Not to rub it in for any of my East Coast friends, but living in Southern California means that it's beach weather most of the year. Between our proximity to the beach and the fact that temperatures linger around 70° even in the winter, it's safe to say we've amassed a wealth of knowledge when it comes to beachy hairstyles. I feel confident when I say I can spot a good beachy hairstyle immediately.
Whether you're actually going to the beach or just hanging out near the water, you want a hairstyle that feels effortless and cool but can also withstand some ocean breeze. Anything too perfect or styled is bound to get ruined, so finding a laid-back look that also makes you feel good is key. Below, I've outlined the 12 beachy hairstyles that check all of these boxes plus the key products you'll need to get each look.
1. Loose Waves
Loose waves are as classic as beachy hairstyles get, and the more undone they get the better they look. The beauty of these is that you can use a hot tool to create them if you choose, but you can also avoid heat damage and just sleep in braids the night before.
I have this wand, and let me tell you it's 100% worth the money. It heats up in seconds and makes creating beachy waves beyond easy—just wrap a one-inch section of hair around the wand, hold for a few seconds, and voilà!
2. Pulled Back With a Middle Part
A pulled-back style with a middle part feels chic and effortless—plus it keeps you from fussing with your hair all day (a win-win). Just make sure you protect your exposed scalp with SPF before heading out.
This comb is a cult favorite for a reason. It's great for detangling wet hair and also helps you create a perfectly even part.
3. Textured With a Mini Braid
Enhance your natural texture with a bit of your favorite texturizing spray, and then add a tiny braid to one of the front pieces. It feels a bit retro and cool but takes just a few minutes to create.
Create volume and texture with this texturizing spray. The formula is lightweight so it won't weigh down hair, and the scent is lovely.
4. Loose Bun
A loose bun is one of those hairstyles that look ultra chic but take 30 seconds to create. Secure it with a pretty hair accessory to take it up a notch, and bonus points if it has a scarf-like print.
These pretty hair ties make even a basic hairstyle feel intentional.
A half-up style ensures your mane stays tame against the ocean air since the top pieces (most likely to blow all over the place) are secured. If the bottom half gets a bit windblown, it almost makes it better by increasing volume while the top stays polished.
Enhance the definition in your natural curls while keeping them moisturized before a day by the sand with this styling product.
6. Low Braid
A single, loose braid feels classic and effortless, and I especially love the way this one is secured with a pretty scrunchy. This style could seamlessly go from the sand to dinner while allowing you to feel comfortable and put-together.
Protect hair against UV rays and pollution with this spray. Spritz onto damp or dry hair prior to sun exposure to prevent dryness, color fading, and frizz.
While braids work for virtually any occasion, they're especially great for the beach. If wind-resistant yet polished is the goal, then these achieve it perfectly.
Don't forget to protect your scalp against UV rays! I can't tell you how many times I've returned with a sunburned scalp after a day at the beach, so a spray like this is a must, as it protects your scalp and hair from sun damage. Spritz it onto yout scalp 15 minutes prior to sun exposure and thank me later.
8. Low Bun
Sleek low buns have been a fashion-girl favorite for a while now, and it just so happens this style is ideal for the beach. Your hair stays tamed and off your back and shoulders while you stay looking (and feeling) cool.
Add a few drops of hair oil to your low bun to enhance shine while keeping flyaways at bay.
9. Pigtail Braids
I've always been a fan of pigtail braids for summer, and as of late, the fashion world has agreed. They look cute on their own, but my personal favorite way to see them is under a hat—whether it's a baseball cap or Instagram's favorite bucket hat.
A printed bucket hat just screams beach day.
10. Wrapped in a Scarf
Is there anything chicer than a silk-scarf moment at the beach? Wrapping your favorite silk scarf around your head ensures your hair stays safe from the wind and adds the perfect pop of color and texture to your outfit or swimsuit. Expect to see this look everywhere this summer.
How pretty is this floral detail?
11. Hidden Under a Hat
One of my favorite beachy hair looks is flowing out of a raffia hat. A chic beach hat keeps the sun off your face and scalp while protecting your hair from the wind. It's also great for hiding hair that hasn't been washed in a while. Oily hair? We don't know her.
Calling it: This is the hat of summer '21.
12. Clipped Up
Nineties claw clips have made a major comeback recently, and I'm 100% here for it. Twist your hair up and secure it with a big clip for a look that's equal parts chic and easy. If it starts to come loose at the beach just take it down and redo it—no sweat.
The prettiest clip I ever did see.
Shop more beach-friendly hair products:
This wave spray enhances your hair's natural bend. I spray it on my damp hair after the shower and let it air-dry for a perfectly beachy look.
Heal your strands while you're by the sand by applying a leave-in conditioner before heading out. Spray this one on to your strands, and then twist them into a chic loose bun for the ultimate multitasking moment.
You can do the same thing with a hair mask.
Protect your scalp, people!
If your hair feels dry before or after the beach, add a few sprays of a dry conditioner to replenish moisture back into your strands.