Tutorial: Holiday Cascading Waves

Want a holly-jolly party look? Turn to this red-carpet fave.

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Cascading Waves for the holidays


Hair Types

Want to stand out in a sea of partygoers this holiday season? What better way to do so than to rock a classic, glamorous style such as cascading waves? It’s a sophisticated, romantic look that doesn’t really take more than a curling iron and some mousse—things that every beauty girl worth her salt already has on the ready—and a bit of an eye for precision.

The little detail that separates cascading waves from your regular, run-of-the-mill curly hairstyle is the positioning of your waves. Big and structured, they’re typically brushed out to align perfectly, giving the impression of polished perfection—your basic A-Lister’s red-carpet look, in other words. Scroll down as we deconstruct this classy cascading waves look that’s ideal for your glitzy holiday parties (we love it for Christmas Eve and NYE!):

Tutorial: Holiday Cascading Waves


Start with clean, freshly washed hair.

Prep hair for curling by washing with a volume-enhancing system. We like the fullness we get from TRESemmé 24 Hour Body Healthy Volume Shampoo and TRESemmé 24 Hour Body Healthy Volume Conditioner.

start styling cascading waves with wet hair

Apply some mousse.

After towel-drying and combing hair out to detangle, apply a ping-pong ball-sized amount of mousse from root to tip. We like the effortless structure we get from a volumizing formula like Nexxus Mousse Plus Volumizing Foam. Distribute evenly through locks by using a wide-toothed comb, and you’re much closer to getting those cascading waves you crave!

mousse adds body to cascading waves

Blow-dry your hair.

Using a medium heat setting and your fingers to rough-dry, blow-dry hair till 90 percent dry.

blowdry wet hair to create cascading waves

Create your side part.

Using the end of a rat-tail comb, create a side part and comb through to refine and smoothen.

cascading waves look great with a side part

Begin curling.

Twirl hair around a 1.25″ or 1.5″ barrel curling iron, hold for around five to eight seconds, then release. For a more modern, structured wave, do as the stylists did backstage at Rebecca Minkoff and curl hair horizontally, not vertically. Repeat on all sections, starting the curl at ear length and going in one direction.

curl hair around an iron to create cascading waves

Brush it out.

Take a flat brush (paddle or oval) and lightly brush curls to separate and soften each section, aligning them as you go. No tugging!

cascading waves look sexier when brushed out

Finish with hairspray.

Holding the can around 12″ from your head, mist hair with an even coating of hairspray, such as TRESemmé TRES Two Extra Hold Hairspray, for control and frizz protection.

set your cascading waves with hairspray


Refine any flyaways by using a fine-toothed comb and align your waves. You’re all set!

glam cascading waves for evening

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