Ocean not included.

By Maddy Zollo
June 29, 2018
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Is there a hairstyle more effortless than beachy waves? No matter what your summer plans entail, you can’t go wrong with this classic 'do. Equal parts chic and casual, a tousled texture looks just as appropriate on Worth Avenue as it does at a tiki bar in Key West or on a sailboat off the coast of Nantucket. While some are lucky enough to wake up with a perfect tousle, the rest of us need a little extra help to achieve surfer girl-approved strands. We talked with hair stylist David Mallett about these must-have wave-making products — and the right way to use them:

Related: How to Master a Bouncy Bob

Sea Salt Spray

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There’s a reason people call it beach hair in a bottle: This salt-infused spray adds texture and body to all hair types. The secret to using this universal product? “Use it on humid, not wet hair,” Mallett says. He suggests semi-drying your hair with a dryer before spritzing it in. Once you mist strands, leave it to dry naturally or lock it in with a little more heat.

Try: David Mallett Australian Salt Spray, $40, davidpirrotta.com

Wave-Enhancing Cream

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If your hair is wavy or curly, you may need more hold than sea salt spray. The solution: A wave-making cream. “It helps to control the natural waves or curls, weighing down and slightly defining them,” Mallett says. “Use cream on wet hair and leave to dry naturally.”

Try: Paul Mitchell Ultimate Wave, $15, paulmitchell.com

Curling Iron

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For a more polished beachy style, create swirls with an iron. Start by applying a hair serum throughout towel-dried hair and then rough-dry it. “Section your hair, taking a curling iron at an angle and twisting the hair around while keeping the ends in your hand,” Mallett says. “Hold it for three seconds and then release. In the front section, the wave does not need to be above the line of your eyes.” (This will give a more natural look.) Afterwards, flip your head over and spray on a sea salt formula for a little extra oomph.

Try: Hot Tools 24K Gold Salon Curling Iron, $60, ulta.com