Something BIG just happened in the beauty world that we can’t quite get over. At the hair conference Front Row, Demark-based hairstylist Nicci Welsh demonstrated a never-before-seen technique on for getting the perfect lazy-girl hair. She calls it S waves, or Scandi waves, and according to the Internet, it’s a complete game changer (Refinery29 reported that Welsh’s live tutorial “garnered an audible gasp from the audience” watching her). Luckily, you didn’t have to be at the conference to get a glimpse of S waves. Welsh has a six-minute YouTube tutorial that shows her unique approach to waves, and it’s completely mesmerizing. First of all, Welsh opts for a flat iron instead of a wand. Then, instead of using your flat iron to curl sections of your hair in an outward motion, Welsh instead shapes sections of her hair into small, alternating “S” shapes and taps it with the flat iron to set it, all the way from root to tip. The result is flatter-to-your-face, more minimalistic waves. Have your jaws dropped yet?
Needless to say, we just had to give it a go! I chose to take this one on, given I’m on the more experienced side of the fence. I wanted to see how easy it would be to replicate it and, of course, see if I could hack the technique to make the process potentially even easier. NGL, I also wanted to see how this style did on shorter hair. Here’s how it went:
Prep: Section Hair
Nicci works in vertical sections in the video and that is obviously an option, but personally I find it easier to work in horizontal sections. Leave out the lower one to two inches of hair and pin the rest up so it doesn’t get in your way.
The Technique: S Waves
Step 1: To create the S wave, start off by pulling up the first section of your hair. Keep the sections on the smaller side so that you have more control.
Step 2: Push your hair into the first curve. If you’re not getting the shape you want, you can use your other hand and two fingers to help shape the curve.
Step 3: Once the curve shape is in place, grab your flat iron and carefully tap over the curve to help set that shape.
Step 4: From here, you can either continue to push the hair into the next counter curve (which creates your first “S” shape) or you can drop your flat iron and use both hands to create the shape. Tap over this new curve with your flat iron. Repeat this process until you get toward the ends of your hair.
Step 5: Once you get to the ends it’s actually easier to use your flat iron to hold your hair in place as you use your fingers to push your hair into the final counter curve and then tap your flat iron over it.
Helpful Hint for the Back
When you get to the back it can get a little tricky, but you can totally do it! Set up a mirror in front and behind you so you can see what you’re doing, or you can just go for it and feel it out (I did burn my finger once, but not too bad!).
Repeat: Continue this process with each subsection of your hair.
This is what it looks like if you use the flat iron to hold your hair in place without putting the iron down in between each curve you make. It’s actually a little easier once you get the hang of it. I was intimidated by this technique at first but then it just felt better. See — practice, practice, practice!! Finally, add whatever styling products you love and then shake your fingers through your hair to loosen and separate the waves. The back… This is definitely a different wave pattern than I’m used to. I didn’t love it at first, but over the course of the evening it grew on me. I wasn’t really used to having a slightly flatter hairstyle, but once it had time to do its own thing and fluff up and fall into place a little, I was into it.
Later that night…
Here’s an image from an event I attended later that same night — shout out to NYX Cosmetics for having our Associate Editor, Beth, and I represent B + C at their store opening in Santa Clara, CA! You can see how it sort of took on a life of its own once it settled and I walked around outside a bit. The look is definitely a more relaxed, non-uniform wave, which falls in perfect alignment with the messy hair look. For those who love the lazy girl aesthetic, this is a dream come true. Once you get the wave pattern down, you can probably execute this look in a matter of 10 minutes. Take it to the next level and add some good old fashioned traditional waves into the mix for an even more unique finish and added dimension.
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