Ever since I stopped straightening my curly hair about seven or eight years ago, I’ve spent an embarrassingly large amount of my time obsessing over frizz-defying creams, gels, and leave-in conditioners. Anyone who has curly hair knows that the fight against frizz is an absolute uphill battle. It seems to me that most products fix one of my problems, but cause seven others. A gel, for example, might make my curls super defined and frizz-free, but it will also make my hair look greasy and wet. Mousse might give me great volume, but along with that volume will come crunchy sticky curls. Nothing can make my hair as soft as a great leave-in conditioner, but nothing weighs my hair down like one too.
Every once in a while I’ll go through a product rebellion. I’ll eschew all outside influences in favor of hoping and praying that my hair, left to its own devices, will suddenly become the soft, shiny, frizz-free, and voluminous mane that I deserve. Sadly, it’s been proven to me, time and time again, that my hair simply cannot be trusted to play nicely by itself. I’ll then start looking for the next great thing in curly hair care, and the cycle continues.
So imagine my surprise when I discovered that the product that just might be the closest thing to perfect for me isn’t marketed toward curly-haired women at all. In fact, this stuff is traditionally used to give straight hair a bit of a beachy wave.
Lush’s Sea Spray ($12.95, 3.3 oz) recently arrived at my door nestled in among some other really awesome products from the vegetarian-approved, environmentally friendly skincare giant. Initially, I thought I’d gift the spray to my sister, who’s been making an effort to limit her use of blow dryers and straighteners on her naturally wavy hair. Now that I’ve tried (and fallen in love with) Sea Spray, I’m really, really happy that I didn’t give it away. (Sorry, Kait!)
At first, I decided to keep the bottle of Sea Spray around simply because I loved its scent. The spray is made of sea salt, seawater, and seaweed, and it features a blend of orange flowers, grapefruit, neroli, and rosewood oils. I figured I could use the product as a hair perfume on days when I just don’t feel like showering and leave it at that.
But then I took a trip to my hometown to visit my parents for a weekend, and–horror of horrors–I left my bag of leave-in conditioners and creams at my apartment in Toronto. Because I’d stuck the bottle of Sea Spray in my purse before heading out to catch the train, it was the only hair care product I had with me. Of course, I didn’t discover that I was missing a bag until I stepped out of the shower at my Dad’s and went to grab my hair care products from my suitcase. After a quick scan of my Dad’s bathroom cabinets–the contents of which totaled to Rub A535, Advil, some questionable-looking tubes of toothpaste, and shaving cream–I realized that my only option was to spritz on some Sea Spray and hope for the best.
As it would turn out, sometimes hoping for the best actually works, because my hair looked good that day. I spent the entire afternoon swimming–both in Lake Huron and in my friend’s pool–and I found that a few spritzes of the Sea Spray post-swim were all I needed for my hair to dry the way I wanted it to. My curls were defined, but not weighed down, and they had great texture and hold. The frizz was minimal, and my hair didn’t look greasy or wet. Oh, and it smelled amazing. I didn’t even feel the need to wear perfume (and I’m a don’t-leave-the-house-without-it kind of girl) because the scent of my hair was just that good.
Sea Spray is by no means a perfect product. It’s easy to go overboard with the spraying, and that will make your hair look greasy (I learned this the hard way: the next day, in my post-product discovery euphoria, I spritzed my hair like nine times and wound up looking like I’d taken a dip in a fry vat). Sea Spray can also be a little drying, and because my hair is pretty dry all on its own, that has been an issue for me. As long as I make sure to keep my spraying to a minimum–four or five spritzes are more than enough–and use a good deep conditioner, then I really have no complaints about Sea Spray.
So, are any other curly-haired girls out there using a sea salt spray on their hair? Have you ever tried a hair care product that wasn’t marked toward your hair type but wound up being a great fit for you? Let’s talk about hairy happy surprises in the comments, shall we?