Taylor Swift is bringing this low-maintenance hair trend back for 2023, and we're thrilled

It's a mermaid waves summer

Taylor Swift performs onstage with mermaid waves during The Eras Tour
(Image credit: Getty Images/Taylor Hill/TAS23 / Contributor)

Ariel, is that you? No, it's just our childhood dream of being a mermaid coming to life in the form of mermaid waves. 

Forget what you thought you knew about low-key beachy waves because, in honour of The Little Mermaid (and TikTok), they will now be known as mermaid waves forevermore. 

Yep, #mermaidwaves has over 62 million views on TikTok (and rising). And while the mermaid waves trend has been around for a little while now, this summer it's about to get really wearable (as proven by Taylor Swift). The deep wave looks good on every hairstyle and hair trend—whether you're rocking birkin bangs or bronde. Mermaid waves are effortlessly chic, meaning there's no such thing as imperfect when it comes to the styling.

Turns out, Swift isn't the only one riding the mermaid wave; Zendaya and Kim Kardashian both sported the style at couple of weeks ago at the Louis Vuitton show in Paris. And to be honest, I've been thinking about the hair trend ever since. 

So how do you achieve them? Well, the good news is, if your hair already has a natural wave, you just need to lean on a little product. The aim is shiny, healthy strands, so it's time to dig out your go-to hair masks to achieve that polished (but laid-back) glow-dry look. If your hair isn't naturally wavy, the key is starting with straight hair and then leaning on some tools—here's what you need to know.

How to do mermaid waves with a hair waver

"For a soft, natural-looking beach wave, I recommend the BaByliss Wave Envy," says hairdresser and CEO of Gielly Green Salon, Shai Greenberg.

"For best results, make sure you start with dry, clean hair. Take even sections of hair each time you style for a more uniform finish, and hold the tool parallel to the ground to avoid any kinks in your hair," Greenberg explains. Just start at the root and move the styler down the length in a 'crimping' motion.

"Continue this process down the length of the hair and repeat—holding the iron in each place for a maximum of three seconds at a time to prevent excess stress and heat damage on your hair. Make sure the hair has a chance to cool down before you style for the curls to last longer," he adds. "Finish off with serum to block humidity and smooth out hair." A humidity-blocking serum like the It's A 10 Miracle Styling Serum or the Virtue Frizz Blocking Spray will work wonders. 

How to do mermaid waves with a hair straightener

Creating mermaid waves with a straightener may take a little longer and needs some expertise, but it means that you can create the exact kind of mermaid wave you wish. Start with blow-dried hair (ensuring you use a heat protection spray). 

"The trick to successfully achieving the style is to hold the straightener upside down and vertically, while holding an inch-wide section of hair between the clamps. Repeat the process further down the strand and hold each section for a few seconds. For best results spray the hair with texture spray at the end,” says celebrity hair stylist and Bellissima ambassador, Alicia Dobson.


♬ telepatía - Kali Uchis

7 mermaid wave styles to add to your saved folder

Need some mermaid waves inspo? Bookmark these eight looks to unleash your inner mermaid this summer. 

Molly Mae's hair always come to mind when we think of mermaid waves, they are the perfect mixture of effortless and polished. She used the Beauty Works Waver to create this look.

It's giving boho chic, and we're obsessed. The shine is everything on this, so we're guessing she definitely has a good hair serum in her routine.

Forget what you thought about mermaid waves meaning super-long hair. Lob hairstyles are *the* style of the season, and adding in some mermaid waves just makes the look even more stunning. 

With a bit of sea-like, salty texture, this look is the definition of beachy mermaid waves. 

Zendaya is the queen of the bob, but this look is giving mermaid, and we are here for it. In fact, we're ready to get our mermaid wavers out to try and replicate it. 

We don't need anymore more convincing to get our mermaid wave on, but this look is being added to the saved folder immediately

Kim K has always been a fan of a mermaid wave, most recently rocking super-long lengths at the Louis Vuitton show in Paris

Shop your mermaid wave essentials: 

Dionne Brighton

Dionne Brighton is a writer at Marie Claire UK, specialising in all things shopping, beauty and fashion. Born and raised in North London, she studied Literature at the University of East Anglia before taking the leap into journalism. These days, you can find her testing out the latest TikTok beauty trends or finding out what the next full Moon means.