How To Create Barrel Waves at Home

Photo credit: Paul McMillan

Beachy waves are a hot look this season. Here’s how to ace yours.


From Jessica Alba to Jennifer Aniston, celebrities are rocking beautiful, beachy waves right now. And they’re not just for the surf; soft, loose curls are just as stunning with a red carpet gown as shorts and swimwear, and can be adapted prettily for a knock-em-dead races look. Try these tips for getting your wave on.


Spritz on the salt

A great salt spray is your best friend when it comes to making waves. Most of the major hair product brands include one in their range – but Jennifer Aniston’s hair stylist, Chris McMillan, has an even cheaper method: real sea water. He used to spritz it on her hair before an event and finish off the look with sunscreen on the ends. Easy, smells good – and truly authentic!

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Braids at bedtime

It’s free, easy and tried and true – braiding your hair and sleeping on it. Wash your hair before bed and while it’s still wet, twist it into loose braids. In the morning, shake it out and add a little spray for oomf.

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Build a bun

Another heat-free way route to wave heaven is to tie up your damp hair in a loose bun and let it dry naturally. Then shake it out and apply texturising spray, scrunching the curls with your hands.

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Take to the tongs

Tongs are the tools of champions for super waves, and different irons achieve varying degrees of looseness. For a basic technique that works on most hair types, try this: take two-inch sections of hair and wrap it around the barrel of a medium-sized curling iron (rather than curling the wand up to your scalp). Let the curls cool, then run your fingers gently through to loosen them up, and apply texturising spray.

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