No matter what the time of year, your hair is an important part of every look you create, whether it’s a glamorous up do for nights out on the town or casual waves for a day at the beach. With summer fast approaching and with it (hopefully!) some fabulous sunshine, your perfect beach hairstyle is undoubtedly weighing on your mind. Whether you’re staying at home and will be gracing British beaches or going abroad to catch some more reliable rays, you need to think carefully about how you will be wearing your hair when you hit the sand. If you’re going to be sunbathing in a hot bikini, your hairstyle needs to be effortlessly gorgeous; if you’re planning on playing some beach sports like volleyball then you may want a more practical solution. And of course, what happens when you head into the sea and your hair meets the salt water? Here’s our essential guide to creating and maintaining the best beach hairstyles this summer.
Classic Beach Waves
The most timeless and instantly recognisable hairstyle for the beach is, of course, the simple wavy style. Sported by surfer girls on beaches worldwide and immortalised in films like Blue Crush, gentle waves create a cool beach look that appears effortless and casual whilst at the same time keeping you stylish. Waves are also notoriously easy to achieve, even if you have naturally straight or curly hair. Using a high quality styling tool such as ghd hair straighteners (see The Right Tools, below), beach ready waves can be achieved in minutes.
Firstly, section off your hair into layers as you would when straightening. Beginning with the bottom layer, split this into smaller sections of about an inch across. Carefully clamp the straighteners around the hair at the root, and gently begin to pull downwards. Think about how far apart you want your waves – if you want lots of small waves, you will need to stop pulling sooner than if you want soft, far apart waves. When you stop pulling, turn your wrist so that the straighteners are now at an angle to your head. The angle again depends on how big you want your waves – a gentler angle will create smaller waves, whilst a big angle will create a more dramatic look. Pull the straighteners along the hair at this angle for the same length as the first stretch, then turn your wrist back to the original angle. Repeat until you reach the tips of your hair, then work through each section.
If, on the other hand, you’re looking for a more functional style to wear to the beach, you may consider putting your hair up unto a ponytail or even plaiting it to keep stray strands from falling into your face and obscuring your vision. This is particularly important if you are going to be moving about on the beach lots, for example playing sports or other games with your family or friends. Depending on the length of your hair, you can choose to tie it up or back in a variety of different ways. If you have quite short hair that is still long enough to irritate you may not be able to tie it all back in one neat ponytail – you could opt for pigtails instead, or just clip the hair back and away from your face. Very long hair
may create a very long ponytail or plait that could still inhibit your movement, so consider curling it up and pinning it into a loose bun.
The Right Tools
When styling your hair, it is extremely important to make sure that you use the right tools in order to avoid or at least minimise the damage inflicted on the hair itself. This is particularly relevant to heat styling, which although can have some pretty fantastic results also carries plenty of risks. Poor quality straighteners in particular can dry out your hair, leaving it brittle and dry, ruining your overall look and causing lasting problems. This is why it is essential to invest in high quality equipment, especially if you are going to be heat styling your hair often. Even using straighteners to tease your hair into gentle waves, as described above, is a process that requires the right tools. One of the most well-known and reputed brands of hair styler is ghd, whose stylers may be expensive but are also top of the line.
Another important element of taking care of your hair is the products that you use on it. First of all, you should be sure to use heat protect products such as heat protect spray or serum on hair that is heat styled often. These type of products go the extra mile to protect your hair from drying out or becoming brittle. UV light can also damage your hair, and this is particularly relevant to the beach hairstyles discussed above. You can buy specialist shampoos and other styling products that include built in protection from UV rays, to stop your hair from fading or becoming damaged. Finally, if you’re planning on getting into the ocean this summer and exposing your hair to salt water, be sure to treat yourself to a nice leave in conditioner or hair restore shampoo to bring your hair back to its usual lustre.