You’ve got questions; we’ve got answers! Each week on Help A Reader Out, we’ll be taking your fashion and beauty troubles, turning them into informative guides.
This week’s question comes from our wonderful reader Cee, who asked on our Help A Reader Out open thread whether to use “rollers or curling iron if you want mermaid waves.” Mermaid waves are one of the loveliest and most sought-after styles, particularly for those who want red carpet appeal without dropping designer dress dollars.
Blake Lively, Beyonce, Kate Hudson, Kat Dennings, Taylor Swift, and plenty of other celebs have all incorporated different types of mermaid waves into some of their best looks, giving their hair a flexible, elegant style that can be brought to an Old Hollywood glamour level via deep red lipstick and winged liner or given a more relaxed feel with simple lips and eyes. And you don’t need long hair to do it! In fact, I wore similar waves (albeit done using a curling iron and pins, and a bit more structured due to my hair texture) for New Year’s Eve.
Mermaid waves give your hair tons of movement without requiring all that many products, though there are a few your definitely need. So, how do you get it?
- Step 1: Part your hair. I personally prefer the look of deep side parts, but center parts have made quite the comeback in the past couple of years, so definitely give that a try if you find it more flattering to your face.
- Step 2: Don’t be afraid to get your hair nice and big. Apply a high-quality volumizing mousse to your hair from around the middle to the ends using your fingers. I love Show Beauty Lux Volume Mousse.
- Step 3: Clip the top section of your hair up while you work on the bottom.
- Step 4: Use a curling rod that suits your desired finished look. That is, if you want to have rounder, fuller curls like Blake’s up there, use a (clip-free) curling iron with a larger diameter; for looser mermaid waves like Kate’s, pick a thinner one. Hold the curler horizontally away from your face and wrap a 1″ section of hair around it, wait five or so seconds, then let it go.
- Step 5: Pin each curl up in order to keep its shape perfectly intact. This keeps the curl from losing its shape, getting in your way from working on other sections, and from needing tons of hairspray.
- Step 6: Let your hair cool off! This is integral to making the style shiny, pretty, and elegant rather than child pageant-like (though I have a tutorial for that if y’all are looking). Have some coffee, do your makeup, contemplate which bra you’ll wear for that hot date–just don’t touch your locks for a bit.
Step 7: Gently brush out your curls. Very gently!
Step 8: Add a bit of glossiness using a lightweight hair oil VERB Ghost Oil. And voila! You are good to go, girl.