Hair Tutorial: Messy Waves

16th May, 2013

It’s been some time since my last hair tutorial, and since my style has inevitably evolved since then, I figured we were overdue for an update. Lately I’ve been into really unruly hair ~ the messier the better. And since my tresses weren’t blessed with any sort of natural bounce (see the cringeworthy realness, above left), I’ve developed a quick and uncomplicated system for infusing maximum movement.MessyWaves2Begin by pinning up the top half of your hair with a big clip.MessyWaves3Wrap 1-2″ sections of hair around a 3/4″ or 5/8″ curling iron (do not use the clamp!). For the springy, haphazard effect, wrap the roots of your hair low on the iron’s rod, and continue wrapping the rest UP toward the tip. Do not curl the ends of the hair; leave the last inch untouched.
MessyWaves4Continue this reverse curling action all around this bottom section of your hair, always twisting each piece toward center back.MessyWaves5Mist this whole section with a bit of hairspray; I use L’Oréal Professionnel’s Texture Expert Infinium 4.MessyWaves6Continue by letting smaller (3-4″) sections of hair out of the clamp at a time, and curling them in the same way, working from base of hair at base of iron, to tip of hair at tip of iron.MessyWaves7 MessyWaves8Continue lightly misting with hairspray as you go.MessyWaves9Keep going, one or two pieces at a time. Don’t worry about trying to make these sections too exacting or even; randomness is your friend in this situation.MessyWaves10 MessyWaves11Continue up and around your head, moving left to right, right to left as you work toward the top.
MessyWaves12 MessyWaves13Once you’re done making waves, it’s time to really wreck havoc. MessyWaves14I like to load up my roots with a ton of True Grip. It’s a texturizing powder that I first told you all about HERE, and my obsession with it runs deep.MessyWaves15After you’ve loaded in all the substance you can stand, get in there with your fingers and just make a MESS.MessyWaves16 MessyWaves17Finish it all off with a finger-full of hair wax. I’m partial to Baxter’s Clay Pomade (another obsession, which I first introduced to you HERE). Work it into just the ends for a piece-y, dread-like effect.MessyWaves18Keep flipping and twisting and messing with your tresses as the day goes on; the more you muss it all up, the cooler you’ll look!MessyWaves19|PHOTOS| by Austin Phelps |CLICK HERE| or |HERE| for more hairstyling ideas!

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  • brunetteletters

    Such a cute hair tutorial…usually all hair tutorials are with bathroom backgrounds hahaa..this one is very artistic!

    Brunette Letters Blog

    • I loved that. When the hairspray came out, I was like “Nooooo!”
      But I bet she didn’t actually spray right there 😉

      My hair is the same length and texture. And I am obsessed with messy waves. Must try this!

  • Somebody from Somewhere
  • Jennifer
  • The Style-o-Meter

    Really useful tutorial! I have the same issue with my hair; this hairstyle looks great and easy to do!

  • tanya dempsey

    Totally trying this! The key looks like using the right product. Thanks!

    Tanya xx

    November Grey

  • Eda Petuqi

    Love it

  • tanya dempsey

    Can you buy the true grip online anywhere or do you have to go to a salon?


    Tanya xx

    November Grey

    • theglamourai

      Unfortunately it’s a salon-only product, but it’s definitely worth the effort to track down! You can find a list of stockists here:


  • monkeyshines
  • Denisa

    Looks good, I like it. Have a nice day.

  • What a lovely tutorial! I have short (but thick) hair too! Will try this out for sure..

  • Ceyda Neccar

    This looks so good, thank you for the detailed tutorial :)!

  • I have the same flat hair problems…hopefully this will work for me as well as it did for you!

  • I looooove your hair ♥ Can not wait to cut mine too !

  • Juliette Laura

    Your hair always looks so perfect, in an edgy yet chic way. Glad to know how you do it!


    Juliette Laura

  • Such cute poses! I used to have short hair, too but since it has grown so much since then i can now do fun curly looks. this is definitely something I will try out. Thanks!


  • Isa

    It looks really good and sooo glamorous, I can’t wait until my hair is long enough to try it!

  • Cory Scott

    Really cool Tutorial!! It looks great 🙂

    Paris-New York Fashion Blog

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    Xoxo Cory

  • Natalie Kerner

    Great tutorial, Kelly! My hair is this length right now, too– growing it out. I’m so into the ‘leave-the-last-inch-straight’ messy curl that’s trending these days. It’s great for when normal curls are too polished, but you still want some volume and texture.

    What painting is that you’re standing in front of? Do you own it? I’m a super-realist painter, but I’ve been wanting to experiment with some large abstracts and that blue is the color of my dreams.

  • rhodawong

    love this! so perfect for summer!

  • Your hair always looks so effortells and amazing, thanks for sharing your secret! I love that true grip stuff, its amazing!

  • Marcela Ordóñez

    I have my hair like you so This tutorial it’s soo helpful 🙂 thanks for sharing this with us. You’re such a nice lady full of style and beauty besides, I really love your blog it’s fantastic 🙂 🙂 greetings from Colombia 🙂

  • Madeline Veloria

    Such a good tutorial 🙂 Thanks for the product recommendations…I’m totally going to go get the powder. My motto is the bigger the hair the better, so I’m excited to try this out!! P.S. love the faces you make in this tutorial…so adorable!

    Veloria in velvet

  • Joanna Julia Sokołowska

    The mess is good for you apparently 🙂


  • Becky Nally

    You so inspired me to chop my hair off! I still use my wand to get my messy curls but I must try that pomade pronto!


  • Dea

    Cool tips on how to curl! I was always using the clamp 🙂 xx

  • Sofia

    Yeah… I think this was my last Glamourai visit. I can’t take all pretentious posing. And the pout. Oh my, the pout. You’re a great stylist, but should leave the posing to the real models. Buh-bye.

  • SM

    The end result looks so wonderfully unfussy and gorgeous, as though you just woke up in the morning and went out like that! I have a question: with so much product in your hair, do you need to shampoo your hair every day, or is it still fine to wait to do it every two days or so? And another, more urgent question: please please, do tell, where did you get that beautiful shirt!

  • I love this hairstyle! My hair is naturally curly, though; but I will definitely try it out when I iron my hair. X

  • Dosta Radnjanska
  • jaclyn

    I curl my hair the same way! cant wait till my hair gets this long!

    check my blog:

  • Emily Jayne Lewis

    Thank you for this! I recently had my hair cut and want that style 🙂

    Emily Jayne Lewis

  • Beautiful results, you look amazing!

  • Perfect for springy days like this where we can’t get actually beach hair. Cannot wait for summer!

    Check out our bags – the perfect bag to take to the beach when it gets warm!

  • very cute!! i find i cannot use wax and powder or my hair hates me, one or the other for me!

    xo, aiyanajane ||

  • Now I’m tempted to cut all my hair off again so I can try this!

  • Komal

    Ooh love this! There’s a similar one here:

  • Shopopal

    Thanks for the tutorial. Will try it

  • Eileen Finley

    LOVE LOVE LOVE! I’ve been trying to find the perfect hair products for that messy, piecey look that’s so ‘in’ right now. Thanks for sharing!

  • Carey

    Kelly… Is your hair thin/fine, as well?

  • I wish I could do something like this with my long hair..

  • Pingback: ALL ABOUT HAIR WITH THE FALLING FOR FRIDAY LINK UP / 15 | Westover Manor()

  • Great tutorial! This is JUST how my hairdresser taught me to do waves when she cut off all my hair. Love it for Spring!

  • inkstain

    There’s an easier way. Just get good-gripping hair clamps (not rollers) and mousse up all your hair, clamp it damp willy-nilly in one minute with about twenty or more clamps in big bunches for waves, or close-set for 1920’s Lady Rose hair, and sit under the hair dryer hood for half an hour while you work or read. Then put your book aside, let the hair cool without the clamps. and bend over. Carefully separate the waves with your fingers from the roots out about half-way.
    This lasts for a week and you have’t wasted hours of your life with a hair wand. Add up all those hours blowdrying and wanding, and you’ll find your youth is leeching away!

  • Love the messier the better hairstyles. You do it well! Almost makes me want to chop my mermaid locks off..almost.

  • Great tips and I seriously need to get that True Grip! Thx girl! xo

  • Katherime

    Omg I love this thank you sooo much!

  • S

    Anyone know how she styles her bangs so that it has that large swoop/volume?

  • Cowsyay

    I wish I could pull off short hair so I could do that.

  • Rebecca@Thiswomansstyle

    May I ask where the amazing art work is from that you have hanging in the background? I need it in my life! Great post x

  • neve

    how long do you leave your hair on the iron for?

  • camila ortega

    I’ll have to try that out with my karmin g3 clipless curling iron, thanks a lot 🙂

  • My Hair Care

    Love these waves on short hair. I have a hair about this length and I’ve been meaning to style it this way. Love it! xx

    If you want more hair tutorials and styling tips, please do give us a visit on our website:

  • y

    is your curling iron 3/4″ or 5/8″?

    • theglamourai



  • maya

    The dishes look wonderful and the scenery there is beautiful.

TheGlamourai is a webzine produced by Kelly Framel, a multi-media creative director based in downtown New York (but constantly bouncing around the world). Part fashion blog, part glossy mag, part fantasy travel portal, it's your ultimate online destination for stylish daydreams. Tune in for inspirational editorials, beauty tutorials, outfit ideas, DIYs, jet-set travel tips and more!
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