A Refresher on the Proper Beach-Wave Technique, Just in Time for the Weekend

It's a bit more involved than "find a body of saltwater."


Expectation: Once you hit the beach, your hair will automatically form bends in a cross between Gisele and Clémence Poésy. Reality: a clumpy, crunchy mess that's Justin Timberlake ramen-noodle-y in some spots and nearly straight in others. WTF?

Although it shouldn't be complicated, good beach hair still takes a modicum of effort, says stylist Kat Zemtsova. Below, find her (dead-easy—don't worry) technique, from Miley Cyrus buns to exactly how to preserve your texture for going out post-beach.

Step 1: Use protection

But only if you've got bleached, color-treated, or otherwise dry/porous hair—you don't want all that ocean gunk seeping in. (Everyone else can proceed to Step 2.) Work in some leave-in conditioner before you go for a swim—told you to pack it in your bag—and rinse once you're done. It might be a good idea to also bring a spray bottle if you're not sure there will be showers/emptying Evian on your head feels too extravagant.

Step 2: Buns, hun

At this point, on wet or dry-but-exposed-to-the-briny-air hair, apply some salt spray to help things along. You could stop here if you're already blessed with some texture, or you could go with one of the following options for heat-free "baking"/preparing the hair: Miley Cyrus or party buns (divide hair into two or more sections, twist, and pin) or twist-outs (split hair into four sections, plait each into two-strand twists). Keep in mind that the more sections, the tighter the curl.

Step 3: Do absolutely nothing for an hour

Minus frolicking in the waves (up to neck-deep, unless you want to start all over), slurping frozen margs, and/or "laying out" while your hair dries. Disclaimer: Marie Claire does not officially support laying out, but you can do whatever you want, provided you wear SPF.

Step 4: Take it out (on the town)

After an hour's passed, remove the pins and shake everything out to break up the curl a bit. Ta daaa! Expectations, meet reality.

Stocksy, design by Megan Tatem

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