If there’s one hairstyle that absolutely personifies the ‘00s and ‘10s, it is—without a doubt—beach waves. Ever since the tousled, perfectly undone waves made their way onto the red carpet all those years ago, people just can’t get enough.
We were (and still are) so obsessed with beach waves, the industry flooded the market with products and tools promising perfectly piecey waves every time. While there are several ways to create beach waves, for a very long time salt spray was the product that reigned supreme. Just a few spritzes of sea salt spray is all you need to create perfectly imperfect waves that look like you just came home from a day at the beach.
Salt spray may still be the greatest hair product of all time, but there’s another product coming for its crown: sugar spray. Wondering if it’s time to swap out your salt spray for something a little sweeter? Michelle Patton, Pureology brand ambassador and artist, is here to tell you everything you need to know about sugar spray and why you may love it even more than its salt alternative.
What is sugar spray?
Sugar spray essentially accomplishes the same styling goal as salt spray. The seemingly tiny swap from salt to sugar makes all of the difference in the world. Just like salty ocean water, salt spray is great at creating texture in part because it’s slightly drying. At first, your hair looks and feels like an actual mermaid did it, but as the day goes on you may notice your hair begins to look and feel dry.
It isn't just dryness you have to worry about, either. Patton notes that salt can be abrasive to color treated hair, much the same way trace salts in laundry detergent can fade a black t-shirt overtime. While salt has the ability to affect anyone’s hair color, it can be especially abrasive if you have color treated hair.
Sugar on the other hand, can help your hair look and feel moisturized. As we all know, that’s crucial to having healthy-looking hair and hair color. The Pureology Style & Protect Beach Waves Sugar Spray is formulated with two kinds of sugar, xylose sugar and cane sugar. Cane sugar acts as the sea salt in the spray and helps to create the “beachy” texture—without any of the drying properties of salt.
Sugar spray doesn’t just create moisturized beachy waves, Pureology Style & Protect Beach Waves Sugar Spray also does double duty to provide some much-needed protection for your strands. Xylose sugar creates a crystalline barrier around the hair to protect it from heat up to 450 degrees fahrenheit. The barrier offers heat protection both when styling wet or dry hair.
Sugar spray has the added versatility of being suitable for people with curly and textured hair. While anyone can use a salt spray, ladies with curly and textured tend to steer clear of it because of its potentially drying properties.
“The sugar spray is great for curly hair. It is just going to help enhance the natural texture,” the stylist says.
If your coils are particularly parched, Patton recommends pairing the sugar spray with a multi-benefit primer like Pureology Colour Fanatic for added moisture.
How to use sugar spray:
There are several ways to use sugar spray. While salt spray is usually effective when used on wet hair, sugar spray is great on both wet and dry hair. If it’s beachy waves you’re after, simply spritz Pureology Style & Protect Beach Waves Sugar Spray throughout damp or dry locks and scrunch to create texture.
Patton has an amazing trick for anyone who loves to wake up with movie star hair in the morning—and who doesn’t want that?!
“You just have to spray a little on dry hair and sleep with your hair in a bun. It will re-activate the sugar spray and give you a little bit of bend,” she explains.
If it’s just added texture you’re after, simply spritz the sugar spray throughout your strands and ruffle your hair to create the piecey texture you’re going for.
If you’re ready to swap out your salt spray for one of the sugar variety, pick up Pureology Style & Protect Beach Waves Sugar Spray, $26.00 MSRP.