Water waves are the latest beach-inspired hair trend to make us swoon

Perfect water waves at home thanks to these expert-backed tips. Ready to dive in?

Zendaya at the 93rd Annual Academy Awards at Union Station on April 25, 2021 in Los Angeles, California.
(Image credit: Chris Pizzello-Pool/Getty Images)

Winter, who? Our minds are on sun, sand, surf and water waves. Cold weather be damned! 

The latest strand sensation is a gentler take on mermaid waves and the crimping 90s hairstyles that were all the rage back in the day. Even though temperatures are dropping, our love for the beach-inspired 'do is only heating up. 

"I think just beach waves, in general, have become really popular—everyone likes that relaxed, lived-in look," says Kate Post (opens in new tab), a New York-based hairstylist and a member of the Bridal By Alexandria (opens in new tab)team. "[Water waves] are a spinoff from that."

Ready to attempt it yourself? Let's dive in!



How to achieve water waves

woman at beach blonde with water waves

(Image credit: Getty Images/Oana Szekely)

No curling or crimping iron is needed. In fact, you'll want to snag a beveled edge flatiron, any size, to attempt this 'do. 

"If you use the flatiron and you start at the top and make sea-shaped motions with your hand—almost like you're opening or closing a doorknob as you go down—that creates that water effect," Post says. 

Should you want to go the heatless route, you can dampen your hair before bed and do four sections of braids. Let nature do its thing overnight! 

If you're working with a head of hair like Curly Sue, don't fret—Post insists there are ways to make your coils looser so you can achieve the style. 

First thing's first, do a rough blow dry on low heat. You'll loosen your curl patterns, but they won't be entirely straight. Then proceed with the waving/straightening motion she mentions above.

"If you're going to use the flatiron, you don't want to completely straighten it before you add the texture back because then it's going to fight you," she says.

Celebs rocking water waves

Let these leading ladies show you how it's done!

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We can't wait to see what you do with this wavy trend!

Danielle is a writer for woman&home and My Imperfect Life, covering all-things news, lifestyle and entertainment. 


The heart of her time at Future has been devoted to My Imperfect Life, where she's been attuned to the cosmos, new TV shows and relationship trends.  


Before her time at Future, Danielle was the editor of Time Out New York Kids and a news editor at Elite Daily. Her work has also appeared in Domino, Chowhound, amNewYork and Newsday, among other outlets. 


When Danielle is not working, you can usually find her reading a book, coffee at hand, or attempting a new recipe. (Recommendations always welcome!)