Beach Waves

Blonde hair with beach waves and a black turtleneck
Photo: MrPhotoMania/Shutterstock
Q: How can I create beach waves without perming my hair? I don't want tight curls, only loose waves. Is it possible without a perm? My natural hair is pin-straight.
A: The key to creating beach waves is making variable size waves all over the head. The finished curls should look organic and natural, rather than appearing uniform in size and shape.
For a quick fix you can towel-dry your freshly washed hair and use a styling mousse or setting lotion (as long as the product offers a light-weight hold) and blow-out the hair with a large round brush. Then use a curling iron and wind different-sized segments around the iron to allow the heat to reform the curls.
Slide the tool out of the hair and let the curls cool. By varying the amount of hair wrapped around the tool, you create variance in the size of the curls created. Once cooled, use your fingers and perhaps a touch of sculpting paste to run through the curls to smooth them and add more definition.
If you want the curls to last longer, do as directed above, but skip the blow-dryer and wind the segments of hair on various sized rollers, then allow the hair to air dry or sit under a hood or bonnet dryer until the hair is set. Allow the curls to cool, remove the rollers and finish it with a touch of sculpting paste and your fingers.
The wet-set will give you longer lasting curl, and if you use a light misting of hairspray to give extra hold, you can also combat curl-collapse due to humidity.
See also:
How to use a curling iron
Roller styling techniques
Beach perm technique
Beach wave perm