Ride the Waves of Style: A Comprehensive Guide to Achieving Beach Hair

February 9, 2024

Welcome to the world of beach hair, where effortless waves, tousled textures, and sun-kissed strands reign supreme. This captivating hair trend evokes the carefree spirit of coastal living, inviting you to embrace the beauty of undone, natural-looking locks.

Whether you’re dreaming of beach hair while landlocked or seeking to maintain your beachy mane after a seaside getaway, this comprehensive guide will equip you with the knowledge and techniques to achieve and sustain this coveted hair aesthetic.

Beach Hair Basics

Beach hair is a coveted hair texture that exudes a carefree, effortless, and sun-kissed look. It’s characterized by natural waves, soft texture, and a slightly tousled appearance, as if you’ve just stepped out of the ocean. Unlike sleek or overly styled hair, beach hair embraces a more relaxed and lived-in aesthetic.

Natural Elements that Contribute to Beach Hair

The key to achieving beach hair lies in understanding the natural elements that contribute to its unique texture and appearance.

  • Sun: Exposure to the sun’s UV rays lightens hair color, creating natural highlights and a sun-kissed effect.
  • Salt Water: The salt in seawater acts as a natural texturizer, adding volume and enhancing waves. It also helps to remove product buildup and excess oils, leaving hair feeling clean and airy.
  • Wind: The wind helps to create a tousled, windblown look, adding movement and dimension to the hair.

Creating Beach Hair Without Being Near the Beach

Even if you’re not near the beach, you can still achieve a beach hair look with the right styling products and techniques.

  • Use Sea Salt Spray: Sea salt spray is a styling product that mimics the effects of salt water. It adds texture, volume, and waves to the hair, giving it a beachy feel.
  • Create Loose Waves: To achieve beachy waves, you can use a curling iron or wand to create loose, undone waves. Alternatively, you can braid your hair while it’s damp and let it air dry for a more natural wave pattern.
  • Add Texture with Dry Shampoo: Dry shampoo can be used to add texture and volume to the hair, giving it a beachy, lived-in look.

Styling Techniques for Beach Hair

Achieving beach hair involves a combination of styling techniques and hair products. This section explores various methods for creating beachy waves and texture, including air-drying, scrunching, braiding, and using heat tools like curling irons or wands.

Air-Drying and Scrunching

Air-drying is a natural way to achieve beachy waves. After washing your hair, apply a leave-in conditioner or sea salt spray to damp hair. Scrunch your hair upwards, starting from the ends and working your way up to the roots.

This technique helps create natural-looking waves and texture.


Braiding your hair while it’s damp is another effective way to create beach waves. Divide your hair into two or more sections and braid them loosely. Secure the braids with hair ties and let them air-dry or use a blow dryer on a low heat setting.

Once the braids are dry, unravel them and gently separate the waves with your fingers.

Curling Iron or Wand

Using a curling iron or wand can help create more defined beach waves. Start with small sections of hair and wrap them around the barrel of the curling iron, holding them in place for a few seconds. Alternate the direction you wrap the hair to create a natural, undone look.

Use a wide-toothed comb to separate the curls and create a tousled, beachy texture.

Hair Products for Beach Hair

Various hair products can help enhance and maintain beach hair. Sea salt sprays add texture and create a matte finish. Texturizing sprays provide volume and hold, while volumizing mousses create fullness and lift at the roots. These products can be applied to damp or dry hair, depending on the desired effect.

Hair Care for Beach Hair

Achieving beach hair while protecting your hair’s health requires extra care. Here are tips for maintaining healthy hair while embracing the beachy look:

Sun Protection

Prolonged sun exposure can damage hair, causing dryness, breakage, and color fading. To protect your hair from the sun’s harmful UV rays:

  • Use UV Protectant Sprays: Apply a leave-in UV protectant spray to your hair before heading out to the beach. These sprays shield hair from UV damage and help prevent color fading.
  • Wear Hats: Wear a wide-brimmed hat to provide physical protection for your scalp and hair from the sun’s rays.

Preventing Dryness and Brittleness

Salt water and wind can strip hair of its natural oils, leading to dryness and brittleness. To keep your hair hydrated and healthy:

  • Deep Conditioning Treatments: Incorporate deep conditioning treatments into your hair care routine. These treatments help restore moisture and nourishment to dry, damaged hair.
  • Leave-in Conditioners: Apply a leave-in conditioner to damp hair before styling. Leave-in conditioners provide continuous hydration and help protect hair from environmental stressors.

Maintaining Beach Hair While Keeping It Healthy

To maintain beach hair while keeping it healthy, follow these tips:

  • Avoid Over-Washing: Over-washing can strip hair of its natural oils, leading to dryness and damage. Wash your hair 2-3 times a week, or as needed.
  • Use Gentle Shampoos and Conditioners: Opt for gentle, sulfate-free shampoos and conditioners that are designed for dry or damaged hair. Avoid harsh chemicals that can further strip hair of its natural oils.

Styling Variations for Beach Hair

Beach hair offers a range of styling options that go beyond the classic loose waves. From effortless buns to carefree braids and tousled ponytails, there’s a beach hair variation to suit every taste and occasion. These styles are versatile and adaptable, working well with different hair lengths and textures, making them perfect for achieving that laid-back, sun-kissed look.

To create these beachy styles, start with damp or slightly dry hair. Apply a volumizing mousse or sea salt spray to add texture and hold. Scrunch your hair gently to encourage natural waves and volume. Once your hair is prepped, you can create any of the following beach hair variations:

Messy Buns

Messy buns are a quick and easy way to achieve a casual, beachy look. To create a messy bun, gather your hair into a high ponytail and secure it with an elastic. Then, wrap the ponytail around the base of the elastic, leaving the ends loose.

Secure the bun with bobby pins, leaving a few strands loose around your face for a relaxed, effortless look.

Beachy Braids

Beachy braids are a great way to add a touch of bohemian flair to your beach hair. To create a beachy braid, start by dividing your hair into three sections. Begin braiding the hair loosely, incorporating some twists and turns to create a relaxed, undone look.

Secure the braid with an elastic and gently pull on the sides to loosen it up. You can also add some flowers or beads to the braid for a pop of color.

Tousled Ponytails

Tousled ponytails are a perfect way to keep your hair out of your face while still maintaining a beachy vibe. To create a tousled ponytail, start by gathering your hair into a low ponytail and securing it with an elastic.

Then, gently pull on the hair above the elastic to create some volume. You can also wrap a small section of hair around the elastic to hide it. Finally, use your fingers to tousle the ponytail, creating a relaxed, carefree look.

Half-Up Styles

Half-up styles are a great way to achieve a beachy look without having to put all of your hair up. To create a half-up style, start by sectioning off the top half of your hair. Secure the section with a clip or elastic.

Then, style the bottom half of your hair in any way you like, such as waves, braids, or curls. Finally, release the top section of hair and let it fall naturally, creating a relaxed, beachy look.

Beach Hair Inspirations

Celebrities and influencers have embraced beach hair, showcasing diverse styles that cater to various preferences. Dive into a gallery of images featuring these trendsetters, each offering a unique interpretation of this effortless, sun-kissed look.

Effortless Waves

These images capture the essence of beach hair, with natural, tousled waves that exude a relaxed, carefree vibe. The effortless waves add volume and movement to the hair, creating a breezy, beachy look.

  • Blake Lively’s tousled waves are a perfect example of effortless beach hair. Her hair appears windblown, with loose, natural curls that frame her face.
  • Gigi Hadid’s beachy waves have a more polished look, with defined curls that maintain their shape. The waves add a touch of glamour to her casual style.

Boho Braids

Beach hair and braids go hand in hand. These images showcase intricate braids adorned with accessories, adding a bohemian touch to the beachy look.

  • Vanessa Hudgens’ fishtail braid is a perfect example of a boho braid. The braid is loose and relaxed, with flowers woven throughout, creating a whimsical look.
  • Ashley Tisdale’s crown braid is a more structured take on the boho braid. The braid is tightly woven and wrapped around the head, adding a touch of elegance to her beachy style.

Tousled Texture

Tousled texture is a key element of beach hair. These images showcase styles that embrace the messy, undone look, adding a touch of grit to the beachy vibe.

  • Cara Delevingne’s tousled bob is a perfect example of tousled texture. Her hair is styled with a messy, choppy look, adding a touch of edge to her beachy style.
  • Kristen Stewart’s tousled pixie cut is a more daring take on tousled texture. Her hair is styled with a messy, spiked look, creating a rebellious beachy vibe.

DIY Beach Hair Tutorials

Achieve the beach hair look at home with these DIY tutorials. These videos and step-by-step guides provide expert tips and tricks for creating various beach hair styles.

  • In this video tutorial, hairstylist Jen Atkin demonstrates how to create effortless beach waves using a curling iron and sea salt spray.
  • This step-by-step guide provides instructions for creating a messy bun with beachy waves, perfect for a casual day at the beach.


As you embark on your beach hair journey, remember that the key lies in embracing the natural elements that contribute to its allure. Sun, salt water, and wind are your allies in achieving that effortlessly tousled look. Embrace the power of styling products, but always prioritize the health of your hair.

With a little practice and dedication, you’ll master the art of beach hair and radiate coastal charm wherever you go.

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