The only thing more enviable than Blake Lively’s natural waves IRL is Blake Lively’s beachy, sun-washed waves when she plays a stranded surfer in her new film The Shallows, in theaters next month. After watching the new trailer half a dozen times in a row, I got the lowdown on how Rod Ortega, the lead hairstylist on set, created the actress’s carefree hair—no sand or surfboards required.
1. Each morning, Ortega filled half of a spray bottle with ocean water (if you’re not by a beach, try a sea-salt spray, like Suave Sea Mineral Infusion) and the other half with L’Oréal Color Vibrancy Dual Protect Spray, which “shielded Blake’s color against the sun,” says Ortega, “and kept her hair from feeling stiff and crunchy from the salt water” thanks to its silicone-based ingredients (note: Blake Lively is a L’Oréal brand ambassador, but I’ve used the product on my own curls, and it’s amazing).
2. Each morning, Ortega doused Lively’s damp hair with his concoction, focusing on the roots and tousling—not scrunching—her natural waves gently with his fingers before letting them air-dry. (Scrunching can “give off an ’80s vibe,” he says.)
3. If your hair can’t make a wave to save its life, “wrap random three-inch sections around a curling iron after it air-dries, then spray them again with the sea-salt mixture, and twirl the waves around your finger,” says Ortega. Or go the heatless route: after spraying your damp hair, divide it into four sections and twist each away from your face. Keep retwisting it as it dries for more-pronounced waves.
4. Ortega kept the bottle on hand for midday touch-ups, but for the most part, he left her hair alone. “Beachy waves are definitely best when they look lived in. The more you run around and get sweaty, the more relaxed and natural your hair will look,” he says. Dealing with a bit too much frizz? Smooth unruly sections without ruining the beachy “this ol’ thing?” look by rubbing a drop of styling cream, like John Frieda Frizz Ease Secret Weapon Touch-Up Cream, between your fingers and twirling the hair back into a wave.
Boom. Now you’re (basically) Blake Lively. Except hopefully without any shark attacks in your future.
For braided-hairstyle inspiration, watch: