The very first, the ultimate, the longed after, the OG, and the sadly discontinued John Frieda Beach Blonde Ocean Waves has become mythical. A legend in its own time. That status, while certainly deserved, is also thanks to the fact that it's been noticeably absent from drugstores shelves for nearly a decade. There was never any word why it disappeared—perhaps to prove once and for all that you never know what you've got 'til it's gone. Or maybe it's just brilliant marketing playing the long game.
And not that the past nine or so years haven't had their beachy salt spray alternatives—it's just that none of them had that smell (like vacation; coconut, sweet but not sickly), that airy (as opposed to crunchy) texture, that blue. For those who don't remember, it was good— currently selling for $100 on eBay good.
For those of you who do remember: It’s baaaaack! Or at least it's sort of back. Beach Blonde Sea Waves—notice the minute name change—is the result of the John Frieda's social media campaign, “Vote Now To Bring Back Your Favorite Throwback.” Ocean Waves was the landslide winner unsurprisingly. So fans, now look what ye hath wrought: The updated formula (buy it in a store come January, or pre-order it now at Target if you’re serious), it certainly smells the same. We can't in good faith report that the results are the same—it's been a while since we've used the original stuff. But we can say that the new iteration is pretty darn good. Think lifted, piecey waves that feel genuine, as opposed to sticky or stiff. Plus, at $9, it's very hard to beat in the quality-to-price ratio.
So, rejoice! Beach Blonde is fodder for nostalgia no more. But also maybe start stocking up on those blue bottles now. Just in case.
Devon Windsor (IMG) photographed by Tom Newton.