hairstyle trends 8 Ways To Get Perfect Beach Waves

Including heat free options!

August 06, 2020
Beach Waves

Loose, tousled beachy waves (or mermaid waves) is a classic hairstyle that’s adored by many for its versatility and flattering appearance on almost anyone. Whether you have short strands or long hair, fine hair or lots of thickness, you can make beach waves work for you. But what many people don't know about achieving the look is that there are many ways to get it. So whether you’re loyal to your curling iron or prefer heatless hairstyles, we’ve got you covered. Keep reading to learn eight different ways to create the ultimate beach waves. 

1. How To Get Beach Waves With Wave Spray 

Wave spray is a great heat-free option for obtaining an effortless beach waves hairstyle. All you need to do is start with towel-dried hair, apply a few spritzes of wave spray to enhance your hair’s natural shape and texture, and scrunch your hair. Then let it dry, and you’ll be left with casual, loose waves.

2. How To Get Beach Waves With A Curling Iron 

For a more defined look where you can more intentionally control the wave pattern, opt to create your waves with a curling iron. Start by applying a heat protectant like the L’Oréal Paris Elvive Dream Lengths Heat Slayer Pre-Iron Spray Leave-In. Then use a large-barrel curling iron to curl large sections of your hair. This will create large, loose waves. Look for a curling iron with a barrel that’s around an inch and a half. Wrap about one inch sections around the barrel, hold for roughly ten seconds and release the hair. 

To ensure your style is long lasting, finish off the look by applying hair spray like the L’Oréal Paris Elnett Strong Hold which provides a shiny finish and a humidity-resistant formula that will keep your waves intact.

3. How To Get Beach Waves With A Flat Iron 

If you have short hair above your shoulders and want to create beach waves, using a flat iron is a great way to do it. While you might not have enough length to wrap your hair around a curling wand, a flat iron can grab the hair at the roots and make it possible to create waves. 

After applying heat protectant, grab a section of hair and start with your straightener pointing towards the root of your hair. After clamping the straightener down, twist it so that it’s at a vertical angle, and your hair is wrapped around it. Continue to twist the straightener as you move down the section of hair and release at the ends. Repeat this motion with the rest of the sections and finger comb the hair to give it a tousled look. 

Editor’s tip: If you need more detailed instructions, check out our article on
How to Curl Your Hair with a Flat Iron.

4. How To Get Beach Waves With Overnight Braids 

It doesn't get much easier than overnight beach waves. You’ll simply plait your hair before bed and have a beach wave style by morning. To achieve loose waves, section your hair in half and create two braids. It’s best to do this when your hair is 75 percent dry so that the waves form but you don’t wake up with wet hair. Leave your braids in place overnight and in the morning, undo each braid to reveal gorgeous beach wave curls.

5. How To Get Beach Waves With Overnight Buns 

Overnight buns are another hairstyle you may have been sleeping on (though not in the way you should be) when it comes to getting a wavy style. It’s a great way to opt for heatless waves when you have long hair. 

Depending on the thickness of your hair and how tight you want your beach waves to be, split your hair into two to four equally-sized sections. Twist each section, then wrap it into a bun. Secure with hair ties or bobby pins to keep your buns in place throughout the night. In the morning, take out your buns and comb through your hair with your fingers and you'll be left with bouncy beach waves. 

6. How To Get Beach Waves With Sea Salt Spray 

A sea salt spray is one of the most popular ways to get impromptu beach waves sans the beach, as it quite literally mimics what the salt water from the beach does to your hair. 

If you have some natural wave to your hair, simply spritz your sea salt spray throughout your mane and scrunch to amp up the texture. That’s it — say hello to gorgeous beach waves. If you have straight hair or prefer a more obvious wave, you can create your beach waves with any of the other methods and apply sea salt spray to give it the beachy texture. 

7. How To Get Beach Waves With A Twist Out 

If you have natural hair, you can totally get in on the beach hair fun with a classic twist out. While most natural hair curl techniques leave you with tight and defined curls, this method is all about giving you stretched out waves. So, if beach waves are your desired style and you have medium or long hair, a twist out will make it happen. Head on over to our article, How To Do A Twist Out In 7 Steps, to master the look.

Editor’s tip: Keep in mind, this method will only work for certain curl patterns. If you find that you’re having trouble retaining your wave, another method which involves heat will be best to achieve a beach waves hairstyle.

8. How To Get Beach Waves With A Perm 

Wondering how to do beach waves that will survive your next shampoo session? Instead of having to style your hair repeatedly, there’s one option that’s more long-lasting: a beach wave perm. Instead of tight curls, à la the traditional perm, this hair treatment leaves you with perfect beach wave curls. We won’t get into a step-by-step breakdown of how to do a beach wave perm since it’s something you’ll want to visit a professional for, but know that it’s an option to consider, especially if beach waves for long hair is on your must-try list. 


Next: 3 Tips For Getting Great Bangs With Curly Hair

Edited by: Alyssa Kaplan, Photo Credit: IG/