Do You Do Beachy Waves?

Published in: Hair, Just For Fun

Do you do beachy waves?

Are any of you gals going to the beach this weekend? I wish it were warmer here right now because I sure could use a beachy break.


The bay out here is always pins-and-needles cold — not exactly bikini friendly — even when it’s hot outside, and most swimmers will wear a wet suit in the water.

I would, too, if they didn’t make me look and feel like a sausage, bluh!

Even when it’s too cold for the beach, I still like to dress the part, which is why I’ve been all about sundresses, flip flops, sunglasses and hair with beachy waves for the past few weeks.

There are different ways to do ’em, but here’s an approach that I use.

How I do my beachy waves

  1. For me it all starts the night before. I get better results in the morning when I’ve washed and conditioned my hair before bed. Lately, I’ve been using and loving Living Proof No Frizz Shampoo and Conditioner ($48).
  2. After my shower, I wrap my hair with a highly-absorbent microfiber towel like the Aquis ($18; hello, awesomeness) for 15-20 minutes. Then, I remove the Aquis, which has sucked out most of the excess water, and air dry until bed.
  3. Right before bed I apply and comb through a leave-in conditioner like Living Proof Leave-In Conditioner ($24), concentrating on the mid-shaft to the ends.
  4. With my hair conditioned, I put it in a loose French braid; the thicker the pieces in the braid, the bigger the waves the next morning. I secure the end of the braid with a ponytail elastic band (I like these summery, bright bands from Bumble & Bumble’s Bandball, $20), and then I hit the haaaaay.
  5. The next morning, I remove the braid and gently run my fingers through the waves, misting with Bumble & Bumble Curl Conscious Reactivating Mist ($22). I think it gives the waves some extra spring.
  6. For extra definition and hold, I spray on a light hold styling product like Redken Layer Lift ($15) on the upper and middle layers; when I want a softer, slightly messier look, I’ll use Bumble & Bumble Surf Spray ($22) instead.
  7. To finish, I scrunch the ends and let the products dry. 🙂

Drugstore alternatives

You can also substitute any of the above products with the following drugstore goodies…

Do you do beachy waves? What products/techniques do you use to get the look?

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,



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So far, 34 people have commented on this article. How cool is that?

  1. Sarah says:

    o man o mannnn!
    ive always wanted some beach waves!
    i gotta try this on out.. ill let u know how it goes! LOL

  2. Sarah says:

    I’m a beach waves fanatic… I just do it because I don’t like to dry my hair in the summer… for me it’s just a little fekkai glossing cream after I wash my hair and a few scrunches. If I want to amp it up a bit I twist my hair back in a bun and spray it a little and then let it dry. If it weren’t so cold in Pittsburgh, I’d rock this air-dried look all year round.

  3. Christina says:

    If I want beachy waves, I go to bed with wet hair (using my normal products beforehand), and then actually have to use a straightening iron on a low setting to loosen my curls. Opposite approach, I know!
    .-= Christina’s last blog post… Connor’s Crush =-.

  4. Martha says:

    Thank you so much for taking the time to list drugstore alternatives!

  5. cloudburst says:

    Wow I wish I could get beachy waves – I have dead straight heair though so i don’t know that this would work.

  6. after shampoo + conditioner… i put a little federic fekkai glossing cream or fizz ease serum in my hair, let air dry partially, then mist with some sunsilk waves of envy + federic fekkai glossing spray. after that i twist in a bun or french braid it. the bun i secure with a large clip (octopus clip or a lorgnette) so that the ends are not all crunched up. i let dry completely, and voila! beach waves!
    .-= ines, felix and kitten (the office kitties)’s last blog post… Dance Photo Roundup – Winter 2008/Spring & Summer 2009 =-.

  7. ps – this only works because my hair is wavy naturally… if you have stick straight hair it may not work.
    .-= ines, felix and kitten (the office kitties)’s last blog post… Dance Photo Roundup – Winter 2008/Spring & Summer 2009 =-.

  8. giselle says:

    wow it looks great on you, but my hair is long so all those products would most likely weigh my hair down a lot.

  9. Sarah says:

    I have really kinky hair so I’m so jealous! I can’t get beautiful waves like you accomplished. Looking good!

  10. nikki says:

    i must have been born lucky because my hair is wavy like that naturally. of course i still do teasing to get the wavys more beachy and less blah looking but same difference 🙂

  11. Tiffany says:

    I wish I could get beachy waves! I’ll have to try your method. My hair always ends up frizzy and not wavy when I try waves 🙁

  12. tanya says:

    I WISH i could do beachy waves like this–gorgeous!! My hair is so fine, a curl never really stays. Can’t wait to try this out for tomorrow 🙂 Thanks Karen!
    .-= tanya’s last blog post… wanderer. =-.

  13. KC says:

    Love your hair, Karen. You look gaw-geous! Unfortunately, my bro got the think, straight Asian hair while I got the thin, stick-straight (dare I say limp?) Asian hair. But I’ll have to try your method – maybe it’ll work. Thanks for listing the drugstore options – I’d hate to drop a pretty penny only to find out my hair won’t cooperate.

  14. Citrine says:

    My hair is too short to be beachy…but when ever I twist my hair into a big bun and pin it up with a stick, I tend to get big waves on my just below collar bone hair… (which makes me look like lion king)

  15. tali says:

    If i could achieve that look..i would do them.. but my hair is so straight and stubborn! Your hair however makes me want to cry with jealousy! Thats how i want my hair to be 100% of the time!
    .-= tali’s last blog post… CONTEST WINNERS! =-.

  16. Hafsa says:

    I actually have wavy hair to begin with, but to keep that wave, after showering I scrunch my hair to get extra moisture out, and then spray “Waves of Envy” by Sunsilk (smells gooooooood) and then let it air dry! Or if I take a shower at night, I just sleep in it to intensify the wave action.

    I <3 wavy beachy hair!
    .-= Hafsa’s last blog post… Mosaic =-.

  17. Arianne says:

    Love those tips! I tried waves today but using a flat iron… my waves look a little dried out though. I love L’Oreal’s heat activated curling spray to hold my waves all day.
    .-= Arianne’s last blog post… Top 5 Picks of the Day. =-.

  18. Marmar says:

    Beachy waves are lovely.. except when you’re permanently stuck with them. Unfortunately for me, my hair is a wavy mess- even after straightening it like mad, the best I can usually get are the beach type waves.. which were cute at first.. but every single day I look like I’ve been sitting on my butt in the sand. My hair does this really weird thing where after straightening, etc it’s perfectly in place but as the day goes on, it naturally goes back to waves. I wish it would stop :-\
    .-= Marmar’s last blog post… girls ♥ nail polish =-.

  19. Haley says:

    i love beach waves. i typically don’t spend much time on my hair, but when i make any effort, it’s always toward waviness. i apply kevin murphy’s motion lotion when my hair is still fairly damp, then bumble and bumble surf spray at the nearly dry point. and if i’m really ambitious, then i use kevin murphy’s hair resort instead of the surf spray. let me tell you, hair resort is the essence of waviness put into a bottle!

  20. Kate & Zena says:

    Beachy waves? Me? Nu uh. My hair hates curling. My hair is anti-curl.

  21. Catherine says:

    Thanks for sharing your tips! I’m totally gonna try this out next week. 😀
    .-= Catherine’s last blog post… Haircut & Style =-.

  22. Elle says:

    Every time I read something about ‘beachy waves’, I remember my all-time favorite and freakin’ DISCONTINUED hair product, John Freida’s Beach Blonde Ocean Waves spray. Then I shed a tear over its demise. 🙁

    I do the braid trick, too, (and my hair is naturally wavy) but I don’t put any prodcut in it before hand. I’ve been using Sunsilk’s Waves of Envy gel/cream in my hair when I wake up (my hair is usually damn when I wake up because it takes forever to dry due to its thickness) and Garnier’s wave spray (Wonder Waves? I might just be making up that name!). I also put a little bit of coconut oil on the ends (The Body Shop makes this awesome hair balm in a tin) for a beachy scent.

  23. Elle says:

    Um, my hair is *damp*, not *damn*. 🙂

  24. kula_bear says:

    HI Karen,

    I have shoulder length hair and would love to try the beachy look, however, my hair is too short for a braid. Any tips? Thanks!

  25. Marisol says:

    Awesome look! Too bad our weather is so darn beach unfriendly right now. I <3 Surf Spray. If I tried your method, unfortch I would wake up with a mane of frizz.
    .-= Marisol’s last blog post… Kindle me this… =-.

  26. Shiny says:

    Way to be awesome and give us some cheaper alternatives to try out! I am so going to attempt this look when I get back to Canada.

  27. Glosslizard says:

    Oh, your hair looks so lovely in that picture! I’ve been having the worst time taming my locks lately! I am crazy-excited to try the Living Proof shampoo/conditioner duo!! Plus, I really have to learn how to do a french braid, any tips? Wanna do a video tut on it (hint hint)? 😉

  28. Beth says:

    I absolutely LOVE this look but my hair is naturally straight and would never hold a curl properly.

    I bought a hairdryer recently, the Remington Spin Curl, which has an attachment which you kind of stick a section of hair in and it curls it as it dries it. Its like a tube and the air creates a vortex and I don’t know how it does it, but it makes those waves last a stupidly long time.

    The picture of me on my blog is after I’ve used it and I really love it. If you can get one and you’re a straight-haired girl who’d given up hope, I’d totally recommend it.
    .-= Beth’s last blog post… Review – Soap and Glory "The Fab Pore" 15 Minute Facial Peel =-.

  29. Adrienne says:

    Thank you for the drugstore alternative!! That will help my small budget.

  30. Meream says:

    My hair is like beach frizzy waves every day 🙁 Yours look great.

  31. Dao says:

    Ha, I wrote about this a while back. My secret is really simple, you won’t believe it: I tie it in a bun and let it stay there until I’m ready to go. Gisele’s hair all the time! If I’m in the mood, I’d sleek a dollop of hair gel before blow drying. My hair is stick straight so I really appreciate the waves 🙂
    .-= Dao’s last blog post… Beauty Literotica: The Beauty of Color by Iman =-.

  32. kathleen says:

    alas! you’ve answered my cries for beach wave hair! i’ve been doing the french braid thing but always came out with small crimpy hair. ew. But now that iknow to do it in bigger chunks i think it’ll work. THANKS MUCHOS!

  33. chanel says:

    without putting any product my hair dries naturally like that but with FRIZZ!!! Just last month I have been using the garnier wonder waves and the spray it really helps keep it more manageable

    sometimes to give my hair move waviness I do a few braids in my hair… like four for about 45 minutes then let it loose.

  34. sunmom says:

    i’ll try this one tonight! sexy!
    .-= sunmom’s last blog post… How To Make A Nappy Cake! =-.

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