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Oct 12, 2021
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Wavy Hair Routines: 3 Routines For Wavy Hair

Time to oomph up your waves!

Formulate user Cory writes:

I'm trying to figure out a really good wavy hair routine. I have naturally wavy hair, and I really want to style it better, while also keeping it healthy. Any thoughts?

Thanks for writing, Cory! We spoke with our beauty community friends, and they've got lots of thoughts for you. Check 'em out below:

Overnight braids: quick and easy waves in the morning

Courtesy of Dawn Clemens, licensed hairstylist

Because I have short hair, I follow these steps:

  1. Detangle your hair and apply a herbal texture spray. 
  2. Divide hair into 2 parts and braid each side. Use pins for shorter strands. 
  3. Give your hair a light hairspray so that it will hold their shape
  4. Leave overnight - sleep tight!
  5. Undo the partition and gently comb your hair with your hands
  6. Seal the style with another light breeze of hairspray

Why do you use this specific wavy hair routine?

I use this particular method because it does not involve heating in any way, which can cause immense damage to the health of your hair. The waves also stay in place for longer using this method. 

Scrunch and diffuse: a classic wavy/curly hair approach

Courtesy of Monica Davis, licensed hairstylist

I have numerous clients with wavy hair and have wavy strands myself, so I have a super-tested routine! Here are the essential steps:

  1. Detangle the right way - you can detangle both dry and wet strands, using a wide-tooth detangling comb . If you prefer the wet method, don't forget to apply enough conditioner first. It will prevent your strands from stretching. 
  2. Wash and condition correctly - conditioning is necessary for every hair type and wavy hair isn't an exclusion. Let the conditioner sit every time you apply it. You should also use a clarifying shampoo at least once a month, especially if your hair is fine and accumulates product buildup quickly. It's also a good idea to use a masque every 10 days to give an extra moisture and nutrient shot. 
  3. Use a curl-enhancing jelly or mousse - if you want to define the waves and give them a more salon look, spread curl enhancing jelly or mousse over your wet hair and scrunch the strands with an old t-shirt. Hold the hair for 5-7 seconds every time you scrunch. 
  4. Airdry with a diffuser attachment - drying with a diffuser attachment is a bit less stressful for the strands and allows you to define waves better. 
  5. Shake & scrunch - once your hair is fully dry, you have to shake the roots with your fingers and scrunch the hair one more time to ensure there are no crunchy dried gel or mousse spots. They may look weird if you don't scrunch them. 

Why do you use this specific wavy hair routine?

I love this wavy hair routine for its simplicity and effectiveness. There are only 5 steps, but your hair will stay healthy and wavy no matter what!

Straighten and wave: the approach for curly-headed humans who'd like to try out waves

Courtesy of licensed hairstylist Deborah Jasinghe

I was born with incredibly curly hair, so trying to style it with waves or straighten it, was always a challenge. However, over the years of trial and error, I have perfected a wavy hair routine that will always be my go-to method. I find that a trick is to use your good old-fashioned hair straightener to achieve long-lasting waves. Which works on both naturally curly or straight hair.

  1. A good rinse. Wash your hair with shampoo and conditioner.
  2. After towel drying my hair. I spray on a heat-protecting spray and run a good serum through the length of my hair. A light spray is enough. You do not need to cover your whole head. Dry your hair using a hairdryer.
  3. Using section clips divide your hair into two equal parts down the middle.
  4. Grabbing a small section of hair, start using the hair straightener as you normally would. Clamp down near your roots and slowly glide it down. As we all know, frizz is the enemy, I find that running the flat iron down your hair once helps contain the frizz.
  5. During your second round with the flat iron pull the straightener down the hair shaft as if you were going to straighten your hair as usual. But when you get to the part of your hair where you'd like the curl to begin (midsection provides a more beachy look), stop and pivot the straightener 180 degrees (a half-turn) away from your face and gently pull down straight through the rest of your hair. Repeat for each section of hair.
  6. Once I've waved my entire hair, I put a little bit of serum through my hair gently and using my fingers massage the roots, which will help break up the waves. Keep in mind that practice does make perfect. 

 Why do you use this specific wavy hair routine?

My hair is naturally quite curly and nearly impossible to wave with a curling iron. After a while, the waves would turn to straight hair. I found that this routine really helped keep the waves for longer.. Prepping the hair before you wave is the most important step to longer-lasting waves. 



Wanna learn more about the ins and outs of haircare? Here's what you should read next:

"My Hair Is Naturally Curly But Won't Curl Anymore"

5 tips for getting your natural curls back

Flyaway Hairs: How To Tame 'Em

Buh bye, flyaways!

Curly Hair & Humidity

Your how-to guide for dealing with curly hair in the humidity.

Oil Training Hair: Q&A With A Dermatologist

Everything you need to know about oil training your hair

Curling Hard To Curl Hair: A How-To Guide

Let's curl that hair!


Two different ways to straighten natural hair

Caroline Schmidt
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