Can Sugar Spray Overthrow Salt Spray as Your Go-To Hair Texturizer?

Rachel Krause
beachy waves

Photo: ImaxTree

A hair product arsenal without a good salt spray is incomplete. For years, they’ve been an absolute must for scoring the sexy, tousled texture that perfectly mimics a day at the beach, even if you haven’t made it out of the city in months. But in the interest of brutal honesty, we have to admit that salt sprays are not perfect. Don’t shoot the messenger.

Salt saps the moisture from your hair—that’s how you get that matte, almost dirty effect in the first place—and that can result not only in a crunchy feel and gnarly tangles but also in dryness and damage in the long term, especially if your hair is already sensitive.

So what’s the solution? Enter sugar spray. It promises similar lush, effortless beach waves but replaces the drying sodium chloride with more nourishing ingredients that give the hair grip and a piecey texture without the crunch.

We’ve been giving the brand-new Wella EIMI Sugar Lift Sugar Spray for Voluminous Texture ($19) a solid test drive over the past couple of weeks and have been pretty stoked about the results. It really does create tons of texture, as promised, whether we use it on damp hair and air dry or mist it over dry hair to give it a boost. And unlike salt spray, it enhances shine rather than dulling hair. Plus, it smells more like candy and less like the sea floor, which is totally fine with us.

That said, we’re still left with a few questions. For starters, does it taste as sweet as it smells? (We’re hesitant to find out.) Will we be forced to carry bug spray and a citronella candle with us wherever we go? Doubtful, but we haven’t ruled it out.

MORE: The Best Conditioning Beach Salt Sprays