Bookmarking the KEXP livestream links
Thursday, 24 October, 2019
Foot hat
Saturday, 19 October, 2019

Basic DIY Sea Salt Spray

In which I write a hair spray recipe and *then* share the story
Sea salt, argan oil, and a spray bottle. You need water too.

The recipe

Get ingredients at your favorite local market or evil online megacorporation!


  • Sea salt 1
  • Argan oil 2
  • Spray bottle 3
  • Funnel
  • Maybe a whisk
  • Kettle or other means of making cold water hot


That’s pretty much all you need. You’re free to add more!

  • tea tree, sandalwood, or some other essential oil with a smell that pleases you
  • hair gel or coconut oil — for additional hold
  • epsom salt — for magnesium, I guess?


  1. Heat some water in the kettle. If it boils, let it cool a moment. You don’t want your first hairspray story to involve burn treatment.
  2. Measure out one cup (roughly 250 ml) of hot water
  3. Whisk in 2 teaspoons of oil. You can vary this a bit more or less depending on how dry your hair gets.
  4. Whisk in a tablespoon of sea salt. A little more gives more hold, but careful to avoid crusty hair!
  5. If you want your hair to smell nice, whisk in a few drops of essential oil.4
  6. Pour your mix into the spray bottle with a funnel, unless you have very steady hands!
  7. Let it cool to room temperature or at least until there’s no risk of burns.
  8. Shake vigorously before each use!

One batch lasts me over a month of daily use, but I intentionally go for a lighter hold. Out of my face and roughly pointed in the right direction is all I care about.

Still roughly pointed in the right direction halfway through the day
Still roughly pointed in the right direction halfway through the day

The story

Now that the recipe is out of the way — I thought cookbooks were bad about forcing you to read a long story before giving you their instructions. Cookbooks are nothing. Those self-care blogs are awful. An evening searching and I couldn’t find the source for the basic recipe I’ve been using over the last year or so because I couldn’t get through all the stories.

I had this big story in mind about how I was watching a beard care video one night and they said “use sea salt spray! It’s good on your hair!” and I said “okay!” and they said “use our sea salt spray!” and I said “at that price? H*ck no!” I was even going to work in some Perl references. Talk about how making your own hair spray is another application of The Three Virtues.

But I got bored just writing the outline for that particular story. Now it’s a year later, and I’m writing down the recipe somewhere permanent to avoid losing it again.

Look around for ideas from other recipes, but take what you read with a grain of sea salt. We’re here for mad science and saving money, not Clean Living or Purity Of Essence.


This recipe is what I came up with last night after giving up on my search. You can find many recipes with varying ingredients and proportions. Experiment. Figure out what works for you.

Then write it down somewhere so you aren’t making something up again when you run out.

  1. Use Dead Sea Celtic Himalayan Pink Salt if makes you happy! ↩︎

  2. Avocado oil is fine. Olive oil is okay, but use less — it’s thicker ↩︎

  3. Preferably made of glass, since it’s going to hold hot water ↩︎

  4. I tried beard oil once and it added nothing. Too diluted already maybe. Use a proper essential oil — or invent your own mix! ↩︎