How to Get the Best Beach Waves for Every Hair Type
No hairstyle screams summer quite like beachy waves. While celebs including Blake Lively and Becca Kufrin have perfected this effortlessly undone look, not all of us have a glam squad. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t rock this summer hairstyle all season long. It’s all about knowing how to create beachy waves for your specific hair type. Keep reading for the best tips to master the hairstyle, straight from the pros.
if you have Straight Hair
Beachy waves on straight locks might seem impossible, but you can get the look with the help of a few key products. “My favorite way to add waves [to straight hair] is to not use a product with too much slip,” says Holly Pistas, artistic director and master hair and makeup designer at Gordon Salon in Chicago. Apply Aveda Volumizing Tonic ($22) to dampen and blow-dry your mane for a little grit. Then, take small sections and use a 1 1/4-inch flat iron to create waves. Feed a small section in between the plates, rotate the iron 180 degrees, and glide the iron down your strand vertically, leaving your ends a little straighter, explains Pistas. “Let the hair cool before breaking up the curl, or let it do it on its own naturally,” she says. Finish with a light hairspray, like Aveda Air Control Hair Spray ($29).
Prefer to go heat-free? “Another option [for straight hair] is braids, braids, braids,” says Amber Maynard Bolt, master stylist at Nine Zero One Salon in West Hollywood. “Set your hair with a conditioning lotion like R+Co Waterfall Moisture + Shine Lotion ($29), then do braided pigtails and sleep.” In the morning, take your pigtail braids out, shake your strands, and add texture spray. Maynard Bolt is a fan of Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray ($46).
if you have Fine Hair
Fine tendrils tend to fall flat fast, but beachy waves aren’t out of the realm of possibility. Sara Drury, hair and makeup expert in Lexington, Kentucky, who hosts online courses including Makeup Made Simple, suggests using a lightweight volumizer like Joico Body Luxe Root Lifting Volumizing Foam ($18) on a damp mane to add texture without weighing it down. Then, she suggests following up with a sea salt spray; her fave is Not Your Mother’s Beach Babe Texturizing Sea Salt Spray ($5). “Texture is really important when it comes to beachy waves,” says Drury, “Sea salt spray mimics the texture that ocean water gives your hair.” Set your waves with a non-crunchy hairspray like Kenra Professional Volume Spray 25 ($18).
if you have Wavy Hair
Lucky you: You’ve already won half the battle since you have the hair type necessary to pull off beachy waves easily. After showering, use a leave-in conditioner, then spritz on salt spray. “I recommend using a layer of Unite 7SECONDS Detangler ($30), then Evo Salty Dog Cocktail Beach Spray ($22),” says Maynard Bolt. Air-dry to perfection.
You can also enhance your waves with the help of a heat tool. “Let hair air dry with Oribe Matte Waves Texture Lotion ($42), and simply take a curling wand in horizontal sections to the parts that need a little more coercing,” says New York City-based hairstylist and colorist Kali Ferrara. Wrap your waves around the wand while twisting the strand to create a less uniform look that’s ideal for beachy waves. “When the hair is still hot from the wand, pull at the ends gently to get the perfect S pattern,” she says.
if you have Curly Hair
Curly girls can get in on the beachy waves fun too. “For curly locks, you want a smoothing and shine-enhancing product to achieve this look,” says Marilisa Sears, artistic director for Marc Anthony True Professional. Mix a little bit of the smoothing cream and glossing lotion from the Marc Anthony True Professional Sleek & Straight Smoothing Cocktail ($9) together and apply it to clean, wet tresses, suggests Sears.
Then blow-dry your locks with a large natural-bristle round brush and spray a lightweight styling oil into your palms and run it through. Take a large-barrel curling iron to help shape waves. “Use large sections of hair and keep them a few inches from your roots for a more natural look,” advises Sears. Finish with Marc Anthony True Professional Coconut Oil and Shea Butter Volume Hair Spray ($11) and use your fingers to shake your waves out.
You can also work on your beachy waves the night before, offers Pistas. Here’s how to do it: Blow-dry as smoothly as you can before bed. Use the top of the crown of your head as the center and make six t oeight sections (less for thinner strands, more for thicker). Spray Aveda Brilliant Medium Hold Hairspray ($22) onto each section and twist at the ends, wrapping them around the base of the section into a mini bun. Twist the front sections away from your face but alternate the other sections forward and backward for more volume. Pin each area in place or use a small elastic. In the morning, take the buns down, run your fingers through, and spray with Aveda Texture Tonic ($25) for grit as well as a light-control hairspray.
IF YOU HAVE Thick Hair
“Thick hair may require a little more work, but have no fear,” says Brooke Jordan Hunt, owner and master stylist of The Bird House in Brooklyn. “You can still rock the beach waves.” At her salon, Jordan Hunt rough dries strands, then uses a curling iron (1-inch or 1 1/2-inch depending on the length of your locks) starting at the upper middle portion of your locks. “Barely touch the tip with the heat, just enough to smooth it but without adding curl,” says Jordan Hunt. “That technique creates a gorgeous bend that looks good day and night.”
That being said, for more va-va-va voom on thick tresses at night, Jordan Hunt suggests adding volumizing dust or spray at your roots for some lift. Marshall Lin, celebrity hairstylist, is a fan of Pai-Shau Texture Dust ($24). “It’s easy to apply and leaves no white residue like some dry shampoos might,” he says.
(Photo via Getty)
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