How to Get Surfer Hair

Male Model With Wavy Hair at Fashion Week

Rosdiana Ciaravolo / Getty Images 

If you're looking to change up your hair to something low-maintenance, there's one style that fits the bill perfectly: surfer hair. The benefits? No barbershop, ocean, or slew of products are needed to achieve that lived-in beach bum look. This is the ultimate casual look, and if it's cut properly, it only requires the occasional washing and conditioning plus a good shake for styling. Below, find out how to get that texture and cut—no salt water required.

Let Your Hair Grow

It may seem obvious, but to get the proper surfer look, you'll need enough hair to pull it off and that means growing your hair out. It should be long enough at the front to come just down to the eyes and long enough on the sides to reach the bottom of the ears. FYI, there'll be an awkward stage during the grow-out phase where styling may be tricky. Hang in there and you'll be well on your way to getting that California beachy texture soon enough.

Cut Long Layers

Once you've let your hair grow out, add dimension by cutting long layers throughout the hair to mimic a shaggy surfer haircut. These haircuts work best when done with a razor, as this technique gives the hair movement and separation (no blunt shear cutting here). The result? A deconstructed look around the edges that screams, "I just hit some waves."

Style It

One of the biggest benefits to surfer hair is its versatility. The style can, of course, be worn shaken out and shaggy, but you can also make it more formal with pomade and a simple brush through the front pieces to pull them back.

Verb Sculpting Clay
Verb Sculpting Clay $18.00

For a more casual surfer look, towel dry the hair just until it's damp. Choose a matte finish, salt-infused product which will give your hair that sun-dried, wind-blown appearance and work it through damp hair. Let it dry naturally or by using a blowdryer with a diffuser.

Bumble and Bumble Surf Spray
Bumble and Bumble Surf Spray $27.00

Get Highlights and Waves

Feeling ambitious? Go the extra mile by visiting a professional colorist to get sun-kissed highlights added. And if your hair is stick straight, you can ask your stylist to add a permanent wave to the hair (bearing in mind the damage such processes can have on the hair). You can achieve a similar, temporary result at home by scrunching the hair as you blow it dry.

Use a clarifying shampoo once a week to keep highlights looking fresh.

Maintain It

To maintain a healthy look for long hair, shampoo and condition daily and dry your hair by patting it rather than going through it with a towel. And when brushing, use a wide-tooth comb or your fingers to avoid breakage.

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