Get the mermaid-inspired look this summer with natural, textured hair. Lisa Haynes reveals the short cuts to beach beautiful.
Put down the straightening irons and smoothing balms, because the look of this summer is undone beachy waves.
Take inspiration from the flowing locks of mythical mermaids. Think naturally beautiful hair with tousled texture that doesn’t look like it’s been styled or smothered with product.
“Messy manes are a key look this season,” says David Fletcher, senior creative director for Unite hair.
“To achieve the look, work with your natural hair’s texture and aim for natural, loose, beachy waves - not bouncy curls or dead straight hair.”
Hit the beach with tresses that turn heads. And if you don’t have naturally mermaid-esque locks, fake it with amplifying potions. Here’s how to tease, tousle and transform your hair for high summer.
Mermaids aren’t known for their bobs or crops. Hair grows roughly an inch every two months, and if you’re craving longer hair you need to review your maintenance.
“The key to hair growth is scalp health and condition,” says hair stylist Errol Douglas MBE. “It should be clean and neither too dry or oily. There are lots of treatments available to correct and regulate the scalp.”
Trims are still essential but Douglas advises asking your stylist for a ‘dusting’ instead of a trim or cut.
He explains: “It’s literally a method where just the tiniest particles are removed from the ends. Foods rich in amino acids help the production of keratin, hair’s natural protein, which will assist in it growing fuller and stronger.”
Hydrate the hair regularly to avoid breakage and use heat protectants every time styling tools are used.
Length can be ageing as you get older but it’s often the change in texture that’s the giveaway.
“If my clients are reluctant to let go of length, I advise face-framing layers that soften the face and break up the coarser texture of hair as we grow older,” Douglas suggests.
Look to beach, salt or texturising sprays to help you achieve beachy waves in an instant. They may have different names but they all do the same hair-boosting job as though you’ve been tumbling in waves.
“These sprays give a matte, earthy texture to the hair,” explains Gill Berry, of Structure hair.
“It’s excellent on short, choppy styles, but also long, wavy and curly hair as it gives excellent volume, while adding strength and definition.”
The more spray you use, the more the hold factor increases. For a lighter finish, spray onto your hands and scrunch the product into your hair. For greater hold and texture, spray directly onto the hair.
If your hair is uber-straight, promote a wavier look with curling tongs. Spritz a beach spray onto clean, damp hair and rough dry, then use a curling wand to wave random sections from the mid-lengths to the ends.
Berry says: “You’re not after a neat finish, more of a messy, slightly dishevelled look.”
Look to plaits for practical beach style. They scrape your hair off the face in the heat and unravel to reveal beachy kinks once they’re undone.
Go for braids if you also want to hide a multitude of hair sins, like greasy roots or frizziness once you’ve taken a dip.
Norris Ogario, founder of Ogario London salon, says: “Braids and pretty plaits always make an appearance at this time of year but this season there’s a shift towards multiple braids.
“Very cute and easy to do, simply plait your hair when wet and leave until nearly dry. At this stage, loosen your locks to reveal soft casual waves and add in some plaits around the side of the face.”
To avoid looking too neat and ‘done’, mess up the plaits a little to give them a fluffy feel, leaving some of them looser than others.
The tighter the plait, the tighter the wave. If you prefer a relaxed look, stick to one or two loose plaits.
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