how to: beach waves for short hair

photo
I recently posted about my adventures in chopping off all my hair for the first time in 15 years.  Not sure what came over me, because then I went and had my bestie Brittney cut off several more inches. Brittney gives a MEAN haircut and she’s also incredible at styling the best beach waves.  I went in with a photo of Kendi for inspiration and I left Brittney’s chair completely thrilled with my new wavy do.  BUT…there was something about my new short hair that I didn’t anticipate.  I had imagines wearing it in loose, casual, wavy curls everyday this summer.  But when I went to curl it with my curling iron a few days later I was stuck with a poofy, wonky, golden girls-ish disaster.  And then, and hour later my hair was back to being stick straight. Ugh. It turned out that curling short hair wasn’t as easy as I had expected.  When I posted the above pic on instagram many of you seemed to be having the exact same trouble curling your short hair. So I called Brittney and I begged her to teach us her ways so that I could be happy with my new style.  Brittney taught me that the secret to beach waves for short hair is a HAIR STRAIGHTENER, not a curling iron!  I’ve since practiced and almost perfected this technique for myself.  And today Brittney is here to teach us how its done. Yay Brittney, we love you!

hot to get beach waves with a straightener
curl short hair with a straightenerNecklace ℅: Wrenn Jewelry

Below you will see how Brittney styled this look on my friend Lacey and on me.  Brittney has also put together a video for us that walks through the details.  I suggest watching the video and then taking a look at the photos and reading the tips and product recommendations below  to tie everything together. Remember, the key technique with this look is that you are BENDING the straightener around the hair rather than curling it–this will make mores sense after you watch the video.  NOTE: we are NOT video production specialists by ANY means, as you are about to see. you have been warned.
ALSO: Because we are NOT video production specialists, watch this super helpful video to see how this girl achieves the beach wave look.  It’s a good one to watch because you can see how she styles the look on herself rather than someone else doing it.  Also, she divides her hair into sections before curling whereas Brittney takes a more organic approach–so do whatever is easiest for you.


best beachy hair products
Aquage Sea Salt or Wella Ocean Spritz. Brittney gives 3 ways to use the product.  1. using a sea salt spray at your roots when your hair is damp will give your root a little lift and texture when it dries. 2.  it is also great using sea salt spray if you have natural curl or wave–wash your hair at night, spray generously with sea salt spray and sleep on a towel (if your hair is really long or thick you may want to twist or braid it before you sleep on it. Then in the morning you can use this method to curl any pieces that didn’t dry right. 3. After you’ve curled your hair, if it looks too “styled” you can use this on the dry hair to grit it up.

Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray. A fantastic product to use to make your hair feel thicker and fuller and to keep it from sticking to your head.  If your hair is thick this will give it some lift to help from feeling bottom heavy.  It can be used to substitute dry shampoo. It smells fantastic and it really transforms the hair!

Paul Mitchell makes a fantastic dry shampoo at a respectable price point.  I’ve found dry shampoo that is less expensive, but often the smell is too strong for me and I don’t feel like you get much powder spray. I’ve also used more expensive, like Bumble and Bumble which is my favorite–but its almost double the cost.  This is good middle ground. It’s especially great to use dry shampoo for this style if your hair gets a little oily, especially around your hair line.

Sebastian Shaper is a fantastic, workable hair spray.  It doesn’t get sticky and helps give hold.

Texture by Bumble and Bumble or Brilliantine by Bumble and Bumble. Both of these are great if you hair has fly aways that need taming.  Just put a small amount in your hand and rub into your hands well before touching your hair. When you apply to your hair touch it lightly at first and gradually work it in.  It is wonderful because the finish is not greasy at all.

Healthy Sexy Hair has a leave in soy conditioner. The down side is the bottle often breaks.  The upside is Brittney keeps buying it anyway because it is THAT good.  You can transfer it to another generic pump bottle.  This puts moisture and topical vitamins into your hair.  Use it when damp for detangling. It’s also great to use to soften any pieces that might have too much sea salt spray or to revamp and rework second or third day hair.

brittney zeedik
Meet Brittney. And Lacey, our second hair model for the day.
curl in sections
TIPS: Start with dry hair–preferably hair that has some styling products in it.  Use some dry shampoo before you begin if you didn’t wash that day and your hair is a little oily. Spray hair with a workable hair spray.  Then take one inch to one and a half inch sections starting in the front of your face on either side.  Clamp a 1 inch flat iron on medium to medium/high heat near the scalp and twist the flat iron 180 degrees. NOT 360. You should be twisting/turning the flat iron toward the back of your head (and away from your face). Then pull straight down at the tips.  Re-clamp and twist at the base again if more lift is needed at the root. Work your way toward the back/center of the head. Follow these same steps starting at the front of the opposite side and work your way back to the center.  Spray with hairspray and allow to cool.  Shake curls out and separate them and follow up with finishing product. 
curl away from face straightener

Here are Brittneys recommendations for a good flat iron:
1. either titanium plate or ceramic plate. Not metal. Make sure it isn’t just plated because eventually it will rub off and you will be left with metal spots. Metal swells and shrinks with heat and over time this causes tiny cracks to form in the plate. Your hairs can get caught in these tiny cracks and it will pull and damage your hair. Also, metal heats un evenly so there will be hot spots.
2. make sure it has a heat guage. Preferable with degrees (ie 200-450) but numbers (ie 1-25) will work too. If it just has Hi, Low and off it is usually too hot on the high setting, and too low on the low, so you’ll use the high setting and it will be damaging. about 300 degrees would be good for fine to medium hair and about 350 would be good for medium to coarse.
3. look to find a beveled edge. so the edge of the plate should not be square it should be slightly round. This helps with curling.

Here are a few she has used: she likes the long cords that you will get when buying professional grade flat irons.
Here, here and here.

how to do beacy waves
beachy waves how to
bending straightener
separate curls

crazy hair dont care
straightener curls
curl away from face
curling short hair 2
These back pieces are so short that you really are just bending them slightly to create the wave.
curling short hair
how to curl short hair
short hair beachy waves
Check out some more hair tutorials here.

 

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Ashley Stock
I'm Ashley. Sometimes I craft, occasionally I cook, everyday I write, and I'm always Momma. This is my blog. I keep it real while still seeing the rainbows and butterflies in all of life's lessons.
Ashley Stock
Ashley Stock
Ashley Stock

Latest posts by Ashley Stock (see all)

Ashley Stock

Comments

  1. Thank you for posting this!! Shortly after I saw your new hair cut I sent an email to my stylist asking her if she could cut my hair like yours at my next appointment. I then got frustrated because I ended up with hair that was too big when I curled it. So, now I’ve been growing it back out. I guess I need to get a small flat iron. :)

  2. If I’m not mistaken, I think you live out by me (Agoura?)… What salon does Britney work at?? Marcy

  3. THIS is the exact hair cut I’m getting and I’ve been totally dreaming of the same waves! Looks great :D

    xo, Dakota
    http://www.stateandoccupation.com

  4. Totally in love with your hair!!!!! Mine is a darker version of a similar cut and I basically do this daily. Loving your new tricks!

  5. I have had such a dilemma lately with wanting to chop off my long locks again, and your adorable cut is pushing me towards doing it! I love this tutorial. It’s the exact way I used to do mine when my hair was shorter, and even now since it’s grown back out. It’s so easy!

  6. SO cute! Definitely going to give this a try! Thanks for sharing!

  7. I love the short hair. It looks so fresh! Maybe it’s time to chop mine…

  8. Thanks for the tips, Ashley! I’ve been wanting something new! This is great. And…I always get annoyed when other people do this and now I’m “that person” – ha! LOVE the white t-shirt and am in search of one. Just returned one that was too see-through. Where did you get yours and that adorable necklace? Love your style!

  9. Love your hair! I see it is pretty dark underneath, what kind of color do you use? I have dark brown hair but would love to go lighter like yours! Is your hair naturally darker?

  10. I recently cut my hair too and I am struggling with styles so thank for the post!! :)

  11. Kristen says:

    Omg… I cut my hair back in December and had the same problem! This was great…. Been doing my hair like this for two days now…. So glad I have my waves back!!! Thanks!

  12. Can you pass along suggestions for good brands of flat irons?

    • Here are Brittneys recommendations for a good flat iron:
      1. either titanium plate or ceramic plate. Not metal. Make sure it isn’t just plated because eventually it will rub off and you will be left with metal spots. Metal swells and shrinks with heat and over time this causes tiny cracks to form in the plate. Your hairs can get caught in these tiny cracks and it will pull and damage your hair. Also, metal heats un evenly so there will be hot spots.
      2. make sure it has a heat guage. Preferable with degrees (ie 200-450) but numbers (ie 1-25) will work too. If it just has Hi, Low and off it is usually too hot on the high setting, and too low on the low, so you’ll use the high setting and it will be damaging. about 300 degrees would be good for fine to medium hair and about 350 would be good for medium to coarse.
      3. look to find a beveled edge. so the edge of the plate should not be square it should be slightly round. This helps with curling.

      Here are a few she has used: she likes the long cords that you will get when buying professional grade flat irons.

      http://bit.ly/1mzuYbH

      http://bit.ly/1mzvHJR

      http://bit.ly/1kRkAxE

  13. Lindsay says:

    Your friend Brittney used to cut my hair in Orem…and we worked together at the Gap there back in the day. Small world. I miss her haircuts…she does the BEST short haircuts!

  14. Hi, Love it! Can you tell me what type of flat iron that is and size please?

    • Here are Brittneys recommendations for a good flat iron:
      1. either titanium plate or ceramic plate. Not metal. Make sure it isn’t just plated because eventually it will rub off and you will be left with metal spots. Metal swells and shrinks with heat and over time this causes tiny cracks to form in the plate. Your hairs can get caught in these tiny cracks and it will pull and damage your hair. Also, metal heats un evenly so there will be hot spots.
      2. make sure it has a heat guage. Preferable with degrees (ie 200-450) but numbers (ie 1-25) will work too. If it just has Hi, Low and off it is usually too hot on the high setting, and too low on the low, so you’ll use the high setting and it will be damaging. about 300 degrees would be good for fine to medium hair and about 350 would be good for medium to coarse.
      3. look to find a beveled edge. so the edge of the plate should not be square it should be slightly round. This helps with curling.

      Here are a few she has used: she likes the long cords that you will get when buying professional grade flat irons.

      http://bit.ly/1mzuYbH

      http://bit.ly/1mzvHJR

      http://bit.ly/1kRkAxE

  15. Shirley says:

    I love your hair, I can’t do this because my hair is so thin that my scalp would show throught but it does look great on you.

  16. How fun! My co-worker does Kendi’s Hair! She has some rockin’ hair and so do you!

  17. I’ve used his technique many times but have seen serious damage using a flat iron over my curling iron. I’m wondering how to combat this! I do use heat protectant!

  18. Yes! please give suggestions on flat irons. I don’t have one mostly because the one that everyone says to get (chi??) is super expensive. Do I need to have that one or will any ol’ iron do? I love this post!! Thanks so much for sharing. I have the perfect length for this style and this would be a lifesaver!!

    • Here are Brittneys recommendations for a good flat iron:
      1. either titanium plate or ceramic plate. Not metal. Make sure it isn’t just plated because eventually it will rub off and you will be left with metal spots. Metal swells and shrinks with heat and over time this causes tiny cracks to form in the plate. Your hairs can get caught in these tiny cracks and it will pull and damage your hair. Also, metal heats un evenly so there will be hot spots.
      2. make sure it has a heat guage. Preferable with degrees (ie 200-450) but numbers (ie 1-25) will work too. If it just has Hi, Low and off it is usually too hot on the high setting, and too low on the low, so you’ll use the high setting and it will be damaging. about 300 degrees would be good for fine to medium hair and about 350 would be good for medium to coarse.
      3. look to find a beveled edge. so the edge of the plate should not be square it should be slightly round. This helps with curling.

      Here are a few she has used: she likes the long cords that you will get when buying professional grade flat irons.

      http://bit.ly/1mzuYbH

      http://bit.ly/1mzvHJR

      http://bit.ly/1kRkAxE

  19. I love this!! Can we get some details on your haircut?? I’d love to cut my hair like yours, and I want to make sure my hairstylist cuts it just like that!

    • Brittney says:

      Take you stylist a picture of Ashley’s hair and that will help. If your hair is the same texture as Ashleys then these are my recommendations.
      Overall length should be just above your shoulders so that it does not drag on shoulders when its dry, but rather swings when you move your head.
      The back is cut slightly shorter than the front but it is not “stacked” or cut like an A-line bob. The layers are long and are slighly longer toward the front of the face.

      If your hair is thicker or more coarse then you may need some razor, or point cutting, or texturizing to acheive this look.

      • Thanks for cutting details. Very helpful! Love the colour as well, but it’s difficult to see if it’s bleaching or a colour? Thanks for sharing:o)

  20. I love your hair!! I wish I can grow mine to that length but it is to thin and looks kind of flat when it starts getting longer. I also love the necklace that you are wearing! Can you share where I could get one like that?
    Thank you :))

  21. Thank you! Thank you! I had my hair cut short a few months ago and many days I just am not happy with the way it styles because I’ve been wanting something like this. Now to buy some hair products! :)

  22. Can anybody tell me why we’re never happy with what we got? Having great waves we decide to straighten them. Then having nice straight hair we are looking for a way to wave them? Just asking :)
    You are looking gorgeous though. SO that’s probably why xx

  23. Seriously LOVE this post!! Thank you so much! I chopped my hair off for the first time in 15 years recently as well and have been looking for a good way to get the perfect beachy waves like Kendi! Haha so this seriously was a perfect post. Thanks again! <3

  24. Lisa McCracken says:

    Great post! I never would have thought to use my straight iron for curls. Thank you for sharing!
    I love your hair color and would love to have mine colored this way. BUT I cannot get my stylist to do this. I have grays to color so she colors my roots first then highlights over top of them (at the same time). It turns out more yellow than blonde and always darker than I want. Do you have grays that your stylist colors? Can you briefly describe the process in which she colors your hair? Thank you so much!

    • Melissa Earnest says:

      I know this is mid-August, but I just saw this on Pinterest and read your post. Have you tried eSalon? It is much cheaper than going to a hairstylist and they really do take the time to look at pics of your hair and you answer so many questions, it’s hard to get it wrong. I started doing my own coloring at home with eSalon products and I have been thrilled with the results! https://www.esalon.com/

  25. Vanessa says:

    I love the style. Am I supposed to use all the products together? How do I prep my hair before beginning ? Thanks

  26. Natalie R says:

    Hi, first off your hair is so cute! I recently had my hair cut similar to this but have been having difficulty curling it with a flat iron. I have a Solia Tourmaline Ceramic in a 1″ (like this- http://www.folica.com/tools/flat-irons/solia-tourmaline-ceramic-ion-flat-iron-one-and-one-quarter-inch-plus-free-heat-proof-pouch) but my hair will just not curl with it or it will curl and fall completely flat by the time I am done. I have zero problems when I use a curling wand, but I really want the look the flat iron gives. Do you have any suggestions? I do spray each strand before curling but still it’s like a limp noodle :(

  27. I want your hairdresser to be my hairdresser !

  28. I have my hair cut short in the bob but my hair is stacked in the back and is a bit shorter then what is shown in the pictures. . Is this a style that would be workable on my hair. My hair is also pretty fine.

  29. I have my hair cut short in the bob but my hair is stacked in the back and is a bit shorter then what is shown in the pictures. . Is this a style that would be workable on my hair. My hair is also pretty fine.

  30. I would love to know what color your stylist has on her nails, it is so cute!
    Thanks for a helpful tutorial.

  31. I really like your hair cut! And the hair style looks great! I have very long hair, I think I’ll finally cut it! Like yours! :)

  32. Kimberly says:

    Thanks for this! Just found it on Pinterest – I’ve tried to curl my hair with a flatiron in the past but with no luck. Love the step-by-step instruction and product suggestions, can’t wait to try it out!
    PS – Where is your white tee from? We all need the perfect white tee and yours is super cute!! ;) Thanks!

  33. Stephanie B. says:

    Oh my goodness. I’ve been dying for a good tutorial on this subject for short hair. My sister-in-law gets married next month and I’ve been trying to figure out what to do with my hair for the day (I’m the mistress of ceremony/reception) and I’m so happy I found this!

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  35. Hi Ashley,
    Like everyone else I love your hair and appreciate the tutorial. I’ve given it a go and am pleased with the results!
    But I really want to know about those garlands in the background of your photo – especially the flowery one. Is it DIY? Do you have any links to a tutorial to make it or to the shop it’s from?
    Thanks!

  36. Hi :) does anybody know what i have to say to get a haircut like that!? Is it layered or dp i say long in the front and shorter in the back?

  37. So why doesn’t my hair curl when I do this? Slightly on the ends, but nothing that looks like this. I just cannot get my hair to curl or hold a curl Never have.

  38. Thank you so much for posting this! I recently cur my hair shorter and was having soo much trouble getting it to curl nicely. This was so helpful, I greatly appreciate that you took the time to make a video and share it. Thanks again!

  39. Nynke Catherine says:

    Wow, this is pretty much the same haircut I have. Accept for the fact I (unfortunately) cut bangs, luckily they look kind of cute in a little french braid.
    All that works for me with this haircut is stick straight hair, or the ends start to stand out which looks really weird :(
    Frustrating thing is, I can’t seem to curl my hair. Even with this tutorial. I really want to curl my hair, since I turn 21 monday.

    I’ll just keep trying and practicing this weekend and/or ask help from my sisters

  40. Thanks for the tutorial. I chopped all of my hair off last year & Now I’m finally growing it back. Excited that I can style some waves in it again without it looking too poofy. Are you curling the whole head of hair or just the top ? I can’t really tell but in the last pictures it just looks like the top layers and the hair underneath is wavy because of the salt spray? My hair is super thick so I’m not sure if I should curl throughout.

  41. This is a great video and love the style. Would love to see video of the model doing this style on herself….not having someone do it to her.

  42. i have this hair cut more like the blonde. And I have really thick hair so when I try to curl it like this it gets really fluffy and ends up looking like just a big ball of hair. Any advice on getting the beach curls with thick hair? The back is the main problem I have

  43. I hope you don’t mind but I followed this tutorial and wrote about my first successful hair curling attempt on my blog! I’ve attached a link if you’d like to read it:) http://www.thehannahgold.com/2014/10/adventures-in-short-hair-flat-iron-curls.html

  44. Thank you for a detailed tutorial! My hair just reaches my shoulders and I am so bored with having it straight all the time, I can’t wait to put some “waves” in it! I will look for the Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray, as I also want to give it some volume.

  45. Thanks for posting the information and video. I ordered the flat iron and the Oribe spray so I can try this myself. My hair is fine so I’ve always been concerned about using a flat iron, I don’t want to crush any volume I might have. I’ve tried wrapping my hair around a round curling iron but it doesn’t have the same effect, but I have never used the spray. I know my fine hair won’t look like either of the two shown here, but I’m hopeful I can get close. If your stylist has any additional tips to maintain volume for fine hair, I’d love to hear it!

  46. I have a very important question: what nail polish is Brittney wearing? LOVE.

  47. I used to think that those beautiful wavy curl hairs only belong to those who have long hair. Now I know I can do it too. I’m going to grab a hair straightener and try this out. Wish me luck gals!

  48. So great! I always do that! This can show a little bit more https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OWelSX_PCG0

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