How To Create The Ultimate Beachy Waves (No Saltwater Required)

Beachy waves are one of the most effervescent summer hair looks. And while they're supposed to look effortless, they rarely are. Achieving the look of that gorgeous volume requires time, patience, and a few worthy products. But just like blush can give you a beachy glow without actual sun exposure, beachy waves can be achieved without actually diving into ice-cold saltwater. 

There are two main ways to achieve beachy waves: with hot tools, and without. Depending on your hair type, you might opt for one or the other. For example, those with thick, dense hair might need to use hot tools to ensure that the hairstyle holds. And those with damaged hair may want to go with a heatless option, to protect the health of their tresses. While the variance in results is minor depending on which method you choose, your beachy waves are sure to add a majestic impact to your summer look. 

Use hot tools for beachy waves

Before you use hot tools of any kind, it is wise to use a heat protectant spray on your hair, which allows the hair to maintain its moisture and mitigates potential damage. And, for some added body, you might also use volumizing spray before styling. Depending on what tools you have access to, beachy waves can be achieved by using either a flat iron or a curling iron. TikTok creator .ashley.kay demonstrates how she achieves beachy waves on her hair with a flat iron in her video. First, she sections out her hair and starts the process from the back. Then, she takes a flat iron, clamps it onto a small section of hair, and rotates her wrist back and forth, to achieve a crimping effect. The result is subtle waves that look artfully crafted by the ocean tides. 

Next, you can use a curling iron to achieve beachy waves. TikTok creator emma.esquivel demonstrates the method in her video. First, keep a low heat setting on your curling iron, to avoid making the curls too tight. Then, curl small sections of hair as usual, and once finished, brush through your hair with your fingers until the strands reach the desired looseness. 

Go heatless with these tricks

But when you'd rather not use hot tools, whether it's to protect your hair from damage, or because you simply don't love how the looks turn out, there are heatless options to achieving beachy waves, too. One of the most classic ways to achieve beachy waves without heat is to wash your hair, and braid it in several sections as desired (the more sections, the smaller the waves). Then, sleep with your braids in, and wake up to beautiful beachy hair. Of course, this method takes all night to do, so if you're in a bit of a rush, there are alternatives. 

Another method is to lightly dampen your hair, then twist small sections of it, pinning them to your head. When the hair dries, spritz it with some hair spray before letting the strands down. This method requires less drying time, but just a little more initial preparation. As digital creator curlielexi discovered in her TikTok, brushing the curls without a styling product can flatten the effect, so make sure to spritz prior to loosening them.

You can also try heatless curlers for beachy waves. Start with damp — but not wet — hair, and slowly roll your hair into the curlers. It's a good idea to use a mix of different-sized curlers to vary the size of your curls, making the curls look more natural. Then, unroll the hair when dry.