7 Easy Tutorials For Perfect Beach Wave Hair Every Time

Summer may be over, but beachy waves are always in style.

7 Easy Ways To Get Beach Waves: Beachy Wave Tutorials shutterstock

Many people think you have to be born with thick, long hair to wear beach waves. But there's good news, because even if you have fine hair or thinning hair, you can still enjoy the look.

Curls are a fun way to add a bit of adventure and fliritness to any look. Using a texurizing sea salt spray is terrific when it comes to creating beach waves, but you can also create this look using a flat iron, straightener, and even without using heat.


RELATED: 50 Ocean Quotes For Everyone Who Loves The Beach

1. How to Get Beach Waves with Short or Long Hair

“I am a big curl fan, especially natural curls,” says Gina Rivera, founder of Phenix Salon Suites and creator of By Gina. “When I think of beach waves, I think of free-flowing curls and waves that have an extremely natural look to them.”


Rivera advises, “For straight short or long hair, apply a light layer of sea spray and then gradually twist and scrunch the hair. By lightly spritzing sea salt spray onto wet hair or damp hair, the product contributes to giving the hair a matte finish and a slightly messy-yet-flawless appearance.”

You can also use an end-cap or diffuser to lift and create larger and more accentuated waves. However, she adds, “Don’t over-dry with a diffuser or you may risk losing the natural look of the waves falling into place in an authentic way.”

If your hair already has some curl to it, comb through the hair in the shower with a wide tooth comb. Then, Rivera says, “Gently squeeze excess water out of the hair after cleansing and spritz sea salt spray on the hair, allowing hair to try naturally.”

To create movement once hair has dried, tossle the hair from underneath using only your finger tips. You can also use a curling iron or a flat iron to create the look.


What you'll need:

2. How to Get Beach Waves with a Curling Iron

Using a curling iron for beachy waves, first start with dry hair. Opt for a larger barrel curling iron, at least 1.5" in diameter. Then, “Section hair into four section. Begin to curl the hair at the mid-shaft,” Rivera advises. 

Leave the tool on the hair for as little time as possible. Do not roll the hair; instead, do a small bend in the hair, and loosely wrap the hair around the iron as you  pull the tool down the hair shaft.


Do not curl to the end of the hair. Instead, “Release the tool from the hair prior to getting to the end so that you leave the portion at the end straight,” Rivera adds. This will create a great looking beach wave. 

You may also want to add a dry shampoo or texture spray at the roots to create a bit of lift. Tossle from underneath with the finger-tips for a finished look. Finish off the look with a small spritz of hairspray.

What you'll need: 

3. How to Get Beach Waves with a Flat Iron

Explains Jennifer Watson, education director for Zenagen Hair Care, "A beachy wave is supposed to look loose, natural and non-uniform. If using a flat iron, keep a quick motion to create a loose shape and prevent creasing the hair. Embracing any natural texture or wave will take a lot of the unnecessary work away and allow for a more authentic look.”


Start off with hair dry and apply texture spray, as it locks in moisture as you style. Section the hair off into four parts going around the head. Then, “Place the flatiron half way down the hair shaft and twist towards the face. Release, and directly below your first twist, place the flat iron in the hair, but this time, twist away from the face,” Rivera recommends.

Continue the pattern down the hair shaft depending on how long the hair is. Be sure to not touch the ends of your hair. Finish off by adding dry shampoo at the roots for a lift, as well as a tiny amount of hairspray to maintain hold.

What you'll need:

RELATED: 50 Best Friend Beach Quotes For Your Summer Instagram Captions


4. How to Get Beachy Waves Without Heat

For beach waves without heat, make sure hair is very damp or wet before beginning.

Then, Rivera suggests, “Comb through the hair with a wide-tooth comb. For straight hair, coat with sea salt spray and then scrunch with your hands. Continue to scrunch periodically through the drying process.”

For curly hair, after combing through with a wide-tooth comb, coat with sea salt spray and go. It's that simple!


What you'll need:

5. How to Get Beach Waves Overnight

To get beach waves overnight, start with hair that has been air dried to about 80 percent. That means it should not be too wet, and dried naturally without the help of a blowdryer.

Before going to bed, separate hair into 6 or 7 even sections, and do loose traditional three-strand braids in those sections. Having these loose braids will keep the hair body in tact.


When you wake up, pull the braids out and "finger comb" through your hair to create separation and a loose beachy look. 

You can also take two-day-old hair (natural oils help with fullness) and pull it up into a high ponytail on top of your head, twisting to create a bun with the ends tucked in. The next day, take down the bun and flip your head upside down to separate and loosen the natural waves. 

6. How to Get Easy Beach Waves

For an easy wavy look that requires less time and fuss, this method is simple and effective.


First, grab your favorite elastic headband and put it onto the base of your head and behind your ears. Then, with medium-sized sections, wrap the hair around the base of the head into the headband until no more hair hangs down.

Leave the headband on overnight or for a few hours. Pull the headband out and fluff hair. Voila! You'll look like you've spent a day on the water.

RELATED: 55 Best Short, Long & Medium Hairstyles For Women In 2020

7. How to Get Loose Beach Waves

According to Watson, start by separatin hair down the middle of the head. Pull it onto shoulders so it is easier to work with the hair on both sides.


Using 4 or 5 sections on each side, use a ceramic flat iron (or 1" or larger curling iron) to create a loose curl, by leaving 2" or so at the top of the head and leaving ends out (about 1" or so).

In this method, it is most helpful to use a salt spray and/or heat protector to assist in your look. 

Choosing the Best Curling Irons for Beachy Waves

1. Pick the right barrel size for your hair type and style needs.

The curling iron barrel shape and size affect how the curls turn out.

“The wider the barrel, the looser your waves or curls are. If you are looking for a more defined look, it’s better to go for a small, round-shaped curling iron,” suggests beauty writer Essie Button.


2. Use a clampless curling iron for more precision.

It’s easier to create the waves that highlight your best features when using a clampless iron.

Adds Button, “All you need to do is curl your hair around the barrel more tightly. Some products allow you to choose from tight, defined, loose, or tousled waves, whichever suits your style.”

Products to try: 


Choosing the Best Flat Irons for Beachy Waves

1. Use an iron with rounded plates.

This step very important, especially to get curls or waves with the greatest amount of ease. The body of the flat iron doesn’t necessarily need to be cylindrical, but it does make it easier.

If you find a flat iron that is wide and very square with a lot of corners, it will be very difficult to curl. Says Austin-based celebrity hairstylist Pepper Pastor, "The rounder the body of the iron and plates, the better you are able to create curls or waves. You can also get hair straight with this style iron."

2. Select ceramic flat irons with proper sizing.

It is best to stick with ceramic flat irons, or 1" or larger curling irons. Ceramic irons offer frizz-fighting, easy styling, no breakage or snagging, and lots of shine. 

If you have thick, textured hair, a tourmaline iron may be best for dense hair for more heat to change the texture into beachy waves or curls. 


"Steer clear of wands if you want to make things easier," says Watson. "Ceramic evenly heats and works with all hair types."

Products to try:

RELATED: 22 Best Leave-In Conditioners For Natural Hair

Aly Walansky is a NY-based lifestyles writer who focuses on health, wellness, and relationships. Her work appears in dozens of digital and print publications regularly. Visit her on Twitter or email her.

YourTango may earn an affiliate commission if you buy something through links featured in this article.