How To Master Beachy Waves, Sans Beach

A go-to guide for every hair type.


Over the past few years, the tousled beach-wave look has proven to be much more than a passing fad. It’s a hairstyle with staying power, possibly on its way to iconic status. Inspired by that perfectly mussed-up state our salt-filled locks get after a day in the ocean, the look is (deceivingly!) unfussy and effortless. 

The problem is we aren't at the beach every day, and you probably aren’t either. So, if there isn’t an ocean on hand, achieving this “effortless” style actually does take some effort.  

Luckily, we have an arsenal of beauty products to tell you how to get those coveted waves whether your mane is stick-straight, ultra-curly or anything in-between. 

Straight Hair

For our straight-hair gals, "beach waves" may mentally translate into crunchy kinks, but it doesn’t have to be that way! Using braids works well to get beach waves, but you’ll need a flat iron. Apply a heat protector to your tresses. Then, take a flat iron and clamp all the way down on the braids numerous times. 

GHD Style Heat Protect Spray

beach waves hair products


Undo the braids and apply a texturizing spray. 

Shop it here for $22.

Ouai Wave Spray

Shop it here for $26.

Fine Hair 

If your hair often falls flat, getting those perfectly tousled waves may seem like an impossible dream (for more than an hour at least). But with our tips, your surfer-girl hair is sure to last. Start by scrunching a texturizing spray into your damp locks and then dry with a blowdryer on low. 

Oribe Surfcomber Tousled Texture Mousse


Once your hair is dry, you can add more waves with a curling wand. If you want an extra tousled look, twist the hair before you curl it. Once your head is done, finish the look off with a volumizing texture spray to lock in the waves. 

Shop it here for $22.

Bumble and bumble Thickening Dryspun Finish

Shop it here for $31.

Curly Hair

The curly-haired may have never considered beach waves. But believe it or not, you can calm your locks into a less defined, beach-babe situation. 

Wash and condition your hair before bed. Then, towel dry your hair to absorb all the moisture. Next, brush through your tresses and apply a heavy oil. 

Kerastase - Nutritive Oleo-Relax Serum

Divide your hair into two sections and loosely braid each side. Pin each braid to the top of your head; this will prevent your hair from frizzing while you sleep. 

Once you wake up, take the braids down and spray with a texturizing spray. 

Shop it here for $30.

Bumble and Bumble Surf Infusion

Shop it here for $29.

Wavy Hair

For naturally wavy hair, you want to enhance what you already have. Add a bit of mouse to damp hair and dry with a diffuser to define already present waves. 

Sachajuan Hair Mousse

Once hair is set, take it down, shake it out, and spritz with a texture spray. 

Shop it here for $31.

Not Your Mother's Double Take Dry Finish Spray

Shop it here for $9.