And so the summer begins – the “wave” of flip flops and sunglasses, tank tops and suntans. And so thus begins the frizzy hair, the flat hair. But alas, every magazine lining the shelves will exhibit models lounging along the seashore, with their perfectly placed “beachy” tresses, looking effortless, windblown, and simple. Yet every year this gives us a glint of hope that our hair will miraculously curl and sweep across our face as we step into the heat and humidity – beach side or not. How soon this illusion is crushed. And as we struggle with “fluffy” fly-aways, and stringy limp strands; we give up.
As a victim of this very situation, I started my hunt, my research, and a summer of trial and errors. Watching commercials and flipping through magazines, I witnessed half naked, flawless figures basking in the water, climbing cliffs, barefoot, along a rocky coast, or standing on the pier of yacht as it blasts through the ocean waves; all with luscious, tamed, creamy curls that hung sensually over their shoulders, dipped into the curves of their bony stances, and laid perfectly off their sun kissed faces. This is NOT reality. But in a juvenile state of mind: beach elements = beach hair. So many a summer days I spent bulking my hair up with salt and sand, scrunching it continuously with my hands. More, salt, more sand, scrunch, scrunch, scrunch. And yet, my thin hair, fell flat. Each day, I turned away from the ocean, head hung in disappointment. But with age, I came to realize, as unrealistic it was for rail thin models to be rock climbing in bikinis and espadrilles, it was just as unrealistic for their hair to naturally fall into a cascade of curled bliss. It DID take time, effort, and products. My project took a turn: finding the right combination of tools/techniques to replicate this “beachy hair look.”
For myself, keeper of fine, thin, color treated, COMPLETELY straight hair without an ounce of curl or volume, recipe for disaster right? I was able, with the aid of a few stylists, to concoct a mixture of curling products, techniques, and hair tools that would finally create a curly coif to be reckoned with, alas, I had tamed, coiled, beach-blown hair! And thus, here is my personal recipe for the perfect “Sea Swept Hair”:
- Pureology Hydrate Shampoo and Conditioner
- Redken Soft Spin 05
- Salon Professional Sedu TGR 4000 hair dryer with diffuser*
- Salon Professional Hot Tools curling iron* (size varies depending on length of hair- consult with a stylist)
Depending on your finished look/feel preference, choose either:
- Redken Quick Dry 18 finishing spray* (hairspray), for a flexible/light hold.
- Redken Workforce 09 finishing spray (hairspray), for a flexible/medium hold.
- Redken Forceful 23 finishing spray (hairspray), for a stronger, stiffer hold.
The step by step recipe:
- After washing and lightly conditioning your hair, towel-dry*, DO NOT COMB
- Use roughly a dime size amount of Redken soft spin gel, rub between both hands and spread through hair (for even distribution, flip head/hair upside down to ensure product is spread beneath the top layers of hair) and SCRUNCH*
- Use blow-dryer with diffuser* attached to diffuse hair -low setting/speed, high heat- (ask your stylist for diffusing techniques or even what a diffuser is, if unsure, like myself at one point)
- After you have accomplished the desired curl and finish to your hair, use either of the suggested “finishing sprays” to lock in your look!
- If needed, use the appropriately sized curling iron to curl uncooperative strands (which I always have J)
Salon Jargon Explained!
- Finishing spray = a fancy way of saying hairspray
- Scrunch = a way of cupping your hand, grasping a clump of hair from the ends, squeezing the hair and lifting to your roots. Yes, you can try at home, but if confused, consult with a stylist or look online!
- Diffuser = an attachment for your hair dryer (some hair dryers come with them), but if not, make sure the attachment fits your dryer before buying. This acts as a “scrunching” device with the help of heat which will create the soft curls.
- Towel dry = damp/dry hair, OPPOSITE of slippery, dripping wet hair, which will only water down the products. For thin hair, leave towel on for a few minutes, for thick hair leave towel for 10-15 minutes or longer if needed. Warning: DO NOT rub towel around hair, this will only cause frizz!
- Various Curling Iron Sizes = different curls/looks are created with different sized curling irons. For example, to achieve a tighter curl, use smaller sizes, for a wavy/larger curl, use larger sizes. For assistance in purchasing the right curling iron for yourself, consult with a stylist
Footnote: Different textures/densities/thickness of hair types will require different tools, techniques, and products to create this look.
By Kris @ You Salon, Inc