How to: Nail the Perfect Beach Waves

Textured from sea salt and brightened by the sun; undone, beachy waves are the epitome of summer hair. They’re carefree, natural and fun; a hairstyle we love, beach bound or not. Not all of us have access to the ocean to reap the rewards of a quick dip. The good news is, there is a multitude of ways to get the look, and some take close to zero effort.

Here are just a few of the many different ways to achieve desirable beach waves.


 
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Method 1: The easiest approach: Overnight braids

It really doesn’t get any easier than the overnight beach wave approach.

Step 1: Braid your damp hair before bed. (If you are wearing hair extensions, be sure to completely blow dry all attachment sites first). Large braids will leave you with loose waves
Step 2: Get some shut-eye.
Step 3: Reveal your braids! Take out your braids and you’ll be left with a carefree, beach wave style. If needed, apply product to ensure your waves hold throughout the day.

Twisting your hair into 2-4 equally sized sections, pulled up into a bun, will work in a similar way.



 
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Method 2: Wave Spray

This approach will give you a relaxed beach wave, without the use of heat. (In the midst of summer, when hair takes a fair share of abuse, heat-free options are great to have!) 

Step 1: Start with towel dried hair. If you’re not due for a shower, simply wet your hair with your fingers or a spray bottle (if you are wearing extensions, be sure to avoid wetting the attachment sites).
Step 2: Apply a wave spray. There are many out there! Wave sprays enhance your hair’s natural shape and texture.
Step 3: Gentle tousle or scrunch your hair after applying and let it dry. The result? Beach waves! It’s that easy.




 
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Method 3: Use a curling iron

Bring out beach vibes with a sleeker finish by using a curling iron or wand.

Step 1: Protect your hair! While your curling iron heats up, protect your strands from potential heat damage by applying a heat protectant. (Great Lengths offers a fantastic Heat Care Spray designed especially for hair extensions, perfect for natural hair too!)
Step 2: Prep the hair with a mousse. This will help hold the waves.
Step 3: Dry your hair. Air dried works, but if you are wearing extensions, you must blow dry the attachment sites first. If you’re short on time do a quick, rough dry on low heat.
Step 4: Curl away! Use a large barrel curling iron to curl larger chunks of hair. You want to create large waves rather than tight curls (not exactly beachy). Section the hair into one-inch bundles and wrap the hair around the wand, about two inches down from the roots, carefully avoiding any attachment sites if wearing extensions. Don’t be too perfect or precise with it. Leave the ends straight as well, since beach waves have a slightly undone look and should look natural and carefree.
Step 5: Mess it up a bit! Break up the waves with your fingers, or shake your hair up with your hands to loosen your curls for a messy, wavy look.
Step 6: Spritz in a sea-salt spray to enhance texture, and apply your favourite hair spray to ensure your beach waves last. Be sure to use a product that is sulfate-free.

Here are a few more simple tips for trying to achieve that beachy look:

  • Hair shouldn’t be too clean; it needs to hold the undone wave. Prepping with a mousse will help with this, and will help achieve body.

  • Avoid uniformity. When curling, change the direction that you wrap the hair so that waves differ.

  • Since everyone’s hair is different, the right products and the right approach is key. Find what works best for you. Perhaps a simple spritz of sea-salt spray and a gentle tousle will do. If your hair is thinner or lacks texture, you may need to take a different approach.

  • Hair extensions, either tape-in or keratin bonded, add natural looking volume and thickness, making them a secret weapon to enhance a beach wave. Great Lengths Hair Extensions even have a naturally wavy texture to them! Use our salon finder to locate a certified stylist near you. Book a consultation and learn how Great Lengths can work for you.

As mentioned, there are many ways to achieve a beachy wave, we’ve chosen just three to highlight the range of effort the look can take (from minimal, to more time consuming.) What approach do you find works best to achieve your perfect beachy wave? The options are endless!