How To Get Non-Crunchy Beach Waves When You Have Straight Hair

Photo: Via @liesjerose
Ever since I ditched the dyed black, heavily-fringed hair of my 2006 emo phase, I've yearned for beachy waves. You know, the fresh-from-the-sea or just-rolled-out-of-bed nonchalance of wavy hair. From Patti Smith's shoulder-skimming shag to Haim's long, tousled locks, I'm tormented by women who effortlessly wear their waves with style. Why? Because the grass is always greener. I have friends with curly hair who straighten it within an inch of its frazzled life. We're just never satisfied with the card we've been dealt. Still, that hasn't stopped me from seeking The Perfect Waves.
Now, thanks to the looks presented on the Fall/Winter 2017 runways, the textured style is dominating this season's hair trends. From Fendi to Dries Van Noten to Chloé and Alexander Wang, models embraced their natural movement and soft curls. Just one glimpse of Stephanie Broek or Lindsey Holland on Instagram is enough to push me over the edge. And don't think I haven't tried to get them. I choose not to think about the amount of bar money I've spent on salt and texturizing sprays that leave my hair feeling more crunchy than covetable.
So how can I achieve the Birth of Venus-esque hair of my dreams? Sam Burnett, owner and creative director of London salon Hare & Bone, is here to clue me in.
Will I ever have the loose waves I'm looking for?
“Yes! A simple way to achieve soft (non-crunchy) waves is by applying KMS Moist Repair Revival Creme to towel-dried hair before you go to bed, pulling into a high or low ponytail. Next, split the pony in two, rope braid the hair, tidy around base, and secure with strong pins or a hair elastic. Then, pull out in the morning.”
Should I focus on post-wash styling, or do curling shampoos and conditioners work?
“They absolutely do. To maintain healthy, structured curls or waves, my go-to is KMS Moist Repair Cleansing Conditioner. It works as an in-between product that cleanses and absorbs the natural oil from the hair but doesn’t leave the hair dry. It’s perfect for holding the texture and shape in place, for a more lived-in feel.”
And which products should I be using after I've washed my hair?
“Begin with nourishing hair oil – my favorite is Kérastase Elixir Ultime. Run this through the hair from the mid-lengths to ends. For soft waves, I keep the curls in place with KMS Curl Up Bounce Back Spray.”
According to Sam, it's all about preserving moisture while holding the shape of your curls. Another thing I've learned along the way? The amount of product to use. Curls and waves will be weighed down by excessive use; you really only need a small dollop of each. Click through to see the products I'm toting for natural-looking waves.