By Kristin Limoges

Published on June 13, 2018

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Illustration by Phuong Nguyen
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Illustration by Phuong Nguyen

When you were a teen, did you sit out by the pool with your trusty bottle of Sun-In and douse your hair in the lightening spray? I’d soak my dirty blonde tresses in that solution and pray to the hair gods that when I got up from my lounge chair my hair would golden and flowing. And although it did kind of work over time, it didn’t perform any miracles.

But that lightening hair mist isn’t stuck in the ‘90s anymore. It’s back, it’s grown up, and it’s going to be all over the beach, pools, and lawns this summer. Plus: It’s not just for blondes anymore—these sprays all can give golden highlights to any shade of hair. Oh, and a simple spray is certainly much cheaper than a trip to the salon, right? Not to mention way more fun. Take a look at a few of our very favorites.

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Photography by Urban Outfitters

The One To Bring To The Beach

Ouai Sun of a Beach Ombré Spray, $24

This tropical spray is a blend of lemon and pineapple juices with coconut water, so the smell is already taking you on a vacation. But the mix is meant to impart natural-looking highlights over a few trips outside. Ouai says blonde hair can expect to be lightened two to four shades, while dark hair gradually lightens to a coppery bronze tone.

One of our editors loves it, and uses it on freshly cleansed hair before heading to a day at the beach (it’s applied to wet hair, so it can be taken to the beach or poolside and used on wet hair, too). She especially loves it for the beachy scent, and its lightweight feel, noting that it doesn’t have a sticky feel like some beach or lightening sprays have. And Ouai especially promotes the fact that you don’t have to be a blonde to utilize the benefits of this spray. They show the results on a few ranges of shades, from dark brown to light blonde.

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Photography by Klorane

The One To Use On The Daily 

Klorane Sun Lightening Spray with Chamomile and Honey, $18

For those that want to dip their toe into the lightening pool, this is your spray. The French brand says you can expect a light, subtle update with continuous daily use over three weeks. Klorane also claims it can help gradually brighten not only blonde shades, but also light to medium brown.

Another editor at Domino loves this for daily use, but does warn that it’s a bit of a heavier weight and stickier than other lightening sprays. But she swears it lightened her light brown hair to golden blonde over the course of last summer. It also ideally works best with their entire lightening range, which includes a shampoo and conditioner to help also lighten but fight brassiness. 

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Photography by IGK

The Brand New Vegan One (That Users Are Going Crazy For Already)

IGK Summertime Hair Lightening Spray, $27

This new spray features a chamomile, lemon, and coconut oil (and water), and it’s meant to boost shine and hydration, while brightening gently over time. The brand says the spray probably works best on blondes and light brunette shades, and you can expect non-brassy tones over a few sessions.

This is the launch I’m most psyched about trying this summer, hoping to take my months-old highlights and update them naturally while walking around town this summer. And it also provides UV protection, too.

No matter which spray you use, make sure you don’t forget your sunscreen.

Keep on summering:

THIS Is the Pool Float of the Summer
12 Ultra Colorful Lawn Games Every Backyard Deserves
Everything You Need for Summer, All for $29