Wavy hair seems simple, but can be confusing to care for. Why? Because sometimes things like weather, friction, fabrics that you wear and what you do to it can disrupt wavy hair’s natural shape and body leaving it looking flat and straight.
The good news is that you don’t have to do much to get your locks looking gorgeous.
“A lot of caring for wavy and s’wavy hair is about what you’re not going to do, rather than what you do,” explains Lorraine Massey, co-owner of Devachan Salons and Spa and author of "Curly Girl: The Handbook."
Here, simple ways to give your hair some body.
Getting Too Many Regular Haircuts
"If hair is short, the wave of your hair my not be visible,” says Massey. “Often your hair has to grow perhaps even past your shoulders before your waves appear, and then begin to twist and turn.”
But many of us have been programmed to think that we need to cut our hair every few months, or sooner. To coax your waves out of hiding, put a halt to those salon appointments so that you can let your hair grow enough to show its true curl! (Bonus: You’ll save money too!)
Keep in mind that you should head to the salon for a very small trim about every six weeks. But avoid large cuts until your waves have grown out!
Brushing and Blow-drying
Like frequent haircuts, brushing and blow-drying are two things we’ve been raised to think we should do to our hair. But both can be harsh on the hair and can make a wavy girl believe that her strands are straight. The high heat from a blow dryer or flat iron can damage and dry out your hair. A brush can also disturb the natural shape of your waves so much so that they disappear, look unhealthy and lay flat!
Instead, comb your hair in the shower only when it’s saturated in conditioner using just your fingers, and then scrunch hair gently upward toward the scalp. Do this with your head tilted forward and standing away from the water stream. Repeat this in small sections around your head.
“This introduces more movement to your waves even during the cleansing routine,” explains Massey.
How You Shower
Wavy hair is a sensitive type and many things can disrupt its natural shape.
“When you step under the running water in your shower, cup your hair with your hands so the water pressure does not leave your waves limp and lethargic,” says Massey.
Also, cup your hair in your hands when you rinse out your cleanser and conditioner. Another option is to slip a hairnet on before going under the shower’s running water.
“This allows water to flow through your hair and lets you cleanse it with your fingers, but it helps contain your hair’s natural wave structure,” explains Massey.
How You Condition
Only apply conditioner from the midsection of your hair downward, rather than starting at the roots or you'll end up with flat hair. That said, if you tend to get a halo of frizz at the roots you can apply a tiny bit of conditioner to that area.
If your hair doesn’t get frizzy or is baby fine, conditioning too often can zap any body and volume from your locks, so experiment with how many days per week you need to do so. Lastly, rinse all conditioner out of your hair since any residue can weigh down your waves leaving hair flat.
Drying Your Hair Standing Up
If your waves are really loose and lazy, gravity can pull the hair down if you dry it standing up and thus straighten out your waves. Instead, lie on the floor on a yoga mat with a towel placed over the mat. Spread your wet hair out on the floor all around you (sort of like a veil) and dry your hair with a dryer and hair diffuser. You can also do the same thing with your head at the edge of the bed and hair hanging over the side of your bed.
Just make sure the dryer is on a low setting. This weightless way of drying creates lift at the scalp and waves that are full and defined.
If laying down while drying your hair seems weird, grab some duck bill clips and clip them in around the roots of your hair to hold the curls up while they dry. This will help to build volume and allow you to stay sitting or standing up as your dry your hair.
Wavy hair can be tricky and heavy products can totally weigh it down. Avoid that catastrophe and avoid these wavy hair products you can totally live without!
Be sure that you are sleeping on a satin pillowcase at night, too! Cotton pillow cases can pull your hair and mess with your wave pattern. Sleeping on satin will preserve your curls and help to promote second day hair!