How to Get Beach Waves Without the Fuss

This is easy, but the round of GIFs that follow will make it easier


The ocean has great hair. In fact, I’d like to go so far as to make the bold, sweeping statement that when it comes to beach waves, oceans definitely win.

But the reality is that I am not an ocean. You are probably not either. However, just because we are not oceans doesn’t mean we can’t get beach waves. So let’s go surfing.

(Note: this works best on long, straight/straight-ish hair. For curly hair tips, see Rita Ora’s guy.)

You’ll need:

– Some hair

Sea salt spray — I like these ones the best:

Note: You can also DIY the spray by adding a handful of salt to a cup of water and then putting that very scientific mixture into a clean spray bottle.


If you want to wake up with waves, do this before bed with towel-dried hair. Sorry for not putting “towel” in the “You’ll Need” section.

If you’re doing this in the morning for high tide at 4 p.m., start with mildly-damp hair — a nice gauge for this level of wetness is somewhere between “I walked to work in 90 degree heat” and “I just took a barre class, but skipped abs.”

Now Let’s Do This:

1. Twist your hair into chunks, keeping in mind the smaller the chunk, the tighter the twist, the curlier the wave. Reader’s choice!amelia-one

2. Gather them at the top like you’re a carrot pulling itself out of the ground. (Don’t worry about the back part of your mullet if you can’t grab it all.)


3. Now take your sea salt and spray, mermaids! Spray!


4. Keeping your carrot top in one hand, scoop the remainder of your wig up into the handful of twists (seriously, don’t fuss about errant strands because beach hair isn’t supposed to look “perfect”) and then all at once, twist that shit into a cinnamon bun. Use an over-stretched elastic so as not to crease your curl, and mist your head-bagel with a final pump of salt spray.amelia-bun-wavy-hair-man-repeller

5. Now we wait. Rumor has it that reading Man Repeller improves waves but IDK. The longer you sit with this baby perched atop your scalp, the better.

Let it marinate. Let it grow legs.

6. Once your hair is completely dry, undo your topknot and comb through the curls with your fingers.


Voila! Total sand babe. Smile for the camera and be the ocean that you always knew you could be.


Rumor has it that if you hold a seashell up to your ear, you can hear yourself.

Photographed by Krista Anna Lewis

Want more on hair twirling? Pinky-styling, right this way. Or if you’re aspiring to be a beach blonde babe, educate yourself about the platinum ‘do here. Have you spotted a Centry 21 shopping bag this morning? What about a dad with a cute baby

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  • Hannah Finnigan-Walsh

    Haha this is great. And useful!

    • Amelia Diamond


  • Sonya

    So much easier than the curling iron beach wave tutorials, and more natural looking.

  • Stephanie Nolasco

    I love using a combo of sea salt spray and a little bit of coconut oil on my ends. Not only does it enhance my wavy hair, but I also ending up smelling like a delicious tropical drink. Not a bad deal. Just wash, apply, and go.

    • Amelia Diamond

      ooo coconut oil on the ends yess

    • Linda Surles

      That’s exactly what I use on my wavy hair. Works like a charm.

  • My curling iron is going to hate you for this! Haha!

    • Amelia Diamond

      but your hair will <3 u!

      • Oh I know! I can’t wait to try it. I wonder how it will do on my shoulder-length hair?

  • You’re so gorgeous, Amelia! I wonder if this will work with my lob… I also rly love your sciencey formula.

    • Amelia Diamond

      It will 100% work with your lob, all you need are the twisticles. Get little clips from drugstore and then bun them that way!

      • Lob help

        Do elaborate! Which clips? Clip where? Bun each individual twisticle or still try to get it all in one bun?

      • so basically a chiller version of pincurls? stoked to try! i have v straight hair but sometimes i french braid it before bed – this looks a lot more relaxed and easier too 🙂

  • HELP. FUL. As always, such a pretty Amelia. With my pin straight hair, I’ve almost gone so desperate to curl my hair as seen in Jane Austen films…with a bunch of rags, candles, and midnight secrets.

  • amelia your top is super cute!!!

    • Amelia Diamond


  • Sasha Leon J

    Or….just sleep in braids! Like Caroline de Maigret taught us.

    • Amelia Diamond

      true! but that gives a different effect i find!

  • I was expecting some fun gifs as soon as I read the article title. And I actually found them very helpful

  • Sea salt spray seriously works wonders I tell you, wonders. It also can be used to give added body to otherwise lifeless hair, but be warned if you’re an over processed blonde it will result in some serious dryness/breakage. But at least you’ll look good?

    Josh | The Kentucky Gent

  • Allie Fasanella

    looook at this dope diva. freaking magical. thanks for the tippy. also your before pic looks a little mugshotty and you’re proud of the crime you just committed. crime being killer fucking do

    • Amelia Diamond

      born sinner (not the) opposite of a winner

  • Mk

    you are bootiful! doing this tonight.

    • Amelia Diamond


  • My hair would never dry if I did this 🙁

    • Amelia Diamond

      that’s kind of me too that’s why i wait until the VERY LAST BIT of damp-ness.

      • Ooooohhh… now there’s an idea! I will post a picture next time I wash my hair and try this.

  • Elizabeth Tamkin

    Hair making my hungry. Also spraying in salty water works!

  • CarlotaLMorais

    Amelia you are getting better everytime! Great post, will do this for sure!

  • Saliwa

    __I like this manrepeller Get More InFo

  • Emper1976

    < ?????? +manrepeller +*********….. < Now Go R­e­­a­d M­o­r­e


  • therealdp

    ohhh that is how white girls do hair?? that is so much work. impressive!!

    • Amelia Diamond

      Hi D! Yes! Can we try on you too or no?

  • pASHionateLEY

    I’ve done a Crazy Eyes hair do on my mop overnight. My result was big waves as well.
    I love this idea too.
    Amelia, you are BEAUTIFUL!

    • Amelia Diamond

      good lord i <3 you

    • Diana Monge-Martinez

      bantu knots 🙂

  • Thank you for posting something so easy and without heat! I’m getting my beach on ❤️?❤️?

  • Lauren at adorn la femme

    Amelia, you are freakin’ adorable in this tutorial! I, too, was expecting a satirical fun moment… but it was entirely useful and I can’t wait to do this and say good-bye mr. curling iron! xo



    adorn la femme

    • Amelia Diamond

      guys show me your results!

  • Can I be weird and say you have perfect armpits. Great hair as per usual Amelia!

    • Amelia Diamond


  • Leoma

    Thank you for not only entertaining me but showing me how to use sea salt spray! You are awesome!

    • Amelia Diamond

      you are! yea i just go nuts with that shit because why not.

  • deb

    Trying this tonight! Thanks for the tutorial replete with video.

  • Aubrey Green

    Amelia, you’re so beautiful.

    • Amelia Diamond

      AUBREY! One cupcake for you.

  • zincink

    For the wavy hair peeps I try to combat the Frizzasaurus by turning hair upside down & squeeze out most of the water. Then I use an old t-shirt squeezing out some more water and sit in front of the fan while on the computer. No touching of the hair. I’m going to try your trick for a change-up.

  • Super useful, love the pics! Your hair looks amazing.
    The Twinne Twins

  • Claudia Tetreault-Percy

    Oh what a fantastic ocean you are, Amelia.

  • Manuela

    I LOVE the B&B surf spray. It reeeally works in my hair!

    Awesome tips!


  • Beth

    It actually worked! I’m so sick of reading the back of a beach wave spray bottle to find I actually need not only the spray, but three arms, an hour and a half, a curling iron, a straightener, and the tears of a unicorn to get an “effortless” result. I used my own home made mix and it was not a neat cinnamon bun on my head- it was a pastry that got crushed and exploded its filling all over the fancy box- and I still ended up with waves that looked like I spent all day frolicking at the Cape!

    • Amelia Diamond

      pic pic pic!

  • Jin

    Someone please make my bob grow so I can do this.

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  • Now, if you had the opposite problem — hair that was too curly and frizzy, and you were trying to tone it DOWN into beach waves rather than amp it up into them, I’d say it’s obvious, sister: what you need is a keratin treatment.

  • Love this girl haha. Gonna try this now!

    • Oh geeze. I did the twirls too tight for my liking and my hair wasn’t dry enough! I’ll keep at it though. Determination! Thanks for sharing this how to.

  • Liz

    I actually followed this tutorial pretty easily. I can’t wait to see my results.

  • Heidi

    Amelia, you are a beautiful mermaid!

  • Alyssa

    Yo I just called my bun a hair bagel the other day before even reading this article. Thank you for validating my existence. Also, great tutorial!

  • Jenny M

    You should try the Karmin curling wand (Y)

  • Jessica Bee

    If you do this one with super fine hair like mine you get a frizzy mess. My head bagel is more like a head timbit, so I don’t get big waves. The search continues.