Honestly, is there anyone who didn’t grow up wanting to be a mermaid? Maybe I’m weird, but I spent my childhood watching Aquamarine, practicing my mermaid swimming in the pool on hols, and secretly hoping I’d awkwardly transform into a mermaid whenever I did the dishes – (thanks, H2O Just Add Water, for my wildly unrealistic childhood expectations).
Maybe that’s why everyone (myself very much included) is completely obsessed with the mermaid wave hair trend that’s been all over our Insta and TikTok feeds recently. #Mermaidwaves has over 7 million views on TikTok, and it’s absolutely fulfilling all of our childhood mermaid dreams.
Mermaid waves are kind of like 2021’s fresh update on the beachy waves which have been a summer staple for years. Whilst beach waves are typically voluminous, textured, and more on the coiled side in terms of shape – mermaid waves tend to be sleeker, and the shape more like loose kinks or waves. Our fave celebs have taken the mermaid fantasy to another level with bum-length locks, but really the style looks great on any hair type, colour, and length.
It goes without saying that this is the perfect summer holiday look – mermaid waves, pools, and beaches make an almost too perfect combo (just ask this year’s Love Islanders, who have been loving the style in the villa this year). The good news is that mermaid waves are also the perfect festival style. We’ve been seeing the look paired with mini braids, glitter, and bucket hats – and we’re totally here for it. There are three main ways to reproduce the look, and they’re all pretty easy:
The mermaid waver tool
The first option is the mermaid waver tool, which has been all over TikTok, and which I’m sure is at the top of many-an-Amazon wishlist right now. The tool is like a giant version of the classic crimping tool that we all had in the 90s, and consists of three barrels which clamp the hair to create perfect sleek waves. This is probably the easiest and most fool-proof method, and produces long-lasting, frizz-free waves, which is likely why it has proven so popular on social media lately. If you’re not yet ready to part with your cash to try it out – don’t worry, try these two techniques for the mermaid wave look.
The hair straightener technique
The second way is to simply use your hair straighteners. If your hair is typically frizzy or textured, you can make the process easier if you straighten the hair a little first to reduce the frizz, but this is optional. Start an inch or so from the top of the hair, and clamp the hair for a couple of seconds. Then, release the hair (this is important- you don’t want to drag the hair or it’ll ruin the crimp you’ve just made), then bend the hair in the opposite direction and clamp again. Continue with this action until you reach the end of the hair, or a little before to give the ends that wispy look.
The heatless method
The last method is the heatless option – which is perfect for damage-free waves. You’ll just need a few hair ties and a bit of patience, as you’ll need to leave this one overnight. After washing your hair (or spritzing generously with water), separate the hair into sections, and braid each one. The number of braids will depend on how tight or loose you prefer the crimps – the smaller the braid, the tighter the kink. Wrap the whole head in a t-shirt or head wrap to prevent frizz, and sleep in the braids overnight for the perfect next-day waves.
With all methods, run your fingers or a wide-toothed comb through the waves to separate the hair a little, then finish with a little hair spray for long-lasting waves. Et voila – whether you’re heading to the beach, a festival, or the pub, you’re ready to live your mermaid fantasy. Ariel would be proud.
By Beth Ryan