Lived In Waves Tutorial


I posted a pic on instagram last week of some loose, soft curls and received a few requests for a tutorial. So, I filmed one!

These waves were inspired by Anh Co Tran. And, truthfully, they are a little bit too curly to be an exact dupe. By the end of the day, after filming this tutorial, my hair was much closer to the super soft, barely curled waves.

Before we jump right into it, your tools and your products are essential for getting the right look.

I am using a GHD Curve 1.25 inch curling iron. It is hot. Super hot. And my hair, which curls easily anyway, curled super quickly with it. I love that it takes nearly half the time to curl my hair now with this hot iron.

I always prefer tools with temperature settings, but I have to say that I’ve really enjoyed this curling iron. If you have resistant hair, or struggle with keeping a curl in it, this is definitely an iron to look into. I wouldn’t go any smaller than the 1.25 barrel though–otherwise I think it will curl too tightly and you’ll lose the “modern” look to soft, casual waves.

I mention this in the video, but I blew my hair dry with my Rusk Speed Freak and a vent brush. Then, I pulled it all up into a ponytail on top of my head, secured it with a fabric elastic, and went to sleep. That’s a great way to encourage lift at your roots, and save time in the morning.

As far as texturizing products go, it may take a few tries to get it right. I don’t think you can go wrong with Amika Un.Done Texture Spray. It’s light enough to layer, and forgiving enough that it won’t weigh your hair down with a waxy residue. I’m working on a more thorough post about texturizers, so keep your eyes peeled for that!

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lipstick: Naked Dolly, necklace: Elisabeth Ashlie

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Comments (109)

  1. Sarah says
    Posted February 2, 2015

    I LOVE the color of your hair! 🙂 so pretty

  2. Colleen says
    Posted February 2, 2015

    Lovely! Thanks for the tutorial!

  3. sarah says
    Posted February 2, 2015

    I really like your darker color. I will admit that I didn’t watch the video, but from the pics, your hair looks exactly the same as always.

    • Kate says
      Posted February 2, 2015

      thank you! and yes, this is the way I’ve been wearing it a lot lately!

      • MiaC says
        Posted February 11, 2015

        What brand/model vent brush are you using in your blow dry tutorial video?

  4. Eea says
    Posted February 2, 2015

    Thank you! Love it!

  5. Lauren says
    Posted February 2, 2015

    LOVING that darker color on you!!

  6. Lindsey says
    Posted February 2, 2015

    I love this….Do you think we can create the same look if you have just above shoulder bob hair?

    • Kate says
      Posted February 2, 2015

      Yep, I’d just take large sections and make sure to leave a good 2-3 inches out of the iron at the bottom of your hair so it doesn’t curl up too much

  7. Sarah says
    Posted February 2, 2015

    I have fine, thin hair. After sleeping, my hair is always fuzzy frizzy, however, it’s not normally fuzzy or frizzy during the day–I think it may be the friction from tossing and turning. Any recommendations to combat this? I would love not to have to wash my hair in the morning and style my hair as you recommended above. Thanks!

    • Traci says
      Posted February 2, 2015

      I’ve been wondering too how best to sleep on my second day hair so that it’s not such a mess that I have to start all over.

    • Kate says
      Posted February 2, 2015

      Have you tried sleeping on a satin pillow case? That may help!

  8. Posted February 2, 2015

    Love that that sweet baby is still making you breathless. Fun tutorial! Makes me miss my long hair.

  9. Shyanna says
    Posted February 2, 2015

    Kate, you are so beautiful and you always seem so happy and full of joy. Thank you for this new tutorial and I just have to say I think your new hair color is stunning!!

  10. Laura says
    Posted February 2, 2015


  11. Marla says
    Posted February 2, 2015

    So pretty, love the tutorials and can I just say you look SO good pregnant. Your face doesn’t even show it, no swelling or marshmallow face like yours truly over here!

    • Kate says
      Posted February 2, 2015

      Thank you!! That’s so nice!

  12. Priscila says
    Posted February 2, 2015

    I loved that look. I couldn’t help noticed you were out of breath the whole video! Thank you so much for recording this video in the last days of your pregnancy and being such a hard working woman, it must be not easy. I have a question: I’m about to buy the Amika modern curler wand that has 18-25 milimeter. Do you think I can achieve this look with it? Thanks and have a safe and blessed delivery 🙂

    • Kate says
      Posted February 2, 2015

      Yes, you probably can! Thanks for your kind words!

  13. Jamie says
    Posted February 2, 2015

    Great tutorial, and was able to find that iron on sale directly fro, GHD! Can’t wait to try it out. Thank you!

  14. mandy says
    Posted February 2, 2015

    Pumped about your texture video. Is Oribe really the end all be all of texturizers?

    • Kate says
      Posted February 2, 2015

      No, I don’t think so. It’s actually quite intense. I like the Amika one better!

  15. Veronica says
    Posted February 2, 2015

    Kate, this is so helpful!!! You are so great to do this tutorials, knowing you will be delivering very soon!!! I have texted the Amica Undone Texture Spray…I was able to find it in France , after looking all over and it really works for me!!!! I have very thin hair..and not much… So I am always looking for your tips and comments. I have fallen in love with your Blog…You should come to Europe and do some tutorials live!!! I am sure a lot of my friends will sign -up for it!!!
    You take good care of yourself… Veronica.

  16. Kara Sugg says
    Posted February 2, 2015

    I love this look! What are your thoughts on curling opposite directions with each section that you curl? I’ve heard that this makes the curls look more natural, but I love the way your hair looks after curling it. That’s usually how I do it. Just curious about your thoughts on that.

    • Leigh Ann says
      Posted February 2, 2015

      I have tried it that way and personally prefer it. You don’t notice the difference right off the bat, but as the day goes on and the curls loosen, they don’t morph and blend into one huge curl

  17. Leann says
    Posted February 2, 2015

    Beautiful, love your hair, beautiful color and it’s so long again! Your hair grows so fast!

  18. Kim says
    Posted February 2, 2015

    Thanks so much for sharing – I LOVE this look! Also, I needed the suggestion for curling tools. Right now I use my $10 Target curling iron as a wand and it’s just not cutting it haha!

    Kim .. Clarisonic dupe?!

  19. Jessica Smith says
    Posted February 2, 2015

    LOVE this look. I will be wearing this to the office tomorrow. So excited to have 2 Monday tutorials back to back!!!!! Also, your eye makeup is super pretty. Did you do or use something different?

  20. Kelly says
    Posted February 2, 2015

    What color/brand is your nail polish? You can do no wrong, my dear! 🙂

  21. Posted February 2, 2015

    Your hair is perfect…great job!

  22. Alexa says
    Posted February 2, 2015

    Hi Kate,

    I love all of your tutorials, thank you! Quick question, did you put any product on your hair before you blew it dry? (Your standard aquage uplifting foam?)


    • Kate says
      Posted February 2, 2015

      I did! I realize I forgot to mention that, sorry!

  23. Krista says
    Posted February 2, 2015

    Your hair color is perfection. As are you.

  24. Rebecca says
    Posted February 2, 2015

    I have long hair, past my shoulders. Any extra tips for using this with longer hair or does the same apply-don’t curl too close to the roots and leave the ends out? This is the kind of curl I’ve been trying to achieve and can’t ever get it right!

    Also, I’ve just started using Essie nail polishes…it seems kind of gummy and I had to time it right so I wouldn’t remove polish with the second coat. I’ve watched your nail tutorial a lot and your’s always comes out so perfect!

    Thanks for continuing to be awesome!

  25. Erin says
    Posted February 2, 2015

    I love your hair color!! What did you use? Did you do weaving in the front or paint the highlights in?


  26. Nicole says
    Posted February 2, 2015

    Another great tutorial but I, like everyone else, just HAD to comment on your color. I know you posted about going darker a while back but this is the first post where I have really noticed how much darker it is in the back. I LOVE IT! Really looks beautiful with your coloring!

  27. Posted February 2, 2015

    Beautiful! This is exactly what I am going for with my hair.

  28. Lauren says
    Posted February 2, 2015

    Gorgeous!!! You need to do another pregnancy facts video before your baby comes. Love hearing about it all!

  29. Miranda says
    Posted February 2, 2015

    You are just too beautiful!!

  30. Vanessa says
    Posted February 2, 2015

    hi Kate

    Thank you so much for all your hair tutorials…never before have I been able to master the curling iron or had the confidence to do so until I began watching your videos! You’ve helped me have so many good hair days!!!

    Do you have any other suggestions for similar texturizers to the Amika one? Something I don’t have to order online. My hair is finely textured, limpish and doesn’t hold curl well. Shoulder length. I have only used Batiste dry shampoo on second day hair before. It’s ok but I have to wear my hair up on the second day even with the dry shampoo or it gets really limpy.

    Looking forward to hearing from you!!!

  31. Posted February 2, 2015

    Yes to the texturizing spray! I was just telling my husband that my hair never works out because even with 3 day old hair it’s still really “slippery” if you know what I mean…thanks for the videos!

  32. Sissi says
    Posted February 2, 2015

    I am always so scared of curling irons! I don´t want my hair to burn!

  33. Katelyn says
    Posted February 2, 2015

    What is the nail color you are wearing in the video? I love it!

  34. Ashley says
    Posted February 2, 2015

    Help! I love this look but I have a ton of hair. Its hard to curl (doesn’t hold well) and when I do curl it, there is so much it always ends up huge! how do I not make it huge? also it always ends up looking dry not smooth ever. like I said help!

  35. Gina says
    Posted February 2, 2015

    Your hair always looks perfect! I have a hard time getting my hair to look undone. With my natural curl it is either smoothed out , or curly–but I love this look.

  36. Chris says
    Posted February 2, 2015

    I have been following your blog for awhile now. I love how thorough you are in your videos and even in your blog posts. I appreciate how much you are willing to share with your readers and all your product reviews. I do have a question/concern though. Would you be willing to share a post on products you feel would be comparable products but at a more affordable price for the middle/lower income followers. I would love to be able to use a $245.00 curling iron, but that is just not in my budget. I am most interested in hair products and tools. I wonder how many of your followers can actually afford all the products that you mention/use. Is there anything good out there for a more reasonable price? Thanks!!!

  37. Victoria Smith says
    Posted February 2, 2015

    Hey Kate:)……my name is Victoria Rose Smith! I live in little Asheboro about two hours from you, I am 17 and I attend Bailey’s Grove Baptist Schools, I’m a junior; I am taking CNA classes right now, and plan to become a Maternity nurse, and I’m thrilled about it, my boy friend’s name is Jonathan, he is 19, we have been together for 3 years!!! He is the best, he is”the one” and I just want you to know you really inspire me, you just are have such a sweet spirit and I would love to get to know you better, and I always love looking at your blog:) your style, family is definitely something I want to follow after out model similar to! I know it’s not always perfect, Cause none of us are! But I want you to know that even tho I don’t know you all that well, I have been praying for your pregnancy and delivery! And for David and the little transition that will occur for him:) sorry for blabbing on and being weird and telling you a bunch of random things, but, thank you for your blog it’s awesome

  38. Khrystin Parra says
    Posted February 2, 2015

    I love, LOVE your blog. I’m a recent follower and find myself working harder to style my hair with your easy guidance. Thank you for being so committed to your followers in the end days of your pregnancy!!

    Do you think you could do more straight hair tutorials? My hair is absolutely stick straight and I love to wear it curly but it takes me a LOT longer to go that route in the mornings. My daughter isn’t much older than David, so I’m sure you can understand the minimal route I prefer to go on my beauty routine.


  39. Dianne says
    Posted February 2, 2015

    I styled my hair like this today. It looks great, IMHO.
    Thanks, Kate!

  40. Chris True says
    Posted February 2, 2015

    Kate with naturally curly hair, would it have to be straightened first to get this look? AND is your Amika texture spray really hard to spray? I think I got a bad one!

  41. Posted February 2, 2015

    I really like how this style makes your highlights pop!

  42. Lucy says
    Posted February 2, 2015

    Great tutorial! I was born with pretty much straight hair, so I love having a really natural looking wave to my hair and this is perfect!

    Lucy xxx

  43. Gwen says
    Posted February 2, 2015

    Does the speed freak really reduce dry time. I have long thick hair that I air dry every day because it can take over 30 minutes for me to dry – sometimes longer. I would love to be able to blow my hair out for special occasions.

  44. Laura says
    Posted February 2, 2015

    Lovely! I get so stuck in a rut with my hair. I just tend to do the same thing over and over, but I’ve been wanting to add some soft waves. I think this tutorial was just what I needed, right when I needed it! Thank you!

  45. zalona says
    Posted February 3, 2015

    Wow such an amazing blog post and inspiring blog! 🙂 Keep up the great work, I’m a fan! XO

  46. Amanda van Wyngaard says
    Posted February 3, 2015

    Hi There! That tutorial was so great! I’ve always wanted to know how to achieve the “lived in” look! I cant wait to purchase a curling iron and get started! I also have thin hair but a lot of it so it was helpful to know how to pump it up haha 🙂

    Take care

  47. Ashley B. says
    Posted February 3, 2015

    Love this! I pretty much wear my hair this way daily. I saw some others ask this but didn’t see an answer. Do you have any recommendations for a more affordable curling iron? I have pretty long hair and find that some of the larger/cheaper irons don’t get as hot and the curl doesn’t hold. I’m not willing to spend that much but thought you may know of another iron ($100 or less) with great reviews/good heat.
    Best wishes with the new bebe!

  48. Carli says
    Posted February 3, 2015

    Kate, do you have a recommendation for a curling iron that isn’t so expensive? I would like to get a similar look to your waves in this tutorial but can’t spend $245 on a curling iron. Thanks!

    • Kate says
      Posted February 3, 2015

      Hot Tools brand is pretty darn good for the price! You can find it at Ulta!

  49. Tina says
    Posted February 3, 2015

    Hi Kate,
    I adore this look on you and am desperately trying to recreate it on myself. My hair is super fine and very resistant to curl so I love to use texture spray to encourage volume and give my hair more grit. I noticed you use the texture spray towards the end of styling. Have you ever used it before you curl? Do you think that would help fine hair like mine?

  50. Kasey Marilyn says
    Posted February 3, 2015

    I was just wondering if this hair style still looks good on day two?

  51. Tyana says
    Posted February 3, 2015

    you have perfect hair

    check out my newest post

  52. Posted February 3, 2015

    I love this hair tutorial! This hairstyle is the epitome of “classic chic and effortless.” I definitely am considering investing in the GED curling iron after watching your tutorial. I love how easy but still beautiful this style is. Thanks for sharing. Also, great beach spray suggestion. Love it!

  53. Marah Leinbaugh says
    Posted February 3, 2015

    Where do you get the fabric elastics you mention from time to time? Thanks for your blog! I read it when nursing my baby!

  54. Katie says
    Posted February 3, 2015

    Really like this lip color! Do you know of a color similar to this at Target? $22 for lipstick is a bit much for our budget right now.

  55. Michele Justin says
    Posted February 3, 2015

    Loved this Kate. Thanks so much for this tutorial as it is the missing link to styling my own hair. Wishing you all the best with the new baby. You will be missed during your maternity leave. Enjoy every moment, it goes so quickly.
    See you soon with baby news.
    From a long time subscriber in Australia.

  56. Jenny says
    Posted February 3, 2015

    THIS is why you’re the best to follow. THANK YOU! Thank you, seriously. This will work on my shorter hair too, I think. Can’t wait to try it out!
    Jenny // Mish Mosh Makeup

  57. Chris Leland says
    Posted February 3, 2015

    Hi Kate your tutorials are the best! I was wondering where you purchase the Anika products. I can’t seem to find them . Thank you Chris

  58. Queenie says
    Posted February 4, 2015

    love you hair color and your tutorial (∩_∩)

  59. becky m says
    Posted February 5, 2015

    I had to come back and thank you for this tutorial. I don’t follow any “beauty” bloggers, but your post popped out at me from the Bloglovin’ explore page. I’ve been doing my hair like this now the past two days and I’ve gotten so many compliments! (part of me is wondering if it was that bad before!?) Even guys have complimented me!

    Best of luck with the second baby. I have two little ones at home too and it’s the best watching them develop a relationship together!

  60. Kacee says
    Posted February 5, 2015

    Hey Kate,

    What do you suggest for people who have super thick hair? Like, the weight amazes/overwhelms hair stylists. I usually section it off three times and then curl sections about 1.5-2 inches.


  61. Laura says
    Posted February 7, 2015

    Hi, Kate,
    This is such a beautiful look! I am wondering how long it actually takes you to do this. I know that in the video you probably took a little more time explaining and also sped up some of the curling. I have three littles but am looking for a way to feel a little more put together during the day without having to wake up at 5 am. Thanks, and good luck on your upcoming delivery! I had twins via c-section, and then a singleton via vbac (22 months apart). Best wishes!

  62. Brittney says
    Posted February 10, 2015

    Hey Kate! Love your blog! One time you posted how you apply the Square Uplifting Foam. I Can’t seem tI find it. If you don’t mind, could you send me a quick link to where it is? Thanks a bunch!

  63. Annamaria says
    Posted February 16, 2015

    Is Amika only available through birchbox and online? If so, is there another product brand that you would recommend that is similar or just as good as the amika texture spray? Love your tutorials and recommendations!!

  64. Posted February 19, 2015

    I simply LOVE your hair color. I have wanted to go back to my natural hair color for so long but always like having the hair around my face lighter. What is the trick to achieve this look that you have? It is simply beautiful. So natural looking.

  65. Posted February 19, 2015

    I simply LOVE your hair color. I have wanted to go back to my natural hair color for so long but always like having the hair around my face lighter. What is the trick to achieve this look that you have? It is simply beautiful. So natural looking. Thank you.

  66. sara says
    Posted April 1, 2015

    I found your videos on youtube, trying to find some easy up dos for my generally blah, thick hair. your vids are super easy to follow, and I’m excited to try a few styles. from there, I found your blog. so thank you for the tutorials! I’m hoping to get out of my perpetual ponytail rut 🙂

  67. Posted April 13, 2015

    Beautiful, love your hair, beautiful color and it’s so long again! Your hair grows so fast!

  68. Anna M says
    Posted April 14, 2015

    I just bought this iron and would love more tutorials on different looks with it please!

  69. Aena says
    Posted April 15, 2015

    Absolutely LOVE all your tutorials. And I love how your hair is the same length as mine – more relatable than other doing tutorials!

  70. Katie says
    Posted May 4, 2015

    I love this tutorial! I think we have similar hair (fine, but lots of it) And this look is my new favorite go-to for work. So pretty but not overly done!
    You’re the greatest.
    Thanks for posting!

  71. Alexa says
    Posted July 16, 2015

    Hi Kate! I just discovered your blog and tutorials, and love them. I’m planning on using one of your updos for my wedding. 🙂 I tried this hairstyle out yesterday and loved it. But I’m wondering, how do you keep your curls looking separated and defined? By the afternoon mine had all lumped together, creating a couple of big odd waves instead of a few separated ones.

  72. Tricia says
    Posted September 5, 2015

    I love these curls. My hair is right below my shoulders. What size barrel do you suggest?

  73. Mary says
    Posted October 4, 2015

    I didn’t see you use a heat protectant before doing the curls. Do you usually use one?

  74. Carolyn says
    Posted October 9, 2015

    I love this look and have been trying to master it. My hair isn’t exactly fine, but does tend to fall flat throughout the day, and when I use the 1.25 in. curling iron, my curls fall out to nearly straight by the middle of the afternoon. What would you recommend? Super hot iron? Products? Thanks so much for your tutorials!

  75. Posted December 28, 2015

    Do you know what color lipstick you were wearing in this tutorial? I love the color.

  76. Linda Mae says
    Posted January 5, 2016

    How would I describe the hair color and highlights to my hairstylist? How would she achieve them. Please help! By the way I love your tutorials!

  77. Posted March 20, 2016

    Which hair straightener have you used to get this wavy hair?

  78. Abby says
    Posted May 16, 2016

    Your hair looks amazing. Lived in waves is the perfect choice for hairstyle that is easy to transition from casual to more dressed up outfits!

    By the way, we featured this tutorial on Our Top 10 Fave Hair Tutorials of All Time post. We’ve linked back to this post here:


  79. Marissa says
    Posted August 29, 2016

    My front sections hold curl pretty well but the back does not looked curled except at the very end. Any suggestions for getting curl in the body of my back sections??

  80. Angela says
    Posted April 5, 2017

    I noticed that you did not alternate the direction of the iron at all, which I also noticed in another tutorial on waves I watched today….but isn’t alternating recommended to avoid one big curl/wave? Or is there a particular reason that doesn’t work for this look?

  81. Mary says
    Posted June 18, 2017

    Can you recommend a fabric elastic that stays in and doesn’t tear hair?