If you’ve ever dreamed of achieving air-dried, beachy-waves without stepping foot on the beach, you’ll want to read Taylor’s tips below. Our creative director has mastered this California-cool look and she’s finally revealing the steps she takes (and a few must-have products) to achieve this hairstyle. Get all the details below!
It wasn’t until college that I actually acknowledged that I had wavy hair. I’d always wondered why my hair looked frizzy, thick, and never silky-smooth like a lot of my friends in high school. I spent years obsessing over straight hair, using my flat iron way too often and ruining my hair in the process. Eventually, I tired of the upkeep and found that having wavy hair was actually pretty cool. I started experimenting with products to get an air-dried look that I felt comfortable with. Over the years, it’s become my signature look, and now I hardly ever use a hair dryer or heat tools on my hair. Many people have been asking me to share what I do and what I use, so it’s time to finally share the details!
Personally, I am a fan of my hair looking like I did actually come straight from the beach. So it’s not going to look like effortless beach waves that you get with a curling iron, but more like textured waves that almost look like dreadlocks. I know that may not sound like a look you’re going for, but I promise it won’t look bad.
Also, these tips may work best for someone who has a hair texture that is similar to mine (wavy, frizzy, fine hair, but lots and lots of it). If your hair is different than that, you may have to experiment with it more to see what works for you.
What I Do:
- I never brush my hair when I get out of the shower. You can still achieve a soft wavy look by brushing your hair and air-drying it, but I tend to like a tighter curl. When I brush it, I lose some of my natural waves and it can create more frizz. I still use the old towel-on-the-head method after the shower, but that can lead to more frizz. I’ve heard using a soft cotton T-shirt to ring out the water after the shower is a great method, but I’ve yet to try that. I have thought about buying a Turbi Twist Microfiber Hair Towel. So far, I just let it loose from the towel and embrace any crazy wonky waves and curls I may have. Another thing I’ve found is that I need to add in product pretty quickly after I take the towel off my head. Otherwise, it gets too dry and won’t hold the product as well. One other note is that I never use a hair dryer with a diffuser. It’s never worked for me and it tends to leave my hair looking frizzy and too soft.
- I use around three to four products to achieve the waves I like. Those products tend to change or rotate around. This style isn’t about perfection, so it allows for a lot of experimentation. The one product that I can’t seem to live without is Garnier Fructis Style Surf Hair Texture Paste. This is actually the product that surprises most people and intimidates them, but I feel like it’s the secret sauce. The tricky thing is it’s very sticky and strong. If you accidentally add too much your hair will feel waxy and weighed-down. I have made that mistake so many times, and sometimes still do. There’s no exact amount. I just start with a small amount and add in more and more depending on how it’s looking and feeling. You want to get a decent hold from it. I have heard of some women with similar routines as me using raw unrefined shea butter to give their hair moisturized waves, and I am very curious to try that out.
- While my hair is damp, but not sopping wet, I will add in a small amount of the texture paste. I scrunch my hair from the bottom upwards all over my head many times. I also tend to flip my hair over side to side and scrunch it to get it distributed. Once I feel like I have enough in, I will then move on to other products.
- In the past, my next step would have been Garnier Fructis Curl Shape Spray Gel, but recently, I’ve been trying other products that also work great. Currently, I either use Oribe Matte Waves Texture Lotion or L’Oréal Paris Advances Air Dry It Wave Swept Spray. Both of these give my hair extra hold and give me a textured look that feels very beachy. While spraying or adding in the lotion, I continue to scrunch my hair into my fist.
- Lastly, I use one more type of spray, like Playa Endless Summer Spray or R+Co Sail Soft Wave Spray. On rare occasions, I use Ouai Soft Mousse to see how that will add to my curl. It can be really effective, but I find mousse a bit tricky.
That’s it. It will feel a bit wet and weird for an hour after, but if you leave it alone you should end up with some really pretty waves. I would love to know if you try this. Comment here or message me on Instagram to let me know. Feel free to share some of your own tips, too!
Shop the story: