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How to Get Beach Waves Without a Curling Iron

The Simple Step in My Routine That Saved My Hair This Summer

Depending on who you ask, I have either been blessed or cursed with a thick crop of wavy and curly hair. Note that I said that my hair is both a mix of loose waves and tight spirals. This duality has been impossible to predict. Some days, when the stars align, everything is bouncy and perfect. However, more often than not, it looks like I'm wearing two different wigs, each with a mind of their own. In trying to tame my not-quite-Carrie Bradshaw quaff, I have been known to spend an hour getting it straight.

Ever since middle school, when my previously straight hair started to twist, I have been accosting it with heat. Using blow dryers, curling rods, and straighteners, I've done everything short of grabbing my clothing iron to manage my hair. Combined with some harsh coloring, my hair often feels brittle at the ends and needs a steady dose of extreme conditioning.

Like clockwork, every Summer I still try to tame my mane by subjecting it to heat. Mostly, this puts me into a cycle where I hate my curls, so I heat them, thus damaging them and making me hate them even more. With Summer being hot and sticky, especially with some strong Midwest humidity, I often find myself returning to the straightener multiple times throughout the day in the hope of reducing my mountain of frizz. Combined with the Summer weather causing me to overheat, I often end up throwing my hair into a messy bun just to get it out of my face.

Not this Summer, though. After lobbing off a majority of my hair in the Fall, I've abstained from straightening it. In a matter of a few months, my previously unmanageable hair is now soft and pliable. The curls I thought were bad were just damaged. As Summer inches closer and the outside heat becomes more intense, skipping the hot tools has given me the beachy waves I've always wanted.

I understand that not everyone has curly hair, so this tip doesn't work for everyone. Having said that, any reliance on a heated tool can wreck your hair, whether it's making it curly or straight. With Summer being the perfect opportunity to relax on the beach, jump in the pool, or spend the weekend brunch hopping, the last thing anyone should be worried about is perfect hair. Summer is the time to relax and embrace what you were born with. This Summer, the only heat I'm going to encounter is the one from the sun as I'm sipping some rosé outside.

Image Source: Laurel Niedospial
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