“The best part about the beach girl hair trend is that the messier it gets, the better it looks,” says Diana Pratasiewicz, Ouai’s (icy: it’s pronounced way) Brand Director about the evergreen summertime hairdo that’s now seeing a new lease of life.
Now more popular than ever before—worn frequently by beach babes in the fifties, co-opted by today’s celebrities from the Kardashians to the Baldwins, and going full mainstream now as we seek more chill hairstyles—the mane thing, full pun intended, about the trend today is that the less you care, the better.
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In context, the swoop used to take work to look effortless just like surfing: volumise with a spray, dry, pin, spray dry shampoo, and style but according to Pratasiewicz in this interview, all you need are some products you might already have and some knowledge about your hair to catch that wave.
Here, she talks about how to ace the beach girl hair trend in Singapore, the right Ouai products to do so , and her number one motto about how to make it look truly believable.
Our annual humidity in Singapore is 83.9% so how difficult is it to style beach girl hair? What would you recommend?
I was actually just in Singapore and felt the humidity so I think that instead of just focusing on the styling, you have to also focus on how to preserve the style throughout the day.
Firstly, it’s about using the right shampoo and conditioner to fight frizz. The solution is hydration, hydration, and hydration! You should look at your hair care routine with the same focus as a skincare routine.
Ouai is so known for that beachy effortless look and we have made it easy to customise your shampooing routine because we have three lines—fine, medium or thick hair—and we do a famous touch test to figure out which type you have.
Grab a single strand of hair between your index finger and thumb; if you feel nothing, you’ll likely have fine hair. If you feel something between both fingers, it’s medium and if you can play tug-of-war with it, you have thick hair.
We also customise the types of ingredients within our shampoos and conditioners to make sure that you’re getting the right level of hydration for your hair type.
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Secondly, believe it or not, as there’s no product involved, it’s about how you’re removing the moisture from your hair after a shower. The biggest tip I can give to you is to squeeze out the moisture from your hair after wrapping it in a towel instead of rubbing it in as that causes friction which leads to frizz.
Thirdly and even if you don’t have curly hair, I would advise you to use a diffuser when you blow-dry your hair. You can scrunch and squeeze the iconic Ouai Wave Spray into your slightly damp hair and then use the diffuser because it draws excess moisture out without ruining the waves you have or is trying to create. It’s like using a spaghetti strainer when you cook pasta! [laughs]
Lastly, you’re going to want to make sure that you’re using an anti-humectant product throughout the day. Our Wave Spray and Hair Oil are examples. The latter product is an anti-humectant which is basically a “silicone umbrella” that you’re putting over your head which protects your hair against the weather. This will help greatly with frizz.
Speaking about hydration, Asian hair tends to have a higher level of porosity where it easily retains moisture as it loses it. Is there a way to maintain the hydration level?
We have a range of Ouai’s conditioners like the Daily, Leave-In (most people don’t know that you can spray it on dry hair), and a Masque that you can use when your hair feels really depleted because you’ve been doing a lot of heat styling.
You have to find moisture in your own way whether or not it’s conditioning your hair twice a day, using a hydrating styling product when you’re styling your hair, or even doing a deep-masking session every Sunday.
The thing too right is that our weather is so muggy that it’s impossible not to wash your hair…
I know that in Singapore, people traditionally wash their hair every day because they don’t like the feeling of product in it. But if you want to experiment a little bit by skipping a wash day, you can wrap your hair up into soft pincurls by twisting them and pinning them down with bobby pins to prevent excess friction if you move around when you sleep.
Next, you have to sleep on a satin pillowcase. Again, we’re going to talk about friction because cotton pillowcases create frizz in your hair and satin provides a smooth surface with no tension.
Ouai seems so globally love so what is the secret in the sauce? How have its products been formulated such that you can use them no matter where or who you are?
Can I tell you that it wasn’t always like that? When Ouai first started, we were predominantly a brand for white women with blonde hair as our formulas were all lightweight and only worked for that specific hair type.
I think that as our community grew, we had to listen to people saying that “hey, Ouai isn’t right for me because I don’t see myself in your brand”.
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That’s hard to hear but we had to learn to listen and change. 2020 was a big year for it when we launched new products like a customised Daily Care line which had a thicker formula and newer ingredients like shea butter for thicker hair.
This line was developed after we reached out to a community who had curly hair to ask about their favourite products or ingredients.
When it comes to formulating global formulas, we searched for a common thread amongst everybody we spoke to instead of just separating them into hair types and developing the formulas from there.
If you look at our products like the Leave In Conditioner and the Detox Shampoo, both of them can bring world peace because everybody has those problems which can be fixed using the products.
Sometimes, people say not-so-nice things to us but if it’s the truth, we have to listen and adapt to it. There’s a lot of trial and error and we recognise that we still have some missing products in our line but what our founder Jen Atkin has taught us is the power of collaboration over competition.
We’re more than happy to recommend a product from another brand if we don’t have it ourselves. Jen really allows that conversation to happen.
When you are styling beach girl hair, how do you decide which way it should go?
Your hair parting is a sensitive subject as it can make or break a look. Here’s the thing, and it’s probably going to sound really cheesy but for our global campaign, it revolved around “Living Life Your Ouai”.
What I mean by that is that if you’re a side-part kind of girl, go for it. If you love a middle part, don’t worry about what anybody says and go for it. Your hair parting should be decided once you look into the mirror and decide which way makes you feel the most confidence.
I have a widow’s peak where a strand randomly sticks out whenever I part my hair to the side. I always try to part it down the middle so that I accentuate my widow’s peak instead as it makes my hair look more even.
However, you can always change it up but the way you part your hair really does make you who you are.
The beach girl waves look work no matter what hair parting you have and it’s just a matter of getting that bend or wave. If you’re not good with curling tools, you can use heatless methods like braiding your hair before going to sleep.
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Is there a way to cut your hair such that you’ll naturally get that beach girl hair wave? How do you style layered hair then with Ouai products?
You have to look to get some angles and layers in your hair because you’ll have a hard time getting and holding texture if it’s all one length.
You can still achieve the look though if your hair is one consistent length but the amount of product you have to use will weigh it down.
Or, you can just use the Wave or Texturizing spray with the latter being a hybrid product of dry shampoo and hairspray. A tip to use such a product is to spray it upwards to reach the layers within your hair before scrunching, squeezing and manipulating it till you get the look you want.
You can also leave your hair in clips while you go about the rest of your routine to let the bends set in.
Can beach girl hair ever look too unnatural? What are some mistakes women make that make it look so?
It can look unnatural if you’re using a curling iron and giving yourself tight ringlets as it’ll look too perfect. If that’s your look, that’s totally fine but beach girl hair is all about inconsistency and a lived-in texture.
Is there a way to glamorise beach girl hair for a black-tie event? Especially with Ouai products?
You can either tie it up into a ponytail as it tames the look down a bit or you can try lining the ponytail up with the top of either ear for the perfect height.
Or, you can tie your hair into a low chignon where the texture still comes through or, you can just leave it down. What we’re deciding today is that you can always decide your own form of glamour so do what makes you feel good.
I would recommend using the Super Dry Shampoo if you’re working with second-day hair as it cleans your hair without water so you’re able to clean your scalp without having to go through the whole routine of washing it.