We’ve noticed mermaid waves cropping up again and again across Instagram and TikTok, where the trend has been hashtagged over 5.2 million times and counting.
Where beach waves are inspired by wind-swept, salt-licked strands featuring lots of movement and oomph at the crown, mermaid waves are longer (think waist-length with wispy ends), wavier (think loosely crimped kinks rather than bouncy twirls) and are supposed to channel that just-dipped texture of hair that’s been drenched in the sea, then dried a little in the sun.
With Lizzo, Kim Kardashian, Ciara, Shay Mitchell and Kylie Jenner already on board, mermaid waves are set to overtake the classic beach wave as the go-to texture this summer. Zendaya even slayed the style on the red carpet at this year’s Oscars.
Celebrity hair-and-makeup artist Chris Georges says mermaid waves are his most requested tutorial because so many of us are looking to switch to the style.
“To achieve the look, I use a flat-iron starting a few inches from the top of the head, and make bends in the hair in alternating directions,” he says. “Remember, you don’t want to drag the flat-iron. Remove your flat-iron from the hair before bending in a new direction. This will make your mermaid waves last all day long.”
Using this technique means you can customise your waves, giving them a more lived-in, natural vibe, he says. “I love to finish the style off with Unite’s Texturiza Spray to add fullness and volume,” says Georges. Elsewhere, we’ve seen people using three-tonged crimpers like the Babyliss Triple Barrel Waver and Mermade Pro Waver to achieve the style. Just remember, the bigger the barrel, the bigger the wave, so if you want tighter kinks, go for a smaller barrel.
This story originally appeared on Glamour UK.