Mermaid Hair

by Brittany on May 14, 2013

in Crafts, Fashion

Curvy girls have great hair. At least I do. I mean, for so long, it was my only redeeming quality.

Well, at least she has great hair….

It’s the “but she’s got such a pretty face” of comments. Whatever, cute hair totally made women’s denim colored stretch slacks acceptable in junior high.

I have gotten lots of requests about my hair. Like, what I use in it, and how I make it do… whatever it is it does.

In fact, aside from where I get my jeans, it’s probably the most asked question on this blog.

So, I put together a tutorial for you on how to get the loose, beachy, mermaid-type waves I sport in many of my photos, because apparently, you can use webcams for more than just amateur sex videos and Google Hangouting with your friend during Degrassi The Next generation at 3am so you feel less alone eating a bag of Oreos.

Bed Head Color Goddess Shampoo & Conditioner
Bed Head Glaze Haze
OuiDad Climate Control Gel
Remington Curling Wand
Tresemme Extra Firm Hairspray

Sleeping with you hair in a scrunchie (rubber bands leave kinks) or braids (like old timey pioneer women) will hold the curl and extend your hair between washings. I can get three days out of my hair when I sleep with it in braids, plus Andy prefers to wake up without it knotted in his open mouth.

Like I mentioned in the video, this also totally works for shorter hair, just remember to use the smaller curling wand! Check out my friend Amber’s hair after I mermaid’ed it up for her last month in Florida:

Amber Mermaid Hair

She’s gorgeous and it lasted all day!

Now, once you master the mermaid wave, you can have fun playing with it, and rocking out some of my favorite styles this season.

Spring Hair Styles

The headband, which greatly decreases the chance of me murdering someone while my bangs grow out. I have a huge collection of these things, and they fulfill this deep-seated need I have to be a hippie and live on a commune, like Wanderlust but not as many orgies.

The turban, which is an easy DIY (click here to check it out) using a head scarf for when I feel the desire to channel a 50′s housewife, Elizabeth Taylor or Jambi from Pee-Wee’s Playhouse. I like wearing these with tank tops and maxi skirts. People either find me ridiculous or eccentrically adorable.

The sock-bun, an entirely too-easy way to get away with not washing my hair for just one more day. Some people use sock-buns for curls, but because my hair has so many layers, they come out looking a little too bent and crappy. So instead, I just toss it up with a cute headband so people think I put effort into things.

Have hair tips? My stretchy denim pants and I want them!


{ 46 comments… read them below or add one }

Erin May 14, 2013 at 9:13 am

Where do you get your adorable headbands? As a short-haired girl I long for mermaid hair but while I’m growing out I think I can try some headbands. Thanks!


Brittany May 14, 2013 at 9:28 am

Etsy, Target and Claire’s! When I see them, I buy them. So fun to wear!


Becky (Princess Mikkimoto) May 14, 2013 at 9:40 am

THANK YOU FOR THIS! I have similar hair but it’s not quite as long (getting there) and used to be thicker. Wait till you hit your 40′s my friend… but otherwise it’s the same. Frizzy but will wave when it wants to so I’m always looking for good ideas and now, I’ll try yours out. THANK YOU AGAIN you fabulous lady you!


Mindy May 14, 2013 at 10:04 am

Love it! Thanks for the tutorial. I have hair similar to yours and am in the middle of growing it out — at that point where I need to curl it for some volume but this technique is new to me. Going to try it today!


Britany May 14, 2013 at 10:15 am

I have 2 questions. Is that “your” hair color or do you dye? Does this look last all day through the wear and tear of toddlers, work, etc.?


Brittany May 14, 2013 at 12:49 pm

Nope, it’s not naturally my color. And yes, this lasts through three kids for me, and even holds for about 3 days. It gets looser and more natural looking as the day goes on.


Jen D. May 14, 2013 at 11:09 am

Love your hair and love everything about this post EXCEPT NOOOOOOO! Not the sock bun! Why do people do this???? Just no! (Sorry, not directed at you personally, I have seen so many sock buns lately and I’m always all WTF? in my head and apparently all of the WTFness came out here)


Brittany May 14, 2013 at 12:47 pm

You see, I was largely against them from a while as well, but it seems to be the only way I can get a smooth bun, because without the general roll, the shorter layered pieces stick up everywhere.


Wendy May 14, 2013 at 1:27 pm

Try dampening your hair before rolling it into a bun without the sock. Not soaking wet, but that “left my hair in the turbie twist for too long, now it’s nearly dry” damp. Wait, is it just me that does that?


Brittany May 14, 2013 at 3:32 pm

Interesting, will this help with my layers issue? Because the sock bun makes my layers look really bad, they just don’t curl right.

Jen D. May 14, 2013 at 9:10 pm

Yes, this is what I do. But maybe the sock bun will grow on me after awhile, like other trends I’ve side-eyed at first.

Amanda May 14, 2013 at 11:34 am

Okay, so my hair has kind of stopped growing? It used to be long like yours, then I cut it all off after I had my son because I had stopped doing anything with it ever because new babies are hard. (That’s why “mom hair” exists you guys. For real. It’s not that I WANTED to have short, stupid hair. It’s that I was too physically exhausted from my collicky infant to raise my goddamn arms.) That was 3 1/2 years ago, and now it just kind of won’t grow? I don’t know what to do. What’s your hair care routine? Yours seems to be thick and healthy and to have grown pretty fast.


Brittany May 14, 2013 at 12:46 pm

I am not sure if this counts as encouraging growth, but I do take two gummy vitamins (with my kids) every day, and I’ve noticed I get roots way faster since I started, so maybe that will help? Have you had bloodwork done? After my third I was anemic, and that plays a HUGE part n things.


Kelly Revenaugh May 14, 2013 at 1:24 pm

And Biotin pills. I swear by them.


Carly May 14, 2013 at 1:30 pm

A. Thank you for finally convincing me that I need Curling WAND and to stop using my Curling IRON….
B. At what point / how often do you use the hair spray? Do you spray after each curl, after each layer or just after the whole job?


Brittany May 14, 2013 at 3:31 pm

I usually just do a quick spray when I get a layer or side done.

If you can’t get your hands on a wand right away, wrap your hair around the outside of the curling iron, don’t use the clamp.


Colleen May 14, 2013 at 2:18 pm

Congrats on making a hair tutorial where you didn’t burn a chunk off ;) I’m a beauty school drop out, but one thing I remember was learning is that it’s good to change up products because of the differences. What one shampoo does or doesn’t have, another does (or doesn’t) so hair likes the change up. Also, I wish I could actually do my hair as fast as the video. Then maybe I would do my hair more than once a week.


Becky (Princess Mikkimoto) May 14, 2013 at 2:35 pm

OK so now I have a question… if you let your hair air dry do you then still blow it out straight? and if so, does that work? Found the Glaze Haze at Target, haven’t committed to the curling wand just yet. Baby steps.


Brittany May 14, 2013 at 3:30 pm

Nope, if I let it air dry, I just curl it from that point. It’s a little wavier on top, but I think it looks just as good.


Becky (Princess Mikkimoto) May 14, 2013 at 3:35 pm

Fabulous answer!
Too Lazy To Blow Out All This Hair


Elena May 14, 2013 at 5:03 pm

You are a very lovely mermaid! I am going to try your methods–my hair isn’t quite as long as yours but it is very thick, heavy, and frizzy. Thanks for the tips!


Sue May 14, 2013 at 5:51 pm

Love your mermaid hair. Its gorgeous and so is the color. I have ridiculously straight hair so I don’t think this will work for me – but I am going to give it a shot.


Kimberley May 14, 2013 at 9:29 pm

I’ve tried to get this look before and failed. Thanks for your tips. I will now try it again! p.s you really do have beautiful hair.


Nicole May 15, 2013 at 1:10 am

How do you get your sock bum to look natural like that? My hair is about the same length and I can not get it all rolled up. I’ve done a long hair version that I found online but I have to wrap the extra hair around the bun. I want a fuller looser bun. Any tips?


Brittany May 16, 2013 at 9:53 am

Once I get in in the sock bun, it’s great, but good God, it’s irritating.

So, I have tons of layers, and it makes rolling it a pain in the ass, so the actual act of me rolling it is a lot of tucking and making sure all the hair gets tucked in.

Once I get it in the bun, I just pull at it a lot loosening it up. Thankfully, the longest parts of my hair are on the outside, so it keeps the shorter strays in tact.


TamaraL May 15, 2013 at 8:31 am

Okay, I don’t have time to watch the video right now (def coming back later to check it out!) but I had to chime in – Ouidad Climate Control gel ROCKS! I have naturally curly hair and it keeps my curls in place and cuts down on frizz. It is SUPER humid where I live so I need all the help I can get.



Jodie May 15, 2013 at 9:21 am

I have the same kind of hair texture as you-think, coarse, curly/frizzy. I have also grown it out to about boob length. Have you tried the No Heat Curl Headband? There is a tutorial on youtube (that will not let me copy and paste) and it is all over pinterest. I was skeptical after the sock bun failure, but this shiz totally works!! Beyond easy for my lazy lifestyle. As an added bonus, because my hair is all tucked in at night it doesn’t choke my husband in his sleep (I prefer to use my hands for that)


Brittany Leitzel May 15, 2013 at 10:41 am

So my hair is maybe 3 inches past my shoulder and after watching this tutorial, I made a bee-line to Sally’s yesterday to invest in a wand to give this a try! I opted for the thinner wand since my hair isn’t very mermaid-ish (yet), but unfortunately it is all kinds of thick and frizzy. I usually use a 1 1/2 inch barrel curling iron for big, loose curls, but I like the less-polished, more natural look I’ve seen achieved with the wand. Unfortunately for me I managed to burn my neck twice and my hair was kind of a mess. Maybe the wand isn’t for me? It didn’t smooth my hair down as much as a traditional curling iron does, so maybe that’s my problem? I didn’t dry it, I washed it the night before and let it air dry. Any additional tips? Next up is trying to do all my combing in the shower… I’m almost out of cosmetology school and let me tell you… you are genius with that one.


Amanda May 15, 2013 at 12:47 pm

This is what I’ve been worried about too, except more like, “I don’t know how the hell to use a curling iron in the first place/what’s the difference between an iron and a wand/WHAT ABOUT NECK BURNING AND MESSINESS?” See, I got it in there at the end.


StrongerMe May 15, 2013 at 1:04 pm

I can’t help but having hair envy for you and all of the other people that posted with thick hair. My hair is baby fine. I’m not kidding. Although many people have thin hair, I actually have the whispy baby hair that you usually only see on infants. Stick straight with a mind of it’s own.
Back in the 80s when big hair was the rage (yes, I’m THAT old), my limp, thin hair mocked me. I tried the perm and it punished me by breaking in half and falling out. (The upside is that I’m not cringing NOW when I look back at pictures, but it sure was rough in high school.)
Add my texture-issues to the fact that I live near the coast and we have 100% humidity. Wands, curlers, braids…by the end of the day, my hair just looks…bumpy. Not a cute bumpy, more like, does she have a strange cowlick there? Weird.
So I will live vicariously through your mermaid hair adventures.


Caryl May 15, 2013 at 1:38 pm

I can’t give up my curling iron. Because its 1985 in my head and legwarmers are still cool.

Oh wait. Threepeat.

Love the mermaid hair. I cut my hair off (WRF was I thinking) and now I’m waiting for it to grow out. Usually I towel dry my hair, flip it upside down and ‘scrunch’ mousse in to give it body. I usually flat iron the hell out of my hair, or curl it as you’ve described. I never pulled the curls out though, so I will try that next.

Thanks for all the tips! I also hit up Old Navy and scored a fantastic t-shirt maxi dress. Swoon.



Lori May 15, 2013 at 3:13 pm

So true about curvy girls and hair. I think is because we have to find an outlet for our femininity and since, for the most part, we’ve always had a hard time finding flattering clothes, it has to be the hair. Oh, and accessories. I love bracelets and rings. Those always fit.

This tutorial makes me wish for long hair… Growing up, I used to have it down to my butt because my dad would have killed me if I’d cut it even a bit. So, when he was left us, the first thing I did was chop it off and get a perm (it was the 80′s people).

Now, whenever I’ve tried to grow it back, it doesn’t look very flattering. I feel matronly, not sexy and young. It probably doesn’t help that the only styling I do when it’s long, is pull it back.

I’ll probably stick to my asymmetric bob, which seems to complement my features and my very straight hair. But, maybe I could try the short version of the style…


meleah rebeccah May 15, 2013 at 5:05 pm

Dammit. I just cut off all my hair! Oh well, I guess will just have to wait until it grows back to try these awesome tricks!


Jamie May 15, 2013 at 6:10 pm

You do have great hair!!


Leslie May 16, 2013 at 8:33 am

why is the wand better than a curling iron?


Brittany May 16, 2013 at 9:55 am

It gives you more of a wavy curl, as opposed to a rigid clamped barrel curl. The wand I use is also kinda cone shaped? So the wave is tighter on the top than the bottom.

You can certainly use a curling iron to get this look, but don’t use the clamp, just wrap the hair around the outside.


Leslie May 16, 2013 at 1:09 pm

thank you. you are hilarious – i love this blog.


Brittany May 18, 2013 at 9:49 pm

Thank you!

Amy May 18, 2013 at 9:18 pm

Wow. I feel incredibly LAZY after watching this.

My go to hair do? A messy bun. If I really want to make the ‘effort’ I wash it, put goop in it and scrunch/air dry. Going to give this a whirl though, my hair is to my shoulders and would not take too long me thinks.


Brittany May 18, 2013 at 9:49 pm

The beauty of this is, the messier or haphazardly you do this, the better it looks!


Amy May 18, 2013 at 10:10 pm

LOL, no serious, I am horribly lazy about my hair. Thrown up in a bun most days and shhh, usually not even brushed!
But going to give it a go :) Great video and love your blog which I recently found.


gabby May 18, 2013 at 11:32 pm

in the defense of the sock bun: i love it : )


gabby May 18, 2013 at 11:32 pm

in defense of the sock bun: i love it : )


Alexandra May 19, 2013 at 11:44 pm

I love it. Thank you.

Going to try: so tired of fighting my curly hair with a flat iron. I’m almost bald from the years of doing this.


Heidi May 22, 2013 at 9:41 am

Got my bigger wand in the mail on Monday. A-MAZING. I feel like I have model hair.

My legs aren’t shaved, I’m overtired, I am not sure if my shirt is clean…but dude, my hair looks so badass!


Kim June 27, 2014 at 8:40 pm

Brittany! I love your work gorgeous lady. Thanks so much for sharing mermaid hair 101.


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