How to Achieve Flawless, Beachy Waves on Any Hair Type

Olivia's longtime hairstylist Marty Harper breaks down one of her signature looks.

If we had to name one hairstyle that's universally flattering on any hair type and length, it's safe to say beachy waves would be it. The undone style perfectly channels summer vibes, but effortless waves  look just chic with a caftan as they do with fall knits.

Thanks to requests from you our OP Community, we were inspired to ask the pro behind many of Olivia's, Jasmine Tookes's, Zendaya's, and Halsey's top hair moments—Martin Christopher "Marty" Harper—how to recreate the look at home. Scroll on as the hair expert breaks down his favorite products and the three parts behind achieving this foolproof, soft wave style.

Olivia on set with Marty.

Step 1: The Foundation 
It's so important to prep the hair with a few products to help create a foundation for shine and long-lasting waves. There's nothing sadder than doing the work, but then watching a hairstyle diminish throughout the day! Therefore, I'll start by spraying in Aveda Pure Abundance Style-Prep, which has a light hold and isn't too heavy. I also like to add about a palm-size of Kerastase Mousse Bouffante from the hair's mid-shaft to the ends, because when this volumizing mousse is layered, it creates the perfect base to start to blow-dry.

Printed Neck-Tie Blouse
Olivia Palermo Collection

Printed Neck-Tie Blouse

$159
Printed Trapeze Tank
Olivia Palermo Collection

Printed Trapeze Tank

$119

Step 2: Wave Styling
After I've mixed my above "hair cocktail," I'll begin drying using two tools that add shine plus just the right amount of volume. First, I'll use the Dyson Supersonic Hair Dryer, which cuts down the drying time and is well worth the indulgence. I typically rough-dry the hair (lightly running the blow-dryer all over before styling) to allow some of the natural texture back in. Then, I take my Christophe Robin Pre-Curved Hairbrush. I create hair sections (that are no bigger than the width of the brush), and it's important to move in alternating directions when brushing each piece—first towards and then away from the face—to achieve the all-over tousled look.

Next, the magic begins as the real MVP for this go-to style depends on the wand or iron you choose! I have a true affinity and love for the Harry Josh 2-in-1 Ceramic Marcel Curling Iron (1.25 in). To create the waves, wrap the hair sections around the iron but leave out the ends while doing this as it gives a more edgy, beachy finish. As you had when brushing, alternate the curl pattern for each piece both towards and away from the face as you go around your head.

Pro Tips for Your Type: For longer hair, create sections of a thinner width to amplify the wavy look further. For shorter hair, I like to alternate larger and smaller pieces throughout to create depth and dimension. For creating this look on textured hair, first, blow-dry straight and use a flat iron to have a smooth base before working the wave pattern in..   

Seaspray 02
Westward\Leaning x Olivia Palermo

Seaspray 02

$109

Step 3: Finishing Touch
Seal the deal with a few essential products before waving hello to this "just left the beach" style. If you have naturally straight or finer hair, I suggest adding a bit of Oribe's Après Beach Wave and Shine Spray, for extra fullness and shine. Then, loosely brush out the curls/waves a bit with a large-tooth comb (my favorite is from Aerin Beauty). The finishing touch for all hair types is a flexible, light hair spray. As an industry insider, my two top recommendations are the L'Oreal Elnett Satin Strong Hold for all textures or Kevin.Murphy Session.Spray for medium to finer types.

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