Runway-ready Beach Proof Hair for San Diego Beach Portraits

I have BAD BEACH HAIR.   My hair is fine and indecisive about whether it wants to curl or be straight, and with the beach humidity, it sticks up in all different directions.  This is ironic, since I am at the beach, photographing families, sometimes 3 or 4 times a week!   The other day, before a session, I took a look at my curling iron and just decided, “what’s the point?”

Bad, bad beach hair.  This is right after a photo session last year in Pacific Beach.
Bad, bad beach hair. This is right after a photo session last year in Pacific Beach.

For our next installment in our “Looking Great for Family Photos” series, I asked my hair designer, Amelia “Violet” Camp of Bouffant Hair in La Mesa, to contribute her hair-know-how for those of us who would love a beautiful photo on one of San Diego’s beaches but have less-than cooperative hair.  After reading her responses to my questions, I was enlightened!  I’m looking forward to better beach hair – soon.

Here’s what Amelia said:

Amelia’s own hair is purple, by the way.

Building great hair is very similar to building a house. You need a firm foundation, solid structure and protection from the elements.


The foundation of any style is established in your wet styling step. I recommend blow drying vs. natural drying because It gives you more volume and control.

One of my go to products for any hair type is Awapuhi Wild Ginger HydroCream Whip.  I love this product because it’s unlike any other ‘Mousse’ that I’ve used. The HydroCream Whip has a super light texture that gives your hair weightless volume but doesn’t give the crunch that most mousses are known for.  The addition of Awapuhi also hydrates your hair as it styles,  and it is humidity resistant – a necessity when you’re near the coast.

Pro tip: If you’re having trouble blow drying your hair smooth, try using the detachable directional nozzle on your blow drier. Most come with one and it helps to direct the air flow right where you need it. be sure to always blow-dry from root to ends. Frizz is caused by the cuticle, or outer layer of your hair being roughed up. The cuticle of your hair is very similar to scales that lay on top of each other. If they’re all smoothed in the same direction, then you’ll get a smoother longer lasting result.

Solid Structure:

Whether your preferred look is pin straight, Victoria’s Secret curls, or natural looking beach waves, your process for this step is going to be very similar.  You’re going to want to prep with a heat protectant.

My favorite and most versatile is Paul Mitchell’s Hot Off The Press.  Whether you’re looking for bouncy curls or pin straight, this heat protectant hairspray will protect your hair from the heat of either a smoothing iron or a curling iron –  all while locking in your style and keeping out humidity.

Pro tip: Love the way your hair looks curly, but it seems to fall flat quickly?  Try setting your curls. As soon as you release the curl from the barrel of the iron, use your fingers to wrap the curl back up and pin in place until completely cool (10-15 mins).   This is an important step in resetting the bonds that dictate your hair’s texture, and gives you long lasting pay-off with your style.

Protection From the Elements:

The last and final step is crucial. You’ve put in this much effort getting the perfect style. now lock it in!

Awapuhi Wild Ginger Finishing Spray is my go-to when it comes to styles that I want to last. It gives your style the security that you want, but with touchable texture that keeps you from looking like you’re wearing a wig. Added bonus: it also adds another layer of humidity resistance as well as protection from harmful UV rays. This Finishing Spray was made to be near the ocean.

Pro tip:  Ever see stylists on TV (What Not to Wear, Shear Genius, etc) who seem to make a dance out of applying hair spray? There’s actually a method to that madness! Applying hairspray is very similar to spray painting a piece of furniture. You’re looking for a clean even application rather than powerful concentrated blasts in small areas. “

If you are in the San Diego area and would like Amelia to try her hand on beach-proofing your hair for your photo session, be sure to get in touch with her!   Her  reservation system is all online and extremely user-friendly, so click here to see her price list and make a reservation.  This year, I scheduled my hair cut and color for the same day as my family photo session, and I love how it turned out!  (Lots better than the “before” picture, above!)  Thanks, Amelia!!!

Amelia Camp
Bouffant Hair La Mesa
8760 La Mesa Blvd. Ste. A – La Mesa, CA 91942

Hair by Amelia Camp
Hair by Amelia Camp

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