It’s our 20th anniversary, and we couldn’t think of a better way to celebrate than to gift all of you Type 2 wavies with a list of 20 holy grail products to keep your waves smooth, frizz-free, and full of bounce.

wavy s and body

Image by iStock/max-kegfire

While formulas that promise beach waves for straight hair, or perfect spirals for tighter curl patterns usually garner a lot of buzz, there aren’t many headline-making products out there for naturally wavy hair. People often assume waves don’t even need product assistance. (As someone with Type 2 hair, I’ll often hear, “You’re so lucky your hair just dries like that!”– as if I didn’t spend 20 minutes in front of the mirror that morning, trying to get my hair to lay just-so!)

“It’s another common misconception that wavy hair is thick, but plenty wavy girls are on the finer side,” says celebrity stylist Justine Marjan, who–besides being the go-to girl for the Kardashians–counts Type 2s like Chrissy Teigen, Ashley Tisdale, and Shay Mitchell among her clients. Her must-haves include light jellies and creams that won’t weigh down fine waves.

“Curly and wavy hair types are naturally more dry, so hydration and moisture are essential,” she adds. But what elusive miracle products will give Type 2 hair the definition, hold, and hydration it needs, without compromising on volume? We’re glad you asked.

CREAM

1. Moroccanoil Curl Defining Cream

Marjan swears by Moroccanoil Curl Defining Cream because it’s “great for drier hair types that need extra moisture and definition.” This is one of my personal go-tos, as well – I love that it’s infused with argan oil, and it smells amazing, too.

2. SheaMoisture Coconut & Hibiscus Curl Enhancing Smoothie

Over on CurlTalk, SheaMoisture Coconut & Hibiscus Curl Enhancing Smoothie is a favorite for Type 2’s. Although this product is normally recommended for thick, curly hair, it also works well for thick waves, since it’s made with vegetable butters that offer definition without weighing hair down.

3. SheaMoisture Coconut & Hibiscus Curl & Style Milk

As a reviewer with Type 2c hair says, “I would suggest this to anyone who is in need of a product that doesn't create frizz, and doesn't make [my] hair sticky or crunchy!” SheaMoisture Coconut & Hibiscus Curl & Style Milk works best when worked through damp hair, but how you dry is up to you.

4. Catwalk by TIGI Curlesque Curls Rock Amplifier

With a slightly-tacky, creamy texture, Catwalk by TIGI Curlesque Curls Rock Amplifier is a must-try for any Wavies who want extreme hold and definition. This completely changed my hair when I first started using it in high school, and it’s still on rotation in my product line up!

5. Not Your Mother’s Naturals Tahitian Gardenia Flower & Mango Butter Curl Defining Combing Cream

You won’t find any sulfates, silicones, phthalates, and parabens in Not Your Mother’s Naturals–but it’s what you will find inside that makes all the difference. Tahitian gardenia flower helps shape waves, while mango butter reduces frizz and adds shine.

6. AG Hair Re:Coil Curl Activator

AG Hair Re:Coil Curl Activator has 5 stars from the NaturallyCurly community – so you know it’s good. Need more convincing? One CurlTalk reviewer promises that with Re:Coil, “My hair is consistently and predictably curlier, softer and relatively frizz-free.”

JELLY

7. OUAI Curl Jelly

Marjan always reaches for OUAI Curl Jelly (a cross between a cream and an oil) when she works with her celebrity clients. To get Insta-ready waves, she recommends “applying in sections for even distribution. If you are letting the hair air dry, make sure to avoid touching or scrunching the hair, as friction from our hands can cause frizz.”

8. Miss Jessie's Jelly Soft Curls

Miss Jessie’s Jelly Soft Curls is a miracle in a tube. It manages to leave waves super-soft (AKA, no crunch whatsoever) while still defining their shape and holding it all in place.

GEL

9. Curl Junkie Pattern Pusha

Over on the Type 2 boards on CurlTalk, Curl Junkie Pattern Pusha gets a lot of love. User Guide 65 says, “It gives my hair definition like I've never seen it before! I have to be careful how much I use, because all that definition takes away from the volume. But I get day two hair that needs no refreshing.”

10. Carina Organics Unscented Alcohol-Free Styling Gel

If you prefer your haircare certified organic and all-natural, then you need to check out this alcohol-free styling gel from Carina Organics. It offers medium-to-firm hold, and ingredients that won’t harm your hair, all for under $10.

11. Kenra Professional Styling Gel 17

“My HG wave-defining products are hard-hold gels. I like the Kenra Firm-Hold Gel best,” says Therese1, a Wavy who shares her feedback on Type 2 styling products on CurlTalk.

LEAVE-INS AND CONDITIONERS

12. DevaCurl One Condition Daily Cream Conditioner

Sometimes, wavies can get away with skipping stylers with the right conditioner – that conditioner is DevaCurl One Condition. “It's so creamy, but it's light enough for my fine hair,” says a CurlTalk community member.

13. "Kinky-Curly Knot Today

Another CurlTalk favorite? Kinky-Curly Knot Today leave-in conditioner. Users love that it keeps waves detangled and smooth, which is the first step towards a good hair day, right?

14. Curl Junkie BeautiCurls Leave-in Hair Conditioner

Natural beauty lovers, rejoice! Curl Junkie’s leave-in formula is packed with natural herbs, like horsetail, to condition, soften, and add shine to your waves.

15. Love Beauty And Planet Argan Oil & Lavender Smooth & Serene Leave-In Smoothie Cream

Even though Love Beauty and Planet’s Leave-In Smoothie isn’t marketed towards waves or curls, I find it to be the best leave-in formula on the market. I don’t have to follow up with other stylers – I simply smooth this through my damp waves, and go!

SPRAY

16. Giovanni Shine of the Times Finishing Mist

LA-based hair stylist Helena Lambert opts for Giovanni Shine of the Times Finishing Mist to lock in shape and shine. “If your hair type is frizzy, this will smooth any frizz,” she says.

17. TRESemmé Compressed Micro Mist Hairspray Boost

Here’s how to get waves with more body and bounce, courtesy of Marjan: “Once the hair is completely dry, finish with TRESemmé Compressed Micro Mist Hairspray Boost for volume.”

18. Alaffia Coconut Texture Hair Spray

Lambert’s secret for “woke up like this” hair? “I'll spritz Alaffia Coconut Texture Hair Spray, scrunch the ends a bit, then gently twist it into a top knot. I leave it up for a bit, letting it semi air dry. Then take it down and air dry it the rest of the way,” he says.

MASK

19. Gisou Honey Infused Hair Mask

The Gisou Honey Infused Hair Mask is the way to go for hair that needs some extra attention. Marjan says she often uses it on her clients to add moisture and hydration to dry, frizzy waves.

DIY TREATMENT

20. DIY Flaxseed Gel

If you’d rather whip up your own styler, try this combination from CurlTalk connoisseur BeinDeb: “I make [my DIY flaxseed gel] using a marshmallow root tea as the base, and add a pinch of honey and oil.”

Of course, you can’t rely on products alone for perfect waves. To get the most out of these stylers, make sure you’re not over-washing your waves or damaging them with your diffuser! Got any favorite products for your type 2 waves? Share them with us in the comments below!