Ocean waves is the simplest must-try hairstyle for spring

·2-min read
lily james ocean waves hair trend
Ocean waves is spring's must-try hairstyleJo Hale - Getty Images

High-gloss hair was spring/summer 2023’s standout style at fashion week, with countless models sporting lacquered locks. And, as with all high-fashion trends, it's jumped off the runways and red carpets into real life, via a version that feels more flattering: the ocean wave.

Positioned between the more directional wet look and wearable beachy waves that have become a perma-trend since the '00s, ocean waves offer a 'done' take on a simple style. Hairstylist and trend forecaster Tom Smith explains, "ocean waves sit parallel to beachy waves, but they have become a slightly more high-fashion alternative". The style, that he predicts will be one of the season's biggest looks, reads like "super high-gloss, piecey-textured waves" and he cites Lily James at the What's Love Got To Do With It? UK premiere as the ultimate inspiration.


This might be one of the easiest styling techniques for the trending looks this spring!

♬ original sound - Tom Smith

"This style works well on medium to longer lengths," he says, but it requires "the correct layering of product" to be executed effectively. Arm yourself with "flexible gels and oils to add gloss and encourage waves to form", he advises.

ocean waves hair trend
Nensi Dojaka spring/summer 2023Matteo Valle - LAUNCHMETRICS SPOTLIGHT

If your hair is naturally wavy, Smith says to apply these products while the hair is a little damp "and allow it to air dry and a cast to form". However, if your hair lacks natural texture, "use a curling tong to form loose waves, followed by non-water based products to get the glossy definition". He rates Evo's Shebang-a-bang Dry Spray Wax and the Olaplex No.7 Bonding Oil for this.

Crucially, ocean waves are about a greaseless gloss, though. "The key is resisting the temptation to go for this style on non-clean hair," Smith tells us, of making the style look purposefully high-shine. "While gloss can be achieved with a cocktail of a cream and oil-based product, it should not be applied too near the scalp," he advises. "If you do want to opt for this style on hair that is a couple of days since it was washed, first prep the roots with dry shampoo to ensure the result is an intentionally glossy look."

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