Mermaid Hair Waves: What Are They and How to Get Them

An expert gives the tips, tricks, and tools you need to get the coif you desire.

Hairstyles come in and out of fashion. But one popped up a few years ago with some serious staying power: mermaid waves. The trend peaked in popularity three years ago when 2022 SI Swimsuit cover model Kim Kardashian started wearing her super long hair in relaxed undone waves. Since then, everyone from influencers and models to everyday fashionistas has been rocking the hairdo, one that looks perfectly messy. And though the coif seems effortless, it does take a little work to achieve it.

So, how do you get that beachy style? We tapped Tara Simich, director and founder of Mermade Hair, the brand whose hair wavers are loved by celebrities such as Kardashian, Sofia Richie and SI Swimsuit model Olivia Culpo. Simich shares exactly how to get mermaid hair and how to avoid people’s common mistakes.

What is mermaid hair?

“The mermaid hair trend is basically wavy hair that can only be created with a crimper or triple barrel waver,” says Simich. “The hair can be beachy, textured waves, super sleek, and defined like a mythical Mermaid.”

What tools do you need to get it?

“The 32mm Mermade Waver is the best tool to get the perfect mermaid wave as its jumbo barrels create less of the ’90s crimp and more Kim K-eqsue vibes,” says Simich. Other options include the 3B Waver by Beachwaver or the amika High Tide Deep Wave Hair Crimper.

What’s the process for achieving mermaid hair?

“Simply take a one-inch section of hair and clamp it down to the ends,” explains Simich. “For a more relaxed beachy wave, you can leave it for three and five seconds for more definition. We suggest Mermade Mist to help hold, contour and protect the hair from heat.”

What are the common mistakes people make?

“The biggest mistake is using too large of a section, so the wave can not be imprinted,” says Simich. “It’s important to take each section and work evenly down to get lush bouncy waves.”

Jordi Lippe-McGraw


Jordi Lippe-McGraw is a Contributing Editor for SI Swimsuit covering all things lifestyle from travel and beauty to entertainment and wellness. Over her nearly 15-year-long journalism career, her work has appeared in the New York Times, WSJ Magazine, Forbes, and more. Plus, she’s appeared on TV shows such as Wendy Williams, TODAY, E!, and MSNBC for her expertise. Jordi's personal passion for travel has brought her to over 50 countries on all 7 continents, including Antarctica at 5 months pregnant. She's also an avid penguin and truffle lover.