5 Badass 'Dos For Wet Hair — & They're Easy, Too!

Photographed by Ben Ritter.
There's "beach hair" — artfully disheveled waves with lots of intentional texture — and then there's your hair when you're actually at the beach: soaking wet, thick with salt, a little too sandy to feel good, and sticking to your sunscreen. It's an unromantic reality made harsher when we spot those over-stylized looks we wish were beach hair.
But, just because you're oceanside without access to your styling tools doesn't mean your beauty game has to suffer. In fact, that naturally gritty texture created by salt water is the perfect base to hold totally gorgeous, effortlessly chic hairstyles in place. Just remember to throw a couple of elastics and a bobby pin or two into your beach bag, and you're set for the day.
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To help us come up with five beach-day-perfect looks, we called in hairstylist Clay Nielsen. Nielsen's work tends to feature the kind of messy, frizzy texture that occurs naturally when we're playing in the sand, so we knew he'd be the perfect pro for the job. Click through for the tutorial, shot on location at New York City's famous Rockaway Beach.
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Photographed by Ben Ritter.
The Deconstructed Topknot
Meet the coolest updo the beach has ever seen. "It's so much more interesting to have the hair right in the front like this," says Nielsen, "rather than just a basic bun."
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Photographed by Ben Ritter.
Start with wet hair, brushed back. And, by brushed, we mean just use your fingers. Who wants to schlep around a hairbrush?
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Photographed by Ben Ritter.
Pull all of your hair into a high ponytail, about an inch or two away from your hairline. Secure it with an elastic. Then, roll the hair in the ponytail into a tight twist.
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Photographed by Ben Ritter.
"Twist your hair, and wrap it around the elastic a few times, letting the ends hang to the side," says Nielsen. Leave enough hair out so that it creates a fringe to frame your face, and add a few pins to keep it in place.
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Photographed by Ben Ritter.
The saltier your hair is, the better this will hold.
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Photographed by Ben Ritter.
You'll want to get your hair really wet for this one, so go ahead and splash around.
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Photographed by Ben Ritter.
Start by pulling your hair into a ponytail at the nape of your neck.
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Photographed by Ben Ritter.
If you're feeling fancy, you can wrap a strand of hair from the ponytail around the elastic. Then, begin to fishtail your pony.
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Photographed by Ben Ritter.
Stop braiding about halfway down your ponytail, and finish off with an elastic. Again, you can wrap the elastic with some hair, but only if you're extra motivated.
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Photographed by Ben Ritter.
When it dries, you'll have ultra-modern waves in the middle of your hair. Until then, there's so much more fun to be had.
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Photographed by Ben Ritter.
The Beautiful Mess
Just because your hair is wet doesn't mean it has to be slicked back. And, this effortlessly chic messy bun is proof.
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Photographed by Ben Ritter.
Now's a good time to reapply that SPF. No, that's not an official step.
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Photographed by Ben Ritter.
Pull your hair into a bun, but don't worry about getting all of your locks into it. Just grab the back section, roll, and pin.
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Photographed by Ben Ritter.
Pull out some pieces from the front, rubbing them together with your fingers for more texture.
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Photographed by Ben Ritter.
It's the kind of artful messiness that would take a lot of time to do without that ocean water giving it hold and shape, so embrace it. The frizzier this one gets, the cooler you'll look.
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Photographed by Ben Ritter.
The Shark-Fin Pompadour
Here's an edgy style that will work with hair of all lengths.
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Photographed by Ben Ritter.
Been sitting in the sand? Great. The sandier, saltier, and wetter your hair, the better this will turn out.
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Photographed by Ben Ritter.
Start by smoothing your hair back.
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Photographed by Ben Ritter.
Grab the front section of hair in a triangle shape, and push it forward to create the pompadour.
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Photographed by Ben Ritter.
Slide a pin behind the highest part of the pompadour to hold it in place.
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Photographed by Ben Ritter.
"This is the only look where the style might not stay once your hair is dry," says Nielsen. "So, to get it to hold, try using a moisturizing spay." The stylist recommends trying Rene Furterer's Sun Care, which is also great for tangled hair that's been in the sun.
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Photographed by Ben Ritter.
Twisty Pony
Why simply throw your hair back into a low ponytail when you can easily add some gorgeous, chic details?
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Photographed by Ben Ritter.
We're assuming your hair is still wet at this point in the day. If it's not, you might want to take one last dip.
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Photographed by Ben Ritter.
Divide your hair into three sections, and then make a low ponytail with the middle section. Twist one side, and pin it in place to meet your low pony.
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Photographed by Ben Ritter.
Twist the other side, and pin that in place, too. Then, use an elastic to join all three sections.
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Photographed by Ben Ritter.
The final result? A 'do that looks way more complicated than it is.
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