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5 Best Beach Hairstyles for Chic Shoreside Looks

BY Alyssa Montemurro

We love the beach just as much as the next girl. Give us that sun, sand, and surf! But we don’t love what the beach does to our precious locks. For those of us who never seem to emerge from the ocean with perfect Gisele-like beach waves, a trip to the shore can be a hairstyle disaster.

So how do you come up with an effortless beach hairstyle? Do you pile your hair into a top knot and hope it stays? Do you shove it all underneath a baseball hat? Or do you just let it do its thing and hope all that sand, sweat, and salt doesn’t turn it into one big mess of frizzy hair?

Join us as we answer your questions and help you find the best beach hairstyles for your summer look. 

Solving Your Beach Hairstyle Dilemmas

No matter what your hair type happens to be, nobody is exempt from beach day hair problems. The good news is that you can master your mane with a few protective and heat-resistant beach day hairstyles. From the perfect beach-to-boardwalk ponytail to the coolest curly-haired twists, this guide features quick and easy beach hairstyle tutorials that you can use for your next seaside escapade.

We’ve also highlighted some helpful hacks and products that’ll help you achieve chic summer hair.

Scarf Ponytail

If you love hair accessories, you’ll love this beachy hairstyle. With this scarf-adorned updo, you can look put-together and stylish whether you’re lying on the sand or crashing through the waves. And you can do it while keeping your locks intact.

Rock this effortless ponytail with any scarf you want, from paisley to polka dot to metallic gold. No need to use damaging heat styling tools or color-dulling hair sprays. 

Beach hairstyles: scarf ponytail

Follow these steps to achieve this ultra-chic beach hairstyle:

  1. Pull your hair into a high ponytail.
  2. Fold your scarf into a long, skinny shape. 
  3. Wrap the scarf around the base of the ponytail so that both sides are even.
  4. Tie the scarf into a knot – or a bow if you have enough material – and secure any loose pieces with bobby pins. For a more relaxed look, allow some face-framing pieces to hang loose and blow freely in the wind. 

What’s amazing about this look is that it works for any hair texture, and it can go from the beach to cocktail hour with a few adjustments. 

To polish it up post-waves, try a dose of leave-in conditioner. Applying this to the ends of strands can help hydrate and detangle saltwater-soaked hair. Plus, it’ll add a bit of smoothness to transition you to a put-together evening look.

Dutch Braids

If you’re a fan of french braids, why not go dutch with this dramatically cute hairstyle? For those of us with long hair, keeping hair tangle-free and out of our face can be challenging on beach days.

Beach hairstyles: Dutch braid

With this braided look, your hair only looks like you put a lot of time into it. Really, though, all you have to do is follow these easy steps for a bombshell beach hairstyle: 

  1. Comb out your damp hair and part it down the middle from the crown to the nape of the neck. 
  2. Apply a small amount of leave-in treatment to both sides, making sure to distribute evenly. 
  3. Create your dutch braids on each side.
  4. Secure at the ends with a hair tie.
  5. To finish the look, apply a small touch of leave-in treatment to any areas that need extra frizz-taming.

What’s so great about this look is that it’s made to last. And you can remove the braids later in the day to reveal perfectly undone beachy waves! Complete the look with a headband, and you have a look fit for a queen.

Pro Tip: Check out some of our best tips on sun protection for hair to keep your locks looking lovely. 

“Cinnamon Twist”

Not only do cinnamon rolls make for the perfect post-beach treat, but they’re also the inspiration for one of our favorite beach hairstyles. This look takes advantage of the tousled effect that saltwater has on our natural hair texture and turns it into a fabulous bun hairstyle.

Cinnamon twist

Here’s how to create tasteful cinnamon rolls:

  1. Start by pulling your hair into a high, messy bun.
  2. Take a square silk scarf and fold it into a triangle shape.
  3. Fold the tip of the triangle shape up and around itself multiple times until it becomes a long, thin “rectangular” shape.
  4. Wrap the scarf around the back of your head and tie it in the front, making sure that both ends are even when making the knot.
  5. Tie it up two more times, being sure to tie upwards to create a tiny rolled shape at the center of the scarf.
  6. Twist each hanging end around itself and tuck it behind your head into the scarf. Secure the loose ends with a bobby pin if needed. 

This tousled bun lets your natural texture run free but it also leaves your hair vulnerable to the harsh effects of ocean air. If your strands feel rough once you release them from your hair scarf, soften them up with a custom hair mask

A weekly deep-conditioning hair mask gives you an extra boost of hydration, which is especially helpful for those with dry, damaged, or over-processed hair. Apply this hair treatment instead of a regular conditioner to help replenish moisture after a day by the shore.

Braided Messy Bun

We can’t get enough of messy buns and braids, so we’ve also included the perfect hybrid of both beach hairstyles with this braided bun look. The braided detailing keeps this low bun from looking too corporate while keeping tresses in place and out of your face. 

Braided messy bun

Take a dip in the ocean and come up looking lovely as ever by following these simple steps:

  1. Partition the hair at the ear line to form two sections of hair. 
  2. Pile the top half section of hair into a messy bun and secure with a hair elastic. 
  3. Take the bottom section of your hair and form a braid. 
  4. Wrap the braid around the base of the bun and secure with bobby pins where needed. 

The braided sophistication of this messy bun deserves to be seen out of the water. But taking this look from beach to beach party may require you to freshen up your scent. Do this by spritzing your saltwater-soaked locks with Function of Beauty’s hair mist. This lightweight fragrance is perfect for tossing into a beach bag and revitalizing your locks with a fresh scent. 

Our hair mists come in three refreshing scents: nude peach, strike a rose, and pearfection. And it’s packaged in a refillable case and made with argan oil for softness.

Pro Tip: Learn about the benefits of argan oil for hair so you can keep your locks looking (and smelling) great.

Jenna’s French Twists

Want a beach hairstyle that works for short hair? We’ve got you covered with this charming twisted ‘do. Whether you’re sporting a bob or a lob, this super-secure look is perfect for a dip in the sea.

Beach hairstyles: Jenna's French twist

Follow these instructions for a graceful, out-of-your-face summer hairstyle:

  1. Part the hair down the center from the crown to the nape of the neck.
  2. Liberally apply hair gel to the first side.
  3. Starting at the crown, begin twisting your hair into a tight spiral. 
  4. With every couple of inches, make sure to pull in any loose hairs to incorporate into the twist and secure with bobby pins as you go.
  5. Once the twist reaches the nape of the neck, secure it with a hair elastic. 
  6. Wrap the hair into a small bun at the nape of the neck and secure with bobby pins.
  7. Repeat steps 2-6 on the other side.

This slicked-back look can work for many different lengths and haircuts. Once you remove the twists and pins, it can give your locks a fun curvy texture that you can incorporate into different wavy hair looks.

Find Your Best Beach Hairstyles

Whether braided, in a bun, or primped into a ponytail, these easy beach hairstyles are great for achieving an elevated beachy look without putting in too much effort. Combine these with the right products for detangling hair, restoring softness, and refreshing the scent of your locks. Now you’ve got the key to taking care of your natural texture while rocking a stylish beach hairstyle!

For more ways to take care of your tresses, take this hair quiz to build your custom formula and start achieving your beauty goals.