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Forget winter’s stick-straight styles—with summer quickly approaching, beach waves are once again expected to reign supreme as the season’s top trend. And, if clients have any hope of recreating the flirty, effortless look, they’re going to need a cut to match. Unfortunately, not all cuts are created equal when it comes to achieving full-bodied, textured waves. Keep reading to discover five issues to look out for to ensure clients’ waves look on point all summer long.


Problem #1: Too short of length

The Fix: No matter how long your client’s hair is (below-the-chin, shoulder-length or even below the waist), beachy waves require length. So what does that mean exactly? Short layers are out! The ideal cut goes in and out (much like an actual wave) and resembles the shape of a question mark (a mix of curves and straight edges). If your layers are too short, it will be difficult to add any shape or movement. One easy way to remove weight but maintain length? When cutting, gently nip the hair, but never fully close the shears as you work your way down each section.


Problem #2: Too many layers

The Fix:  There is such thing as too much of a good thing, especially when it comes to layers. Avoid getting a choppy cut (read: anything resembling “The Rachel” cut from “Friends”). Instead, opt for a few long layers that will add volume and lift.


Problem #3:  Not enough layers

The Fix: Beachy waves are nearly impossible to create on a single length. Why? You need the mix of lengths to achieve effortless texture. Concentrate on adding a few long layers throughout the head, as well as a few soft, swooping layers around the face.


Problem #4: Not air-drying

The Fix: The key to achieving that post-beach day look? Allowing the client’s natural texture to take center stage. Apply an anti-frizz styling cream and a sea salt spray to strands, then twist 1-inch sections of hair in alternating directions and allow the hair to air-dry (or use a blow-dryer with a diffuser attachment if the client is in a rush). Once the hair has dried, touch up any frizzy areas with a curling iron, leaving about 1 inch of hair out at the ends.


Problem #5: Bad hair health

The Fix: Unfortunately, dry, damaged, unhealthy hair will never look good, no matter how well you or your client executes a beach wave. When the client is in the chair, assess her hair’s current condition. If she has too many dead ends, remove some length to ensure that her waves look soft, bouncy and fresh. Offer her a reparative haircare routine to keep her hair looking healthy in between appointments and also show her the proper way to create a beach wave. Emphasize the importance of leaving at least 1 inch of hair out at the ends when curling— not only does this technique achieve a true wave shape but it also maintains the integrity of the ends.


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