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Presenting: The 16 Easiest Beach Wave Tutorials You’ll Ever Try

I’m going to let you in on a little secret—I’ve only mastered one hairstyle in my entire life, and it’s the summery and low-key beach waves hairstyle. Even though it may seem simple, the sole reason I was even able to do it was because I watched many a tutorial on the process. Seriously, there are so many tips and tricks available online no matter how you want to style your hair—you don’t even have to use a styling tool to get this wavy hairstyle.

And because I don’t gate-keep essential beauty information, I’m ready to share the 16 best and easiest beach wave tutorials of all time, whether you’re a beginner or you’re a pro who needs a little refresher. Keep reading to find out how you can achieve this breezy, lived-in look.

1. How to do a beach wave blowout

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I don’t know about you, but all I needed to know to start this tutorial was that Jonathan Van Ness was going to teach me how to create beach waves. Begin the blowout by positioning your hair dryer one foot away from the head to ensure your hair dries more voluminous (no round brush or paddle brush required). Twist your hair with your fingers simultaneously so you can get more of a curl while drying.

After separating hair into sections (however many you prefer), hold your hair straightener in a C-shape on one inch strands for a few seconds and continue to do this on the entire strand of hair. On the top of the head, use a curling iron with a clamp and wrap a one-inch section around the wand, but make sure to leave one or two inches out of the clamp. JVN suggests alternating between straightener and curler because having everything uniform can look too polished, like a retro ‘20s wave hairstyle.


2. How to get beach waves with long layers

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If anyone can master beach waves, it’s Guy Tang. He recommends turning a one and a half inch curling iron setting low (around 260 degrees to 350 degrees) to begin with. Once you section the hair off, start with the front near the face and begin by wrapping one-inch sections around your wand and dragging the iron off of each strand in the parietal section of the hair.

When you get to the center of the head, continue curling but away from your face—this will give it a more disheveled and beachy look. Now, you’ll want to alternate which direction you curl the hair towards so it looks like you jumped out of bed and woke up like this. Wait three to five minutes and then rake your fingers through every piece of hair.

To get that ultra-glossy look, mist a shine spray all over the head (about one foot away) and allow it to gently fall on the hair. You can of course stop there, but if you want to kick it up a notch, take a few strands and squeeze them up while going in with a sculpting spray. This will allow some curls to pop amongst the others.


3. How to create “lived-in” beach waves

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Chris Appleton starts off with damp hair to run volumizing spray and an anti-humidity treatment. Dry the hair without blowing each strand out except the front part of the head on top. Here, you’ll want to wrap the entire front section onto a round brush and brush out as you blow out.

Section off your hair, then take a one and a half inch strand of hair and sprinkle some hairspray on. The technique Chris suggests is to wrap each piece around the curling iron (while leaving the ends out) until it feels hot and then stretch the hair out—it should create the perfect wave.

Keep repeating this step until you reach the front of the face and then for the front strands, curl away from the face—this allows your hair to look extra flowy and have movement throughout the day. Chris likes to finish off by drizzling texturizing spray into the root and into the mid-lengths and ends. He avoids brushing the hair and likes to give it a quick shake—and vóila, you’ve got a Kardashian-level hairstyle.


4. How to get heatless beach waves with a curling ribbon

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Influencer Ellana Pecherle’s beach waves tutorial is one of the easiest ones on the list, but I will warn you, you need to allot a few hours to ensure this goes smoothly. Starting off with hair that’s around 80 to 85 percent dry, run a styling creme through your strands to aid in smoother, softer-looking hair. Using a small clip, attach the curling ribbon to the top of the head after dividing your hair into two sections.

To get beach waves, twist each strand and go under and over the ribbon once before you grab another strand and repeat. When you finish a section, flip the end of the curling ribbon under and back, then tie a scrunchie onto the ends. Repeat on both sides for desired effect.


5. How to get beach waves on short hair

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DW, just because you have short hair doesn’t mean you can’t get in on the beach waves trend. In this tutorial, Amber Scott suggests using a smaller, one-inch curling iron or wand—anything larger will be a bit too difficult to control. Clip your hair into two or three sections and, working with small pieces, gently curl away from your face (no need to get super methodical about how big your pieces are—the less perfect, the better).

With shorter lengths, Scott stresses the importance of sliding your curling iron all the way down the piece—leaving your ends straight will create wonky, uneven bends (i.e. the opposite vibe you’re going for here). To give your hair even more volume, blast a thickening spray through your roots as the final step in your routine.


6. How to do subtle beach waves

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The key to recreating this lowkey beach wave tutorial from YouTuber Weylie Hoang? Don’t get tripped up on having a “perfect” technique or creating ultra-precise sections—take your time, go slow, and loosely curl your hair to get a soft and subtle finish. To get that cool, lived-in vibe, Hoang leaves her ends straight, but you’re welcome to continue all the way down each section if you’re after a more refined look.

Two things to keep in mind: As with any heat styling, you’ll want to prep your beach waves with a solid coat of heat protectant (seriously, it’s the easiest way to avoid damage) and Hoang suggests completing the look with finishing spray for extra texture and hold. Peep the video above to see how she gets it done.


7. How to get beach waves on relaxed hair

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CurlNamedLauren kicks off this tutorial by taking her relaxed hair out of two braids—which, yup, sounds easy enough, but this one’s all about the parting and styling. Hydration is the name of the game, so Lauren suggests coating your braids in argan oil before you start styling (it’ll give you a nice amount of shine too).

After you unravel your hair, flip your waves into a deep side part and gently scrunch your mid lengths and ends until it starts to fall naturally. Lauren says you can even use a teasing comb right at the roots to help get some extra volume in the back.


8. How to get beach waves on natural hair

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To recreate this style from Bria Larine, start with blown-out hair and section off a one-inch piece, then tie the rest of your hair back and out of the way. Smooth on a quarter-size dollop of curl cream before twisting the section, then separate a small sliver of hair from your hairline into two parts. Flat-twist until you’ve reached the halfway point, then redivide the two sections of hair to make three, and finish with a three-strand twist-out all the way to the end.

Once your hair is dry, carefully unravel your twists. Bria works a hair oil into her hands before undoing the twists to smooth any undefined pieces. To finish, use a pick comb to lift the roots and shape the hair how you want it.


9. How to get beach waves with a flat iron

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Yup, the perfect beach waves don’t always require a curling iron or wand—you can actually get really excellent results with a hair straightener, as seen in this easy-AF tutorial from Emily DiDonato. If your hair is on the thicker side (like DiDonato’s) start with a few generous sprays of heat protectant and then roughly straighten your hair. Don’t worry about getting it perfectly sleek and straight—the point here is to just make your hair a bit easier to work with for when you start curling.

Working in two-inch sections (alligator clips are v helpful here), grab your hair from the root, flip your hair straightener away from your face, and gently glide all the way down the strand. When you unclamp the flat iron, you’ll have a decently bouncy curl—which, DW, you can break apart with your fingers until you’ve got a loose beach wave. Don’t have a good flat iron? These bbs are a great place to start:


10. How to get overnight beach waves

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Don’t feel like spending all day on your beach waves? Literally who does. Enter: This smart tutorial, which requires five minutes of prep work right before bed. On damp hair, YouTuber Shonagh Scott suggests spritzing on a hydrating leave-in conditioner, then blow-drying until it’s about 90 percent dry (it should feel just a liiiitle damp). Air-drying is also an option here, but if you’re prone to frizz and flyaways, a hair dryer will help you smooth things out a bit.

Next, flip your hair upside down, gather it at your crown, and create a basic three-strand ponytail braid. When you flip your hair back over, the braid might look a little droopy in the back, but it’s all a part of the process. Go to sleep, and when you wake up, gently unravel your braid, shake out your waves, and blast them with texturizing spray to keep them intact all day.


11. How to do heatless bathrobe waves

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If you’ve been on TikTok in the last, IDK, five minutes, you’ve definitely already seen this beach waves hack. And unlike some of the, um, ~questionable~ TikTok Trends as of late (looking at you, DIY tattoos), this one is pretty legit. All you’ll need is a thick bathrobe belt (knee socks or tights are good alternatives, says YouTuber Jessica Vubasically, something that’s twice as long as your hair) and four hair ties.

Center your belt on the top of your head where you’d place a headband, then twist two-inch sections of hair around the belt, joining each section until you’ve created one long twist. Secure the end with a hair tie, then twist it into a high bun (a big scrunchie is key here). Repeat this process on the opposite side of your head, go to bed, and gently untwist everything when you wake up. Blast your hair with hairspray to make sure the waves hold, then rake through them with your fingers to break them up.


12. How to get beach waves with a diffuser

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Quick heads up: This beach waves tutorial works best on hair that has some natural texture, so if you’ve got stick-straight hair, you might want to skip ahead, k? Start by running a leave-in conditioner or lightweight mousse through freshly washed hair, letting it air dry for 15-ish minutes. When your hair is damp—not wet—grab your diffuser attachment and, starting at the bottom of your hair, slowly twist and scrunch your hair up towards your scalp with the diffuser.

Repeat with the rest of your hair until it’s about 80 or 90 percent dry, then run your diffuser along your roots for extra volume. For a super piecey look, mist a texturizing spray through your beach waves as the final step.


13. How to get beach waves with a curling wand

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Because this tutorial requires the use of a curling wand, prep your strands with a heat-protectant spray first. Tip: Maria, here, actually sprays her hair with hairspray before she starts styling, a trick she says helps her curls hold longer. Once you’ve brushed the product through, start curling your hair in the back and work your way forward.

To curl the hair, wrap a one-inch section of hair around the wand away from your face and leave the ends out. Once you’re finished curling your whole head, find about five pieces of hair that need touch-ups and re-curl them—but this time, wrap the strands in the opposite direction (toward your face) to alternate the curl pattern. Finish with a blast of sea-salt spray and a texturizing spray to add some beachy texture.


14. How to do beach waves on long hair

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If you can never seem to get the hang of curling your hair in the right direction, try this trick: First, pull all your hair up into a super-high ponytail—now pull it up even higher and as close to your hairline as possible. Secure it in place with a hair tie. Then, begin curling one-inch sections of your ponytail, leaving two inches or so uncurled at the bottom.

Once the entire ponytail has been curled, remove the hair tie and and use your fingers to tousle and separate the curls. Run a wide-tooth comb through the curls to loosen them. To finish, Giorgina works salt spray (she says heat-protectant spray will also work in a pinch) into her hands and works it through the ends to add texture.


15. How to get heatless beach waves on short hair

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First, part your hair all the way down the middle to create two sections of hair, then work on one half at a time. If your hair is dry, dampen it slightly with a spray bottle full of water and brush it through. Mia, who has color-treated hair, recommends applying a deep-treatment mask to your hair to hydrate it while you style.

Then, take a three-inch section of hair from the front of your head (along your part and hairline) and separate into two parts. Begin flat-twisting (twist the two sections and incorporate hair from your head as you go) until you reach the ends of your hair. Then, wrap the end into a bun at the base of your head and secure the twist with a scrunchie. Wear your hair up to sleep, and in the morning, unravel your twists and use your fingers to separate them for loose, beach waves.


16. How to do beach waves with clip-in extensions

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Start with straightened, brushed-out hair (Jazzie, here, preps her own hair and the extensions with a heat-protectant spray, FYI). Then, clip in your extensions by starting in the back at the nape of your neck and working your way forward, clipping section by section and finishing with the pieces around your hairline.

Once you’re finished clipping in the extensions, curl your hair away from your face with a one-inch curling wand. Jazzie suggests not leaving the hair on the wand for too long for a looser beach wave. To avoid too much heat, she also focuses the wand on the extensions rather than her own hair and only adds a slight bend to the ends to blend them into the longer pieces.

How do you get beachy waves?

Beach waves are a more natural-looking pattern that looks undone “in an effortless way,” says Izquierdo. They look more lived-in and textured compared to a smooth, more precise glamorous wave. Typically, the process of creating beach waves is done with a curling iron or hair straightener, according to Franck Izquierdo. You can also achieve a heatless beach wave look in many ways, Izquierdo recommends braiding damp hair in pigtails and allowing it to air dry.

Next, he says to light “press a flat iron on each one-and-a-half inch section of the braid. “This speeds up the time it takes for the hair to set in the braid-wave pattern and ensures a consistent wave,” says Izquierdo. He recommends using a texturizer spray for volume and a consistent hold.

Meet the experts

    Why trust Cosmo?

    Valeriya Chupinina is the beauty assistant at Cosmopolitan with five years of experience researching, writing, and editing haircare stories that range from gray hairstyles to hair toners. She’s an authority in all haircare categories, and regularly tests and analyzes hair breakage treatments for efficacy, while working with the industry’s top hairstylists and trichologists to assess new formulas and brands.

    This content is created and maintained by a third party, and imported onto this page to help users provide their email addresses. You may be able to find more information about this and similar content at piano.io



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