wavy hair

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In many ways, wavies have the best of all possible worlds. They can go from tighter curls to beachy waves to smooth and silky with just a few tools and tricks and not too much manipulation. If you have wavy hair, you have unique needs. Whether you have loose 2a waves or 2c tighter waves bordering on curls, your hair needs certain things to look its best.

Here are 7 tips for Pinterest-worthy wavy hair to get your waves brag-worthy in no time.

1. Check your scalp

Great hair starts with a great scalp.

The scalp is the bedrock of great hair regardless of your texture so make sure you pay attention to it.

If your scalp is unhealthy, your hair will be unhealthy and have a harder time growing. If your scalp is loaded down with buildup from products, dry from lacking moisture, or having some underlying medical conditions that makes the scalp irritated, your hair will pay the price.

Wavy hair can have a tendency to look limp, especially if your scalp is oily. If your scalp is oily and needs a clarifying shampoo, your strands will be oily and limp. If your scalp is dry and irritated, your strands will be dry.

2. Know your type – and what to do with that information

While you may think all waves are the same essentially, there are a few variations within the grouping of wavy hair that can make a difference for you personally.

For instance, wavy hair falls under type 2 hair on the curl pattern scale, but there are also types 2A, 2B, and 2C within that broader scope. Each type subcategory has different needs based on the texture or wave pattern. Some products are especially designed to help enhance waves, while others are ideal for smoothing them. Here are some products especially designed for wavies.

To find out more about this matter and pinpoint your exact type, check out this resource.

3. Moisturize by focusing on the ends

While your roots need moisture, especially the scalp, to help things stay hydrated, the ends are where you should focus. Wavy hair naturally has a harder time keeping the ends of strands moisturized. The reason for this is because as your scalp produces natural oil (called sebum”>, the oil streaks down from the scalp to coat the strands for naturally occurring hydration, but wavy hair’s natural shape makes it a little harder for the oil to reach the ends in between your washing schedule. The way to beat this issue is to make sure you focus on moisturizing your ends when you apply leave-in conditioner. Some good ones to try include Carol’s Daughter Hair Milk 4-in-1 Combing Crème, Devacurl B’Leave-In and AG Hair Cosmetics Fast Food.

4. Never dry detangle

Breakage is always a concern. If you want to have social media worthy waves, you need to watch out for breakage. To make sure you hold onto your precious strands, you need to be prepared to handle the inevitable matter of tangles like a pro. You should never detangle your waves while your hair is dry since this can lead to more tugging and cause breakage. Detangle strands with plenty of conditioner or moisturizer to make sure you hold onto as many strands as you can. Look for products with slip, like Oyin Handmade Oh My Glide! Alikay Naturals Knots Be Gone and Curl Keeper Slip 30 Second Detangler.

5. Rinse upside down

CurlTalker Rsand313 does her routine upside down. She shares “Typically I wash, then condition, let the conditioner sit for a few minutes. Then I rinse my hair upside down and comb with a wide tooth comb as I rinse. I’ve achieved really great clumping and well defined coils doing this. Before I would only get waves. With my head upside down and in clumps, I get out of the shower and immediately apply leave in. Then I plop it and let it dry a little while I get dressed. Then I add gel, diffuse and I’m done. I never flip my hair over and let it hang down until it’s diffused.” NaturallyCurly Editor Cristina follows a similar routine, “I like to condition and detangle my hair upside down in the shower because it allows my curls to clump and form with lift and volume at the roots. It helps me avoid waves that dry plastered to my head.”

6. Wrap hair at night

While curlies are well versed in the importance of wrapping hair at night, those with wavy hair are just starting to catch up. When you sleep at night, your hair naturally gets a little tangled, and it is also exposed to friction which leads to frizz. Your waves can also be dried out during the night by the air, as well as the fact that any products you applied probably just end up on your pillow instead of seeping into strands. When you wrap your hair in a silk scarf at night, you give your hair a chance to absorb your leave-in products while also preventing unnecessary damage. You might also want to try a satin pillowcase.

7. Vary routine based on seasons

If you are caring for your hair the same way year-round, you are probably missing out on some areas of improvement. By switching up your routine based on the season, you can give your hair more customized care.

For instance, if you notice your strands are a little dry in the winter, you may need a heavier leave-in whereas, in the summer, you might find a lighter one is better to avoid oily buildup. You should always adjust your routine based on the considerations of the season for Pinterest-worthy waves.

8. Add some sheen naturally

To add a photo ready finish to your strands, adding a bit of sheen to your strands will help pick up light. An easy way to do this without weighing down your hair is to use coconut oil. A small amount, about a dime to quarter size, warmed between your hands, can add a healthy sheen for that Pinterest-ready snap.

Get advice from fellow wavies on CurlTalk.


NaturallyCurly has been on a mission to educate, empower, entertain and inspire women to have healthy discussions about hair and beauty since 1998. We explore everything from self-acceptance to finding the best hair care products for all textures.

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