How to Take Care of Wavy Hair
Is it just us, or does the grass always seem greener on the other side, especially when it comes to hair? People with bone-straight locks want perfect spirals, while people with curly manes dream of neat, straight strands. Wavy hair is the perfect middle ground. It brings all the body and style of curls without the maintenance of either extreme. But a wavy texture has its own set of nuances to consider. People with waves — and their stylists — need to know how to care for them for the ideal natural curves.
Here are some tips for how to accentuate your natural waves using readily available and easy-to-master products, tools and techniques. These tips are ideal for professional stylists looking to care for all hair types as well as individuals with wavy hair.
- Use the Right Products — Look for hair care and styling products designed specifically for wavy or curly hair. The key for wavy locks is to find shampoo, conditioner and styling aids that help define the curves without weighing down hair, causing them to lose definition or appear greasy. Of course, those of us with waves also know frizz is a huge concern. Our best tip? Go for professional hair care products recommended by stylists. Salon brands like Authentic Beauty Concept make formulas that moisturize without weighing down hair. Ideally, avoid any products that contain sulfates and silicone.
- Get Your Routine Down — A solid wavy hair care routine isn’t just about what products you use, but how and when you use them. As we all know, too much use of conditioners and styling products can weigh the hair down and compromise all volume. The essentials for any good wavy hair care routine include:
- Wash two or three times per week with anti-frizz shampoo.
- Condition two times per week with a lightweight conditioner. Look for options that only contain one or two oils and butters (such as coconut oil, shea butter, etc.) and avoid those containing four or five oils.
- Use a heat-protectant spray every time you dry or style with heat.
- Style with a hair mousse that gives body without weighing down waves.
- Ditch the Heat — A little bit of heat can do wonders for your waves in the short-term, bringing them back to life and relaxing the frizz. But in the long-run, heat is not the best for curly or wavy hair. That’s because using high heat on your locks can permanently alter its natural texture, which means less defined waves, more split ends and excessive dryness. If you do opt to blow dry or curl on occasion, be sure to use a leave-in heat protection spray. Alterna hair offers great products targeted for hair care, including heat protection.
- Dry with a Microfiber Towel — If you’re ready to commit to going without the blow dryer or diffuser, consider hair plopping — a method of heat-free drying — using a microfiber towel or a cotton T-shirt. Unlike a typical towel texture, the microfiber towel will absorb the moisture without damaging your hair. With this technique, you’ll keep your hair wrapped in the towel until it’s dry, which helps you avoid playing with it or compromising the natural shape of the waves.
- Use Your Hands Rather Than a Comb — Rather than using a comb to rake in globs of product, which could straighten out your waves, use your fingers to work in styling aids. This will help your waves maintain their integrity while still delivering essential nutrients to help them look fresh and bouncy. We also recommend doing a light scrunch with your fingertips, scrunching from scalp to ends, to help revitalize dull waves. If you have tangle-prone hair, use a comb in the shower while you condition to detangle.
- Enhance Waves with Your Cut — One of the best ways to keep your waves bouncy is to keep your cut light with layers. Long hair gets heavy and drags down volume and shape, but the right cut can keep things perfectly textured. Make sure to regularly get your hair cut every four to eight weeks to help ensure that your hair doesn’t get too long and heavy, stretching out the waves. This will also help prevent split ends and damage, so your hair will grow faster.
At the end of the day, every individual’s hair is different, and there is no one-size-fits-all approach to wavy hair care. Every person requires a process of experimentation to discover exactly what works for them. With that being said, sticking to these salon-quality products and special techniques will help you avoid the most common mistakes.