Want to know the secret behind effortless, “I woke up like this” beachy waves? It’s probably one of the methods below. Whether your tool of choice is a curling iron, flat iron, or simply a headband, you can easily achieve a cool, undone style that’ll make you look like you still have sand in your shoes—even if you really spent all day at your desk.
The best part? It’s now easier than ever to achieve a beach wave (and that goes for the shortest of bobs and natural hair, too). Not only do these helpful tutorials take the guesswork out of styling your hair, but some of them don’t even require hot tools, which means you can master the effortless style while giving your mane a much-needed break from the heat.
1. Flat Iron Beach Waves
Yes, you can create natural-looking beach waves using a flat iron. Just be sure to apply a heat protectant to the hair before you blowdry (try running Kérastase Résistance Ciment Thermique Blow Dry Primer through your damp hair). Next, wrap your hair around the iron, pull it through the plates, clamp, and slide. Having trouble gliding your hair through the iron? Leave a little space between the plates. Once you’re done, break up the waves with your fingers and add a little texturing spray to complete the look.
2. Heatless Beach Waves
Achieve mermaid hair and give your strands a break from heat styling with this simple how-to, which starts with braiding damp hair. Simply spritz with a salt spray (find the best salt spray for your hair type) and part your hair in the middle, creating two braids on each side. Secure in Princess Leia-style buns until dry. This is a great way to style your hair overnight—just make sure your hair is completely dry before you take it out.
3. Curling Iron Beach Waves
The most traditional way to get beachy waves is with a curling iron. Opt for a barrel that’s approximately one-inch in diameter, like this wand from Bed Head, and be sure to apply a heat protectant to your hair before styling. Simply shake out your hair and you’re ready to go.
4. S-Shaped Beach Waves
You can create beautiful, s-shaped beachy bends with a few simple steps—and all you need is a flat iron and a heat protectant. If you have curly hair, start by straightening your strands. Then, you can use the very same device to create effortless-looking bends simply by rotating the iron back and forth as you glide it down each section of hair.
5. Headband Beach Waves
Leave it to Luxy Hair to come up with yet another genius beauty hack for beach waves that doesn’t require heat styling. Using a cotton headband, like one from Kenz Laurenz, twist and wrap your hair around the base of the band to achieve that undone, straight-off-the-sand look.
6. Beach Waves With The Beachwaver
Still can’t get the hang of a curling iron? It might be time to try The Beachwaver, an auto-rotating curling iron that does half the work for you. This user-friendly tool, created by celeb hairstylist Sarah Potempa, makes styling your hair easier than ever before, thanks to varying temperatures and speed settings. All you need to do is press a button on the ceramic rotating iron to achieve that effortless, undone look each and every time you curl your hair.
7. Beach Waves For Short Hair
Although it might take some practice, creating textured waves on even the shortest of hairstyles can be done. All it requires is one-inch curling iron and a flick of the wrist. Pro tip: After you finish curling your entire head, be sure to generously spritz it with a flexible-hold hair spray before you begin to brush out the curls to ensure they stay.
8. Five-Minute Beach Waves
Beachy waves don’t typically start at the root, so it makes total sense to start curling from your ponytail (opt for an elastic that won’t create creases). This hair hack can also help if you have problems sectioning off your hair or reaching the back pieces. Plus, it’s an amazing time-saver.
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