If your hair is more bendy than poker-straight, but less curvy than a curl, you have wavy hair. And lucky you! Messy, undone waves are the perfect hybrid of effortless and cool. But wavy hair can be hard to predict and styling your waves isn’t always as easy as scrunch and go. If you’ve got wavy hair we’re breaking down everything you need to know about caring for your waves. Including the best hair products, hair care routines, and hair hacks ahead.
Wavy hair, also known as a Type 2 hair type is hair that grows in the shape of an S. It’s in- between straight and curly hair. There are three subcategories for wavy hair:
The curly girl method is a hair care routine that trades harmful habits for a natural curly or wavy hair regimen, using only products without sulphates, silicones and parabens.
How to do the curly girl method
Wash your hair with a sulfate-free shampoo (or clarifying shampoo if you’re prone to build-up), massaging your scalp for at least 60 seconds. Some people like to co-wash, but I think that leaves the hair too greasy!
Scrunch a handful of curl conditioner through your hair until it's fully saturated. Then detangle with your fingers or a wide tooth comb. Rinse out most of the conditioner.
Scrunch a palmful of molding gel into your sopping wet hair, root to tip.
Cup and scrunch the excess water from your hair with a cotton T shirt, and let your hair air-dry. Once it’s completely dry, scrunch your strands to get rid of any crunchy gel coating.
The cup and hover method is a way of blow-drying your waves with a diffuser. It gives you the most control and allows you to choose a more defined look or a voluminous look. Not to mention it minimizes heat damage. Start by saturating your strands with a hair primer. Then hover the diffuser near your roots and use your hand to cup the hair and bring it up to the diffuser.
A flat iron will help you define your already wavy hair, and even give you waves if you have stick-straight strands. To start, spritz dry hair with a heat-protectant spray. Then separate a section of hair, wrap it once around the outside of an open flat iron before tucking the ends in between the plates, clamp, then slide the iron down the length of the section. Mist on a brushable hairspray to make sure your waves don’t fall flat.
This is another option for either defining your current waves or creating them on straight hair. Start by spraying your strands liberally with a heat-protectant spray to reduce breakage. Brush through your hair with a paddle brush to evenly distribute the product. Then grab your curling wand and, starting in the back, wrap a two-inch section of hair around the wand, winding away from your face and holding for 10 seconds (or less depending on the heat setting on your wand). Leave the last two inches of your hair uncurled for a more natural look. Finish by shaking out your hair and misting all over with a texturizing spray or styling product of your choice.
Plopping is a technique that uses a cotton T-shirt to dry your wet waves in a pile on top of your head. This helps to increase wave definition and cuts down on frizz.
How to plop your hair
Start by sectioning off the top of your hair with clips so you're only working with one small strip of hair at a time. Clamp a three-inch section of hair in the iron, starting at the ends, then twist the iron away from your face, holding for a few seconds before unraveling and releasing. For extra volume, blast your roots with dry shampoo then rub a hair oil through your ends.
If you can braid your hair, you can create perfect heatless curls and waves while you sleep. Before bed and on dry hair, braid straight down the center of your head to the ends, securing with an elastic. Tug at the edges of your braid to fatten it up and loosen the braid. Go to sleep and shake out the braid in the morning.
Hair clip waves are another heatless option for defining or creating wavy hair. On damp hair, roll two-inch sections of hair around your fingers, before securing at the root with a few bobby pins. This process can take up to an hour, but the results can last for several days. Go to sleep and in the morning, start by taking out a few curls at a time, then fully brushing them out.
Beachy waves are achieved by stretching your strands, rather than scrunching them. For the most perfect beachy waves start with damp, towel-dried hair and mist with a salt spray from root to end. Rake your fingers down through your hair, pulling your waves down and massaging product into your hair. Let your hair air-dry from there. Getting into the habit of air-drying your hair, even if only partially, can drastically reduce damage. See our previous post on How to Get Beachy Waves for more tips on this forever in-style hair trend.
Mist your dry hair with a sea salt spray and brush it out to avoid tangles. Next, place a thick, cloth headband on the crown of your head, and wrap one-inch sections of hair around the headband, picking up extra hair as you work. Repeat this process on both sides of your head, using bobby pins to secure loose strands. Re-dampen your hair with more salt spray and go to sleep on it. In the morning, remove the bobby pins and gently take down your hair one section at a time. Rake through your waves with your fingers.
The pineapple method protects your wavy hair from frizz and tangles while you sleep.
This overnight hack ensures that you wake up with the same perfectly styled waves you went to bed with.
How to pineapple your hair
Wavy hair is hair that falls in-between curly and poker-straight strands. Wavy hair can be unpredictable. Styling it isn’t always as easy as scrunch and go. But if you get them right, messy undone waves are the perfect hybrid of effortless and cool.
by Jaclyn LaBadia, featured contributor
Photos by @goldandglowco