Ouai's Wave Spray is seriously good. The founder, Jen Atkin, has a knack for creating a vibe with all her clients' hair that is at once both super cool and laid back. Thankfully, her product line brings that aesthetic to us because, sadly, unless you're a Kardashian, Jenner, or Chrissy Teigen, getting an appointment with Atkin is just not going to happen.
The standout product for me from the line is the Wave Spray ($26). An ingenious formula that uses rice protein instead of the usual sea salt, the Wave Spray doesn't leave strands crusty, sticky, or dried out. It also doesn't weigh down fine hair, get lost in thicker textures, or cause damage to color-treated hair.
What it does do, more importantly, is tease your strands into those perfectly loose beachy waves. It's undone hair at its best, which means you can spritz towel-dried strands and leave them to dry naturally safe in the knowledge that this product has your back. But if air-drying your hair isn't your style, it also works well as a texturizing spray on dry hair. Start by giving your hair a slight bend with a curling wand (the GHD Curve Soft Curl Iron, $199, is brilliant at creating natural-looking waves and curls), then follow up with Wave Spray all over to give it a cool, undone texture or direct it at the roots to boost the volume.
You can even use the mist on day-old dry hair to revive or reactivate your hairstyle, and the formula is light enough that it won't weigh down your strands or leave behind sticky product residue. In other words, no matter if you're looking to dry your hair, style it with heat, or refresh it the next day, with this spray, it's buh-bye, bad hair days.
No matter how good the formula might be, the scent can either make a product and catapult it to cult-favorite status or, unfortunately, it can break it. When it comes to the fragrance of this spray, Atkin didn't go with the obvious choice. Most wave sprays designed for creating beachy hair smell like a tropical vacation (i.e., coconuts), but the unexpected hint of soft florals in this one is not at all cheesy or overpowering. The blend of notes, which includes bergamot, rose, amber, sandalwood, and white musk, is strong enough to refresh your hair on day two, but not too pungent that it'll overtake your other fragrances.
Although it could work in straighter hair types to create texture and grit on otherwise slippery strands, I've found this definitely does work best to enhance naturally wavy and curly hair types. While I'm lucky that my hair dries naturally wavy, this helps to enhance the texture, dull the frizz and tame my hair for a more refined style. With this spray, my hair is more cool-girl bedhead, less dragged through a hedge, and that's definitely worth shouting about.
Layered haircuts are making a comeback. (Honestly—we have proof!).