Beach waves are the raw embodiment of summer. An easy salt-strewn tousle recalls a day spent in the surf—even if you live at the office—but the carefree hairstyle can be surprisingly hard to achieve, especially when you're fighting against your natural texture.
According to Coby Alcantar, hairstylist and owner of Williamsburg, Brooklyn’s Little Axe Salon, it’s a matter of small, strategic adjustments—easier now than ever before, as more polished waves continue to fall out of favor. “In the early 2000s, they were more wet and gritty-looking, then they were done with a curling iron,” Alcantar says. “Now, it’s very subtle and a little more disheveled—anyone can do it.” Here, the ultimate guide to getting envy-inducing beach waves, no matter what hair you were born with.
FOR FINE HAIR
Crafting beach waves for fine hair starts with product. “With fine hair, it’s important to strategically place product and use half what you would normally,” Alcantar says. “You don’t want to weigh it down.” Start with damp, towel-dried hair and spray a moisturizing base product like Bumble and Bumble Prep loosely from root to end. Then take your salt spray or texturizing lotion and apply a small amount—roughly two pumps—only to the mid-section and scrunch it. “Just that floating space, from your lips to your collarbone,” she says. “That little area is all you need to get subtle waves.”