top of page

How To: Beach Waves

Fun and flirty tendrils inspired by a long, sunkissed day at the beach have surpassed seasonal popularity to become a year-round style. These deconstructed curls give hair dimension and are surprisingly simple to do at home!

Here's my step-by-step guide to achieving a style even the ocean would envy: WHAT YOU NEED: - A curling iron, inch or inch and a half in diameter. For this demo I used an inch Babyliss Pro Nano. Hot Tools is another great brand.

- Hair Spray. I like to spray each piece before and after curling. My favorite is Kenra 25 hair spray.


1. Begin by separating your hair into two sections, top and bottom. Everything from the top of the ear up should be clipped up and away.

2. Divide the bottom section into 2 pieces.

3. Taking one of the two pieces, clamp the curling iron in the center of the section. ROTATE the barrel upwards one to two turns (depending on length of hair) .

4. Pull the curling iron downwards through the hair an inch or two, leaving an inch to an inch and a half of hair at the end. Then, rotate the curling iron upwards again. Hold for 10 to 15 seconds.

PRO TIP: A common beginner's mistake is using the hand to wrap the hair around the barrel, and then clamping it all down. Instead, clamp first, and rotate the curling iron to wrap hair around the barrel.

5. Pull down to unravel hair from the curling iron. When you arrive at the ends, use the curling iron like a flatiron to smooth out the ends between the barrel and the clamp.

6. Repeat for the other section, turning the barrel in the OPPOSITE direction as the first section. In the picture above, the right-hand piece is turning clockwise, and the left-hand piece (in the barrel) is turning counterclockwise. This prevents the curls from falling into each other.

NEXT SECTION: Take down hair from the top of your ear to your temple, all the way around your head.

7. Split this layer in two, just as you had done with the bottom section.

8. Split one section of hair into 2 pieces. For very thick hair, feel free to split the section into 3 pieces. My model had thick hair, so I split it in 3, for 6 total pieces to be curled around the entire head in this section.

Your hair is going to look pretty goofy at this point in the game. Just stick with it and trust me, girl, it's gonna work.

9. Repeat the curling technique described in steps 3 thru 5. Remember to alternate what direction each curl is twisting to prevent the curls from falling in to each other.

NEXT SECTION: Make a mohawk section from the remaining hair. To separate the mohawk section, gather the hair atop your head, leaving out hair that lies between the sides of your temple up to the arch of your eyebrow. Clip the mohawk section up and away, leaving you with hair on either side of your head.

10. Repeat steps 3 thru 5 for each curl. For thick hair, you can separate this into 2 pieces.

PRO TIP: You should be curling hair that frames your face AWAY from your face.

NEXT SECTION: Take down your mohawk section. Split this into HORIZONTAL pieces, between 2 or 3 pieces depending on the amount of hair you have and/or the size of your noggin'!

11. Repeat steps 3 thru 5 for each curl.

Almost done! Now, your hair should look something like this:

But wait! There's more.

12. Here's where the magic happens. Run your fingers through your hair to pull curls apart, creating that deconstructed look beach waves are famous for.

BAM! So beachy!

I prefer to leave out the fringe area (also called "bangs") to blow dry separately. My model had straight bangs that we pushed to the side. For longer bangs, try setting the hair in a Velcro roller for 10-20 minutes.

Finish it all off by applying your favorite texture spray to give hair that beachy texture affect as well as some extra hold. My favorite spray at the moment is the Kenra Air Grip Spray.

That's it! Now all you have left to do is head out for a night on the town to flaunt your killer curls.

I mean, come on; who doesn't love to show off a good hair day?

~Sue Natale The Stylist

Sue Natale is a Long Island-based hairstylist and fashionista. Her work experience includes several salons on Long Island, including the world-renown Red Door Salon at the Garden City Hotel. Today, she works as a freelance hairstylist affiliated with Metamorphosis New York. Follow her on Instagram @suenatale_thestylist, or click here to book an appointment or consultation.

Featured Posts
Recent Posts
Search By Tags
No tags yet.
bottom of page