Your Ultimate Guide To Beachy Waves, When All You Have Is Limp, Straight Hair

It kinda sucks to be that girl with limp, straight hair in the middle of summer, when the rest of them are rocking gorgeous breezy waves.  Yeah, I was that girl.  But I finally found some products that work for my hair texture, and today, I will share them with you! 🙂 I tweeted my amazing big hair yesterday, and it’s finally time for me to spill what I’ve been using.

Here we go!

If You Absolutely Must Wash Your Hair, Do It Right.

Let’s start in the shower, shall we?  Up until recently I have been buying whatever shampoo and conditioner is on sale in the drugstore.  I figured they’re all the same, you know?  How about SLS-free shampoos?  I tried one years ago and it made my hair look so dull.  Yuck!

For a few months now, I have been exclusively using Live Clean Professional Healthy Balance Shampoo and Healthy Balance Conditioner ($8.99 each, at Wal-Mart) and these are the bomb, kids.  The shampoo gently cleans my hair without nasty SLS, phthalates and parabens, while still keeping my hair and scalp in a healthy balanced state.  The conditioner is amazing; I already finished the bottle.  This makes my hair super duper incredibly soft without that heavy silicone-y feeling, because it restores hair’s natural moisture with vitamin complex B5, E and C.  It really works. 🙂

Outside the Shower, Prepping Your Hair with the Right Product is Key.

Apply a volumizing mousse or foam all over your towel dried hair.  Roughly blow dry your hair, pulling up and away from the roots to get the most lift.  My old standby is Aveda Phomollient™ Styling Foam.  Seriously, I’m on my second bottle of this stuff.  It gives my hair body and texture without crunchiness or stickiness.

The other option — which I read from BEAUTY EDITOR, and is totally groundbreaking — is to use dry shampoo on (dry) clean hair.  I just got the Dove Refresh+Care™ Invigorating Dry Shampoo ($4.99 to $7.99, at drug, grocery, and mass merchandise stores across Canada), and that works nicely, too.  I just spray it all over my hair, and it does the trick.  And my oh my it smells divine!

If Your Hair Is In Between Washes, Freshen Up that Hair.

I’m new to dry shampoos, but man, do I love it now!  I have been using a small can of Batiste Blush Dry Shampoo on dirty hair days.  Spray it on, leave for about 2 minutes (I usually put on mascara), then brush out.  Pick up your jaw from the floor.  Your hair is big, yes? 🙂  Ahhh-mayyy-zing (Oprah voice).

My new favourite thing: Big hair!!!

You Absolutely Need a Great Beach Spray.

I bought the infamous Bumble & Bumble Surf Spray ($29) recently, but promptly returned it.  It does nothing for my straight hair.  Instead I am using a very affordable and effective alternative: Marc Anthony Dream Waves Beach Spray ($11.99).  I spray this on when my hair is about halfway dry, when my hair has that wet wave running through it.  Then I just let it air dry completely!  It has that coconut-y beachy scent that is intoxicating.

I think this works because it’s not as heavy as the Bumble & Bumble, so it doesn’t weigh down the finest, straightest hair.  So great!

I also use it as a setting spray after I use a heat tool.  Speaking of which…

If You Want/Need To Use A Styling Tool, Invest in a Good Flat Iron.

Let’s face it: sometimes the only way for straight hair to really hold a wave or curl is to use a heat tool.  I find flat irons work best for my hair as they get much hotter than curling irons.  I am still madly in love with my GS Professional Dual Pro Iron (review, available at Trade Secrets).  For beachy hair, I use the technique described in this video (scan to 2:30 to watch the tutorial).

Now, you have all the tools. 🙂  Hope you try them and that they work for you, too! 🙂  Do you have straight hair that doesn’t hold a curl?  What products do you use to get fullness and texture in your hair?

FULL DISCLOSURE: This entry contains a sample product(s) sent by PR or the manufacturer for consideration only. For information on my posting policy, please see my Disclaimer.
  • Omg…dry shampoo! I just discovered this too and it really works on my oily scalp and fine hair! However, dry shampoo isn’t popular in my country. So I can’t find many products at all. Wish Dove carried it… I’m using Fudge but the overpowering coconut smell drives me a little nuts 😉

    • Hahaha coconut can get pretty cloying, Lily! Do you wash often then? I can’t go more than one day not washing because of my fine hair.

  • I don’t have straight hair but it is fine and limp. I really need to try some dry shampoo! Thanks!

    • Definitely try it, Christa. You will get vavavoom curls!

  • Great post, Arianne! The photoshop is awesome. Dry shampoo has become MY LIFE. I have naturally wavy hair so I’ve been blessed in that area, but I’m definitely going to try the techniques in that super helpful tutorial to get BIG hair. Squee!

    • What dry shampoo are you using now, Soha? I only have the tiny Batiste, but maybe there are other great ones out there.

  • Oh wow, thats some fierce hair going on right there! Love how you gave us such great tips because I have the most boring flat hair ever!

    • Thanks Teri. 🙂 Hope you try them. How do you boost your hair’s texture/volume?

  • Yaaay big hair!!! My natural hair is also straight, but since I got a perm last summer (I’m getting another one the second I get out of the airport in Taipei next week), it’s easy for me to get beachy waves! I have tried the Wella Ocean Spritz and it works well for me. The texture is interesting. Not something I want to have on a daily basis, but once in a while it’s fun! I need to find a good dry shampoo. I’ve never used any but apparently it can be amazing!

    • What kind of perm did you get, Sunny? Your hair doesn’t look obviously wavy, which I like! Great volume, though!

      Dry shampoo really works nicely. The ones I’ve used in the past gave me an itchy scalp, but I love this Batiste one here.

      • I got a “digital perm (yeah the kind you can probably only get at Asian hairdressers’ that makes you look like an alien)!” It doesn’t look obviously curly anymore because it’s been a year, but true it gives me a bit more volume. I have a lot of hair, but without a perm especially as my hair grows longer, my roots might become a bit flat!

        • You’ll need to showcase your freshly permed hair for us when you get back. 😀

          • I will! If I don’t look TOO bad during the perm I might even take a picture of the process. Mind you, it’s a funny sight!

  • love dry shampoo.
    love batiste.
    but the dove one was a MAJOR fail in my books.
    I got 5 uses out of my first can. 3 uses out of my second.
    And this is not whole head usage either…it was just for the top, and my bangs >_<
    Did you get decent usage out of yours?

    ps your big hair pic was awesome~

    • Hey Esther! I’ve used it — maybe a handful times now? — and it’s still going strong for me. I use it all over, too. Sorry you didn’t have a good experience with the Dove Dry Shampoo; I wonder if the first batches of this stuff were flawed…

  • Bless you for getting this post up so quickly Arianne! My hair needs volume asap! I’m picking up the beach spray and dry shampoo right away.

  • Fantastic tips for beachy waves for girls with limp, straight hair (like me!) via @TheGlitterGeek

  • Oooh I’ve NEVER seen that Dove version before, wonder if it’s available here? I’ll have to investigate now…I was previously really turned off to spray dry-shampoos because of a few scarring incidences, but if I know Dove–this one has to be amazing! ALL their products smell good, right?? (that was my main complaint with most dry shampoos…that and a lot of other spray ones made my hair feel even more disgusting/greasy)

  • Fantastic post! I will be trying this routine out ASAP.

    Love, love, love the Live Clean brand. It’s the only Shampoo I will use now, and I credit its gentle-but-thorough cleansing properties for my being able to take my hair from daily washes to washing every 3-4 days. Also, the miracle that is dry shampoo. *hugs Trésamée bottle*

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  • Beachy waves perfected by @blushpretty team member @theglittergeek – so pretty!

  • I have naturally wavy hair so I’ve never had a single moment of limp hair. Probably when I just got it rebonded it would stay flat, and then one week in the roots become poof again. I’ve come to embrace my hair, whatever state it’s in.