Beach waves are one of those annoying hairstyles that are supposed to look effortless and casual, even though there is usually nothing effortless or casual about creating them. In theory, they should be simple – after all, it’s a style that mimics the messy, salty curls hair transforms into when near the ocean – but for most, they are not simple at all. Authentic beach waves include frizz, knots, and a terribly sticky texture, while “fake” beach waves are shiny, perfectly created, and, uh, still include a terribly sticky texture. Anyway, you get it – they’re hard to do on your own.
You would think that achieving the look would entail only a few spritzes of beach waves spray, but unfortunately, life cannot be that kind. The style typically involves drying your hair, then using some kind of hot tool, then mixing up a few different products until you discover the texture that works for you, and then hoping the waves actually stay in place instead of melting into sad, droopy, sticky pieces of hair. The only people who have a chance at easy beach waves are those with naturally wavy hair, and even then, the process can be a struggle.
BUT. That doesn’t mean there aren’t some tutorials out there that can make it easier to get the beach waves you’re going to want to rock this summer. There are! Some don’t even involve heat, which is amazing in itself. So, before you check out the amazing tutorials below (at least one is bound to work for your hair type), get yourself a great beachy product of choice. You can get a wave spray (I highly recommend Bumble and Bumble Surf Spray) or a mousse (I am obsessed with Oribe Surfcomber Touseled Texture Mousse, which is expensive, but so, so, so good). Then take a look at these beach waves tutorials that will change your hair for the better:
1. Try air drying halfway before styling.
If you have a lot of time, this tutorial is a great one to try. Partially air drying lets your hair maintain some of it’s natural texture, and using a curling wand and then a spray is really your best bet to great waves. It just takes some time, so it’s not a quick fix.
2. Or blow dry just the front pieces, style the rest of your hair wet.
If you don’t have a lot of time, there’s still hope – you can style the waves out of wet hair. Blow drying the front pieces will make them look better, and then you use product to make the hair less frizzy. I don’t love creating beach waves out of wet hair, since I think it leaves strands dry and almost greasy looking. But hey, that’s just me – maybe your hair is different.
3. Create beach waves when your hair is already dry.
For fast beach waves, use product on hair that is already dry. It definitely won’t feel great, but with the right products, it will look good.
4. Use two different curling tools for perfectly messy beach waves.
If you have time, try using a curling iron with a clamp and a curling wand in different directions to produce the messy, tousled look of beach waves.
5. Twist your hair before adding heat to create more of a wave than a perfect curl.
Twisting your hair is a great way to create a natural looking wave if you have naturally wavy hair. If you don’t (or even if you do), try adding heat to that twist to set it.
6. Use a braid instead of hot tools.
Want to get beach waves without any heat? Add beach waves spray or mousse to wet hair, then braid it loosely and let sit for a few hours or overnight. A lot of girls swear by this, but I will say this: I have naturally wavy/almost curly hair, and braiding it when it’s wet only leads to frizzy crimps. This might be better for straighter locks.
7. Dry and curl your hair before teasing to make it less perfect.
It can be tough to turn curled hair into beach waves because many of us end up with a perfect spiral that doesn’t look quite messy enough. To fix that, curl your hair, then tease it and use a sea salt spray to really loosen it up.
8. Twist hair before curling it.
Another way to avoid perfect spiral curls is to twist each strand of hair before wrapping it around a curling wand. This produces more of a wave than a curl. Then shake up the hair and add some salt spray.
9. Use these tricks to create beach waves on short hair.
Short strands can be tough to curl, but actually, that makes beach waves a little easier. Follow the above video for tips on how to curl short hair.
10. Twist wet hair, then scrunch it.
Want fast results that require minimal effort? Try twisting your wet hair, letting it dry that way for a bit, then using a product and scrunching it up, and letting it dry from there. This will probably work best if you have a bit of a natural wave.
11. Add product, then twist hair into two buns.
Another tutorial with minimal effort: add sea salt spray to dry hair, then twist it into two side buns. You can let dry for a few hours or blast each bun with a blow dryer if you’re in a rush.
12. Using a curling wand a flat iron.
To get tousled waves, curl your hair, then use a flat iron to carefully make the spirals less perfect and more natural looking.
13. Let hair air dry overnight, then touch it up in the morning.
If possible, let your wet hair dry overnight with product in it. If your hair is anything like mine, you’ll wake up with frizz and weird flat spots, so then touch it up with a curling wand… just so you can mess it back up again with your fingers.
14. Just put the product in wet hair and hope for the best!
Hey, it might work!
15. Tease the bottoms of your curls for a textured look.
You always hear about teasing the roots, but teasing the bottom of curls can give them the natural, beachy look that you’re going for.
16. Use a flat iron to create perfect waves.
This tutorial definitely works, but I will say it can take a lot of time to maneuver the flat iron this way. Try it if you can, though!
Which one of these tutorials are you going to try? How do you get beach waves? Share in the comments!