“I love the sexy Indian-girl look, when a woman walks out of the water with her hair slicked straight back. But having great hair at the beach isn’t really about looking immaculate,” says Babaii.
Take the bottle: At home, fill a spray bottle with a mixture that’s one part conditioner and four parts water. Once you’re settled on your beach towel, spritz hair from roots to ends, and work it through with a wide-tooth comb. (Don’t use a brush—it will only create a big rat’s nest.) This will make hair soft, even after swimming, and help to bring out natural waves.
Leave it salty: Salt water is great natural styling product, so don’t rush to rinse it out. I once did a photo shoot with Angelina Jolie at the beach where I let her hair air-dry, and the salt water gave it great shape and texture. Fine or thin hair can look scraggly when wet, so after you get out of the water, use an elastic to twist it into a bun or ponytail at the nape of the neck. (Just be sure to avoid elastics with metal pieces, which can break the strands.)
Block the chlorine: If you’re spending the day at the pool, it’s best to run your hair under fresh water right after you go swimming, since chlorine can be incredibly drying. Once you’ve rinsed thoroughly, spritz your hair with the conditioner solution and comb through.
Pin it up: Once you’ve spent a few hours in the water and sun, your hair will have a thicker, wavier texture, which is great but can get unruly. Try pulling a two-inch section of hair straight back from the middle of the hairline to the crown and securing it with a bobby pin. Or part hair on the side and anchor the smaller side behind your ear with two bobby pins. For a sweet look, part in the middle and slide in a pin an inch or two from the part on one or both sides.