You #AskKat: How Do You Get Such Perfect Beachy Waves?


When we first kicked off #AskKat,'s advice column with Katherine Schwarzenegger, where the best-selling author and blogger answers your questions, one of the first things people wanted to know was how she manages to get her hair to always look so good. (Well, that, and how to get her eyebrows, but more on that later...)

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After years of trying to master the perfect beachy wave, Schwarzenegger says she's found the right formula, and shares it with you in the video above. "It's very easy, very simple and straightforward once you get the hang of it," she says. Best of all? Her technique only requires three products: a heat protector, the Sultra Styling Iron (various sizes and prices; and R+Co Outer Space Flexible Hairspray ($29;

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Learn just how Schwarzenegger styles her hair each day (and get a peek at what her natural hair looks like!) by watching the video, and head over to InStyle's Facebook page to ask Kat your own question, or submit it on Twitter to @InStyle and @KScwarzenegger using the hashtag #AskKat!

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Hi, guys. I'm Katherine Swartenager, and for this week's episode of Ask Kat I'm excited to talk to you guys about something that I have been trying to master for years, which is the loose beachy wave. Okay, so this week's question comes from at Steph 1185 and she asks me on Twitter. I have really straight hair and would love to learn how to curl it myself without it looking too done. Well, Stephanie, I have pin needle straight hair naturally so I have learned over the years how to make my hair look like this. The loose beachy wave and I'm happy to show you how to do it yourself. It's very easy, very simple and straightforward once you get the hang of it. Okay so this is what my hair looks like when I wake up in the morning and I haven't done anything to it. It's very flat, very heavy and plain looking so I like to always curl it to add a little bit of volume. And a little bit of sexy playfulness to my hair. The first thing that I do is I always spray my hair with a heat protector. So when I use actual curling iron, it doesn't damage my hair especially since I do this so often. I don't want to ruin my hair. The second thing that I do is I part my hair and then brush throughout. So there aren't any tangle or knots, which makes the process much easier. I've learned that over time to always brush through my hair. It's easier when you have a middle part to do things evenly on both sides. But I always do a side part. But for you guys I decided to do a center part to make it easier for you. The next thing that I do after I've brushed through it. And prepped it is I section it off. So I'll start with my right side. And so I'll kind of do half, half of my hair. So I do half with my hair there just to start with the bottom part. And then I'll use one of these little clippy things. And I'll clip it over here, so I can just focus on this kind of bottom right half side here. And, then once your iron is hot, you can go ahead and start curling. One thing that I've definitely learned over the years of trying to curl my own hair, is my hair, personally, since it's so straight, it works best when I use a ceramic rod, not the traditional looking metal curling iron. This one is by Sultra and I found this to be the best iron that I've ever used. It holds my hair for. As long as I want it to. Until I decide to wash my hair. And it doesn't damage your hair as much as a regular metal curling iron does. So you can start off with just, maybe like, a inch piece of your hair and curl away from your face. So I will wrap it. Around this iron. And little pieces will kind of come out, which is fine. And I always like to leave a little bit kind of coming out the end so it's not like a totally perfect looking curl. I think that makes your hair, like, less perfect looking and a little bit more. A kind of beachy, sexy look. Which is what you wanna get in the end. So I just leave it for a few seconds, then I let it kind of come out. And I always leave this like, this little piece in the end. Cuz when you shake it out in the end it looks a little bit better. So this is kind of the first curl, another thing that I've learned over the many times I've done my hair, is that you don't need to take the same amount of pieces every time you curl your hair. So, this piece might be big the next might be smaller. It makes for a less uniform Kind of conservative looking hairstyle that makes more for like the beachy waves that that everyone tries to kind of get. So doing different sized pieces is really important. You don't have to do every piece away from your face. So I could do this piece that's wrapped forwards. So this will make it look a little bit more undone and beachy. If you want it to look more uniform and the curls to all be going the same way, make sure that they're consistently wrapped away from your face. And when you brush it out it'll kind of be, they'll all be going the same pattern and the same way. So once I'm done with this right side here, I'm gonna take this pinned part that I pinned in the beginning, and start doing that. Side. So I just, I do complete sides. I know a lot of people like to do the whole bottom part and then do their whole top part. I've just found this to be easier and more effective. So I, since I have layers in the front of my hair, I section off this top part. So these layers can match up to when I curl them. So I start with this back piece here and then I'll pin this piece. So now I'm gonna do this last section on my right side. And I start kind of the bottom here. So I'll take this bottom piece. And kind of just loosely wrap it around. So I am holding each one on for just a few seconds. I kind of use a finger to tap and feel if it's hot and once it's warm I will let it out. You don't want to keep it on too long. I think we've all seen that video on YouTube of that girl who kept her. Iron on her hair too long and her hair fell off. So you definitely wanna make sure you're not doing that. So just keep it on for a little bit. And you can always go back. That's better than over-curling your hair, because you don't wanna have one piece that's really tight and then the rest are kind of loose, beachy waves. And now we can move on to the left side. So this Sultra wand and most wands that don't have a clamp, they come with a Michael Jackson glove, I call it. It's so you can wrap your hair around the wand and hold on to the wand an not burn yourself. I have burned my hands. Hundreds of times, and they do leave marks on your hands. So I think once you become comfortable enough with this wand and being able to do your own hair, that's when you can kind of go gloveless, which is what I do. I haven't used the glove since the first time that I got this wand, because I like to be able to feel. What my hair is doing while I'm curling and whether or not it's ready to be taken off the wand yet. So that's all just that comes with practice but definitely if you're not wearing the glove be very careful not to burn yourself with this wand it's incredibly hot. Okay so once you're done. Curling. Like I am. I'll take this out and I will spray my hair. Right now I'm really loving R + Co it's called Outer Space. It's flexible hairspray. I just lightly spray. I'm not a big hairspray person. I really just like the way it smells. And as you're spraying I like to use my finger tips to shake out the curls. And and then so usually I'll go in with my hands and just kind of. Shake. Shake them out. Loosen them up. So the final thing I do, is I flip my hair over to kind of shake out my curls and also stimulate volume at the roots. A hairdresser taught me that. If you kind of massage your scalp here at the roots, you don't have to tease your hair as much to get that voluminous look at the roots. So you kinda just go ahead, flip it over. So you shake it out with your fingers. There's no right or wrong way to do this. I kind of want a little bit of a loser look, so I kinda run my fingers through the ends And then I kind of massage the roots a little bit, and then I just flip it back, and then you can give it one final spray so you don't have flyaways at the top. And then just kind of style it whatever way you would want to style it, so you see in the end you don't really pay attention to the size of each curl. It actually looks better when they're different sizes. It allows for a little bit more of a natural, less perfected look. And you can just kind of play with it until you kind of get the look that you want. And then just kind of keep messing with it until you end up with the way you want your hair to look. So, for now, this is working for me. But you can kind of just mess it up, you can. Flip it over a couple times if you want more volume. Add more hairspray. A lot of the time I'll add a little bit of a finishing spray that kind of gives it a little bit more of a dirty look depending on if I've just washed my hair or not, so, yeah. That's how I get this look. This technique definitely takes practice. I've been doing this for years, and I'm only now just getting the hang of it. So try not to get too frustrated if you don't get the look that you absolutely wanna achieve the first time that you try this. I'll see you guys next week on #askKAT.
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