The Ultimate Wavy Hair Guide

The Ultimate Wavy Hair Guide

So you have wavy hair, but aren’t quite sure how to look after it. Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered with all the knowledge you need to properly care for and get the most out of your locks.

Characteristics of Wavy Hair

Wavy hair, also known as type 2 hair, can be split into three different subtypes: 2A, 2B, and 2C. It is the hair type that sits in between straight and curly, from loose loops to ‘S’ shaped waves.

What is Wavy Hair

Curly hair on the other hand, has a more distinct curl pattern formation depending on the tightness of the curl. The pattern is generally seen as a tight ‘O’ shape or a corkscrew, which is what makes it different to wavy hair. Coily hair has the tightest curl pattern of the three, and can be seen either in a ‘Z’ shaped angle or tight coils starting at the root of the scalp.

The different wavy hair types each have their own characteristics that set them apart. 2A hair tends to have a tousled texture. 2B hair consists of ‘S’ shaped waves in the lengths, but sits relatively straight at the roots. 2C hair has even more defined ‘S’ shaped curls that start from the root and continue down the lengths of the hair.

Once you’ve identified you have wavy hair, you should also explore your hair’s porosity. Depending on the porosity of your wavy hair you will want to take care of it in different ways. There are three porosity types:

High Porosity: In high porosity hair, the cuticles of individual hairs are very open. This makes it extremely easy for moisture to enter the strand, but also just as easy for it to leave.

Medium Porosity: The cuticles in medium porosity hair are slightly open, this makes it somewhat easy for moisture to enter the strand. But it won’t leave as quickly as in high porosity. This makes this hair type the easiest to look after.

Low Porosity: The cuticles in low porosity hair are very tight, this makes it difficult for moisture to enter the strands. But once it does it is retained very well.

All of these porosities require different care, so identifying which one your wavy hair has is essential.

Type 2A Hair

Hair Type 2A

2A hair has a very loose tousled texture. The wave is slightly accentuated and can lose its shape easily, becoming almost straight. For this type of wavy hair, it’s important to use very lightweight styling products that provide good hold, to ensure the style can last for longer. You may want to avoid layering styling products to make sure you are not weighing the waves down.

Type 2B Hair

Hair Type 2B

2B hair has a tighter S shape. The texture is still loose and easily weighed down, but it tends to maintain its shape better than 2A. This curl type tends to react well to styling creams, but again we recommend only using one styler at a time to avoid weighing down wavy hair.

Type 2C Hair

Hair Type 2C

Type 2C hair has a very tight S shape texture, and some strands may even start to become loose corkscrews when styled. Out of all the wavy hair types this is the most prone to frizz, so it’s important to combine both moisture and hold in the styling choice.

How to wash wavy hair?

Washing Wavy Hair

Wavy hair is the least dry among the curl types, so it tends to develop more oil on the scalp.

If you feel like you need to wash your wavy hair more often, we recommend using our Curl Quenching Conditioning Wash instead, as the gentler nature of the co-wash will help maintain the hair’s natural moisture. You should also introduce a clarifying shampoo like our Wash & Scrub Detox Pro-Biotic in your routine once a week, to really get rid of all dirt and build-up that might weigh down your roots and make them look flatter.

And don’t forget the conditioner! Moisture is super important for any curl type, including wavy hair, so make sure you always use a conditioning product every time you wash your hair. When it comes to deep conditioning, we recommend using a lighter formula that won’t weigh down your hair: our Hydro Crème Soothing Mask is great for this. For hair that isn’t as dry, you may choose to use this slightly less often, every other week should be enough.

Top tips for styling wavy hair

Styling Wavy Hair

Knowing how to style your wavy hair is essential for getting the most from your curls. With the right knowledge and products you’ll have the hair of your dream in no time!

  • Don’t layer too many products. Wavy hair is easily weighed down and it can lose its shape quickly, so try to use only one styler in your routine to avoid build-up. The Hydro Style Flexi Jelly is a great option to provide hold without weighing the wavy hair down.
  • Apply your styling products with your head upside down to get more volume into your wavy hair
  • Apply your products on soaking wet hair. This will help disperse the product and make it lighter, so it won’t weigh down your texture
  • Scrunch, scrunch and scrunch again. Scrunching encourages wavy hair to spring up, so it’s the best way to enhance loose textures
  • Plop your wavy hair in a towel for some time before drying to encourage the wave formation.
  • If you want to achieve more volume, try light textures like our Bouncy Strength Volume Foam and liquid gels like our Hydro Style Flexi Jelly. They will provide definition without weighing the hair down.
  • Use a diffuser to achieve more volume

To get the most from your wavy hair, it needs to be in its best condition. Having an optimal protein moisture balance will also help with achieving the best results possible.

How to protect wavy hair in between washes

If you want to make sure your waves last until the next wash, it is very important to protect them when you sleep. To encourage the texture to spring up, we recommend sleeping with a tight satin scarf or a small bonnet that will keep the waves “scrunched” during the night. This will allow you to wake up with perfect, bouncy wavy hair!

How to refresh & enhance wavy hair

Wavy hair has a looser curl pattern that tends to lose its shape quite quickly, so you may find that you need to refresh your hair more often in order to maintain the style until the next wash. We recommend refreshing a little every morning to ensure your waves stay bouncy and defined. Here are our top refreshing tips:

  • If you find your roots have flattened and have become a bit oily, spray some dry shampoo to absorb it and create more texture
  • Refresh on dry hair using very little product. Light textures like liquid gel or mousse work best, as they avoid weighing your hair down. Spray some water in your hands and emulsify your product of choice, to make it even lighter.
  • Use a scrunching motion to apply your stylers, to encourage waves to spring back up.

About Curlsmith

Ensuring we never test on animals, Curlsmith are dedicated to using clean, natural ingredients in all of our products. Working in collaboration with world-renowned trichologists, bloggers and curly hair stylists, we are able to incorporate the science and knowledge into all of our products. This means we were able to create premium, gourmet hair care gentle enough for all curl types. From our strength range that works to reinforce hair, to our moisture range that provides needed hydration, to our scalp range that creates the best environment for your hair follicles, all your curly hair needs are covered at Curlsmith!

Gaia Tonanzi
Product Development & Textured Hair Expert

Product development expert on a mission to shine the spotlight on textured hair, bringing awareness of the category to the whole haircare industry. She is passionate about debunking false myths and bringing science-backed facts to the community, creating easy-to-follow guides to simplify curly haircare.

Gaia Tonanzi
Product Development & Textured Hair Expert

Product development expert on a mission to shine the spotlight on textured hair, bringing awareness of the category to the whole haircare industry. She is passionate about debunking false myths and bringing science-backed facts to the community, creating easy-to-follow guides to simplify curly haircare.