How to: Chunky Beach Waves with a Flat Iron

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 unsettling 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 unique way of doing nice randomly chunky beach waves with a flat iron.  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!

This isn’t your typical flat iron wave tutorial.

You won’t have to turn the flat iron up and down and wrapped around like other tutorials will show you. I’ve always found that flat iron wavy hair trick complicated and finicky. Instead, try this…

Creating Beach Waves with a Flat Iron

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!

Tools you will need:

  • A flat iron
  • hairspray of your choice

Step 1:

  • Pin the top portion of your hair up and start with the underside bottom layer.
  • Grab a small section of hair from the layer, about an inch in size, and twist it around your fingers (image 2)
  • Remove the twist from your fingers and hold the rolled hair close to your head (image 3)

Step 2:

  • Carefully grab your flat iron and press the rolled hair between the plates. Hold for a few seconds. Be careful not to burn your fingers with the flat iron! (image 4)
  • Release the flat iron to reveal a random, chunky curl (image 5).
  • Continue this method all around the bottom layer. Let out more of your hair and finish each layer the same way.

Step 3:

  • When your whole head is full of curls, lightly spray with hairspray.
  • Run your fingers through the curls now to break them up.
  • Style to your liking!

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 beachy wave.


“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. You can also use a flat iron glove for extra protection.

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

More beauty tutorials

Click here for even more beauty tutorials

Last Updated on

By Dana Fox

Founder of the Wonder Forest blog and brand and bestselling author of the Watercolor With Me book series.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

For security, use of Google's reCAPTCHA service is required which is subject to the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.