We are here to discuss the highly texturised state your hair takes when you’ve emerged from the sea. You know, beach hair. The hairstyle equivalent of sprezzatura. The salty water makes it look fuller and feel thicker, and you get to enjoy the best hair day you’ve had in months. Beach hair is essentially the opposite of dull, lifeless hair. It’s got volume, texture, definition. It looks effortless – artfully suspended in perfect form without any effort whatsoever. Except if you haven't been to the beach, in which case you have to work hard for it.
To mimic that texture, volume, and definition, you need a few products at home. It takes a few minutes’ time and some shuzhing. Here’s how to pull it off, and how to look as if you just rolled in from Venice – or even Kite – Beach.
Shampoo every other day
You shouldn't shampoo every day, regardless of how much volume or texture you want. It’s not healthy for your hair. Instead, condition daily, both after shampooing and on the in-between days. That will preserve all the natural oils in your hair, the good oils, and they keep the hair more weighed down as a result. When you do shampoo, use an extra nourishing one.
Use dry shampoo for volume and definition
On the days you don’t shampoo, you can soak up the excess oil with a dry shampoo powder or spray. It gives you a texturised, somewhat gritty and defined finish. You need to target the roots of your hair to make this work. That’s where the oil is mostly collected. It won’t do you any good to spray the ends of your hair. In fact, that will only dry it out unnecessarily. If you have longer hair, you’ll find that it’s more buoyant after a dry shampoo application. Same with medium hair, though the effect is that the hair stands up more, since it’s not heavy enough to lay itself down.
Texturise it with paste
Paste is the most versatile hair product, in that you can apply it wet or dry, to short or long styles – plus it's re-workable throughout the day. Basically, it’s the least fussy, and it rinses out clean at the end of the day. Paste is also the best product for achieving a texturised style. The emphasis there is on “style”, since I’m referring to the fact that you are making an effort to control and tame the hair, even if the end result is intentionally messy.
Blow dry for volume
A great hair dryer does two things for your hair: First, it gives you extra volume. Secondly, that heat locks in whatever styling product you use and magnifies its power. So, if you apply a shiny pomade and comb everything flat to your melon, it locks the product into place. The same happens with a texturising paste or putty. When you apply the product to your towel-dried hair, just coach it into place with your fingers or a comb, and gently lift the hairs as you air it out from beneath. If you continue texturising it by hand as you dry, this locks the hairs into their designated direction, and you’ll have a layered, medium-to-high-hold style all the day long.
Mimic the post-beach texture with sea salt spray
While sea salt spray isn’t actually made of ocean water, it does mimic the sea’s effects. Like dry shampoo, sea salt spray absorbs excess oils so that your hair lifts itself up and separates for some nice definition and texture. It doubles as a gritty, light-hold, medium-shine styler – better in long styles worn back, medium styles combed to the side, and short styles spiked up. It also magnifies your natural curls and waves when it dries. Best of all, its powers also multiply when you use a blow dryer, though guys with curly hair should let it dry naturally.
Comb it, then mess it up
Sometimes your hair refuses to stay styled unless you use a comb. But usually, when you use a comb, you also compromise on texture and volume. No worries – keep the comb. If you follow the above principles, you can still get the wavy texture of your dreams: Just tousle the hair with your fingers while you blow dry the paste (or cream, or putty, or sea salt spray) into place. Just separate it with your fingers, muss it up real nice like, and you should enjoy a texturised, “effortless” style that doesn’t shift back over your forehead by the day’s end.