As with many aspects of beauty – no makeup makeup, naturally glowing skin – beach waves are a supposedly low-maintenance look that can actually be quite tricky to achieve. If you’ve got natural curls, lucky you, a quick scrunch with some frizz ease and air dry will achieve that tousled texture.
As for the rest of us – the fine, the flat, the feeble of hair, (no offence intended – I put myself in this category too) creating a relaxed wave that is ostensibly natural and sticks around for the day is something of a challenge. If you’ve ever tonged in girly ringlets or strange dents, you know what I mean.
But, persist and prevail we must, because a beachy wave is the ultimate summer hairstyle. It’s laid back but pretty, disguises dodgy roots and works on any length from cool crop to tumbling Rapunzel, all the while making hair look bigger, healthier and alltogether more va-va-voom. Tousled hair works as well for a fancy wedding as it does lunch with the girls, or (unsurprisingly) on an actual beach too.
So put any failed endeavours behind you, and follow these simple steps to fake your very own ‘I woke up like this’ natural beachy waves. Once you’ve got the knack, it’s foolproof.
Clean up (but only a bit)As with so many styles, this works best on hair that’s not 100% clean. Your natural oils will help give those waves a bit of grip and guts to stick around. If you’re happy to skip a wash entirely, perfect. If not use a co-wash cleansing conditioner like my favourite Percy & Reed Perfectly Perfecting Wonder Cleanse & Nourish, £18, which lightly cleans hair without stripping it.
Prep with product
If there’s one thing I’ve learned from top hairdressers, it’s don’t be shy with products. None of us use anywhere near what the pros do, and the right combination will make styling eminently easier. Start with a cream on damp hair, Kerastase L’Incroyable Blow Dry, £15.30, is activated by heat so perfect for this. Blast hair upside down with your dryer until it’s nearly done, then lightly mist on Bumble & Bumble Surf Infusion, £23, a genius update of the iconic Surf Spray with added oil to counteract that traditional surfy crunch (some loved it, I prefer this one).
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Wave with a wand Wands are so much easier to use than a tong, the tapered barrel guides hair into natural looking waves, not uniform ringlets, and there’s no clip to create strange dents or kinks. GHD Curve Classic Wave Wand, £120, is perfection. Start with the narrow end facing downwards, clip away your top layers then grab chunky section (size-wise a normal head of hair should divide into about 8-10) then wrap the hair around the barrel, always away from your face which creates a nice eye-opening effect. Hold for five seconds, release then repeat all round. Once all your hair is finished, wait five minutes for it to cool (important as this helps it set in place). Then brush through (also important as this stops the curls being too ‘neat’ and uniform) and set with a decent misting of good old L’Oreal Elnett Hairspray, £6.70. If your hair is particularly fine you could blast the waves with a bit of dry shampoo too for even more bulk.
Shake it out, with your fingers, and enjoy! The best thing about this look is it suits being little bit messy, but if you notice the curls separating during the day, run a flexible brush like The Wet Brush, £8.50, through to refresh the look.