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We're envious of Blake Lively for a few reasons: she goes home to Ryan Reynolds, has beautiful skin, and always has perfectly beachy locks. Lucky for us, we can easily channel Blake's hair in a few simple steps. Grab your beach bag and stock up on these products—and take note of the tips—for a paparazzi-worthy look.
Seal It In
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Before hitting the waves or diving into the deep end, rinse your hair with fresh water and apply a conditioner. Spread through hair with a wide-toothed comb. The water or conditioner will fill the voids in your hair, which will prevent it from absorbing chlorine from pools and becoming dried out from saltwater—especially important for color-treated hair.
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Applying—and reapplying—sunscreen to your body is second-nature, and your hair needs the same protection. Glamsquad's creative director Giovanni Vaccaro suggests applying a leave-in mask before going to the beach to protect hair from drying out in the sun. An SPF spray will protect your hair from the damaging rays, which can fade color-treated locks.
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Before you suds up post-swim, consider this: "The reason that beach hair looks so good is the combination of the oils on your body mixing with the saltwater and allowing it to dry in the sun," says Giles Robinson, Color Wow's brand ambassador. The salt from the ocean can enhance volume and texture, and is the key ingredient to getting beachy waves. If your hair feels too dirty, hop under a stream of clean water for a quick rinse; it will remove some of the oils and sand but leave enough salt and residual heat.
Leave The Brushes & Combs At Home
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"Letting your hair dry—post-swim—with no brushing or combing, which under normal circumstances people think is essential, can actually make your hair better," says Robinson. Instead, rub a small amount of leave-in conditioner between your hands and rake your fingers through the bottom 3/4 of your hair, avoiding your scalp. It will rehydrate and untangle unruly hair.
Add Texturizing Spray & Essential Oils
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Your hair will most likely need help getting some shine back after a day in the surf and sun. Apply an essential oil, such as argan or Moroccan, to the ends to hydrate them back to life. A dry texturizing spray will add shine and definition and help tame frizz.
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Lacking access to a beach or couldn't go without the wash? Don't worry—you can re-create the look at home. Sacha Quarles, celebrity hairstylist and SHE by SO.CAP.USA artistic director, shares his wavy secrets: "Use a curling iron as a wand by wrapping your hair around it (without using the clamp) and leaving the last two inches of your ends out. This will ensure that you get that perfect sexy, messy beach hair—it works even better on dirty hair." For shorter hair, use a 1-inch barrel; for longer hair, use a 1.25- to 1.5-inch barrel. Adding a curling cream will protect and enhance those waves, whether they're natural or man-made.