Beach waves are a go-to hairstyle for a reason: They’re ageless, you can tweak them to work with virtually any hair type and length, plus they look flattering for everyone. In addition, their relaxed style adds movement, volume, and natural-looking texture to your hair — making the soft, wavy hairstyle a staple not just for summer but all year long.
One of our favorite things about beach waves is that you can make the style your own. For example, you can use a 1.25″curling iron (we suggest The Beachwaver Co. Floral Beachwaver S1 Rotating Curling Iron) for a looser style that looks great on long hair. For shorter styles, you can use the Drybar The Tress Press Digital Styling Iron to create easy bends within your hair while also adding shine. Or, you can go heat-free and sleep in loose braids or tie freshly washed hair into a swirly top knot for a few hours while it dries.
No matter which method you choose, the look isn’t complete without the right prep, styling, and setting products to enhance and hold your beach waves all day.
Chi 44 Iron Guard Thermal Protection Spray
Beloved by celebrity hairstylists, this weightless formula provides thermal protection from the inside out. If you decide to style your hair with hot tools, it protects hair from heat damage and seals in the cuticle to prevent future damage.
Joico Defy Damage Protective Shield
Those gorgeous beach waves deserve to be out and about in the world. If you expose them to environmental damage (sun, pollution, etc.), prep hair with this “shield.” Moisturizing moringa seed oil, protective lipids, and strengthening arginine safeguard your hair color to keep it bright and healthy-looking, plus adds shine.
IGK Beach Club Volume Texture Spray
This salt-free texture spray gives beachy waves plumped-up volume without drying out hair. It’s safe for chemically treated hair and is vegan, cruelty- and gluten-free, and formulated without parabens or sulfates. It also offers UV and heat protection for some extra care in the summer sun and smells amazing with notes of guava, coconut water, pink lotus, midnight violet, and vanilla.
Bumble and Bumble Surf Wave Foam
This wave foam mimics that breezy, whipped-in-the-wind style that surfer girls always nail down. Use it on freshly washed and dried hair to give it some texture and grit. Focus more on the roots if you’re restyling yesterday’s hair to add natural volume where your hair needs it the most.
NAVY Pebble Beach Dry Texture Spray
This spray is best used on dry hair for a textured, tousled look. It instantly adds lift and flexible hold without any crunch and uses restorative ingredients like sunflower seed oil to keep your hair healthy and give movement and body. Spray on second- or third-day hair to refresh a blowout and add some lift to finer or air-dried hair.
OUAI Wave Spray
If you already have some wave or curl to your hair, this spray will help to enhance natural texture. Infused with rice protein to add hold and coconut water to hydrate, this mist (which has the brand’s signature addictive scent) is free of parabens and phthalates. Plus, it’s easy to use — just spray on damp hair from root to tip, or just spritz on your roots for instant volume and a quick refresh.
Kenra Professional Sugar Beach Sun Creme 12
This rich texturizing creme is an excellent alternative to gritty sprays or spritzes. As a sun-protecting cream that will protect your hair against color fading and heat, it offers a touchable texture for air-dried hair without a greasy feel. To use, simply apply throughout damp hair and let it air-dry.
R+Co Bleu Featherlight Hairspray
If hairsprays were to get a high school superlative, this one would certainly be the “Class Overachiever.” Formulated with a unique blend of a proprietary molecule complex, vitamin B5, styling resins, and flower extracts, this hairspray basically has memory retention. So, it holds onto your beach waves for hours.
Moroccanoil Luminous Hairspray
This hairspray is no one-trick pony: The lightweight, flexible formula infuses your beach waves with shine, fights frizz, and brushes out easily without flaking. And, of course, you can count on it for long-lasting hold — no stickiness in sight.
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