Every summer, one hair style never fails to make an appearance: the
classic wave we get after an afternoon chilling at the beach. Sadly, a trip to the beach daily isn’t in our repertoire (our goal of living in SoCal still hasn’t happened), but we can still get those rocking beach waves that say, “I just played a round of beach volleyball.” We chat with Charles Baker Strahan (
Herbal Essences spokesperson and Leighton Meester hair guru), and
Dove Hair Care specialist Mark Townsend (the man responsible for Mary-Kate Olsen and Jennifer Lawrence’s envious strands) for tips on making the classic beach wave fresh and modern this summer.

Summer hair: Skip the crunch; keep it soft

Gone are the days of spritzing your damp hair with a scrunching spray that brought not only waves, but also a piecey, crunchy texture. “It’s that sea salty look for a gritty beach girl,” explains Strahan. “But it’s not the fashion girl beach waves. The fashion girl wave has more of a Brazilian feel – lush, soft and beautiful.” The runways were filled with various forms of the summer classic, but with a touchably soft texture. “Almost like a dry wave that looks like it doesn’t have product in it,”

Summer hair: Become friends with your diffuser again

When Townsend wielded a diffuser around Jennifer Lawrence’s hair for the first time, she didn’t know what to expect. But it turns out that the best way to get this season’s tousled, beachy waves with a soft texture is to either let your hair dry naturally or whip out your trusty diffuser. “I’ve even used a sock over the end of a hair dryer in a pinch!” says Townsend. For extra hold in your wave, add in a non-alcohol based mousse like
Dove’ s Body & Lift Volumizing Mousse, for hold minus the crunch.

View some of spring and summer’s chicest updos from braids to knots and twists.

More summer hair tips on creating the ultimate beach waves on the next page …


Summer hair: Stock your beauty closet
“The best beach wave secret? Having that texture and shine,” explains Townsend. And the new formulations in products will help you achieve that look. Take a cue from Mary-Kate Olsen and work dry shampoo into your hair for a textured, but not too perfect finish. “The Dove Refresh Care Invigorating Dry Shampoo uses starch instead of the usual powder in dry shampoo sprays,” says Townsend. “This builds into the hair and adds more volume.” To get Mary-Kate’s effortless, never-perfect look, spray dry shampoo from roots to tips, or flip your head upside down and spray.

For Strahan, nothing beats a good, old-fashioned mousse for creating a perfect beach wave. “Mousse today actually makes your hair stay soft, in control and smooth. It keeps the hair looking natural,” he says. TRY: Herbal Essences Touchably Smooth Smoothing Mousse.

Summer hair: Don’t aim for perfection
The key to beach waves that are totally enviable is to have them look natural and never too contrived. Not every hair needs to be in place, and your hair doesn’t need to be totally frizz-free. “Girls without a natural curl can work Herbal Essences Totally Twisted Curl Define & Hold Creme cream through their hair, braid and allow it to air dry in the sun,” explains Strahan.

If you need to add a curling iron into the equation, Strahan recommends using one size smaller than the curl you want in your hair, then scrunch and tug on the curl to loosen it and create a wave.

Townsend’s final tip? “I love when a woman touches her hair,” he says. “Keep touching your hair throughout the day and it will keep that texture and piecey look.”

Read more:
Get a fresh cut for summer! Our 7 favourite short hair styles
5 short hair cuts to try now
5 healthy hair secrets