How to get Versatile, easy beach waves

No hair texture says summer like beach waves, and whether your locks are long or short, thick or thin, straight or curly, this guide can help you nail the look.

Adding a little volume to your hair is always a good idea, and when the summer heat sets in, there’s no easier way to get that oomph than with beach waves. The tousled look is meant to mimic the soft curl and texture your hair naturally takes on after a dip in the ocean thanks to the salt and a breezy air-dry. If the look makes you think of surfers and beach bums, think again: It’s like the more relaxed version of a blowout, and it’s just as versatile. Beach waves look great when you’re kicked back in the sand, of course, but they’re perfect for brunch, a date or even the office. And since they’re so easy to achieve, they’ll be your new go-to hairstyle long after summer wraps. Here’s how to create beach waves hairstyle no matter the length or the texture of your hair.

How to get beach waves with straight hair?

If you’ve got pin-straight hair, don’t worry—you can get beach curls with a few tips and tricks, from how you dry it to what hot tools you use.

Step 1 - Start with the blow-dry:

For straight, fine hair, a root-lifting blow-dry is the best place to start when you’re creating beach waves. Hit your hair with the dryer, working in sections and focusing on the roots. Flip your head upside down to add even more volume and scrunch it to bring out as much curl as you naturally have.

Step 2 - Create beach waves with a flat iron:

When your hair is completely dry, twist it into small sections and run over each twist with a flat iron. Don’t worry about uniformity—a little messiness is key when it comes to beach wave curls. If you want a bit more structure and shine, try curling your hair with your flat iron. Working in one-inch sections, slowly twist your flat iron away from your face as your hair moves through it.

Step 2.5 - Get beach waves with a curling wand:

If you want a more conventional curl, choose a curling iron with a barrel size of at least one inch. Curl your hair in small sections, and then brush it out to give it a more lived-in feel.

How can I work my already-curly hair into beach waves?

If you’ve got curly hair but you don’t know how to do waves, start by letting your hair air-dry. Try not to touch it as it’s drying. Then, pass a flat iron on low heat over your natural curls, focusing on the ends. Don’t worry if you miss some strands because, again, that’s the kind of messiness you want to achieve to keep your beach hair looking natural.

How can I get beach waves without hot tools?

If you’ve got an early meeting and your morning primp time is limited, the beach hairstyle could be a lifesaver. Wash your hair (or just dampen it) right before bed, and loosely braid it in either one or two sections depending on how thick your hair is and how big you want your beach curls to be. Sleep on it, and you’ll wake up to just the right amount of wave when you undo your braids. If you do have a bit of time in the morning post-shower, let your hair air-dry until it’s about a third of the way dry and then twist it into two buns just behind your ears. Let it dry in those buns for as long as you can; when you take them out, you’ll have beautiful beach waves.

What’s essential to my beach waves tool kit?

Now that you’ve created the curl you want, add that salty texture with L’Oréal Paris Stylista The #Beachwaves Texturizing Mist. The salt in this beach waves spray will add just the right amount of tousled texture, and since it’s silicone-free, it won’t leave any buildup. If your hair is thin, spritz the texturizing spray through the middle sections so you don’t weigh down the volume you’ve created at the roots. If your hair is thicker, you can be generous: Distribute the spray through all your curls, from roots to ends. If you have naturally wavy hair and you’re strapped for time, L’Oréal Paris Stylista The #Beachwaves Texturizing Mist is all you need. Spray it generously through damp hair and scrunch it a little as it air-dries—you’ll have the perfect beach hair.

How do I make my beach waves last?

Touch-ups with your salt texturizing spray are key, so keep it in your bag if you can. Otherwise, as with any curly hairstyle, touching it can loosen up those waves, so try not to play with it too much throughout the day. That said, the beauty of beach hair is that it’s supposed to look lived in, so even if it does soften, it’ll still look intentional. Don’t overthink it and let everyone around you think you spent a relaxing day at the beach.

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