The Ultimate Guide to Wavy Hair Care and Styling Products
Say goodbye to frizz and embrace your waves with pro tricks and styling products designed to create touchable, soft waves that last.
If you have wavy hair, you know that your locks likely have plenty of natural texture. Embrace it! With the right products, you can manage frizz and counteract dryness. Check out these expert-approved recommendations to care for and style wavy hair—and keep frizz and dryness at bay. (If you want to enhance your waves even more, check out our step-by-step guide to creating beachy waves with a flat iron!)
Hydrating Shampoo and Conditioner
Great waves start in the shower with a hydrating shampoo and conditioner. Because wavy hair tends to be on the drier side, it's important to add moisture back whenever you can. Tip: Detangle your waves before you rinse out your conditioner to prevent wear and tear on the hair.
Wavy hair tends to get dry and is prone to frizz, says Nunzio Saviano, stylist and founder of Nunzio Saviano Salon. The simple fix: Use a styling product with conditioning benefits like a curl cream or lotion. “People with naturally wavy hair can use an anti-frizz cream to help hold the wave and keep hair soft and healthy,” says Amanda Scott, stylist from Serge Normant John Frieda Salon. Use a quarter size amount for thick hair (a bit less for finer textures) on damp hair before air-drying or diffusing with a dryer. You can also use anti-frizz cream to create a smoother style or as a midday touch-up to control frizz.
Texturizing Salt Spray
Forget the curling iron. When your hair is naturally wavy, you can get that beachy, undone texture with a salt spray. “Sea salt works because it mimics the effect of swimming in the salty ocean all day long,” Saviano says. Ingredients like Dead Sea salt and sea kelp in the Beach Babe Texturizing Sea Salt Spray work to enhance your natural shine and soften dry or coarse hair. Sea salt sprays can be applied to damp or dry hair. (If your hair needs more hydration, apply a styling cream first). Spray generously over all of your hair and scrunch to create an instant texture boost. Saviano notes that if you use salt sprays often, it’s important to wash your hair with a clarifying shampoo once a week to remove product buildup.
Dove hairstylist Cynthia Alvarez says that mousse is a great styling product for soft, touchable waves because it defines your wave pattern and controls frizz. To apply, squeeze a golf-ball size amount onto your hair from the roots to the ends, then scrunch evenly throughout your hair. Similar to styling creams, a little goes a long way with styling mousse. “Overapplying product can result in the hair feeling weighed down versus feeling bouncy and smooth,” Alvarez says.
Hair sectioning clips are a great way to create extra volume when you are air-drying wavy hair. By separating the top section of hair from the bottom section, you will end up with less of a triangle look (when the shape of your hair is voluminous at the bottom and flatter at the top) once the hair is dry, Scott says. She suggests using clips to lift up the top section of the hair so that as your hair dries, the top layers won’t get pulled down by the weight of all the hair. Once your hair is dry, you can either leave it natural or use your preferred styling method.
Wavy hair and warm, muggy climates are a recipe for major frizz—unless you put a barrier between your hair and the elements. You'll end up with fewer flyaways and less frizz, and your hair will still have natural movement. “A humidity-shielding spray works wonders to keep frizz at bay,” Alvarez says. Dove Compressed Micro Mist Flexible Hold Hairspray is lightweight and nonsticky, meaning your hair won’t feel crunchy after spraying it on.
Sometimes we want to take our waves to the next level. Luckily, reshaping them (or making them more curly than wavy) is super simple. “For those days when your waves or curls are not in sync, define them with a curling iron,” Jonathan Colombini, L’Oréal Paris celebrity hairstylist suggests. Curling irons will create loose waves or curls while eliminating frizz. The key to natural-looking waves is to switch up the direction you are curling your hair so the waves will be flowing in opposite directions, Colombini says. This creates more dimension and gives you a natural texture look.