Messy chunky beach waves… Easy tutorial!

By Dana Fox

I’m one of those people who was cursed with stick straight thin hair that hates to curl. I used to do the traditional “braid your hair before bed” and rag curling tricks to get nice beachy waves, but they never ended up turning out right the next day.  I didn’t like the fact that the process took a whole night, and I had no way of knowing what my hair was going to look like when I pulled the braids/rags out.  Do you know how nerve-wracking that is, especially if you have an event to go to (*cough* my brother’s wedding)?  Would the curls be too tight? would they end up in funny places?

I developed my own way of doing nice randomly chunky waves.  I actually don’t even know if this technique has a preexisting name or anything… but I do know that it is my favourite way to curl my hair, and I always love the results, no matter what!

Here’s how to get some nice messy random waves, without sleeping on a head of uncomfortableness. All you need is a flat iron and some hair spray!



I absolutely LOVE the randomness of these curls. No piece of hair is the same, and it doesn’t look as if you sat there with a curling iron perfecting every wave.

Have you seen this method done before? I’m so curious to know if it’s an actual “thing” haha.


“How do you put your hair in the flat iron without burning your fingers?”
Answer: Be careful! Try rolling your curls a bit bigger so you have more hair to hold onto when sticking it into the flat iron. Also use the tips of your fingers. It takes some practice, and yes I’ve burned myself a couple times… but just be careful and it will all work out.

Feel free to Pin!! Pin It

Have shorter hair? Also try these messy waves for short or medium length hair:

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Dana Fox
Dana Fox
About me

I am a country loving Canadian with a mind that never sleeps. When I'm not running the Wonder Forest blog ship, you can find me creating artwork for phone cases and home decor, whilst managing the daily tasks of Dana Fox Creative. Visit me at the links below if you wanna be friends!


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  • Sarah @ The Bird’s Papaya

    AWESOME tutorial! My 5 year old has crazy long stick straight hair and has sat for hours trying to get me to curl it, nothing works. I think this will! THANK YOU! Maya will be pumped to have some "curly wurlies".

  • Petchie

    thanks for the tutorial! I love it, it looks so pretty I will definitely have to try this!


  • Irene Wibowo

    wow cool. i wanna try. thanks for the tutorial! :)
    Irene Wibowo

  • the hollie rogue

    can't wait to try it! awesome!

  • Angie

    I gotta try this! My hair is kinda on the short-ish side (shoulder length) and I constantly worry I'll look like Shirley Temple if I curl my hair with some of the methods you talked about. 😉 This sounds perfect!

  • ilene @ muchloveilly

    such a great tutorial! i'm totally gonna try this. thanks!

  • MadFeisty

    i am sooo giving this a try! they look so natural, i love it!

  • Katie Boatright

    What a great idea! Im going to try this for sure.

  • Nikouka

    Dana, you look so gorgeously in these pictures!! :)

  • Jamie

    Love this. I also wave my hair with a flat iron. My technique is a little different (on my blog) but I like the way you do it. It seems like this would me a little more messy which I love. I love your tutorials!

  • Kristen @ GDSConfessions

    Wow! I've never heard of this technique before… must try asap! thanks dear :)

  • Stephanie

    Love it! I have never tried curling my hair before and am going to start with this trick!

    Hope you have a great weekend! XOXO, Stephanie @ Blonde Highlights

  • Emily Baker

    I already have crazy curly hair, but that's a great idea! Thanks for sharing, lady!!!

  • Aleksandra Boyarova

    beautiful photos. beautiful you! love your make up so much

    come enter my LOVE giveaway!

  • Elise

    Soooo Pretty! I have been trying to figure out how to do this and it never turns out "beachy" enough! Thank you!

  • Miss Amy

    Fun!! I wish I lived near the beach so I could let the wind and ocean do it for me 😉

  • The Freckled Fawn

    lovely, as always!

  • Sonya Marie

    found this on pinterest today!!! I'm so in love with your blog!!!

  • Mr. Taylor and his Lady

    such a great tutorial, and easy to follow. i'll have to try this next time i head out somewhere. definitely never seen this before. adore!
    xo TJ

  • Karen

    This is such a great idea! My hair is super stubborn when it comes to holding a curl- I'm going to have to give this a try! :)

  • Lesli

    This is a perfect idea for my wavy hair. I would have never thought about using a flat iron for curl! Awesome. I am pinning it now so I don't forget about it. PS Stopping by from Little Tree Vintage!

  • Mandy Crandell

    So fantastic! I have super straight hair too. Now, I just have to find a flat iron.!/MandyCrandell

  • Geezees Custom Canvas Art

    Ahhh…love the hair girl!

  • It seems pretty obvious.

    Thank you for this tutorial! I have to try this…my hair is also super straight and I love messy waves. I wish I was born that way…but hey…what to do!

    Love your blog by the way! :)

  • Nhart

    Did you put any product in your hair before you started?

  • dana @ wonder forest


    I used a dry shampoo beforehand (because it gives me more volume) but that's all :)

  • Anna of IHOD

    I haven't seen it done this way before! Will have to try it out! :)

  • Stephanie

    I'm thinking about buying a straightening iron just so I can try this.

  • Jamie

    I like the randomness too! Looks great!

  • Joan

    Awesome tutorial! I also make my hair wavy using my curling iron, but a little bit differently. I love your method though, i'm totally trying that tomorrow! :)

  • Darrell

    so how do you do this without burning your fingers? every time I try to twist it,it never works.

  • nova

    PERFECT! I have the same hair as you and have never figured out a way to get it to stay pretty haha.

  • Sherree

    When I was a small girl, my mother would take my hair in little pieces and twist it and then she would curl it up and place a bobby pin in it. Then I would sleep with them in my hair and the next day, my hair would be wavey. Your way seems so much easier. At least you would get a good nights sleep.

  • Joy

    Thank you so much! I have been trying to find a good way to curl my hair for such a long time. Nothing ever works for me, and with this technique I don't even have to buy another hair tool. Thanks again!

    Joy xx

  • Curtis and Crystal Emery

    Thank you for the tutorial. I found this on pinterest and got super excited! I tried it and it worked but I did have trouble after rolling the hair to my head grabbing it with the flat iron without almost burning my hand. Any tips there? Thanks so much for sharing!

  • Ocean Jewel Images

    Thats neat! Thanks for sharing, I'll try that out this weekend! :)

  • Megan

    Could you spray the hairspray on each wave before you flat-ironed it? Or is it best to just do it after?

  • dana @ wonder forest


    i suppose you could, but it would gunk up your flat iron and might make the curls too crunchy!

  • dana @ wonder forest

    @Curtis and Crystal Emery

    practice! haha. i use the very tips of my fingers to hold the curl in the iron.

  • lpich100

    I tried this tonight for the first time, I love the way it came out so far…all I need is a little more practice and it'll be perfect. I've tried a different method to get my hair wavy with a flat iron but it never worked for me. Your method is great, easy and pretty quick, only took me 10 min. Thanks for sharing with the rest of us :)

  • Special K

    I just joined pinterest on Monday and this is the first thing I clicked on. I have done it twice now and I ABSOLUTELY love it!! It looks amazing even after sleeping on it overnight. Thank you!!!

  • smtaylor

    Do you twist your hair tight? or is it still kind of loose?

  • dana @ wonder forest


    you don't need to twist it tight. when i do it i don't even think about the tightness, so i guess it's kinda loose?

  • Unknown

    I am totally doing this tomorrow !! Thanks for the tutorial

  • BabyDoll822611

    Tip for not burning your fingers. use a bobby pin! Flat Iron right over it. 😀

  • grunzaa

    I just did this and apparently kept the heat on for way too long (I was trying to memorize something for class, so I repeated it once each time before taking the heat off. much more interesting than my usual counting!)My hair is super curly, instead of wavy! I love it though. Much better than rag curls and much more comfortable. Thanks so much for the tutorial!

  • Morris family

    This is how my hair stylist did my girls for my wedding about 5 years ago but she put little pieces of foil over each curl so she A) wouldn't burn her finger and B) wouldn't fry my hair. It works perfectly!!

  • beausoir629

    I have pretty short hair and can't do much with it. (It is just past my chin.) But this hair style actually looks AMAZING on my short hair.
    I didn't do the lower layers of my hair since those are super short. But the top layers turned out awesome, and I loved seeing the straight pieces peeking through. 😀
    Thanks sooooo much for this tutorial!

  • amberull

    I have a tip for those worried about burning their fingers! Before I had my double sided comb and just used my hands, I would wear one of those thin winter gloves. They work like a charm! (so long as you're still somewhat quick and don't leave the iron against your fingers for too long, obviously lol)

  • amberull

    Saw this on Pinterest! I want to try this because just the top layers of my hair are wavy and the under layers are not. Plus the back of my head always looks terrible compared to the rest.
    Also, I have a tip for those worried about burning their fingers! Before I had my double sided comb I used to wear one of those small, thin winter gloves. They work like a charm for some reason!

  • beauty-tutorial

    Great idea! I love my looong hair but sometimes it's so boring.

  • 39d31d7e-e5a7-11e1-91d3-000f20980440

    😮 i'm trying this tomorrow..

  • Vouloir Vintage

    AHHH I LOVE THIS <3 trying it out asap

  • Jen Zevada

    Thank you so much for posting this!!! I've been looking for a tutorial for beachy waves & this is perfect! Can't wait to try it out! :)

  • Brittany Brock

    There's also another way to do this by putting a small piece of aluminum foil over each twirled chunk and the clamping it between your straightner. The curls come out super curly and bouncy though rather than waves.

  • Taylor Hilton

    you are awesome! just discovered ya thru my search for french provincial bedroom ideas, and love everything i have encountered so far. cheers to you!

  • Taylor Hilton

    you are fantastic, thanks for your creativity

  • Terri

    This rocks! Thanks muchly for all the great ideas! Love my hair this way! And didn't get burned! :)

  • Hanna

    Just wanted to say thanks! I used to do the exact same, therag curls or wet French braid but always orsonetimes ending up with a train wreck. I've never seen anything Luke this. I must try asap! I like it's a little kinky too not too curly

  • Yvonne Hawkins

    I love the idea but I'm having trouble with the execution…. when I try to take the flat iron to the curl, I either burn my fingers or the curl comes loose from attempting to avoid burning my fingers! (My mother burned me in the eyelid with a curling iron when I was a kid, very traumatic. Been afraid of heated styling tools ever since. In her defense it was completely accidental!) How do you iron the curl successfully without messing up the curl or burning yourself?? Help!

    • dana @ wonder forest

      I mentioned this in the post :)
      it's really the only tip I have
      xo dana

  • Dailey Halee

    I love this!! I will try it! Looks so easy. And has any body ever told you that you look just like Baby from Dirty Dancing?

  • Priscilla Waker

    LOVE this !! 😉

  • Bri

    This is awesome!! Trying it soon!!

  • Bri

    This is awesome!! Trying it soon!!

  • Une vie de fille
  • Pamela Coonrod Bland

    Use a thin tight fitting glove might help with hot iron

  • Alina John

    This is an informative blog by which I have got that info which I really wanted to get. short hairstyles for fine hair