Monday, July 22, 2024

How to Style Wavy Hair, According to Pro Hairstylists

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Figuring out how to tame your wavy inches can be quite the task because wavy hair, with its myriad of textures, has a mind of its own. It’s a frizz magnet and loves to be dry. But with the right hair-care approach, your waves can be as fresh and voluminous as if you’ve just stepped off a runway.

The secret weapon in your arsenal? A solid hair-care routine. Your routine should cater not just to your hair’s outward appearance but its overall health and vitality. On the hair type scale for wavy hair that comes in 2a, 2b and 2c, the right use of products that are designed specifically for your type of wave and pattern is crucial. But the battle doesn’t end with products. Regular maintenance practices like gentle brushing and regular trimming are your trusted allies. They’ll help prevent damage and keep your hair looking as stunning as it did when you left the salon chair.

Ready to get the perfect waves? We’ve got you covered. We’ve tapped a few hair pros to share their secrets behind acing those waves from start to finish. Keep reading to learn how to style wavy hair.

Experts Featured in This Article

Clayton Hawkins is a celebrity hairstylist and K18 brand partner.

Brad Mondo is a professional hairstylist and founder of hair-care brand XMondo.

Wavy Wash-Day Routine:

Wash With a Clarifying or Moisturizing Shampoo

The first step to achieving great hair is to use a shampoo that’s fit for your hair type/pattern. According to celebrity hairstylist Clayton Hawkins, using a clarifying shampoo is the perfect choice for those looking to maintain their natural wave or curl. “Using a clarifying shampoo, like K18’s Peptide Prep Detox Shampoo ($38), is perfect for removing product buildup,” Hawkins tells PS. “When styling your wavy hair, you’re likely to use products that can cause buildup on your roots and hair strands, so it’s important to go in with a clarifying shampoo every so often.”

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Professional hairstylist Brad Mondo, founder of hair-care brand XMondo, says for those looking for hydration, a moisturizing shampoo should be your go-to. “Use a hydrating product like XMondo’s Wavetech Wave Shampoo ($27) to gently cleanse while also hydrating to promote soft, manageable, and frizz-free waves,” Mondo says. “Helping to maintain a healthy scalp environment by effectively moisturizing and cleansing is key to providing the ideal foundation for styling this natural texture.”

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Don’t Skimp on Conditioner

When doing your wash-day routine, deep conditioning should be a weekly must have. A good deep conditioner will not only nourish your hair but it will enhance its natural texture and keep those waves defined and frizz-free. We recommend the Aussie 3 Minute Miracle Waves Deep Conditioner ($4, originally $7), which works in as little as three minutes to soften waves and reduce frizz.

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For an extra step, Mondo advises incorporating a leave-in conditioner, too. “It adds an extra layer of moisture and protection, making your hair more manageable and ready for styling,” Mondo says. We like the Curlsmith Effortless Hair Wave Spray ($28), which adds volume and controls frizz without any crunchiness.

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Towel Dry With a Microfiber Towel

There are many ways to prep your hair for styling, but in order to come out with fabulous waves, nothing beats an old-fashioned towel drying — but with a twist. “After washing, gently squeeze out excess water with a microfiber towel or an old T-shirt,” Mondo says. “Regular towels can rough up the hair cuticle and cause frizz, so I recommend avoiding that altogether.”

Wavy Hair Styling Tips

Detangle the Hair

After you’ve wrapped your hair in a towel, there could still be twists and knots hidden in your hair. Grab a wide-tooth comb, or use your fingers to carefully carefully detangle. “Be gentle to avoid breakage and preserve your natural wave pattern,” Mondo says.

Diffuse Your Waves or Air Dry

After you’ve towel-dried and applied your leave-in conditioner, Hawkins suggests diffusing your waves using a diffuser attachment to your hair dryer. (But don’t forget the heat protectant.)

Depending on what wavy hairstyle you’re going for, if you’d prefer to air-dry your waves, you’ll want to use cream or mousse designed to add hold without weighing hair down. We like the JVN Complete Hydrating Air Dry Hair Styling Cream ($28) for this.

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Apply Mousse For Volume

Using styling products like a hair mousse on your roots and scalp is perfect to help add volume that lasts all day. “Applying your styling products with your head upside down is the key to getting maximum volume,” Hawkins says.

Don’t Forget to Curl

To boost your volume, Mondo recommends using a curling iron or wand on pieces of hair that lack curl definition to achieve your desired look.

Use a Hairspray

The use of hairspray may seem antiquated, but it is exactly what your waves need to solidify that beauty queen look. “Finish your look with a lightweight hairspray to lock in your style with unbeatable strength and long-lasting support,” Mondo says. We like the Nexxus Flexible Hold Hairspray ($16).

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Refresh Your Waves

If your hair is in need of a refresh on day two or three, grab a spray like the Amika Power Hour Curl Refreshing Spray ($28), which helps rehydrate your curls and bring them back to life.

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Do Overnight Hair Twists

Hair twists, no matter the pattern, are one of the best ways to get the most out of your waves. “Sleep with your hair twisted into sections to help give your effortless waves without the hassle,” Mondo says.

Use a Silk Bonnet

“Sleeping in a silk bonnet can help reduce friction, which can cause frizz and breakage,” Mondo says. “It also is really great at maintaining your wave pattern and keeping your hair looking smooth and shiny.”

Stixx Mathews is a New York City-based freelance beauty writer with 11 years of experience who is passionate about telling stories that merge beauty and pop culture. He enjoys sharing his expert insights about the latest trends and must-have products, with a particular focus on lipstick and fragrance.

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