Make waves: How to do wavy hair in 6 different ways

Have you always wanted to know how to get wavy hair? Today's your lucky day! Whatever your natural hair type or length, we've got everyone covered with our comprehensive wavy hair how to guide.  

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woman with long blonde hair in undone waves wearing a green dress outside



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If we could only rock one hairstyle for the rest of our lives, classic waves would definitely be a strong contender. A more undone, effortless alternative to tighter curls (that’s perfect for day or night), it’s no wonder that so many of us want to know how to get wavy hair ourselves.

As much as we wish we woke up with perfect Victoria’s Secret model beach waves everyday, we aren’t all fortunate enough to have a whole glam squad on hand! So instead, we’ve had to get resourceful in our hunt for the perfect DIY method…

And luckily for you, we’ve discovered not 1 but 5 different ways to achieve the look. Yep, seriously! So, the choice is all yours. Whether you’re looking for a quick and easy method using styling tools or a heat-free technique to limit damage to your strands, we’ve got it all.

1. How to make your hair wavy with a curling iron


If you’re looking for a more polished wavy hair how-to for date night or a family get-together, you’ll need to reach for a curling wand. But if you’ve only ever used a curling wand to create tight coils, keep reading to get the low-down…


Prep your tresses

To begin, take your bottle of the VO5 Express Primer Spray and mist your tresses.

This nifty product will help detangle your mane and reduce flyaways, as well as provide you with heat protection against styling tools.


woman with long blonde hair spraying the VO5 primer spray into her hair

Section and spray.

Once you have primed your hair, section it off using clips so that it is ready for styling.

Then take a 2-3 inch section of hair and spritz it with the TRESemmé Make Waves Creation HairsprayThis will help give your style longevity and make it easier to make hair wavy.

woman with long blonde hair spraying her hair with hairspray

Curl your hair.

Position your curling wand horizontally to your face and wrap the hair around the barrel facing away from you.

Hold this in place for a few seconds and release, catching the curl with your hands to allow it to cool into shape.

woman with long blonde hair using a curling wand

Separate your curls.

Once you have curled all of your hair, gently run your fingers through your strands to seperate them and give a more undone, relaxed feel to your look!

woman with long blonde hair in waves running her fingers through her hair

Final look.

Congratulations, you’ve now mastered the curling wand method to achieving the waves of your dreams! Now just finish off with one final spray of hairspray and you’re ready to go!

woman with long blonde hair in undone waves wearing a green dress


2. How to: Wavy hair using the twist method


Odds are, you’ve probably been asking yourself “how do you make your hair wavy?” without realising that you already have the perfect wave maker at home. We’re talking about your trusty straighteners!

No we haven’t been sniffing the hairspray again, because what you may not know, is that straighteners are actually great for creating non-straight styles. They can be used to create an array of curled, crimped and wavy styles, so if you’ve never tried it before, give it a shot using our simple steps below!

girl with long blonde hair twisting a piece of her hair
Hair novice? This twisted wavy hair how to is foolproof.

Step 1: Wash your hair

Before we get into how to get wavy hair, you should start by washing your hair with a lightweight shampoo and conditioner. You want your waves to stay bouncy and full, so try to avoid rich, heavy products and stick to formulas like the Dove Advanced Hair Series Oxygen & Moisture Shampoo and Conditioner.

Squeeze out most of the water from your hair after getting out of the shower and spritz your strands with the VO5 Heat Protect Spray.

Step 2: Dry your hair

Then, use a blow dryer to dry your hair, using your fingers to lift your tresses up from the roots to boost volume.

Step 3: Twist your hair

Next, divide your hair into 6-8 sections (depending on how wavy you want your ‘do to turn out). Working on 1 section at a time, divide the piece of hair into 2 and begin wrapping the strands together from root to tip.

Step 4: Run your straighteners down the twist

Holding the bottom of the twist with one hand, take your straightener with the other hand and slowly run it down the length of the twist. Release the twist and you’ll be left with a natural-looking wave! Repeat this step for the remaining sections of hair.

Step 5: Set in place

Once you’ve finished your whole head, set your waves in place using a light hold hairspray, such as the TRESemmé Perfectly (Un)Done Ultra Brushable Hairspray, to provide hold without leaving your hair crispy or hard.


3. How to get wavy hair with straighteners: Alternate angles

Thought there was only one way to make hair wavy with straighteners? Nope! For picture-perfect waves, sit tight and follow these simple steps…

blonde model using straighteners to get wavy hair
Did you know that straighteners can be used to make hair wavy?

Step 1: Prep your locks

Begin by applying a heat protectant to dry hair and brushing through your strands to make sure there’s no tangles. This is particularly important, as you won’t be able to pull the straighteners through your locks with ease unless they’re totally knot-free.

Step 2: Use your straighteners to make waves

To make hair wavy, take a section of hair and place your straightener close to the root. Begin pulling it down the hair shaft as you would if you were straightening your hair, then alternately rotate your wrist 45 degrees away and towards from your face as you work your way down.

Remember to pause for a few inches between flips to create soft kinks. Continue the process all the way down the piece of hair, leaving a couple of inches free at the tips to create a modern modern finish.

Step 3: Apply sea salt spray

Finally, spritz some of the Toni&Guy Sea Salt Texturising Spray through your mid-lengths and ends, and scrunch it into your hair to leave you with a tousled, beachy effect.


4. How to make curly hair wavy using flexi rods

Want to know how to style naturally wavy hair or how to make curly hair wavy? Whether you’re hoping to tame wild curls or just want your natural waves to look a little more chic, flexi rods will be your new BFF.

black model curling her hair with pink flexi rods
Need a way to make hair wavy without heat? We’ve got you covered. Credit: Verity Jane Smith

Step 1: Wet your hair

Afro hair types don’t need to be washed as regularly as Caucasian hair, so if you’re not due a hair wash, don’t fret.

Instead, just dampen your hair using a spray bottle of water and apply a moisturising leave-in conditioner, such as the TRESemmé Botanique Nourish & Replenish Hydrating Mist. This will not only hydrate your strands but acts as a detangler, too!

Step 2: Twist your hair around a flexi rod

Then, take a piece of hair about 2 inches thick and wrap it around the straightened rod, in the same way you would if you were using a curling wand.

Step 3: Bend your flexi rod into shape

To set the flexi rod in place, bend each end in opposite directions so that they make an ‘S’ formation.

Step 4: Remove your flexi rods

When you’ve put all of your hair into the flexi rods, you can either leave your hair to dry overnight or you can use a hairdryer to speed up the process.

Once they’re dry, remove the rods and you’ll be left with a head of springy curls– but don’t panic! To loosen these curls into soft waves, simply use your fingers to gently comb through your hair.

Step 5: Apply an oil

Finally, run a few drops of the Dove Pure Care Dry Oil Nourishing Treatment through your hair to ensure your waves stay soft and shiny.


5. How to: Get wavy hair using overnight braids

Love the look of waves but love your bed more? We feel you. But luckily there’s a way to get boho waves while you sleep. No, seriously! Find out why it’s braids – not diamonds – are really a girl’s best friend, below.

girl with ombre brunette to blonde hair unravelling braids
Make hair wavy with overnight braids. Credit: Verity Jane Smith

Step 1: Dampen your hair

While you can braid on dry hair, you’ll get better results if your hair is damp, so either wash your hair or dampen it slightly with a spritz of water. Then, to give your hair extra texture and help make the braiding process easier, apply a sea salt spray through your mid-lengths and ends.

Step 2: Separate your hair into sections

Now divide your hair into sections to prepare for braiding. Depending on how loose you want your curls to be, you can choose to make the sections bigger or smaller.

Step 3: Start braiding

Take one section at a time and begin braiding using the basic 3-strand technique. Keep your braids quite tight, as this will give you a more defined result.

Step 4: Leave to dry overnight

Once you’ve braided your whole head, go to bed and leave your hair to dry overnight.

Step 5: Unravel the braids

In the morning, slowly undo each braid and marvel at your voluminous, wavy mane.

Step 6: Spray with hairspray

To finish, spray your hair with hairspray and your waves won’t be going anywhere!

6. Short Wavy Hair Video Tutorial


Did you find this wavy hair how to useful? If you did, head over to our Wavy Hairstyles page now for even more awe-inspiring wavespiration!

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