Hair Tutorial: How to Do Brushed-Out Waves

The perfectly smooth, bouncy-curled blowout had its moment, but now it’s all about lived-in hair—real texture, undone waves—the maybe-I-did-wake-up-like-this styles. And we couldn’t be happier. Partly because it means our wash-and-go days have become more and more frequent, but also because on the days we want to do more than air-dry, it means we get to embrace the dreamy, fuzzy texture made famous by our favorite ’70s beauty icons. Couldn’t we all use an updated version of flower-child hair? Anh Co Tran thinks so, and as L.A.’s most in-demand hairstylist, he knows a thing or two about the trend. With his expert guidance (and these step-by-step photos), you can master the brushed-out waves look in no time. The best part? They look even better after they’ve been slept on for a night or two.

Scroll through for the full brushed-out waves tutorial!


Start with dry hair, preferably not freshly washed.

Dry Shampoo

Apply dry shampoo all over. We love Living Proof’s Perfect Hair Day Dry Shampoo ($39).

Roll Up

Using a one-inch flatiron ($149) on a two-inch section of hair, start curling. Begin close to the root, holding the iron flat, parallel to the ground. Use a rolling motion to wave your hair under and then over.

Roll Down

Think up and down rather than in and out. Repeat the rolling motion until you reach the ends. Be sure to give your hair enough slack for the wave to form. If you pull too tight, you’ll end up straightening your hair.

Keep Curling

Curl your whole head this way in one- to two-inch sections.

Move Swiftly

Use fluid motions so the iron never stops in one place (that’s how you end up with kinks).

Finish Curling

Be sure to leave the ends of each piece out.

Texturizing Spray

Let the curls cool for a minute to set them in place. Then flip your head over, muss up your hair, and spray a dry texturing spray (like our favorite Ouai Texturizing Hair Spray, $26) all over.


Using your Tangle Teezer ($12) or a brush with fine bristles, brush the bends of each curl up toward your head. Be gentle. You can always go over the curls again if you want to up the fuzz factor.

Give your waves once last spritz for added hold if you need it, and your brushed-out waves are ready to go.

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