Wavy hair tips and styling hacks: The ultimate cheat sheet for tousled locks
Wave goodbye to unruly tresses, we've got the A-Z's of styling tousled hair covered with our wavy hair tips...
A quick scroll of your Insta feed should confirm that wavy locks are so in right now. With that in mind, we’ve compiled an in-depth guide to answer all your curly coif maintenance and styling questions. Plus, give you the 411 on our failsafe wavy hair tips and tricks.
While celebs like Alexa Chung have been working their loose curls for years, influencers and A-listers everywhere are now adopting this versatile style as their everyday ‘do. Worn with a messy-cool finish a la Ashley Graham or perfectly polished like Emma Stone’s copper curls, waves are one of the easiest looks to style up or down.
So, whether your wavy locks are au naturel or courtesy of a curling wand, it’s important to get to grips with the best tips, tricks, and techniques for tousled tresses.
Wavy hair tips and tricks
Wavy hair styling products
No matter what finish you’re looking for, the key to creating waves that will last throughout the day is to start with the right products. When you wash your hair, use moisturising formulas to keep it from looking frizzy or dry.
Post-styling, keep your tresses in place with the VO5 Wave Creation Hairspray. Mist it over just-waved hair if you’re using a heated curling tool or spray it onto naturally wavy hair and scrunch with your hands. This will add definition to the waves and, most, importantly, ensure that they stay in place from a.m to p.m. Credit: @maneaddicts
How do you make hair wavy?
If you weren’t born with natural waves, you can always achieve the look with the help of a curling wand or straightener. Simply section and loosely curl the hair from front to back, comb through with your fingers and add a texturising spray to finish. Check out our tutorial on how to get waves to see this simple process in more detail.
Starting with wet locks? No problem. Use a hairdryer to create loose waves by curling and pinning sections of the hair up as you go. This technique will not only help set your waves in place, it will also give you that voluminous just-out-the-salon touch.
How to style wavy hair without heat
Don’t have a curling wand to hand? Don’t fret! There are still plenty of ways to create no-heat waves, here are 3 of our top techniques:
1. Sock curls are by far one of the easiest methods to create no-heat waves. Simply cut the toe off a clean sock and roll it into a hair donut. Tuck your hair around the donut and leave it in overnight to form messy, undone waves.
2. An overnight braid will let you catch some z’s while your plaits do all the work. Divide and weave the hair into as many small braids as you would like and unravel them in the morning. The smaller you make them, the tighter your waves will be.
3. A twisted bun is a great multi-tasking option for day-to-night styling. Twist the hair into an updo during the day, then unravel the style at night and finger comb your hair to release the waves.
How to style wavy hair without frizz
While undone, model-off-duty waves are always a style we’re trying to emulate, frizzy locks are most definitely not. The battle against unwanted texture starts with your styling products. Try periodically using a moisturising mask like the TRESemmé Biotin + Repair 7 Intensive Mask to keep hair healthy and nourished. The appearance of dryness can lead to frizz, so the healthier your hair, the less surface texture it will have.
Post-styling, if you want to tame any loose flyaways or add more shine to the hair’s surface, use a few drops of a nourishing oil like the TRESemmé Keratin Smooth Oil. Place a small amount of the product in your palm and gently finger comb through your waves to add shine and give you a smooth finish.
How to make curls more defined for wavy hair
When it comes to wavy hair, curl definition is often a top priority. You can easily create a more ‘done’ finish to your waves by using a curling tong. There’s no need to divide the hair into sections as you go, simply pick a few pieces at random to curl. These perfectly-formed spirals will add the appearance of volume to the hair and leave you with a more finessed finish.
For naturally wavy hair, you can also try using the hair plopping technique to create more precise waves. This method keeps the hair compressed to the top of the head while it air dries. Giving loose curls more of a refined look than simply letting them dry loosely.
Do you brush wavy hair?
Depending on your hair type, thickness and grooming routine, you might need to brush through your curled or natural waves to style them. Before you do, it’s important to take into account whether you have fine or thick hair, and what your styling needs are when choosing your hairbrush.
Whatever tool works for your hair, it’s important to follow one golden rule when brushing wavy hair: be gentle! As curls and waves are manipulated by the brush, it’s important not to be too rough, this can cause damage to the surface of the hair, leading to frizz.
How to care for wavy hair: ATH’s Saby weighs-in with her top tips
When looking after the condition of wavy hair, it’s important to adapt your grooming routine slightly for each season. “In the winter, my hair is always a little drier,” says Saby Salvatierra, Influencer and Outreach Manager at All Things Hair. “So, I like to use a leave-in conditioner to make sure my hair stays moisturised.”
As for her top styling suggestions? “I prefer to dry my roots and then let my ends of my hair dry naturally. This helps my waves look more voluminous.” Adding, “when you have wavy hair, it’s also important to use a heat protectant spray to limit any damage that may cause frizz.”
How to style wavy hair
Looking for a little hair-spiration? Here are four easy looks that work with all tousled tresses…
Sleek and chic
As the perfect finishing touch to literally any outfit, polished waves make a statement all on their own. The go-to ‘do for some of the world’s most-copied hair heroes like the Duchess of Cambridge and Blake Lively, glamorous, coiffed curls can’t be beaten. Day or night.
Take a walk on the wild side of wavy hair trends by sporting voluminous, untamed curls. Add an extra woke up like this touch to the look by backcombing your roots and mid-sections of the hair. Pair the look with a mixture of braids and hair accessories for instant festival-worthy appeal.
Teased and tousled
Back-from-the-beach hair will always be a winner in our books, no matter what the weather dictates. If you prefer to keep your coif more low-key, one of our pro wavy hair tips is to style the look with the VO5 Texturising Sea Salt Spray. This will give you a natural-looking, messy mane.
Need more volume? Simply use your fingers to carefully backcomb and twist random strands of hair at the mid-lengths.
Romantic retro waves
Beloved by some of the most iconic Disney Princesses ever (Rapunzel‘s tumbling curls, anyone?), retro waves are totally timeless. Take your styling cues from Ms. Campbell and add centre parting to up the drama with longer locks, especially for an after-hours event.