Every hairstyle has its moment: in my 28 short years on this planet I’ve seen bowl cuts, mullets, perms, stripey highlights, and far too many results of an at-home bang cutting session. But if I had to name one style that I’ve seen the most consistently across salon Instagram accounts, subway stations and my own bathroom mirror, it would probably be the beach wave.
And honestly, that’s the beauty of beach waves — the style is almost universally flattering, bringing life to different hair styles and textures from blunt bobs, to long, curly hair. And since most people aren’t looking to spend hours getting ready in the morning or invest in a look that requires a lot of upkeep, beach waves are a fast, low-maintenance investment.
So for those of us who don’t have access to saltwater and sunshine year-round, we have several easy tutorials for hairstyles that let you score beach waves of your own.
Photo via @davines_russia
Woke up late? Or, most likely, you just really don’t feel like spending a lot of time on your hair today? Don’t panic, breezy beach waves are still well within your reach. As we learned with our article on how to reduce frizz, the first thing you need to do is prep your hair with the right products. Then the majority of this tutorial is letting your hair dry-style itself, no heat required. Follow these steps to get beautiful waves of your own.
Photo by @tarmarz
This tutorial comes to us from Tara Marzuki, who has become known for her signature heatless “heartless waves.” Cute name aside, this routine quickly became a personal favorite of mine for several reasons: you only need a few products, the styling steps are super easy, and most importantly, 90% of the setting time is spent sleeping. Who doesn’t want to wind down with an easy bedtime beauty routine, then wake up to beautiful, beachy waves? Here’s how Tara gets this effortlessly cool look:
The big difference between beachy waves and what I would describe as “American Girl doll ringlets” is texture. So even though we’ll be using a curling iron to achieve these loose waves, the right products, application and finishing touch will make all the difference in how your hair ends up. This look is a modified version of one of our favorite holiday party hair tutorials, and is perfect for an every day, effortless look.
Photo by @the.blonderoast
As someone who, embarrassingly, never really got the hang of using a curling iron, I’ve figured out how to make a flat iron work for a ton of different hair styles. So when I want to heat style my hair, glossy, beachy waves are my usual go-to — and they’re easily achievable with a flat iron!
You don’t need to be a skilled stylist or surfer to get beautiful beach waves: depending on your hair type and personal style preference, try one of these easy tutorials to get these covetable, casual curls. Make sure that your hair is prepped with the right products — if you’re air drying, use ones that are anti-frizz and hydrating, and if you’re heat styling you’ll always need a protecting spray first. When it comes to styling, sea salt and texturizing sprays are the perfect tools to recreate the look of a day at the beach (minus the sand and seagulls flocking for your food). Whichever tutorial you choose to follow, and whether you’re working with short hair or long, textured cuts, we foresee many beachy hair days ahead.
By Lauren Hannel, staff contributor
cover photo by @jennsmithhair