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How To Get Wavy Hair: 5 Hairstyle How-Tos

November 10, 2020

6 Min read

The fact is, effortless-looking beachy waves are actually not that effortless. So how do you achieve these picture-perfect waves for yourself, especially if you don’t live anywhere near a beach? Whether you’re good with heat styling tools or not, we’ve got you covered. Hint: there are plenty of ways to get wavy hair without ever picking up a heat tool. Here are five ways to get the waves you’ve always dreamed of.

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Curling Wand

This first method is probably the most obvious way to get wavy hair. It might take a little bit of practice, but a large barreled curling wand can be very useful for getting different types of loose curls. The first thing you’ll want to do is apply a heat protectant on your hair to prevent damage. Then, brush through your hair completely to detangle it and ensure it’s completely dry. 

Next, section off the top of your hair with a clip. Point the curling want downward and wrap 1.5-inch sections of hair away from your face. After you release the hair from the wand, hold it in your hair for a few seconds so that it holds its shape as it cools down. Do this for the sides and back of your hair (without burning yourself). Then, take down the top sections of hair and part your hair as you normally would. When you get to the pieces of hair that frame your face, curl a few inches down from the roots, so those pieces are less curly. 

After you’ve curled all the pieces, shake your hair out upside down to loosen up the curls and run your fingers through to separate them a little bit by hand. 

The last step is to spritz with hairspray to make sure the curls stay all day. 

Flat Iron

The next method is for those of you who are better with a flat iron than a curling wand. You might be thinking, “How do you use a tool that’s meant for straightening hair to make it curly?” Well, you’d be surprised how multifunctional a flat iron can be. 

This method also uses heat, obviously, so remember to use a heat protectant before you begin. First, pick up a section of hair and drop it into the flat iron to create a bent look. With the same piece, clamp the flat iron in an “S” shape. Repeat this motion on the rest of your hair. 

For slightly more defined waves, you can try a method of twirling and pulling. First, section out a 1-inch section of hair and then hold the flat iron at an angle. Turn the flat iron away from your face and slide the iron down the hair, twirling the iron away from your face again. Once your hair has cooled, use your fingers to loosen the curls for a more natural, less-defined look.  

Hair Donut

This next method is for those of you who prefer not to use heat. The hair donut or sock bun method gained popularity through DIY YouTube tutorials. 

First, start with damp hair and gently pull your hair into a high ponytail at the top of your head. Then, using a hair donut or a rolled-up sock, slip your ponytail through the hole. For the DIY version, cut the toe part of the sock off and scrunch it into a donut shape. Next, use your index finger and thumb to grab hair through the hole and pull it around the donut. Spread the hair over the whole donut, so it’s not just in one spot. Make sure to tuck the ends in or use a bobby pin to secure. 

Let your hair dry in this sock bun for at least 6 hours. It’s best to do this before you go to sleep. In the morning, remove the hair donut and shake out your curls. Use a little bit of hairspray to make sure the curls hold. Finish with a bit of hair oil to smooth any flyaways.

Braid Waves

This approach to waves can be fun and also practical — you get two days of hairstyles out of it. You can wear the braids for a day and then take them out for beachy waves. You’ll want to start with damp hair and separate it into sections. The more sections you do, the tighter the waves will be. 

Take the hair you are not braiding right now and clip it away so it’s not in your way. Next, braid your hair loosely with either a three-strand braid, french braid, or fishtail braid. Each braid will create different types of waves, so you can experiment with whichever one you like best. 

Use a hair elastic to secure each braid. Try to braid as far down to the bottom of your hair as you can to avoid your ends looking too straight. Make sure the hair tie is tight enough to hold the braid in while you sleep, but not too tight that it damages your hair. You can either sleep with the braids in or wear them out for a day before taking them out. If your hair needs a little freshening up on the second day, you can use dry shampoo on your waves.

Wet-Set Pin Curls

Pin curls are one of the oldest techniques for getting wavy hair. This method has been used since the 1920s. It has, of course, evolved over the last hundred years or so, but the original concept remains. 

This wavy hair method requires very few tools. All you’ll need are bobby pins, a blow dryer, leave-in conditioner, and hair oil. Start with damp hair. Apply leave-in conditioner from mid-length to ends. Next, create hair sections that are about 1.5 inches wide. With each section, roll the hair from the end to the root with your hands and secure it to your head with bobby pins. It’s easiest to start with the front pieces and work your way to the back. 

Continue doing this until all of your hair has been pinned. You can either let it air-dry or use a blow dryer to set the curls. You could also carefully wrap your hair with a silk or satin scarf and sleep on it to make sure it dries all the way. When you take the pin curls out, use your fingers to smooth them. Place your hands underneath your hair and shake it out from the roots. This will help the hair fall more naturally. 

Carefully brush out your hair with a wide-tooth comb or your fingers. This will help get your hair into the desired shape without overstretching the curl. Finish with hair oil to smooth.

In Summary

Whether you decide to use heat or not, there are plenty of ways to get picture-perfect waves. The great thing about wavy hairstyles is that they look effortless and complement all face shapes, ages, and hair types. If getting those loose curls seems daunting, use one of these easy and quick methods to help make it a bit easier. The key to making these waves look natural is using the right tools, styling tricks, and, of course, patience. If at first, you don’t succeed, try again!

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

The Prose Staff is here to share the best hair tips and tricks to help you achieve all your hair goals with custom hair care, breakthrough innovation and more

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