Heatless Hair Styling: Get Beach Waves The Effortless Way

Megan Dominion

Beach waves are a summer favourite and never seem to truly go out of trend. Look, I know water waves and deep waves were a thing in 2022, but styling waves into your hair can be tweaked to get the effect you’re looking for, and doesn’t always have to include using heat. Getting that natural-looking, wavy hair that looks effortless is a great way to add some texture to your hair. Style it boho, chique, or add some additional side braids for a 90’s look. By styling waves without heat, you can create a stunning vibe with no risk of heat damage to your hair.

Girl swinging hair wearing hat


Braiding is the easiest and quickest way to get beach waves without using heat. Start by dividing your hair into sections and then braid each section loosely. Secure each one with a clear elastic band. Leave the braids in overnight, and in the morning, you’ll have beautiful, beachy waves.

Water waves vs Beach waves

Water waves are a lot looser than beach waves. For beach waves, create around ten to twelve braids. To achieve the water waves look, only create seven to eight braids. Experiment with how many braids work for the look you’re trying to achieve.

Twist and Curl

Another easy way to get waves without the use of heat is to twist and curl your hair. Start by sectioning off your hair, and twist each section tightly. Secure each twist with a clear elastic band, and leave in overnight. In the morning, undo each twist and gently use your fingers to curl your hair, giving it a natural wavy look.

This should give your hair a smoother wave than if you were to braid it. It’s great for a more formal look than an everday one, but I absolutely recommend you experiment with both ways to see how your hair responds.

Headband curl

Headband curls are an easy and popular way to get beach waves without heat. Start by selecting a large, soft headband and put it on your head. Take sections of your hair and curl them around the headband, and secure the ends with bobby pins. Leave it in overnight, and in the morning, you’ll have beautiful and effortless beach waves. It’s also quite a unique look keeping it up as an additional styling option!

Scrunch and go

This technique is a great way to get beach waves without using any heat. Start by towel drying your hair and apply a generous amount of sea salt spray, gel or mousse. Use your fingers to scrunch your hair and then leave it to dry. Once your hair is dry, you’ll have beautiful, beachy waves. If you have used gel or mousse and want a softer look, once your hair is completely dry, gently scrunch out the cast left by the product. By not scrunching, your waves should last a bit longer however.

woman with twists and braids

What if your waves fall out too quickly!

If your waves are falling out too quickly, try these tips:

  • braid your hair slightly damp
  • try add a bit of mousse or ‘beach wave’ product before braiding

Experiment with what works for your hair!

Everyone’s hair is different and trial and error is the best way to figure out what works for your particular hair, and how to achieve the look you want. Braids can also be a fun look to play around on its own, while having some pretty waves in your hair the following day.

Megan Dominion

Megan Dominion is SILKUP's Managing Editor. She's been down both the curly hair and skincare rabbit holes many times and loves that there's always something new to learn; a new science, method, product or personal experience.