It feels like a humblebrag when I talk about my hair: zero texture, pin straight, and super soft. But what that means is that I have basically two options for my hair in the morning before work. I can blow dry it and wear it down, and I can put it up in a messy bun or pony tail. That’s it.

It used to be that every time I curled my hair, it was a fucking process. It needed to be a little greasy, but not too greasy. It should have some dry shampoo in it. There had to be volume at the roots. My curling iron needed to be at the hottest setting. There needed to be a full moon the night before and Jupiter should be rising in the 12th house. But after some finagling of product and technique, I’ve mastered the everyday wave. I’ve finally made beachy waves my bitch, and I’ll tell you right now how I did it.


I’ve been using Big shampoo from LUSH for years (I’ve recycled tubs of it to get a free face mask twice already) and I don’t think my hair would be half as good as it is now without it. The grit of the sea salt takes the dirt off my scalp and the coconut helps soothe my very thin strands.

I don’t use much conditioner (if I know I’m curling my hair the next day, I sometimes skip it) but I will always put some of the OI Conditioner from Davines on my ends for protection against what I will inevitably do to my hair.

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The next morning, I spray my roots with a good amount of Living Proof Perfect Hair Day Dry Shampoo, leaving it to settle for thirty seconds before flipping my hair over and vigorously dispersing it through my hair and rubbing out any white patches. Yes, I look like a crazy person. Yes, it’s worth it. Before I even think about curling, I douse my entire head with a heat protectant. Lately, I’ve been using the Amika Bombshell Blowout.

After that, I used to run straight for my Beachwaver and let the curls fall throughout the day, but I’ve recently switched my game up. After some YouTube digging and a bunch of trial and error, I figured out how to use my straightener (a 1" ghd model) for messy waves. I curl and also “s-wave” sections of my hair.

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The last and most crucial step, one that I think had been the missing link to messy, beachy waves that don’t look like I just got back from my Little Miss New Jersey pageant, is the Kristin Ess Dry Finish Working Texture Spray. It’s like if hair spray and sea salt spray had a baby, but didn’t make your hair crunchy. It’s also matte, so it helps take away the shine and softness that my hair usually has and adds to the lived-in look.

It seems like a lot, but if you have hair anywhere near the type that I have (I once almost made a hairdresser cry when I was in 9th grade because I wanted soft waves and she had never had to use a curling iron on a client before me to get them to stay), it’s worth a shot.