After that long winter we just had, we can all rejoice because summer is finally here! And with a change in seasons comes a change in how we style our hair. Let’s face it, summer heat and humidity take a toll on your hair so great summer hair can be hard. With that said, there is one style that will never fail you, and that’s The Beach Wave. So today I’m going to show you how to perfect it.
Truth be told, the beach wave is a hit any time of year, and there’s a reason for that. It’s incredibly versatile, can be worn dressed up or dressed down, it works with virtually any hair texture, length, and style, when done right it lasts for days, and it’s so forgiving. I personally love it. It’s one of my favourite styles. We automatically associate a loose wave with summer because it has a true bohemian feel. It looks lived in and has that sexy I-woke-up-like-this vibe.
So if you haven’t perfected your own version of the wave, it’s time.
Flat Iron vs. Wand
Lots of people prefer to use a wand for waves. There is a certain logic to that because a wand has the ability to create uniform waves that are all the same and it seems like a very easy tool to use.
But there are a few things that you should know before opting for the wand.
I always caution clients who like to use a wand to create waves because this tool puts you at risk of burning the hair. Unlike the flat iron, where the hair is only momentarily in contact with heat as you pull your hair through it, when you wrap your hair around the wand, it stays in contact until you unwind it.
So if you’re going to use a wand, be very careful.
The other thing is that because the wand will create the same, uniform curl all over, it’s actually more of a fall or winter wave. It almost looks like a finished pin curl. It’s more polished and refined which, of course, isn’t a bad thing, but it also isn’t necessarily what we’re going for if we’re looking for that summery, beachy look.
Here’s what I mean:
My recommendation: put the wand away for the summer and stick to the flat iron to get that sweet summer look.
How to Make Flat Iron Beach Waves
- Flat Iron
The key to a great wave is prepping the hair properly. Take a palm’s worth of mousse and apply it root to tip to towel dry hair. Then blow dry your fingers for a tousled, textured base. If you want extra volume, bend over, flip the hair over, and dry the hair upside down.
Once the hair is dry, you’ll want to section it out. If you’re new to the flat iron curl then start at the back of the head to give yourself a little extra practice. And remember—because we’re going for a beachy vibe, it doesn’t have to be perfect.
Now take a 1-2 inch section of the hair and lift it away from the head in one hand. Take the flat iron and grab the hair an inch away from the root and clamp down so that you’re holding the hair between the two sides of the iron. Give the flat iron a half turn away from your face and, while keeping the flat iron turned at that angle, pull it away from the head, keeping it pressed down on the hair as you pull the entire length of the hair through.
If that seems confusing, think of it this way—getting a curl with a flat iron is very similar to curling a piece of ribbon with a scissor blade. The heat, the half turn angle, and the movement of the hair through the flat iron work together to create a gorgeous wave.
If you’re looking to make your waves last for several days, then you’ll want to hold the curl in place until it’s completely cool. So as soon as you’ve pulled the entire section of hair through the flat iron, take the palm of your hand, position it directly until the curl and elevate it so that you’re supporting the entire strand for about 20-30 seconds until the hair has curled. This will help the curl set and will make it last longer.
Finish this style off with a generous spritz of your favourite hair spray and tousle the hair with your fingers to loosen things up.
One of my favourite things about a beach wave is that you can really stretch it out and make it last for days. With a little dry shampoo and a few refresher curls in the morning, you can stretch this style out all week if you want to and it will still look just as good as the day you did it.
If you need some extra help, watch this video for a tutorial—the first style I show is this beach wave. Enjoy!
Chanel Cezair is the founder & CEO of Studio67, a hair salon located in the heart of Toronto’s King West. Chanel studied in NYC under Toni & Guy and now specializes in texture and movement with an extraordinary talent for creating the perfect cut to compliment your colour palette and make the most of your hair colour. Her expertise in natural looking highlights and Balayage brings new meaning to the word blonde.