We now live in a day and age where dressing a celebrity, doing makeup on a celebrity, and coiffing a celebrity can turn you into a celebrity—just look to any of the countless hairstylists and makeup artists whose Instagram followings rival that of the stars they work with. It’s this transparency—stars, they did not wake up like this, and that’s okay!—that makes the current industry we work in so exciting. Want to know the secret to Olsen-worthy waves? Just ask their hairstylist (and resident Byrdie hair guru), Mark Townsend. What about the secret to Beyoncé’s signature cat-eye? Her makeup artist, Sir John, can tell you. We’ll never grow tired of learning the method behind a celebrity’s beauty look, secretly hoping, that yes, we can recreate just an ounce of the glamour at home.
On that note, we were particularly excited to catch up with Daven Mayeda, Shay Mitchell’s go-to hair guy. Shay Mitchell's hair is always perfectly waved without looking too “done,” and always has just the right amount of texture. In other words, we need to know how to copy, stat. Luckily, Mayeda was happy to share his exact technique, along with the tools and products he uses. We predict Hollywood-worthy beach waves in your near future…
Find out how to get Mitchell’s signature beachy waves below!
The first (and arguably most important) step to getting Shay Mitchell hair? Prepping your strands with product. “I spray Philip B.’s Maui Wowie Beach Hair Mist ($22) on sections of damp hair and rough dry the entire head with a blow dryer,” Daven reveals. Doing this gives your hair that extra bit of grit and texture, and prevents your strands from “slipping” during the curling process (fine-haired girls, take note!).
The curling iron you use determines the size, shape, and hold of your waves—so take a note from Daven, and choose one in the ½-inch to 1-inch range (he swears by the ½-inch curling wand from Enzo Milano). The key here is to wave sections in opposite directions—Daven says this will help give you the body and bounce you’re looking for.
Perfect curls can look dated (or worse, Shirley Temple-esque)—which is why it’s vital to break them up after you’re done curling. “I use my fingers to comb through sections and mess up the texture to give it more of an organic, lived-in feel,” Mayeda reveals. Fluff and separate sections, shaking them out loosely until you get a more natural look, then just finish with a mist of hairspray. Mayeda uses John Frieda’s Frizz-Ease Keraflex Flexible Hold Hairspray ($11). And there you have it—waves worthy of Shay Mitchell.
Will you be giving Daven’s technique a try? Click here for the best curling irons for waves that other celebrity hairstylists swear by!