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Get Sexy Hair Like a Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Model

When you’re a Sports Illustrated Swimsuit model, nothing rivals your fantastical physique like seemingly sea-soaked sultry strands. While we wish bikini model hair was the result of our frolicking under the sun all day, we know we’re not that blessed. To get fresh-off-an-island-photoshoot fierce hair à la Gigi Hadid, Irina Shayk and the like, we asked the man who knows beach waves best— John Ruggiero, celebrity and SI Swimsuit hairstylist. Keep scrolling for John’s best tips to a DIY bikini model mane.



If starting on clean damp hair, you should first use a prep spray like Bumble and bumble Prep Primer, as well as a volumizing spray like R+Co Dallas Thickening Spray or mousse such as Suave Volumizing Mousse to add a bit of grit or texture to the hair, then blow dry.

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If hair is dirty already, adding dry shampoo to the root will help add volume and dry up an excess oil that may be weighing hair down. A beach or salt spray is a great way to refresh mid and ends to help bring out hair’s natural waves. Try Ouai Wave Spray.


Although there are many ways to create a beach wave, the quickest and easiest would be using a curling iron that is an inch and a quarter up to a two inches, depending on hair length. The shorter the hair, the smaller the iron size. Wrap hair around the iron instead of putting it through barrel and make sure to leave an inch to 2 inches of ends out (this helps create that effortless look). Wrap hair away from the face on the sides and alternate the curl pattern on the back of the head. I find two inch horizontal sections work best.

A post shared by Gigi Hadid (@gigihadid) on


An easy trick for volume in humid climates is hot rollers. They may seem old school, but they’re a simple way to add volume at the scalp with minimal effort. Setting each section with a strong hold hairspray will help keep humidity at bay, but for those super humid climates, try an anti-humectant spray such as Oribe Impermeable Anti-Humidity Spray to finish the look.


Long-lasting hair has a lot to do with foundation and construction. Using the right products to prime and prep hair can also add texture. While curling hair, allow the curl to cool completely before disturbing to lock texture in place and create a look that can be brushed through.

A post shared by Gigi Hadid (@gigihadid) on



Less is more! When it comes to product and iron work, that is KEY! Don’t over curl, and always brush through or rake waves after they have cooled. If hair is too curly, run a flat iron quickly over sections that are too curly. A light oil or surf spray are both great quick fixes for hair that’s been over-worked. Dry Davines Oi Oil or Sachajuan Ocean Mist are my favorites.


Beach-bumming it all summer? Click here for 7 ways to protect your hair from the sun.



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