How to Get Wavy Hair

Red headed woman with long wavy hair

Wavy hair has a carefree, sexy appeal. While you can get a perfect wavy look by going to a salon, that is really not necessary. It is possible for many people to achieve a wavy look at home. Making wavy hair wavier or adding texture to straight hair is easy with the right products, tools and techniques.

Washing Your Hair for a Wavy Look

Believe it or not, the way you wash your hair and the type of shampoo you choose has a lot to do with making your hair wavy. A simple washing regime that works on all hair types can help make your hair wavier with less frizz. This procedure will give your hair great body and provide a much needed break for hair cuticles if you often straighten your hair.


  • Sulfate free shampoo
  • Sulfate free conditioner
  • Wide tooth comb
  • Water
  • Towel
  • Curling balm or curl definer product
  • Texturing mist (optional)


  1. Wet your hair.
  2. Before shampooing, comb conditioner through your hair with a wide-tooth comb.
    • Make sure the conditioner thoroughly saturates your hair.
    • Remove any snarls while combing through your whole head of hair.
  3. Rinse the conditioner out.
  4. Shampoo twice with sulfate-free shampoo, rinsing after each wash.
  5. Apply conditioner again with the wide tooth comb, combing it through all of your hair.
  6. Leave conditioner on for one minute.
  7. Rinse conditioner out with lukewarm water, combing through while running water over your head to eliminate any snarls.
  8. Squeeze any excess water out.
  9. Pat hair dry gently with towel, eliminating as much water as possible by blotting.
    • Do not rub hair with a towel, as rubbing creates frizz.
    • Do not run a comb or brush through the hair at all.
    • Try not to run your fingers through the hair too much; only use your fingers to part your hair in the correct place.
  10. Flip head over so all your hair is hanging.
  11. Apply a curling balm or curl defining product to your hair.
    • Apply the product to your hands
    • Rub your hands together
    • Apply product by covering roots to ends, being careful not too separate the hair too much
  12. (Optional) If your hair is straight with no wave at all, spray texturizing mist gently over the whole head.

Drying Techniques for Wavy Hair

Depending your hair type, different drying methods can be used to achieve the desired body or wave.

Diffuse and Scrunch Method

Diffuse and scrunch waves

If your hair has a beautiful wave but you're looking to increase volume and potentially add more of a curl to your waves, the diffuse and scrunch method would be your best bet. For this method, you will need a blow dryer and a diffuser adaptor or mitt.

After washing your hair:

  • Flip head over and attach your diffuser mitt to the dryer.
  • Gently cup and scrunch hair into a ball, applying heat with the blow dryer until the whole head is done.
  • Finish with a mist of hairspray to set the waves after scrunching.

Air Dry Method

Prefer to let your hair air dry? Adding braids or butterfly clips to crown and to the bottom while it dries can help keep your hair from falling flat.

After washing your hair, choose the method(s) that best meet(s) your needs:

Air dry wavy hair
  • Butterfly clips at the crown: If your hair is too flat at the crown, pick up small sections of hair with butterfly clips, placing them in the center part. Allow hair to dry. Once it is dry, remove clips and apply a root lifting powder sparingly for volume.
  • Butterfly clips on the bottom: If the back of your hair needs more wave, scrunch hair into a ball while damp and place butterfly clips over pieces and allow to dry before removing clips.
  • Braiding technique: If your hair is straight with no body at all, consider applying texturizing spray to damp hair and braiding the hair into two braids. Allow braids to completely dry before taking them out to ensure a great looking wave.

Regardless of the method you use, style gently, taking care to keep from separating your waves. Spray to set hair.

Pin Curls

If your hair has no natural wave, pin curls can help add body. Pin curls are an easy way to create a romantic wave in your hair without needing too much skill.

After washing your hair:

Pin curl waves
  • Comb through your hair so there are no snarls.
  • Part your hair as you normally part it.
  • Starting at the top, take small sections of hair using a rat tail comb and wrap the hair around your finger. Slide your finger out and pin hair against your head with a pin curl clip. Do this for your entire head of hair.
  • Let your hair air dry or use a blow dryer to dry.
  • After your hair is dry, spray with a light misting of hair spray before removing clips.
  • Remove clips and style as usual.

Making Waves

Creating wavy hair is simple, but it's critical to shampoo your hair properly before styling to get the results you want. Follow these instructions and you'll be on your way to having great-looking wavy locks!

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