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19 Aug

The Secret Pro Trick For Perfect Beach Waves? We've Got It


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If you're lucky enough to live in L.A., take note: there's a new hair studio in town, and it's helmed by the ultimate beach hair guru. Last month, stylist Kristen Shaw opened The Cabin, her first ever permanent hair studio, on Abbot Kinney in the heart of Venice Beach — a stone's throw from the Pacific Ocean, where the term "beachy waves" was coined. Shaw's been the go-to shear obsession for stylish surfer types and celebs in La La Land for quite some time, making house calls in between surf jaunts to Costa Rica and Nicaragua. With The Cabin, an appointment-only spot in a bungalow behind a home design shop, she finally has a home for her laid-back beach aesthetic — and all of her genius hair tips, which are refreshingly tool-free and super low-fi in terms of product. As brand ambassador for Playa, a brand-new botanical haircare line also born in Venice, Shaw has become the guru of ripply, rope-y, softly salted waves, incorporating her natural hair intuition with expert application of Playa's surf-inflected Ritual Hair Oil and Endless Summer spray. 


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The Cabin's cozy interior. 

Naturally, when we had her ear during an appointment, we begged for her secrets. Since she's the most generous stylist on the planet, she agreed to share her patented beach wave style tricks with — read through below carefully, then try it for yourself. The results are staggeringly surf-tastic — undulating, glossy waves that have a groove and bend that's utterly natural but cultivated just enough to feel "done." You'll never rev up that curling iron again. 

In her own words, here's Shaw's instructions for acheiving the perfect beach waves. 

When your hair is wet, take a pump or two of your favorite oil — mine is Ritual Oil by Playa — and run it in your hands, in between each finger so you’re ready for the next step. Rake your fingers gently through your hair so the oil is distributed between the strands.Then section your hair: one section at the nape of your neck below your ears, one around the horseshoe section ( above ears but below the crown) and then the crown (the area your part lands on.) Then take 1-2 inch sections depending on how loose you want your wave and twist your hair. 

Twist each section and then spritz with your favorite sea salt — I’m obsessed with Playa’s Endless Summer spray because it’s just salty enough to give you texture but leaves your hair with softness that’s a must have. The purpose of adding the oil before is to give you a great moisturized base to avoid flyaways, fluff, and frizz which sometimes can happen when you just spritz on sea salt in the quest for the perfect beach wave.  

(For even more fun waves, use your palms to cup the ends of your hair post spritz and scrunch in an upwards motion gently. This encourages those cute little beach waves on even if you have baby fine hair!)