Hair Tutorial | How to Create Beachy Waves

I published my How-To Hair Tutorial almost three years ago to the date, and it still remains one of my most popular. It’s also one of my most-asked questions on social media, which baffles me since most of the time my hair is a hot-mess…like literally, I’m almost always in need of a hair brush.

But my hair is a little longer now, and I discovered some new products, so I thought I’d share an updated tutorial on how I create loose, beachy waves. I’m also back to using a traditional curling iron (as opposed to a wand), so it may be helpful to see this method.

As for my haircut, I have a long angled bob (I believe kids these days refer to it as a lob), with long layers throughout. I have a wicked cowlick, so I’m forever a side-swooped bang girl. My hair is shoulder-length, but this method works the same with longer or shorter hair.

{The Tools}

Hair Dryer // Dries your hair in half the time, while smoothing the cuticle. It’s quiet, too!
1.25-inch barrel Curling Iron // I’m not picky on the brand, but I hear great things about this one
Brush // Great for detangling…I have the small one because it’s great for travel
Clips // Holds hair in sections while drying & curling

{The Products}

Aveda Thickening Tonic // Gives hair volume & a little grip (I like the Volumizing Tonic, too)
It’s a 10 Miracle Leave-In Product  // Great detangler & heat protectant
Aveda Air Control Hairspray (not pictured) // Touchable light hold
Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray // Adds fullness & texture
It’s a 10 Miracle Styling Serum // Seals the ends & flyaways

{Styling Prep}

Shampoo and Condition (I use Aveda Shampure & Damage Remedy. Once a week I shampoo with Blue Malva to brighten my blonde), towel dry
Spray Aveda Thickening Tonic or Volumizing Tonic throughout & at the crown for volume
Spray It’s a 10 Miracle Leave-In on the bottom half of hair for smoothing & heat protection
Comb through with detangling brush to prevent breakage
Dry hair, smoothing with brush in final minute (I like this paddle brush for a smooth blowout)

Okay, now that your hair is prepped and dry, clip the top half up so you can curl by sections. Start with a 1-inch section and quickly run the iron over the hair to smooth any rough spots and seal the ends.

Position the iron a few inches from the roots, and wrap the hair around the barrel, away from the face. I keep the clamp open while wrapping so the main source of heat stays closer to the roots, as opposed to the ends.

Keep the barrel vertical to the head, and don’t curl the bottom inch or so. My hair is short, so it only wraps around the barrel twice.

The goal is to create loose ringlets without curling the roots or ends. If you’re using a wand, just wrap the hair around the iron while holding the ends with your fingers. (See my tutorial for curling with a wand here.)

Once the bottom layer is done, release the clip and repeat with the top layers. I alternate the direction of the curl a few times for a more natural and less-uniform look.

Continue curling 1-inch sections around your entire head without touching or disrupting them.

Lightly mist hair with your favorite hair spray (I love Air Control for a light, touchable hold, or Kenra #25 for heavy-duty hold).

 

Leave curls untouched for a few minutes to cool and set. This step is what helps them to last. I usually curl my hair first, then let it set while I put on my makeup and get dressed.

Once cool, gently run your fingers through your hair from underneath to break up the curls, and scrunch it to muss up the curl pattern and make them look less polished.

Grab your texturizing spray (this one smells like heaven), and holding the can at least 12-inches from your head, blast the roots of the crown. Make your way around your head, lifting and spraying underneath in sections.

 

Warm a little styling serum in your hands, and finger-comb your hair back in to place, concentrating on the bottom half of your hair. Use leftover product to smooth the ends for a piecey effect.

Hit it with another light mist of hairspray if you want…and you’re done!!


V-Neck Sweater | White Jeans (30% off!) | Necklace | Lipstick in ‘Punch’

Sometimes I use a smaller barrel for tighter curls, or comb them out while still warm for loose waves. Other times I tease my whole head with a wide-tooth comb for more volume and less curl. My hair has a mind of its own and looks different literally every time I curl it. But I just go with it…trying to force it only leaves you frustrated.


Similar Fair Isle Sweater | White Jeans (on sale!)


Similar Moto Jacket | Best Black Jeans | Pendant Necklace | Clutch | Earrings | Lipstick in ‘Punch’


Stretch Ankle Pants | Jean Jacket (on sale!!) | Leopard Clutch


Striped Tee | Similar Cardigan | Tassel Necklace | Black Jeans | Similar Bag | Sunglasses | Hoop Earrings


Striped Shirt | Jean Jacket | Best Black Jeans | Similar Hat | Sunglasses | Hoop Earrings | Pendant Necklace | Lipstick in ‘Punch’


Favorite Scoopneck Tee | Sunglasses | Hoop EarringsWhite Jeans (on sale!)


Lace Midi Dress | Clutch

beachy waves hair tutorial

Beauty products also make great gifts, so I rounded up a few fun ideas for the beauty junkies on your list. I hear amazing things about the Moroccan Oil and curling iron, and just added the pillow case to my own list!

Gift guide for the beauty lover
one. Makeup Brush Cleaning Glove // two. Pillowcase & Sleep Mask  //  three. Trinket Dish  //  four. Classic Pajama Set  //  five. Smart Touch LED Vanity Mirror  //  six. Curling Iron  //  seven. Lip Tint Set  //  eight. Eye Shadow Pallette  //  nine. Best Red Lipstick (no. 132)  //  ten. Moroccan Hair Oil

I hope this tutorial and gift guide has been helpful! Feel free to leave any hair questions in the comments, and let me know if you have other beauty-related tutorial requests!

Psst, see more Beauty posts here.

{Shop My Hair Heavy-Hitters}

 

*Photos by the darling and talented Mary Summers. This post is created in collaboration with Nordstrom, but all thoughts, ideas & cowlick-wrangling are my own. Thank you for supporting Hi Sugarplum sponsors!*

Leave a Comment

38 Comments

  1. Shay Shull wrote:

    #hairgoals 🙂

    Posted 12.5.17 Reply
  2. I must try this sometime! The waves look so natural, love it! 🙂

    Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog
    http://charmainenyw.com

    Posted 12.5.17 Reply
  3. Sandy wrote:

    Thanks Cassie! This demo is most helpful. Dying to try the “It’s a 10” products.
    All I know is w/color treated hair-moisture, moisture, moisture=weekly masks, etc.
    Gorgeous, glossy, color and style on you!
    Signed-Cassie Wanna-be.

    Posted 12.5.17 Reply
    • Cassie wrote:

      LOL — that spray really helps…without it, my hair gets really straw-like!

      Posted 12.7.17 Reply
  4. Seems so simple to follow. Thanks I’m gonna try this for parties this month!
    XO Ellen from Ask Away
    http://www.askawayblog.com

    Posted 12.5.17 Reply
  5. Denise wrote:

    Just the tips I was needing. I hardly ever curl my hair, mostly because I kinda stink at it. Ha! But, maybe this will help! 🙂

    Posted 12.5.17 Reply
  6. I mean, I might just have to try the beachy waves! Your hair always looks FAB!

    Posted 12.5.17 Reply
  7. Heather wrote:

    Awesome tute!! How does Mary stay out of the mirror? 🙂

    Posted 12.5.17 Reply
    • Cassie wrote:

      Haha!! She’s got mad skills! That’s why all the shots are on an angle, so she can stand off to the side. 🙂

      Posted 12.7.17 Reply
  8. C.B. wrote:

    Looks great and seems easy. Now my hair refuses to curl under any circumstances and no matter what product I use and I have a cow lick smack in the middle of my forhead so I’ve long embraced the 60s hippy hairdo…..long, straight and split in the middle equally. But I live for the Moroccan oil! It is magic to tame the winter hair static 😉

    Posted 12.5.17 Reply
    • Cassie wrote:

      I just started using that product and love it!! Smells amazing, too!

      Posted 12.7.17 Reply
  9. Marie wrote:

    Love your hair and your blog! I love your color too, how do you do it?

    Posted 12.5.17 Reply
    • Cassie wrote:

      Thank you!! I get foil highlights about every 7-8 weeks, and in the Fall/Winter, we add lowlights, as well! I stick with ash tones so it doesn’t get brassy. xo

      Posted 12.7.17 Reply
  10. Nancy A wrote:

    Thank you for the tips, I need to try the “Its a 10” spray. You mentioned once before that you had some extensions on the sides of your hair. Do you recommend them for growing out those shorter areas?

    Posted 12.5.17 Reply
    • Cassie wrote:

      I have the bead Perfectress extensions on the sides (just over my ears), and LOVE them! I have a lot of breakage due to color, so they fill the area in and give me a bit more length for the angled bob style. xo

      Posted 12.7.17 Reply
  11. Dawn Inman wrote:

    You just couldn’t be more precious!

    Posted 12.5.17 Reply
    • Cassie wrote:

      Miss Inman!!!! xoxoxoxoxo

      Posted 12.7.17 Reply
  12. Patti wrote:

    Cassie – I have a few extensions like you – do you have any problems with the products loosening the extensions? Thank you!

    Posted 12.6.17 Reply
    • Cassie wrote:

      I don’t…but I concentrate the product on the bottom half of my hair!

      Posted 12.7.17 Reply
  13. Your hair always looks so great! Thanks for sharing the products- I’m always on the hunt for a great thickening spray for more volume!

    Posted 12.6.17 Reply
    • Cassie wrote:

      Thanks Britney!!! You’ll love the Oribe…adds so much thickness and texture!

      Posted 12.7.17 Reply
  14. Dianna wrote:

    Great info!! You had your salon info on one of your instastories a few weeks back. But I don’t remember the name of your color specialist. Would you mind sharing again? I just moved to the Dallas area and need to find someone soon!! Thanks so much!!

    Posted 12.6.17 Reply
    • Cassie wrote:

      Welcome to the area, Dianna! I see Sandy at Aveda Tangerine Salon Allen for my color, and Ashley at Form Salon in Dallas for cut and extensions! LOVE them both! xo

      Posted 12.7.17 Reply
  15. Stacey wrote:

    Your hair looks great like this. I have been trying to get mine to do this for a while, but without any product. I may just have to try you way.

    xoxo
    Stacey
    @stylingsofstacey | http://staceylyynn.wixsite.com/stylingsofstacey

    Posted 12.6.17 Reply
    • Cassie wrote:

      Thanks so much, Stacey!! I’m thrilled you liked it!

      Posted 12.7.17 Reply
  16. Karla Pogue wrote:

    I have longer, not too long, think hair and have tried a million times to get the beachy wave look and for the life of me I cannot get the curls to hold more than a nano-second. Anyone have some great ideas to get this thick hair to hold a curl?

    Posted 12.7.17 Reply
    • Cassie wrote:

      I’d curl smaller sections…and start by misting the hair with hairspray before curling it, and again after. Then let it cool completely before touching it!

      Posted 12.7.17 Reply
    • Cindy in Oklahoma wrote:

      As I was walking through the mall some guy from a kiosk with a flat iron begged to curl my hair. I told him to give it his best shot because it wouldn’t last for more than a minute. He basically did what we learned to do with ribbon and a pair of scissors when we were young… except he used the flat iron and a section of my hair. It worked! And it lasted the rest of the day. He put a small section of my hair inside the flat iron a few inches from the scalp, gave it a twist and pulled up and away from my head while holding the hair closest to my head so it wouldn’t be yanked out! I haven’t tried it myself yet but I’m telling you … if I hadn’t seen it with my own eyes I wouldn’t have believed it.

      Posted 12.7.17 Reply
      • Cassie wrote:

        How fun!! I’m going to try that!

        Posted 12.13.17 Reply
  17. Anna K. wrote:

    I always love your hair!

    Any tips for curling the back sections? I can get the front/sides to look nice but struggle with the back looking all wonky!! My hair is about the same length as yours and I feel it’s hard to the the right angle for a good curl.

    Thanks!!

    Posted 12.8.17 Reply
  18. Anna K. wrote:

    I always love your hair!

    Any tips for curling the back sections? I can get the front/sides to look nice but struggle with the back looking all wonky!! My hair is about the same length as yours and I feel it’s hard to get the right angle for a good curl.

    Thanks!!

    Posted 12.8.17 Reply
    • Cassie wrote:

      I just try to hold the barrel vertical to my head as much as possible…that helps!

      Posted 12.13.17 Reply
  19. Michelle wrote:

    Hi Cassie!
    Do you keep the clamp of the barrel open the whole time while wrapping your hair around? I wasn’t clear on this step. Thanks!

    Posted 12.12.17 Reply
    • Cassie wrote:

      No, I just tap it open so the hair twirls around the barrel, instead of rolling the barrel down my hair. So hard to describe!! But I keep the main source of heat near the root instead of the ends.

      Posted 12.13.17 Reply
  20. Kristin wrote:

    Found your blog recently and love it! Thanks for the tutorial! I have very similar hair and style that I wore fairly straight (many cowlicks) until recently. Have been experimenting, but decided to try my curling iron rather than my wand based on your tutorial. So far it looks great, and I’m excited to have improved style for DH’s holiday party tonight (also taking style tips from you and wearing velvet tank with leather jacket and black jeans). Many thanks and happy holidays!

    Posted 12.13.17 Reply
  21. Christa wrote:

    Love your hair ! Really want my side bangs like yours and no one can cut them that way 🙁 are they just angled short and blown straight with the paddle brush ? I always round brush mine and don’t like the look – please help ! Thanks !
    Christa

    Posted 2.10.19 Reply
  22. Claire Fanger wrote:

    Cassie, I saw your section regarding waking up with a split in the middle of the hair and now I can’t find it. Can you post a section about that? I have a cowlick down the middle of my back, so I have a really bad split down the middle of my head and I really need that post! Thank you! claire

    Posted 1.28.23 Reply
    • Cassie wrote:

      Hi Claire…I’d love to help, but I’m not sure what post that might be??

      Posted 1.29.23 Reply