When it comes to my hair, nature and I don’t vibe that well. While everyone else in the world seems to walk off the shore with perfect beachy waves, my hair looks more like a mass of seaweed—clumpy, stringy, kind of smelling like dead fish. What I’m trying to say is, I haven’t been blessed with hair that looks good with minimal effort, so I have spent the better part of my life watching YouTube videos to learn how to fake it.
And since you’re here, I’ll assume you could use some advice, too, so I rounded up the absolute best videos for creating your own beach waves sans ocean water—and I promise no one will know the difference.
How to Do Beach Waves With a Curling Wand
Because this tutorial requires the use of a curling wand, prep your strands with a heat-protecting spray first. Tip: Maria, here, actually sprays her hair with hairspray before she starts styling, a trick she says helps her curls hold longer. Once you’ve brushed the product through, start curling your hair in the back and work your way forward.
To curl the hair, wrap a one-inch section around the wand away from your face and leave the ends out. Once you’re finished curling your whole head, find about five pieces of hair that need touch-ups and re-curl them—but this time, wrap the strands in the opposite direction (toward your face) to alternate the curl pattern. Finish with a blast of sea-salt spray and a texturizing spray to add some beachy texture.
The Easiest Way to Get Beach Waves on Long Hair
If you can never seem to get the hang of curling your hair in the right direction, try this trick: First, pull all your hair up into a super-high ponytail—now pull it up even higher and as close to your hairline as possible. Secure it in place with a hair tie. Then, begin curling one-inch sections of your ponytail, leaving two inches or so uncurled at the bottom.
Once the entire ponytail has been curled, remove the hair tie and and use your fingers to tousle and separate the curls. Then, run a wide-tooth comb through the strands to loosen the curls. To finish, Giorgina works salt spray (she says heat-protectant spray will also work in a pinch) into her hands and works it through the ends to add texture.
How to Get Beach Waves on Natural Hair
Start with blown-out hair. Then, section off a one-inch-wide piece of hair and tie the rest back and out of the way. Apply a quarter-size amount of curl cream before twisting the section. Then, start from the top and separate a small sliver of hair into two parts. Then, begin flat-twisting until you’re halfway down the length of the hair. To do so, twist the two sections, add a piece of hair from your head to one of the sections, then repeat the pattern.
Once you’ve reached the halfway point, redivide the two sections of hair to make three, and finish with a three-strand twist-out all the way to the end. Once your hair is dry, carefully unravel the twists. Bria works a hair oil into her hands before undoing the twists to smooth any potential frizz. To finish, use a pick comb to lift the roots and shape the hair how you want it.
How to Do Heatless Beach Waves on Short Hair
First, part your hair all the way down the middle to create two sections of hair and work on one half at a time. If your hair is dry, dampen it slightly with a spray bottle full of water and brush it through. Mia, who has color-treated hair, recommends applying a deep-treatment mask to your hair to nourish it while you style.
Then, take a three-inch section of hair from the front of your head (along your part and hairline) and separate into two parts. Begin flat-twisting (twist the two sections and incorporate hair from your head as you go) until you reach the ends of your hair. Then, wrap the end into a bun at the base of your head and secure the twist with a scrunchie. Wear your hair up to sleep, and in the morning, unravel your twists and use your fingers to separate them for loose, beach waves.
How to Do Beach Waves With Clip-In Extensions
Start with straightened, brushed-out hair. Jazzie preps her own strands and the extensions with a heat-protectant spray. Then, clip in your extensions. To do so, start in the back at the nape of your neck and work your way up, finishing with the pieces around your hairline.
Once you’re finished clipping in the extensions, curl your hair away from your face with a one-inch curling wand. Jazzy suggests not leaving the hair on the wand for too long for a looser beach wave. To avoid too much heat, she also focuses the wand on the extensions rather than her own hair and only adds a slight bend to the ends to blend them into the longer pieces.