'Nirvana waves': the effortlessly chic hair trend you need to know about

a group of women posing for a photo
'Nirvana waves' is the hair trend you need to knowEmma Gritt

Here at WH, we're constantly swooning over the plethora of hair trends that are perpetually popping up on the beauty scene. From the Tinkerbell topknot and baby braids to shadow bangs and , we're forever welcoming new ways to level up our hair styling game.

But all too often, mastering a trending look a lot of time and skill. However, the 'Nirvana waves' trend has captured our attention because of how deceptively simple and effortless it is to achieve. Celebrities such as Gwyneth Paltrow, Nicola Coughlan and Katie Holmes may have graced red carpets while sporting the look, but you don't need a celebrity hair stylist to emulate the trend at home.

Read on to learn more about the 'Nirvana waves' trend, and find out from expert hair stylist, Larry King, how you too can achieve the look for yourself.

What are 'Nirvana waves'?

'Nirvana waves' are tousled, undone curls that are basically the total opposite of sleek Hollywood curls. This style gives off a slightly edgier, grungier vibe than the OG effortless beach waves that we have come to know and love. The term 'Nirvana waves' was coined by celebrity hair stylist and ghd ambassador, Samantha Cusick.

'"Nirvana waves" are really just another name for a really casual, irregular wave pattern that takes waves to a more grungy undone place,' explains renowned celebrity hairdresser, Larry King. According to King, less is more when it comes to 'Nirvana waves'.

'This is all about the micro dosing of products and styling techniques as well as using a multiple range of different waving techniques at the same time to create an irregular pattern,' he says. ' This then feels more casual, undone and unfussy but still looks super cool.'

The look is taking social media by storm, and the trend is playing out in front of our eyes on Hollywood red carpets. Kim Kardashian rocked 'Nirvana waves' at the MET Gala this year, while King created a similarly tousled look for Cara Delevingne for the launch event of her non-alcoholic drinks brand in London just this week.

'I think with the re-emergence of the boho trend and the noughties indie trends people are looking for a more casual/ grungy texture,' King says. 'It's way cooler than those perfect barrel curl waves that have been popular on social media for ages.'

Despite being popular among celebs, the look is easy to achieve irrespective of your hair styling skills, too.

How to achieve 'Nirvana waves' at home

So how exactly do you go about achieving the look for yourself? King offers his step by step guide.

1/ Start with mousse

According to King, the best way is to start off by adding a soft hair mousse to wet hair, which will give your hair body and shine. 'Dry it in using your fingers and a diffuser, to twist and mould the hair to embrace any natural wave you already have,' he advises.

2/ Curl, curl, curl

Then, begin curling your hair, ideally with a straightener (as this allows you to create different types of waves), but any curling or waving wand at your disposal will do. 'Alternate between an S wave, flat wave and beachy wave,' King says. 'This is really about not overdoing it, but just applying this to certain areas so it doesn't look too done.'

Products for 'Nirvana waves'

Start your styling off strong with the Hershesons dry-to-foam hair mousse. It boasts all the benefits of your classic hair mousse, minus the pesky crunch or stickiness that all too often comes with it.

King recommends using the Dyson Corrale straightener to wave the hair for the best results. Using straighteners means that you have the freedom to create different-sized curls, for a more natural, tousled look. These particular straighteners are cordless, too, which means you have enhanced styling flexibility.

Finish your styling work with a healthy dose of this super-charged finishing cream from Larry King, which is designed to enhance definition, seal ends, control frizz and add texture. Then, brush through the waves with King's flyaway brush to 'to give you that flatter, more tamed root'. It's the perfect finishing touch to your undone, effortless look.

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