Fresh, flirty and superfast styles for a beach vacation

Summer often brings a sense of sweet anticipation — a chance to escape your everyday existence and embark on a carefree, fun-filled vacation. Of course, wherever you go, the sun and it's sweltering heat will likely follow. So, how do you keep your curly style from wilting without wasting precious sun-filled hours primping in a hotel room?

Here, New York’s glam stylist Rodney Cutler (creator of countless curly 'dos for Fashion Week’s catwalks) takes beach-chic coifs straight from the runway and makes them as easy to achieve as 1-2-3.

These understated, sexy styles will keep your textured tresses looking as hot as the sizzling sun — from dawn to dusk!


8:00 AM — HERE COMES THE SUN

This simple 'do is a great way to start your day on the beach. Your curls are tucked up and away from your freshly cleansed face, but not too coifed. Several sultry spirals peak out of the pins. In two minutes flat, you're ready to scout for the perfect spot on the powdery sand.

Curly Hair style

Pin-Up Curls

Chic Style: Pin-up Curls

In Your Beach Bag: Spritz/rejuvenator; French pins; treatment-based styling product

Step 1: Just as you remember to lather sunscreen on your skin, Cutler suggests that curlies first prep the hair with a treatment-based styling product to curb the sun's damaging rays.

Step 2: Plump up your texture with your favorite curl spritz. Cutler suggests Redken's Curl Boost or Bumble and Bumble Surf Spray.

Step 3: Randomly pin up curls all around, allowing a few pieces to fall loosely. Cutler recommends French hairpins that have a strong grip. "This style looks wicked and sexy," Cutler says, "and it's easy to achieve."

11:00 AM — SURF'S UP


After a few hours surfside with your favorite novel, the temperature soars. You can't wait another minute to jump into the crashing waves. So, dive in, already! You don't have to worry about your 'do taking a dive because another beach-friendly style awaits. Within minutes, your drenched tresses will morph into a fabulously messy bun.

Curly hair style

Messy bun

Chic Style: Messy Bun

In Your Beach Bag: Protectant treatment spray;ponytail band or bungee cord

Step 1: Pull out the protectant-treatment spray and apply another sun-buffering dose.

Step 2: Gently and loosely pull back your textured tresses into a low ponytail, but "don't rake it too clean," Cutler says. Then, secure it with a ponytail band or bungee cord for an even stronger hold.

Step 3: Back-comb the ponytail with your fingers to create "airiness," then twist it into a bun and pin it, but very loose. "It's straight off the runway but it's definitely beach appropriate," Cutler says. "You're also treating your hair while you're looking understated and cool."

2:00 PM — LATE LUNCH

Between the beach volleyball and the many hours in the sweltering heat, it's time to refresh. You're famished and decide on a cool lunch spot. This no-fuss tress transformation will keep your style in check, so you can focus on exploring great food and fun.

Curly hair style

Windswept braid

Chic Style: Windswept Braid

In Your Beach Bag: Hair protectant oil; flyaway stick

Step 1: Apply a UV-protecting hair oil. (Cutler recommends Redken UV Rescue Protective Oil.)

Step 2: "Then, pull it straight back and create a nice braid in the center and secure it with a ponytail holder on the bottom," Cutler says.

Step 3: Lightly apply a hair balm to minimize flyaways, recommends Cutler. (He suggests Cutler Specialist Fly-Away Control Stick.)

5:00 PM — BYE-BYE BEACH, CALLING ALL COCKTAILS!

After a day of full-on sun and surf, you're nestled in the breezy shade and back to your favorite beach read. Then, enough already! You've hit that restless moment at the end of the day, when you're ready to move off the beach for a juicy drink and light gourmet fare. But first, another style check. Create this last 'do in 60 seconds or less. It's sexy, simple and deceivingly nonchalant.

curly hair style

Flirty ponytail

Chic Style: Flirty Ponytail

In Your Beach Bag: Ponytail band, volumizer or workable hairspray

Step 1: Undo the braid and secure a ponytail.

Step 2: Backcomb the ends to reveal lots of waves.

Step 3: To create an airy — almost ethereal — texture, finish with a touch of Cutler Volumizer and Redken 09 (or your favorite workable hairspray) and you're done!