Let's face it: Beach waves have been and always will be the most coveted hairstyle come summer. And while wavy tresses look effortless, unless you are blessed with this natural hair texture, you probably know that they are rather difficult to attain. After one too many failed attempts with sea salt spray and a curling iron, we reached out to Ghd brand ambassador and celebrity hairstylist Justine Marjan to learn how to create full waves with a flatiron.
Marjan, our effortless-hair expert, has found the key to Gisele-worthy locks, and, spoiler, it doesn't involve a curling iron or wand. She says, "I suggest using a flatiron when trying to create a more lived-in, effortless, and textured wave pattern" as "the bevels on the iron make it easy to create S-shape waves and undulations in the hair." For Marjan's tips on how to achieve the tousled beach waves we've come to know and love, watch the video tutorial below.
- Blow-dry hair: For the best results, Marjan says to prep the hair when blow-drying. She recommends adding Tresemmé Beauty-Full Mousse ($5) to your wet locks and blowing them dry with the Ghd Air Professional Performance Hairdryer ($199).
- Brush through hair: After blow-drying, make sure to brush out your tresses.
- Grab a section hair: Create a one- to two-inch section of hair for curling—how small or large depends on your hair's density. Marjan says, "If you have thicker, more coarse hair, opt for a smaller section. If you have fine, delicate hair, larger sections will be better. Experiment with it, and have fun!"
- Clip remaining hair away: To focus on the section of hair that is going to be curled, pull back the remaining hair, and fasten it with a clip like Drybar Hold Me Hair Clips ($16).
- Place flatiron near the root: To begin curling the hair, place the one- to two-inch section of hair between your flat iron of choice; Marjan recommends using the Ghd Platinum Professional Styler ($249). Move the iron to the top of the hair shaft near the root but far enough from your scalp so as not to burn yourself.
- Create an S-shape wave: Clamp the flatiron down onto your hair while simultaneously rotating the iron in an S pattern. Keep beveling the flatiron until you have reached the end of your hair.
- Repeat the S pattern throughout hair: While beveling each section of hair with the S wave, Marjan recommends alternating S waves toward the face and away from the face for waves that "look less contrived and more chic." She says to "hold the iron at 45 degrees, then bevel it away from the face as you work down the strand." Then, grab the next section of hair and "hold the iron at 135 degrees, and bevel it toward the face." Continue in this pattern through the rest of your hair.
- Finish with hair spray: To set your beachy waves, Marjan recommends using a finishing spray like Ouai's Texturizing Hair Spray ($26).
For more wavy-hair tips, check out the five best non-sticky beach sprays for touchable waves.