Sexy, undone beachy waves are the epitome of summer hair – textured from the sea salt and brightened by the sun, it’s the off duty equivalent to no-makeup-makeup. Like no makeup-makeup though, often the most insouciant of styles take the most effort to create.
But, I’ll share a trade secret… beachy waves can be an absolute breeze to recreate, it just depends on how “perfectly” dishevelled you want it to look. There’s two ways to create beach goddess vibes, one takes a bit more elbow grease (heat, styling, the whole shebang) the other is wonderfully low-maintenance. The former will give you a slightly sleeker finish, the latter is more relaxed. Here’s what you need to know:
Turns out we've been using sea salt spray wrong this entire time
Sleek-girl beach waves
Think luxe, expensive looking waves, that are then loosened and tousled so as not to look too ‘done’. After washing, it’s best to “prep the hair with a mousse, like Kevin Murphy Body Builder Mousse, £24, as this will help to hold the waves,” says hair stylist and beach wave queen, Hollie Rose Clarke. Then rough dry with your blow dryer. “If you want to enhance your wave and create more texture, you should twist the hair whilst drying,” says top hair stylist, Paul Percival, co-founder of Percy & Reed. “Alternatively, if your hair is naturally quite curly, pull the hair down while drying to loosen the wave out.” Once almost dry, “smooth hair over with a large round brush, (like the Tourmaline Blowout Brush from WetBrush, £16.99), says Clarke.
“Next, section the hair into one inch sections (roughly 4-5 sections, depending on your hair thickness) and using a curling wand, begin to wrap the hair around the wand, at least two inches down from your roots,” says Clarke, in order to avoid poodle curls. Wand-wise, she recommends a medium barrel like Babyliss’ Pro Wand 32-19mm, £35.95, or GHD’s Wave Wand, £120. For tighter waves use a small wand and for looser waves, go for a larger one. Whichever you choose, “don’t be too perfect or precious with it,” warns Paul Windle, top hair stylist and co-founder of Windle & Moodie. “You want that undone feel.”
“Wrap the hair away from the face (this opens up the face and looks more relaxed),” says Clarke. As for the most important step? “Never curl the ends. They need to be left straight, since beach waves should have a slightly undone, effortless look,” she says. “So, don’t wrap the ends of the hair around the wand.” Instead, leave a good 5 centimetres at the bottom.
“Break up the waves with your fingers or a large wide-tooth comb and spritz in a sea salt spray of your choice,” says Clarke. “If you already have a natural wave, a salt spray will just help to enhance that and really make the most of your natural texture, cutting down on drying time,” explains Percival. Finally, “finish with a mist of shine spray (my secret weapon is Kevin Murphy Shimmer Shine, £25) to add the perfect sun-kissed glow to those waves,” says Clarke.
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Lazy-girl heatless beach waves
Less perfected, lazy beach waves are an absolute holiday go-to. Low-maintenance, you can even get going on them from the comfort of your sun lounger. And less time blow-drying your hair, means more time out in the sunshine with a cocktail. Back at home, it’s an ideal solution if you’re time-poor or overheated since there’s no sweating under a blowdryer required.
First, “towel dry wet hair as much as you can,” says Clarke. Try Aquis'aquitex-fibre hair towels, £30, which cut drying time by half. “Then, spritz in your sea salt spray.”
Next, “part and comb the hair, then wrap your hair into two twists – one above each ear – and pin on the top of your head. Once dry, shake out and finish with a shine spray for health-looking beachy waves.”
That’s it. Easy waves in less than five steps.
This is the £3 salt spray that Love Island's Lucie Donlan uses to get those incredible beach waves
Fancy a tutorial? We called upon Suzie Bonaldi to show us how she creates easy beach waves.