Growing up, my hair always looked best after swimming in the Pacific or using the original John Frieda Beach Blonde sea spray. I’ve tried a ton of other sea salt sprays since then, none of them are as good. The smell is too strong or weird 99% of the time, they often don’t give quite the right effect, or are stupid expensive.
I tried the DIY version below and haven’t looked back.
In a 3oz spray bottle, combine 60g warm water and 8g Maldon salt. Shake until the salt is fully dissolved. Then add 5g squalane oil and 15g aloe vera gel, and shake again. Shake to combine before each use.
If you want to make a bigger bottle, combine 68% warm water, 9% sea salt, 6% oil, and 17% aloe vera. Different hair types may require more or less oil.
See notes below for alternative ingredients, but note that you may need to adjust the ratios if you use substitutions. For example hair gel will behave differently than aloe vera.
If you don’t have Maldon salt, you could use kosher or epsom salts. In fact, there’s a lot of epsom salt in the John Frieda version. I use Maldon since it is actually sea salt, and I already have it on hand for cooking.
If you don’t have squalane oil, you’ll have to find another lightweight oil with little-to-no smell. Don’t use coconut oil, it will clog the spray mechanism. Speaking from experience, don’t use olive oil unless you want to smell like a cheap garden salad. I use squalane since I already use it on my face.
If you don’t have aloe vera… maybe you could try some sort of lightweight hair gel? I’d use less though, and be wary of clogging the spray mechanism.
Also, note that not all aloe vera gels are the same. You want something with a high aloe vera content, and you have to check the ingredients list for that. Avoid products with alcohol, and anything that professes to be more than 99% aloe vera. It’s impossible for something to be 100% aloe vera unless you made it yourself from aloe leaves, any product you buy in a tube has to have other chemicals to make it shelf-stable.
For the smellies, sometimes I replace a bit of the water with orange flower water. Could also use a few drops of essential oil, though I haven’t done this yet. I’d love to get close to the original John Frieda eventually… Something like piña coladas and sunscreen.
Edit 7 April 2022: Changed recipe from original (60g warm water, 10g Malon salt, 15g squalane oil, 5g aloe vera gel), it previously didn’t have enough hold and was too oily+salty. Also added substitution suggestions.