How to Get Tousled Hair

By Sarah Vrba

Tousled locks may look effortless, but recreating this carefree, fresh-from-the-beach hairstyle requires some time in front of the mirror. Luckily, the look works on nearly any hair texture as long as you have at least a few inches of length to transform.

John Frieda Hair Care Beach Blonde Collection Party
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Lauren Conrad shines in her short, beach-worthy tresses.

No-Heat Knockout

Women with thick, naturally wavy hair can repurpose that volume without heat-styling tools. Wash and condition your hair with volumizing products. Towel-dry your locks until they are just damp. Spritz a sea-salt texturizing spray on your tresses and follow up with a dime-sized dollop of styling cream.

Grab a random 1-inch section of hair at the ends and twirl it into a tidy little rope. Twist the rope into a mini-bun on your head and scrunch it a couple of times, then release. Repeat this process with five or 10 different sections to create a surprising texture. You can also opt to twist all of your tresses, pin the buns into place and blast with a cool blow dryer for more structure.

Roller Rewind

Shorter, fine hair needs a bit of structured volume to create the tousled effect. Apply a styling cream or mousse to your damp strands. Blow dry your locks away from your face with a round brush and a blow dryer set on low heat.

Grab 2-inch sections and wrap your tresses around 1-inch no-heat rollers from tips to roots. Roll the hair in different directions to give it more texture. Keep very short pieces free. Leave the rollers in place for about 20 minutes, blasting them with a blow dryer if you need a bit of extra drying. Release the rollers and tousle your strands with your fingers. Spritz with a smoothing serum if you need a little shine.

Overnight Sensation

There's way to roll out of bed with hair halfway to fabulous: overnight styling. This technique works best on medium to long lengths and nearly any texture. Wash your hair in the evening and towel-dry your strands. Apply a styling cream from roots to ends. Collect the tresses into a tidy ponytail at the very top of your head.

Twist the ponytail into a neat rope of hair and wrap into a tidy bun. Tuck in the ends and bobby pin the bun into place. Sleep with your hair in this position. In the morning blast the bun with a blow dryer and release your strands.

Tousle your locks with your fingers and use a wide-tooth comb to untangle any problem areas. Spritz your style with a shine serum to finish.

Quick Fix

Some days you just don't have time to wash, dry and style your hair in order to look beach-ready. Spritz your roots with a sea-salt spray, especially if you have fine or extra-lengthy hair. Apply a heat-protectant spray to your tresses from roots to tips.

Section off 3-inch sections of hair and braid into standard three-strand braids. Heat up a flat iron and clamp the hot iron down along the length of each braid to seal in the texture. Allow all the braids to cool and unwind them. Alternatively, take random 1-inch sections and curl them with a curling iron, working in different directions and only holding the iron in place for a few seconds. Tousle your hair with your fingers and smooth any problem areas with a wide-tooth comb.