Get The Look: 5 Steps To Effortless Beachy Waves

By Simone Sydel··  6 min read
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Beachy waves are a look that just screams effortlessly chic. And it suits just about every cut – from short bobs to medium-length locks and tresses that go all the way down to the tush.

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Beachy waves can make limp, thin strands look full with volume and shine but also tame and defrizz thicker, coarser hair that gets messy due to humidity.

Although beachy waves get their moment at the beginning of every summer, anyone who has tried achieving this effortless look knows it's anything but. In fact, there's a lot of intentionality that goes into creating these loose curls, and you may very well end up with unintentionally messy hair if you don't follow a few simple tricks. That’s why, in this guide, we will share a few easy tips on how to achieve the perfect beachy waves to suit your hair type, texture, length, and desired look.

Beachy Waves with a Curling Wand or a Flat Iron

One of the simplest ways to get beachy waves is with a curling wand. This method is ideal for shorter or medium length hair or if you want more defined waves. Here are a few easy steps to achieve this style of beachy waves:

Prep Your Strands

To get started, you will want to prep your dry hair with a heat protectant to shield your strands from damage. Spray the heat-protecting spray from afar to evenly coat your hair without weighing it down. Then, run a wide-tooth comb through your strands to help detangle them before you start styling.

Product To Try: Living Proof Perfect hair Day (PhD) Heat Styling Spray ($28)

Split Hair into Sections

To make the process easier and ensure that each curl looks sleek and even, you'll want to split your hair into sections. Section your hair horizontally, from bottom to top, pinning the rest of your hair up and out of the way. For finer hair, split it into three sections; for thicker hair, split it into four or more sections, depending on the thickness of the wave you want to achieve.

Product To Try: Beauty Works Beach Wave Comb ($8)

Executing the Waves

With the bottom section of your hair down and the rest pinned up, use a curling wand or a flat iron to create waves on that first section of hair. For perfect beachy waves, avoid starting at the scalp and style your hair a few inches down the hair shaft, instead. For shorter hair, start a bit higher; for longer hair, a bit lower. 

Also, no matter which tool you use, it's important to style small one to two-inch pieces of hair at a time in each section. Use a curling wand with a smaller barrel if you have thinner hair, while thicker hair will have better results with a larger (at least 1.5-inch) barrel.

Product To Try: ghd Creative Curl - Tapered Curling Wand ($199)

Twist the Hair

As you start curling, you need to twist the hair around the styling tool, leaving an inch or two out at the end of your strands. As you curl each piece, alternate the direction you are twisting. First, style one strand counter-clockwise towards the face, then style one strand clockwise away from the face. This trick will help create the perfect waves that won't look messy, which is usually the most common issue and complaint women face when trying this hairstyle.

Product To Try: Moroccanoil Volumizing Mousse ($30)

Finish Off with Setting Spray

After letting the curls cool off a little bit, finish the style with a setting spray. A few spritzes throughout the hair will keep curls in place longer and maintain the look throughout the day.

Product To Try: Kérastase Paris Laque Noire Hair Spray ($30)

Beachy Waves Without Heat

If you want to achieve beachy waves without strong and damaging heat, there are still a number of ways to get the look. The most common and easiest way is by using a salt spray. Salt spray can be used on damp or dry hair and will give you the perfect texture for beachy waves.

Product To Try: Rockaway Salt Spray ($28)

Heatless Beachy Waves Using Your Fingers

First, spritz salt spray all over damp hair, then scrunch your strands with your hands to help work the product in. Next, let your hair air dry or diffuse it if you're in a hurry. Once your hair is dry, you can use your fingers to lightly separate any clumps and create more wave definition. Finish your look with a hair spray for a long-lasting style or a mist for added gloss.

Product To Try: Drybar Sparkling Soda Shine Mist ($29)

Heatless Beachy Waves in a Braid

If you want a more undone look, you can also braid your hair while it's wet and let it dry for beachy waves with a bit of wave definition.

To get started, spritz your damp strands with salt spray and then divide your hair into two or more sections, depending on how textured you want your waves to look. Start braiding each section, working from the bottom up towards the crown of your head. Secure each braid with a hairband on the ends, then let your hair dry naturally or diffuse it for faster results.

Once your hair is dry, carefully undo each braid and run your fingers through your hair to separate any clumps. You can also use a curling wand or flat iron to curl small sections of your hair for a more polished look. Finish the style with a hair spray for long-lasting results or a light mist for added gloss.

Product To Try: Batiste Touch Of Gloss Shine Mist ($13)

Closing Thoughts

Beachy waves are a versatile and fun hairstyle that can be worn day or night and on pretty much any occasion. While it may seem like a complicated style to achieve, it's actually quite simple once you know a few easy tricks. Follow the steps above for the perfect beach wave this summer!

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