10 best textured hair sprays for toussled, post-beach volume without the dryness

Rachel Fiddes

Summer hair styling is all about loose, undone, effortless locks, that have a lived-in, post-beach vibe.

The love child of hairspray, dry shampoo and sea salt spray, this hybrid product promises to add movement, volume and staying power to your locks.

A good texture spray will add definition and shine without the sticky, crunchy, dried-out look of some salt sprays.

The salt content dries out excess oil – which also makes them a good alternative to dry shampoo, and with a bit of hold can act as a hair spray too.

During our testing, we wanted hair to look roughed-up and textured, but not stiff. The sprays featured in our roundup are free of nasty chalky residue that can sometimes occur with a dry shampoo.

If you're looking for a multitasking hair product that revitalises and volumises your hair, look no further than our favourites below.

Aveda texture tonic, 125ml: £22, Aveda

Without a doubt, the best smelling texturiser we used, this one has a citrus scent that blends organic ginger, ylang ylang and clary sage. It smells more like a fragrance than a hair spray. It also gave the best tousled, undone, effortless, post-beach look above all others tested.

Before creating this tonic, Aveda gave separate salt and sugar sprays to Aveda global artists to test out and they discovered combining the two produced the best results. The magnesium sulfate (better known as Epsom salt) gives the raw grip, while the sugar cane hydrates and softens. We found it worked best scrunched into wet hair and left to dry naturally, but you can spritz it in then twist sections as you blow dry for a mussed up beachy look too.

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Bumble and Bumble surf spray, 50ml: £12, Escentual

The ultimate cult favourite, Surf Spray has been delivering beachy undone hair for nearly two decades and inspired many subsequent salt sprays. It not only creates windswept body and bed hair, but also moisturises, improves elasticity and boosts shine. We found it gave the best results using it on naturally air-dried hair to add definition, but it can also be added to wet hair and left to dry. It also comes in a travel-friendly 50ml bottle.

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Sam McKnight cool girl barely there texture mist, 250ml: £25, Cult Beauty

One of the world’s most famous hair stylists and the genius behind hundreds of iconic Vogue covers and red carpet looks, Sam McKnight has launched a range of spectacularly good hair styling products. Barely there texture mist is exactly that. You can hardly feel it in the hair – particularly good for the fine hair we tested it on – but it gave real oomph and texture to dry hair.

It’s great if you don’t like your hair immediately after washing or blow drying, because it gives the look of tousled, lived-in, second day hair. Think Kate Moss, and you get the idea. The scent is also quite special – created by perfumer extraordinaire, Lyn Harris – with its blend of herbs, green leaves, watery flowers and pepper on a base of frankincense, juniper and cedarwood. Your hair might look gloriously dishevelled, but it will smell fresh as a daisy.

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Pureology beach waves sugar spray, 170ml: £14.10, AllBeauty

Parched hair can find some salt sprays drying, this sugar cane based spritz is a gentle alternative that delivers the same lived-in beachy texture. Featuring sustainably sourced plant-based ingredients, this oil-infused spray is sulphate-free, with superior colour protection and anti-fade complex. It works well on coloured or chemically treated hair that needs moisture putting in, not taking out. Vitamins C & A and UVA and UVB sunscreens all help protect fragile hair that needs a little TLC. The delicate coconut scent will give a hint of warm, sunshine-filled holidays to your beachy locks.

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Kristin Ess soft shine beach wave spray, 250ml: £17, Boots

This lives very accurately up to its name. There’s no stiffness or no dryness usually found with salt sprays, but instead we found it delivers a much softer shinier look than other texturisers.

Separation in hair is usually achieved by adding texture and a rougher feel, so to get that tousled look with shine and softness we found impressive. It also contains the brand's "zip-up" technology, which targets weak hair and split ends to smooth out the cuticle. Spray on dry hair only from middle to ends after styling or letting it dry naturally, and you get a great separated tousled look. A little goes a long way too, so go easy the first couple of times you use it. It’s also sulphate, paraben and phthalates-free.

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IGK direct flight multi-tasking matcha dry shampoo, 307ml: £10, Space NK

This great-smelling, multi-tasking dry shampoo is a good choice for normal to oily scalps and hair as the turmeric and charcoal powder strip away oil, sweat and dirt, while boosting volume and body to extend the time between washes. We found even 4-day old hair looked revitalised with this texturiser. It’s vegan-friendly and free from sulphates and gluten too.

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Tigi Bed Head queen beach salt infused texture spray, 100ml: £11.34, Feelunique

We tried the Tigi-recommended hair trick of spritzing this onto our hair damp, plaiting into a loose braid and leaving to dry naturally (although we did blast it with a hairdryer to get it started). Once dry we removed the plait and finger-teased out the waves for a gorgeous, tousled, surf-girl look. It’s quick drying, great for all hair types lacking in body and with UV protection it’s perfect for holiday use.

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Duck & Dry oomph dry volume & texture spray, 150ml: £14, Duck & Dry

Limp locks can look particularly flat on hair wash day, but this spray adds some serious volume and bounce, whilst using it later in the week can soak up the grease and put some life back into lank locks. The fresh English meadows scent is useful if you’re using it in place of a dry shampoo to revive hair in need of a wash. Easy to use, just spray on dry hair in sections from the roots through mid-lengths and to the ends and work it through with your fingers to boost bounce and lift.

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Murdock sea salt spray, 150ml: £24, Murdock London

This spray was actually designed for men, but we loved the way it delivered a morning-after-the-night-before gritty texture and thickness. The sea salt absorbs the hair’s natural oils to make it look and feel thicker and gives great hold at the same time. The citrus blend of tangerine, sweet orange, grapefruit, lemon and bitter orange gives a zesty kick to your morning and it’s also nasties-free and suitable for vegetarians. Great work from one of London’s best barber shops.

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The verdict: Texture hair sprays

Our best buy is by Aveda: a beautifully-scented, salt and sugar blended tonic that gives good salty-look grip, with the softness and hydration of sugar cane. Kristin Ess also delivers impressive shine, while Pureology is gentle on parched chemically treated and coloured hair.