illustrations by beth zimmerman


how to get mermaid hair

no ocean required.

Everyone wants perfectly textured beach hair without the expense of a blowout—or actually dipping into the ocean every morning. Click through the gallery to see three super-easy ways to get those dream locks, no sand required. 

TIP #1

This is one of beauty’s oldest tricks for wavy hair, and it’s been around so long because it actually works. Use your choice of a paste, mold, or gel—I like the ones from Oscar Blandi and Verb—to sculpt a braid in place, then secure it with an Emi-Jay elastic band, which won’t leave a blunt line on your ends. A few hours later when you unravel your braid—voilà, a mess of curls you can brush out for flawless #wokeuplikethis hair.

Oscar Blandi Pronto Braid Paste, $25

Verb Sculpting Clay, $14

Emi-Jay Hair Ties, $6.50

TIP #2

Tools. I know what you’re thinking: “But I don’t know how to use them!” Totally get it—but hair tools aren’t as scary as they look. Try Sarah Potempa's Beach-waver: The rod rotates in different directions for your hair to dive off into a perfect wave. And remember those old-school hot rollers by Conair? Well, they've been redesigned for the modern girl. And Amika’s conventional curling iron has a wand for sculpting some wavy locks.

Infiniti Pro by Conair Secret Curl, $119.99

Sarah Potempa Beachwaver Pro, $200

Amika Switch Kit Starter set and Beach Bombshell 1", $100 and $30

TIP #3

My personal favorite: texturizing and sea salt sprays. There are so many on beauty aisles now, but I have tried and tested (practically) everything out there. My choices: Oribe's Dry Texturizing Spray, Göt2B's Beach Trippin' Waving Spray, and Herbivore Botanicals Sea Mist. All of these deliver that pretty-gritty texture without any grimy residue or sticky strands!  

Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray, $42

Got2b Beach Trippin' Salt-Infusion Waving Spray, $6

Herbivore Botanicals Sea Mist, $18