I enlisted the help of Ciara's and Camila Alves's go-to pros to wear my hair in its natural texture for the first time in years.
I am addicted to beach hair. I used to purchase every beachy-waves formula on the market, when I had a disposable beauty income. Now, I’m a product hacker, reduced to rummaging around the kitchen, trying a different concoction every week until I forget what is in it.
As you may recall, I am still mourning the loss of my green crack, John Frieda Beach Blonde Ocean Waves spray. It was always about six bucks--affordable, reliable, smelling good, the full monty. All I can tell you is that, despite our best efforts, it is never coming back.
I went over the ingredients many times; I looked each and every single one up; I pored over what I could put together that you could easily make at home.
Though there are some extra-special and extra-lovely ingredients in the version I’ll be making, you can substitute an oil of similar constitution of your choosing. It’s best to use oils that are liquid at room temperature here, since you will be shaking up this oily salt water mixture like a hair vinaigrette.
Here’s the gist of why JFBBOWSSTS (John Frieda Beach Blonde Ocean Waves Sea Salt Texturizing Styler) which will henceforth be referred to as Ocean Waves, was so damned awesome: it uses silicones as a delivery system to coat the hair with natural oils while using algae and salt-laced water to boost curl. It combines the effect of the assumed product in your hair before going in the ocean, the oils you should be using at the beach to condition while you are in the sun, as well as protect from the drying ocean salt. When this trifecta meets your hair, dreamy curls are usually the result. Even those with straighter hair will see a lot more texture after a few consecutive days of "beach" styling.
To do this at home without ordering $800 tubs of semi-viscous silicones is not quite as difficult as I thought. The hardest ingredient to find was meadowfoam seed oil, and I am VERY happy to have it on hand.
Another ingredient category that almost stumped me was preservatives. DMDM hydantoin? Whaaaaa? Butylcarbamate? There are MANY ingredients I can’t pronounce in here, and I’m not going to be purchasing any of those any time soon. I’m pretty sad that there is a formaldehyde preservative in the original precious, because that is one of my biggest eczema triggers. I suppose I will roll the dice once in awhile, but I really want to avoid things like that, or at least in large amounts.
I remembered one of my favorite product cocktail strategies back before I knew my coconut milk salt spray attempt would be an epic fail: add a small amount of an existing product into the mix. I often did this with some hair gel in a salt spray formula, but it didn’t occur to me that I was adding preservatives to the mix as well, albeit in a small amount (since I have previously explained to you that it is really best to make small amounts of DIY products for optimal freshness and to get better and faster at making them). So here’s the wildcard: I’m getting the silicones and preservatives, as well as a little bit of coconut oil from Organix Nourishing Coconut Milk Anti-Breakage Serum. This also helps with the coconut smell that I’m so obsessed with.
The oils used in the original Ocean Waves formula were chosen for a reason. Meadowfoam seed oil is quickly becoming much more widely used; it is a very stable oil, great for DIY use because it actually extends the shelf life of the products it is used in. Jojoba oil is also a great hair and skin oil, as it is one of the closest dupes to actual human sebum. Though none of this will dissolve in the mineral water, it will disperse evenly when you shake it, and will be close to the OG.
Follow this recipe, and sub where you like--this is all about proportions and then shaking before use.
• Glass bottle with fine mist sprayer (I used a 4 oz amber spray bottle but any dark color is fine).
• Assorted measuring spoons
• Stirring implement
• Small glass jar
• Glass measuring cup
• Microwave or double boiler
• Conventional hair serum of choice
• Jojoba oil
• Meadowfoam seed oil
• Epsom salt
• Vegetable glycerin
• Kelp powder or marine algae powder
• Rosemary essential oil
• Vitamin E oil
Sanitize all tools and containers! Wash your hands!
Phase 1: water soluble phase
Pour 1.5 oz of distilled or filtered boiled water into a measuring cup with room to stir
Add 1 tbs Epsom salt and stir until dissolved.
Pour 1 tbs of vegetable glycerin in and stir until dissolved.
I added one drop each of green and blue food coloring--obviously way too much, and obviously not vital. Then I forgot the algae and added ¼ tsp of that.
Phase 2: oil phase
In a separate small glass jar, measure 1 tbs each meadowfoam seed oil and jojoba oil.
Microwave for 20 seconds and stir.
Now add 1.5 tsp serum of choice and a few drops of vitamin E oil.
Add 1 drop of rosemary essential oil and 1mL (with a dropper) of fragrance of choice.
Stir until mixed well.
Pour Phase 2 oils into the measuring cup, and then using a funnel into your bottle. Spray away like it’s a beach day!
One more tip: If you screw up your formula, just toss it in your next bath! No need to waste all those expensive ingredients!