14 Head-Turning Haircuts & Hairstyles for Thick Wavy Hair

Watch out for the big waves.

Tousled, casually sexy and easy like Sunday morning, haircuts for thick wavy hair are a perennial favorite of women who want to look effortlessly done, but without looking too done. It’s kind of like no-makeup makeup, but for hair. You know she didn’t wake up with those perfectly aligned waves, but she definitely knew how to fake ’em.

And therein lies the promise: Hairstyles for wavy hair are accessible looks. As long as your natural hair texture doesn’t completely skew right on the afro-curly type, you have a good chance of working those beach-bunny bends. Thick, straight-ish hair, in particular, has got it good when it comes to working wavy styles. With the right looks and technique, they can actually retain some long-lasting curls with very little effort.

Read on if you’re ready for some big swells via wavy hairstyles and haircuts for thick wavy hair this season:

haircuts for thick wavy hair layers
This haircut for thick hair is a recipe for success.

1. Layers on Thin Hair

Face-framing layers flatter every face shape. They lift the eye up to the top of your face, making them one of the best haircuts for thick wavy hair. While we’re big fans of directing attention to your entire face, drawing the eye up towards your own eyes and your cheekbones is the best way to open up your face. It also gives you a glowy and welcoming vibe. Styling layered hair isn’t very complicated and this is a haircut that looks just as good when it dries naturally as it does when you blow it out.

Washing and conditioning your hair with a volume-enhancing hair care system like Bed Head by TIGI Fully Loaded Massive Volume Shampoo and Conditioning Jelly will enhance the thickness of your hair, giving you a boost of added volume. Whether you plan to DIY your blow-dry or let your hair air-dry into a beachy wavy texture, combining layers with a volumizing wash and care system will set you up for success.

haircuts for thick wavy hair loose waves
Loose waves are a great way to rock this style.

2. Straight-Edged Medium Length Hair

A straight-edged haircut can be a little trickier to deal with when it comes to thick and wavy hair. If you don’t create the right amount of volume and lift at your roots then the bottoms of your strands can easily become weighed down and create a dreaded triangle shape. You’re setting yourself up for flat roots, a voluminous and heavy bottom half of your hair, and a very low ranking in the flattering hairstyles department.

Choosing a volumizing wash and care system, like the Bed Head system mentioned previously, helps give your roots a head start when it comes to volume. Combing a drop or two of Suave Professionals Keratin Infusion Smoothing Serum throughout the bottom half of your hair to smooth out your strands, keeping them from looking too heavy. And lastly, if you’re opting for a straight-edged style, you’ll want to get comfortable with your teasing comb. Some subtle backcombing will create mega lift at your roots, keeping your hairstyle evenly proportioned.

haircuts for thick wavy hair on red hair
It’s easy to go glam with your wavy ‘do.

3. New Hollywood Waves

Characterized by a seal-like shine and perfectly aligned loose curls swooped over one side of your face, this is a go-to classic hairstyle of Hollywood bombshells then and now. On hair that’s been blowdried straight, create a deep side part and spray strands with a heat-protectant spray such as TRESemmé Thermal Creations Heat Tamer Spray. Proceed to twist hair around a closed flat iron, creating a looser, more angular bend in the hair. Shake out and align all bends, and spritz with a shine spray to finish.

choppy long hairstyles on partial highlights
Lighten up this summer with some highlights.

4. Chunky Lob

Tackle two trends in one with this versatile, super trendy take on the regular lob that not only makes you look enviably cool when running errands but can also transition perfectly into date night. Prep hair with some texturizing spray like a sea salt spray such as Bed Head by TIGI Queen Beach Salt Infused Texture Spray. After application, proceed to haphazardly twirl hair around a closed flat iron. No need to mind the direction of your curl, except for the sections around your hairline (they should direct away from your face). Part your hair slightly off-center, shake it out and you’re done.

haircuts for thick wavy hair: face framing bob
A chic face-framing bob for thick hair.

5. Angled Bob

If you have a lush, thick head of short hair, ask your stylist for a graduated bob. It can give you more styling options, especially using the longer layers in front. On damp hair, apply a ping-pong ball-sized squirt of humidity-defiant mousse like Dove Style+Care Volume Amplifier Mousse for some frizz-free, sexy volume, and distribute evenly through hair. Rough-dry for a few seconds and proceed to haphazardly curl the front layers using a medium-barreled iron. Immediately stretch out each section once done for a looser curl.

haircuts for thick wavy hair ombre
Brown-to-blonde is the ultimate color.

6. Mid-Length Ombré

Color-saturated locks aren’t solely for the super long-haired; any hair length that’s thick and lush can look gorgeously well-dimensioned with a pretty ombré balayage. Ask your stylist for color that starts to lighten below your cheekbones for a more flattering effect, and loosely blowdry hair for looser, lived-in bedhead.

haircuts for thick wavy hair vintage victory rolls
Victory roll barrels on the hairline are a hallmark of fabulous vintage-inspired style. Photo credit: Indigitalimages.com

7. Vintage Rolls

Big, proper, grown-up wavy hairstyles come into their element in a retro-inspired look, which, hooray, works the best on thick, very style-able hair. Hallmarked by shoulder-dusting waves that are curled under, they’re easily achieved with some mousse such as Nexxus Mousse Plus Volumizing Foam and large-barreled curling iron. Wear with one part secured with a pretty clip, or go the full nine and do some Victory rolls on both hairlines.

haircuts for thick wavy hair curtain bangs
Long and sexy, curtain waves have never met a face shape they can’t flatter.

8. Curtain Waves

Long, loose haircuts for wavy thick hair are a favorite of most women, because, well, they check all important boxes. They’re easy to do, ooze major sex appeal and only look more awesome as the day wears on. Start with a mousse that imparts long-lasting hold and body on blow-dried hair. Proceed to curl sections around a medium- to large-barreled iron. Choose a thinner barrel if you’re hair is thicker, so it doesn’t quickly lose the ringlet. Gently shake out once done and wear with a middle part for the full effect.

haircuts for thick wavy hair doll face bangs
Full bangs have the power to elevate nearly any look by keeping the focus on the eyes and hairline.

9. Dollface Bangs

A full brow-grazing fringe is a nifty way to mix up the texture on thick wavy hair. Using a blowout lotion, like Bed Head by TIGI Motor Mouth, blow-dry your fringe straight, resulting in some shiny, bouncy bangs. Proceed to style your waves using a curling iron (or flat iron, if you really want contrast). Finish with some serum on the lengths and ends.

haircuts for thick wavy hair lob
Long textured bobs show off your thick wavy hair in style. Photo credit: Dvora

10. Long Bob

A long bob is a great hairstyle for thick and wavy hair types, as a cut with lots of layers looks like it’s full of volume and natural body. To get the look, be sure to ask your stylist for a long bob that sits right at the collarbone. That way your style isn’t too long or too short. When it comes to styling your lob, it’s nice to wear this style naturally. This helps show off your natural thick waves. But, if you want to give your tresses a little more volume, use some hair mousse to give your hair a little more lift. 

haircuts for thick wavy hair half-up styles
Half up, half down styles show off your gorgeous waves.

11. Half-Up, Half-Down

A half-up, half-down style also shows off your thick wavy hair, so if you are looking for styling ideas that are both chic and functional, know that side twists always make a great styling choice. Twists aren’t too difficult to create, as it usually takes less than 20 minutes to create this gorgeous look. To create your twist, simply take two sections from the front part of the head, and proceed to twist them together. Add in a section of hair as you twist, and continue to twist till you reach the back of your head. Secure your look with bobby pins, and finish with TRESemmé Compressed Micro Mist Hair Spray Extend Hold Level 4 to help lock your style in place.

haircuts for thick wavy hair on long hair
Transform your waves into curls with the help of the curling iron.

12. Full, Sexy Curls

If you are already blessed with thick wavy hair, rocking full curls is an easy look you can achieve. If your hair has a natural wave to it, it’s easy to achieve a full sexy curl. Simply grab a one or two-inch sized curling iron, and proceed to create loose barrel curls throughout the head. Finish with some strong-hold hairspray to complete your look.

haircuts for thick wavy hair lob
Asymmetrical bobs make for a chic and gorgeous style!

13. Experiment with Asymmetrical Cuts

Asymmetrical chops show off your thick wavy hair because asymmetrical bobs, in particular, can give your waves some attitude. To get haircuts for thick wavy hair like this, simply ask your stylist to create an asymmetrical cut. 

haircuts for thick hair shag
Shaggy styles can help show off your natural texture and body. Photo credit: indigitalimages.com

14. Shaggy Styles with Bangs

A great shaggy style with some added bangs helps play up your thick wavy hair, as it gives your hair an edgy and playful vibe. To get the look, ask your stylist to add some playful and wispy layers throughout your cut. This will help to give it some natural texture.