Sexy Waves BTS Beauty Hair Tutorial Starring Joan Smalls

Watch how to create long sexy waves on our Behind The Scenes Beauty photoshoot video

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Documentary Beauty’s exclusive editorial beauty story featuring Joan Smalls as Wildflower exudes sensuality as the hair decorates the body like a lusty accessory.

The long sexy waves hair look was inspired by an effortless natural wavy, tousled texture. An “I woke up like this”, sexy bed head cool girl vibe.

Effortless hair looks with an editorial twist is the go to request in the fashion industry, as this texture can certainly be aspirational to any woman of all ages and lifestyles.

This image to me is a celebration of signature style. Don’t you love when people have their own recognizable signature style personally or in their art?

The iconic hairstyles of Blondie, Amy Winehouse, Brigitte Bardot, Marilyn Monroe, Kate Moss, Grace Coddington, and Anna Wintour certainly will go down in history as a prominent attribute of their legacies.

It’s incredibly iconic to open a magazine and see a beauty look that you immediately recognize the signature style of a specific beauty artist who created the look. Perhaps on some level a factor of the rise to fame of the world’s most famous hair stylists is because they do have a signature style.

Legends like Guido Palau with his tucked behind the ear, effortless punk cool girl look. Luigi Murenu is known for immaculate big hair hairdressing. Vidal Sassoon for his precision hair cuts and Eugene Souleiman with his technically inventive aesthetics.

One of my inspirations for this natural wave hair texture look I created came from the signature hairstyle of supermodel Gisele Bündchen.

As a professional celebrity and fashion hair stylist, I have created many looks from simple to extremely creative hairstyles in my body of work. Yet, looking back over two decades in this career, I would have to say my own beauty artist signature style is indeed this effortless natural beauty, modern cool girl vibe. When I create this texture on a model or celebrity they usually express it’s the best hair they ever had, validating that this look embodies a connection of magical energy in my work and deserves to be called my own signature style.

It was a dream a little dream moment with this look as I have to admit that I created my personal dream hair goals with this long sexy waves look. When I have a boost of desire to spend some extra time in my beauty ritual I will always aim for a similar look on myself, truly a signature of my own both professionally and personally.

Let’s dive into some of my favorite techniques and products to create this sexy natural waves hair look.

The Sexy Tousled Natural Waves Hairstyle Guide

step 1

Prep natural hair for heat protection and overall hair health

I began by infusing vitamins and protecting Joan Smalls’ natural hair and scalp with my custom formulation of organic beauty oil that I have been testing for years onset with my celebrity clients. Stay tuned for when this dreamy beauty product drops!

step 2

Spray on the sexy cool girl texture

I wanted to have the tousled sexy waves feel like bedroom hair. To achieve this look I misted my go-to texture product EVO Mister Fantastic Blow Out Spray lightly on dry hair from roots to ends. This product can be air dried or I suggest using the T3 Featherweight StyleMax Professional Ionic Hair Dryer to dry in the product while lightly scrunching the hair. I have been using this product for years as my sea salt spray alternative. Most sea salt sprays leave the hair feeling and looking dirty and sometimes deposit unwanted residue.

T3 Featherweight StyleMax Professional Ionic Hair Dryer
step 3

Brush out to create the perfect detangled hair canvas

If you let EVO Mister Fantastic Blow Out Spray air dry, it has a beachy, piecey, slightly damp look, which is super cool for photoshoots. But for everyday wear, I suggest giving the hair a good brush after it dries to soften the texture to look more dry, clean, and fluffy while still textured with amazing hold. After brushing, the hair will become a bit more piecey again in a few minutes.

I detangled the hair and fluffed up the texture with the legendary Mason Pearson brush. Pssst … a little industry secret. This is the brush that every single hair stylist backstage at fashion week has in their kit! It really is that good! Both a classic and modern staple for all hair types.

Mason Pearson Brush
step 4

Create the sexy natural wavy texture with an iron | Tips and tricks

Time to begin the wave, but make sure the hair is completely dry before you start to avoid breakage. Use YS Park “Shark” Sectioning Clips to create a horizontal section approximately 3” at the nape. Detangle the sections as you work using the YS Park 332 Comb. Grab a 3” diameter section and wave!

I used the Hot Tools Professional NanoCeramic Marcel Grip 1 1/4” Curling Iron on Joan’s hair. This is a marcel professional iron, so I do not recommend using this one on yourself. For DIY hair looks, see the pro quick tip below to learn more about wands for easier use and better results. Prevent burning your hands and work a lot faster with a handy heat resistant glove.

Start with wrapping the strand around the barrel one time at the root. Next, twist your wrist like you are turning a key to the left or right and then wrap around once again. Twist then wrap, twist then wrap, repeating a twist before every wrap around the curling iron barrel. Adding the twist to your technique will create more of an elongated “S” shape wave pattern, which looks much more natural and relaxed than not twisting the strand.

Once you get to the ends, leave about 1” of the ends out of the curling iron to help make the look not feel too “done.” Hold for five seconds and set the entire head. 

step 5

Roller set the top for an added touch of tousled root lift

Pump up the volume of the roots on the top of the head to get a fluffy, disheveled look using BabylissPRO Nano Titanium Professional Hot Rollers. I like to secure each roller by using Diane U-Pins (which I learned backstage at Paris Fashion Week), but it’s also easy to just use the roller clips that come with the roller set.

Take rectangle shaped sections that are a similar size of the roller size. Use the same twist-and-wrap technique as mentioned earlier that we did with the curling iron. Wind the 1-1.5” diameter rollers backwards away from the face.

If the rollers are slippery to put in, use the KMS California Hairstay Dry Extreme Hairspray on each section for grip and extra hold. Use a tissue on top of the ears to prevent the ears from heating up. Once the roller set cools down, remove the rollers and shake out.

BabylissPRO Nano Titanium Professional Hot Rollers
step 6

Spray on the holding power

Once all the waves are set and complete, evenly spray one light, even coat roots to ends of one of my favorite’s, KMS California HAIRSTAY Working Spray.

The product is so amazing that even my good friend and celebrity makeup artist Georgi Sandev, loves to set eyebrows to be perfectly groomed on his supermodel clients, by spraying it on an eyebrow brush and brushing the brows into place.

What makes this hairspray so amazing is that it is workable yet has a strong hold, and is brush-able but leaves no residue behind.

KMS California HAIRSTAY Working Spray
step 7

Hair extensions or wigs to add an optional extra boost of dreamy length and thickness

Have you ever seen girls with natural hair down to their waist and super thick like a photoshopped Pantene ad? I always dreamed of hair so luxurious! Doesn’t it seem like a crime when these unicorn girls cut their hair short or always wear it in a ponytail?

Though my natural hair has never been super thick, I always know that popping in some hair extensions is a fun way to get my dream hair even though it’s temporary.

I wanted to play with long hippie lengths for the ‘Joan Smalls as Wildflower’ exclusive story, since the decade of the 1970’s was a major source of inspiration for the hair looks.

On set behind the scenes we used an amazing trick on Joan’s hair that makes any wig look incredibly natural. You can see the process on the BTS Beauty video above.

The key to making the hair extension piece look natural is by leaving the natural hairline and parting on the top of the head out. We sectioned off 2” of her natural hairline around her face. We also sectioned off a “U” shape on the top of her head to leave out her natural parting. I suggest using YS Park “Shark” Sectioning Clips to pull those sections out of the way.

Gather the rest of the hair tightly at the base of the neck and make a braid. Use bobby pins to pin the ends of the braid at the nape of the neck to hide away the natural hair.

DIY Quick Tip | U part wig

It’s best to utilize a U Part Wig with clips installed so that it doesn’t require a customized cutting out of a u part.

My team of assistants and I prepped a long Perfect Locks Full Lace Human Hair Wig, several days before the shoot by following all the steps above. We cut out a u parting on the top of the wig, which allowed Joan’s natural hair parting to be exposed to achieve a super natural look. We also added into the wig Perfect Locks Hair Extensions to create the dreamy length and add a boost of thickness.

Time to transform! We placed the u part wig behind the hairline section and below the u part section. We used a lot of bobby pins by the ears, nape, and along the top part of the u shape of the wig to secure the wig on the head.

The last step is to take down the sectioned off hair and drop it over the top of the wig to cover the wig seams and voila… the wig looks so real!

Pro Quick Tip | Color matching hair pieces to natural hair

If the natural hair color is different than the color of the wig, use a Perfect Locks Full Lace Human Hair Wig, without a u part.

step 8

Finishing touches edit

Have an easy to use T3 Interchangeable Ceramic Three Barrel Curling Iron or a BaByliss Nano Titanium Straightening Iron to fix and edit any pieces that need a touch of refinement. Use the KMS California Hairstay Dry Extreme Hairspray all over to set the look.

TAKE A SELFIE to complete and tag us @documentarybeauty so we can see! We LOVE seeing these looks come to life out in the world.  

Stay tuned for more exciting hair and makeup tutorials coming soon. Sign up for our newsletter to be the first to know when they drop! What’s your signature style? Are you known for a particular style in your hair, makeup or wardrobe? What people in your lifetime mesmerized you with their signature style? Leave a comment below. We would love to hear from you!

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Kayla MiChele
Kayla MiChele

Kayla MiChele is a celebrity and fashion beauty artist who is interviewed in the pages of Vogue Italia featuring her as top talent in the world. Her work is in prestigious editorials from Harper’s Bazaar to W to Vogue with clients for fashion brands ranging from Tom Ford to Chanel. Kayla's beauty expert collaborations include indie clean beauty brands to leading cosmetic brands Estée Lauder to L'Oréal. She began her career assisting hair stylist Guido Palau backstage at fashion shows from Louis Vuitton to Marc Jacobs. Since then, she has worked with top models and iconic artists including Vanessa Hudgens, A$AP Rocky, Jared Leto, Joan Smalls, Hailey Bieber, and Gigi Hadid.

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