small town girl from the sunshine state with an affinity for bookstores, beauty counters and unfussy style. I spend my days running my flower shop, and my nights blogging about what I love and what I wear. (Or watching Netflix and drinking wine.)

27 thoughts on “beauty on a budget: make-it-yourself beach spray

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  2. I have naturally curly hair and will be trying this. I also wanted to let you know I love your name. I just had a baby girl and named her Keira.

    1. Cool! It was a pretty uncommon name when I was little, but now I see it more often. It helps when I can say, “you know, like, Keira Knightley?” ;-)

  3. Do you brush your hair out in the morning first then use the spray and scrunch your hair with your hands?

  4. This is a little late, but I’ve been using this DIY spray for a few months now and I LOVE it! I’ve had super straight hair all of my life. Now that I have layers, I just spritz this stuff in my hair after my morning shower and I have volume, texture AND waves.

    It’s a miracle!!

  5. I will have to try this, I have naturally wavy hair but would like something to put in my hair for a pick me up.. Also love the hat you’re wearing, where is it from?

  6. I have naturally curly hair but my sister will love this so I will send this post her way.
    I totally have that stripped Express cardigan. I love it but seldom ware it. Thanks for the reminder.

  7. This little gem is amazing for curly hair! My hair always looks best at the beach….. Today I was able to recreate the beach look in all of about 10 minutes (including the time it took me to make up the mixture).

    1. I buy all of my sunglasses from the drugstore! I’m not responsible enough for decent sunnies, because I toss them in my handbag, sit on them in the car, etc. Walgreens always has cute ones :)

  8. Have you tried a sock bun? I put one in at the top of my head before bed and sleep on it (it’s on the top of my head, so it doesn’t get in the way), take it down in the am, do a quick head shake, spray some hairspray and DONE!, curls/waves all day and no heat. I’ve just been spritzing my hair with water to make it slightly damp before rolling it into the bun, but your DYI surf spray would probably add more texture. Thanks for sharing! Oh, and here’s a link to the sock bun curls tutorial, in case you haven’t seen it :)

  9. wow, that looks great!
    Unfortunately, I’d never dare to use it on my hair, because my hair is very fine (do you say it in english with this word?), well I mean it’s not thick at all and so very sensitive and quickly damaged…
    xxx Anita

    1. I have very fine hair as well but just use a little bit of the spray on your hair and wash it out completely when you shampoo. Your hair should not get damaged at all.

What do you think?