It's no secret that there are a number of ways to achieve those coveted beachy waves. But whether you're for or against heat styling, one of the best methods is to get beachy waves by braiding. And this is because, within the braiding method, there are actually three different variations.
The first no-heat option is to sleep in braids. This option is great because you can braid your hair for a night out, and then just leave the style in while you sleep. Since the braid will be in for a significant amount of time, there's no need to wet your hair before braiding. And if you're wondering if the type of braid matters, after testing a few different types, I found that French braids, fishtail braids, and rope braids result in the best beachy waves come morning.
The second no-heat option is especially for those who shower in the morning. While your hair is still wet, braid it. (But do so carefully, because wet hair is more fragile and prone to breakage.) Then, you can just let it air-dry before undoing the braid to reveal some seriously chic waves. If you don't have time to wait for your hair to air-dry though, this is where the third option comes in. Here's the fastest way to get beachy waves with a braid.
Step 1: Use A Heat Protectant/Primer
While it's always important to use a heat protectant or blow-drying primer before heat-styling to reduce the risk of damage and breakage, it's especially important to do so before blow-drying braids. This is because it will take longer than drying hair normally since the braids make it harder for the heat to penetrate. So make sure that your strands are covered before braiding.
Step 2: Braid
Next, just braid your hair however you want. There are plenty of styles that will translate into beachy waves. And don't worry if it's messy— you won't be keeping these braids for long. I'm going to go for double French braids in an attempt to get slightly tighter waves.
Step 3: Blow Dry
Pretty straight forward. It might take a little longer than you expect for your braid(s) to totally dry, but as long as they're mostly dry, the waves should hold when you take the braids out.
Step 4: Undo, Texturize, Style
Once you undo your braids, feel free to add some texturizer or dry shampoo to pump up the volume a bit. And don't forget the hairspray, especially if you didn't wait until your hair was completely dry before taking your braids out. That's it! Easy right?
Images: Miki Hayes