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Bumble & Bumble Surf Spray for limp hair that wants to be curly

Reviewed by Marta September 11, 2009 5 Comments
I have wavy rather than curly hair, but on some days it can be as limp and flat as a wet flag. I'm not sure why this happens, but on days when a little volume is needed, Bumble & Bumble Surf Spray ($24.99) can be a help. Be warned, unless you have very greasy hair, this product will make your hair very dry and should be used sparingly and not every day.  The culprit is magnesium sulfate, which soaks up oil. And, given that there isn't much else but water and algae, that got me to wondering what magnesium sulfate has to do with making waves.

It turned out to be one of those questions for which it is hard to get a straight answer. Here's what I've pieced together. Magnesium sulfate is Epsom salts, most commonly thought of as something to add to bathwater to soothe aching muscles. It is a sulfate mineral that easily dissolves in water. Hair curls because the keratin proteins contain amino acids called cysteines. These cysteines link to each other by disulfide bonds (two sulfur atoms connected to each other). The closer together that those sulfor atoms get, the curlier the hair. So the sulfor in the magnesium sulfate increases the bonding and helps the hair retain bounce, waves and the style it has been set into. Or something like that.

Now that we've worked that out, its easy to understand how relaxers and perms work. Relaxers simply break these disulfide bonds and cap them so that they cannot reform, while the chemicals in perms break them and recombine them.

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Ingredients for Bumble & Bumble Surf Spray:

Water (Aqua), Magnesium Sulfate, Macrocystis Pyrifera (Kelp) Extract, Algae Extract (Algae), Isoceteth-20, Potassium Sorbate, Citric Acid, DMDM Hydantoin, Fragrance (Parfum).
  • November 14, 2014

    by Chloe

    Try salt living products. It has worked wonders for me!

  • September 16, 2009

    by Marta

    Worth a try Anita, and it won't do any harm

  • September 16, 2009

    by Anita

    So does this mean that I can just mix up some water and epsoms salt and get the same results???

  • September 13, 2009

    by Marilyn Kampmeier

    Me! My lifelong curly hair is losing its bounce. I can still coax some curl out of it; my hair stylist has given up, and blows it out straight. I used to walk out of there with a head of curls!

    I would love to go down Route 66. I have "limp hair that wants to be curly!"

    To counter the drying effect of the salt, I would try an assortment of moisturizing products that I have used in the past, but somehow got left behind: Aveeda's Cream for Curls; Sebastian's Potion 9, and/or Humectress. I always mix a product for body with a a moisturizing product before drying my hair. It would be great to replace the "body" product with a "curly" product!

  • September 12, 2009

    by Tammara

    Surf/Beach sprays tend to leave my hair dry. I usually use a cream to give my wavy hair some oomph.
    I would like to try the Giovanni Root 66 Max Volume Shampoo featured in the news letter. I have used Giovanni's Smooth as Silk Protein Extreme conditioner and love it! Great as a once or twice weekly treatment to add softness to my dry, thin hair.

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