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The 7 Best Products for Waves to Buy in 2024

Searching for the best products for waves can take a lot of trial and error. To help, we put together a list of the best products for waves for various hair types and styling needs. 

What’s the Best Product for Waves?

All hair is different, so the best products for waves depend on your hair type and the style you’re trying to achieve.

Our top picks reflect the diversity of hair textures and styling techniques and emphasize quality, nourishing ingredients. 

Our Top Picks

  1. Best Overall: Ocean View Hair Pomade
  2. Best Water-Based Product Suavecito Pomade Firme Hold
  3. Best Oil-Based Product Luster’s S-Curl 360 Wave Control Pomade
  4. Best for 4c Hair: Roller Coaster Waves Pomade
  5. Best for a Strong Hold: Murray’s Superior Hair Dressing Pomade
  6. Best Moisturizing Product WaveBuilder Cocoa and Shea Pomade
  7. Best for Shine: Sportin’ Waves Pomade

Ocean View Hair Pomade provides the perfect balance of hold and slip, making it a versatile pomade that works with all kinds of wave styles. A quality styling product is essential to achieving waves, regardless of which products you prefer. 

Why You Need Products for Waves

Man using some of the best products for waves on his head

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If you want to wear your short hair in waves, you won’t be able to pull it off without using the right products. Folks first trying out waves may grab the first random hair gel or hair cream they see — this is a big mistake.

Curly hair products have different purposes and don’t work for every texture or style. For instance, a light cream designed for long, loose curls won’t do much for forming waves on short, coily hair. 

Additionally, whatever styling product you use for waves might stay in your hair for a relatively long time. Thus, the best products for waves should contain nourishing ingredients that benefit your hair and scalp health. 

Best Products for Waves: Top 7 Picks

Our top picks for the best products for waves include the pomades with the highest-quality ingredients and overwhelmingly positive user reviews.

1. Ocean View Hair Pomade

Best Overall
Ocean View Hair Pomade
  • The water-based formula doesn't create residue
  • Strong hold that lasts throughout the day
  • Gel texture allows for easy styling
  • Prone to clumping if you use too much
  • Slightly watery texture
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Ocean View Hair Pomade is ideal for creating deep, well-defined waves. Since this pomade has a water-based formula, you can easily apply it and rinse it. The product has a gel-like consistency, but after you put it in your hair, it will dry with a strong hold, much like a traditional pomade.

This pomade provides definition and a reliable hold without clogging up the hair follicles. Furthermore, unlike other lower-quality water-based pomades, Ocean View Pomade creates an attractive shine on your hair, flattering the wave pattern and enhancing the defined look.

Newcomers to the product might misjudge the water consistency and put far too much product in their hair, creating unattractive clumps. However, if you use small amounts at a time, you will get great results with this pomade and make it last for ages. 

2. Suavecito Pomade Firme Hold

Best Water-Based Product
Suavecito Pomade Firme Hold
  • Non-greasy formula
  • Enough slip for styling
  • Easy to rinse out
  • Medium hold might not be enough for tighter curl patterns
  • Notably strong fragrance
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Suavecito Pomade Firme Hold is a nice pomade if you want a wave product with a medium hold. The water-based formula is light and creamy, allowing plenty of slip while styling and preventing any greasy buildup.

As a water-based pomade, Suavecito is generally a good pick for folks with sensitive scalps or fine hair. However, one of the only common criticisms of this product is the strong scent, which some people find irritating.

The hold will seem relatively strong if you have a loose curl pattern. On the other hand, people with tight curls or coils will have a medium hold result with this product. 

3. Luster’s S-Curl 360 Wave Control Pomade

Best Oil-Based Product
Luster's S-Curl 360 Wave Control Pomade
  • Makes your waves shiny
  • Shea butter adds extra moisture
  • Not as greasy as other oil-based pomades
  • Contains petroleum
  • Irritating for sensitive skin
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Luster’s S-Curl 360 Wave Control Pomade is an excellent oil-based pomade at an affordable price. This pomade has a water-soluble formula that ensures an easy rinsing process and minimal residue. 

In addition to oil, this pomade contains shea butter, which contributes to more shine and moisture, thus producing better-defined waves. This product has a ton of slip for easy styling, and the strong hold means you can get results while using a minimal amount.

The main downside to this pomade is that it has ingredients that are common irritants for many people. If you have a sensitive scalp, you should probably avoid oil-based pomades.

4. Roller Coaster Waves Pomade

Best for 4C Hair
Roller Coaster Waves Pomade
  • Hydrating ingredients that nourish hair
  • Maintains a nice shine and doesn't clump
  • Detangles and defines curls
  • Added fragrance isn't good for sensitive skin
  • Doesn't set very quickly
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Roller Coaster Waves Pomade is a fun product with enough power to style tight, 4c curls. This water-based pomade has hydrating ingredients, such as aloe vera, argan oil, and shea butter.

The pomade’s extreme slip and moisturizing, shine-creating ingredients make it a decent product for folks with a tight curl pattern. If you’re worried about your waves looking dull or not laying as flat as you’d like, Roller Coaster Waves can provide the hold and shine you need.

This brand does feature an added fragrance, so while the other ingredients are great for scalp health, anyone with severe skin sensitivities might want to choose a different pomade. The pomade also takes a bit to dry, which is helpful if you have an involved styling process, but annoying if you want a quicker routine. 

5. Murray’s Superior Hair Dressing Pomade

Best for a Strong Hold
Murray's Superior Hair Dressing Pomade
  • Extremely strong hold
  • Leaves a noticeable shine after it dries
  • Scent is natural and not overwhelming
  • Difficult to rinse out
  • Oily ingredients can clog pores
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Murray’s Superior Hair Dressing Pomade is a classic product for waves with a well-earned reputation. If you want traditional waves, you should choose an old-school styling product like Murray’s Pomade. 

This product has an extremely strong hold that will stay in your hair until you use an aggressive cleanser to wash it out. If you are looking for the pomade with the strongest hold, Murray’s Pomade is your best option.

The oily and waxy ingredients aren’t great for your hair or scalp, but they are effective at creating durable, shiny waves. Just be sure to make a plan for how you’re going to wash this styler off without drying out your hair. 

6. WaveBuilder Cocoa and Shea Pomade

Best Moisturizing Product
WaveBuilder Cocoa & Shea Pomade
  • Moisturizing ingredients that nourish the hair
  • Contains protein for strengthening hair
  • Buildable product for adding more hold
  • Light texture unideal for thick hair
  • Too greasy for people with oily scalps
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WaveBuilder Cocoa and Shea Pomade is a great option if moisturizing, nourishing ingredients are your priority. This pomade has plenty of moisturizing and protein-rich ingredients to keep your curls shiny and defined.

This product is somewhat on the lighter side. You can use a small amount for a moderate hold or build it up and use more for a stronger hold. 

Since this pomade is highly moisturizing, it’s a better fit for folks with dry scalps. Anyone prone to an oily scalp will find that this product adds more hydration than their hair needs.

7. Sportin’ Waves Pomade

Best for Shine
Sportin' Waves Pomade
  • Smooth and shiny finish
  • Slicks down fine hairs and flyaways
  • Long-lasting hold
  • Difficult to wash out
  • Thicker and less flexible than other pomades
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Sportin’ Waves Pomade is an awesome go-to pomade if you want a product for waves that results in a shiny finish. Sportin’ Waves Pomade has a slightly more traditional vibe, with an oil-based formula, thick texture, and strong hold.

If you like your waves to have a slicked-down appearance, this is the product for you. The pomade also sets quickly and has a long-lasting hold, making it convenient if you want your hair routine to be simpler. As with other oil-based pomades, you’ll have to commit time to wash this product out. 

Finding the Best Products for Waves

Black man brushing his hair with a boar bristle brush and using the best products for waves in a studio

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You should consider several factors when looking for the best products for waves.


Any proper wave hairstyle will require either a strong or moderate hold. The hold you need depends on your hair texture — the tighter your curl pattern, the stronger hold you’ll need to keep the waves in place. 

Additionally, if you prefer lighter products that rinse out easily, you probably won’t get as strong a hold as you would with a thick, oily product. 


The texture of your pomade will determine how you can style your waves. For instance, if you have thick hair with a tight curl pattern, you’ll want a product with a slippery texture that allows you to manipulate your curls.

A stickier texture is ideal if you’re more interested in getting a strong hold. The product texture will also impact the pace of your styling process.

A flexible product that takes longer to set and is useful if you have a complex brushing pattern. However, other products will dry quicker, allowing for a shorter hair routine. 

Skin Sensitivities

Whatever pomade you use will directly touch your scalp and hair follicles, so you’ll want to avoid ingredients that you are sensitive or allergic to.

Common allergens in beauty products include fragrances and oils. If you are concerned about your scalp sensitivity, avoid scented pomades and look for a water-based formula with natural ingredients. 

Nourishing Ingredients

Regardless of allergies, you should look for products with nourishing ingredients. While a thick, oily pomade will give you the desired effect, it won’t be a sustainable hair product in the long run. 

If you plan on using a product for waves daily, make sure it has some ingredients that encourage scalp and hair health, such as natural moisturizers and proteins.

Frequently Asked Questions

Man putting one of the best hair products for waves into his hand and smiling in a bathroom mirror


Here are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about the best products for waves.

Do durags help waves?

Durags help set your waves and maintain the style. Wrapping waves in a silk or satin durag will prevent frizz or breakage and help the waves set in a flat, well-defined pattern.

Should I comb my waves?

Regularly brush your waves to achieve and maintain the wave pattern. Most hair stylists recommend brushing waves when your hair is wet.

Is pomade necessary for waves?

Pomades are the best products for waves. You need a styling product to get waves, and pomades have the right balance of hold and moisture for curly hair.

Is shea butter good for waves?

Shea butter is great for waves or any other curly hairstyle. Curls have a more open hair shaft than other hair textures, and moisturizing products like shea butter are essential to preventing frizz and keeping the curls untangled and defined.

How do you maintain waves?

Brushing will maintain the wave pattern as your hair grows. Use a satin or silk durag when you sleep and when you set your waves after adding a styling pomade.

So, What’s the Best Product for Waves?

Overall, Ocean View Hair Pomade is an excellent water-based product that guarantees plenty of hold and a pleasant shine while still being light and easy to rinse.

Best Overall
Ocean View Hair Pomade
  • The water-based formula doesn't create residue
  • Strong hold that lasts throughout the day
  • Gel texture allows for easy styling
  • Prone to clumping if you use too much
  • Slightly watery texture
Check Latest Price
We may earn a commission when you click this link, at no extra cost to you.

No matter your hair needs or styling preferences, this guide can help you start your waves journey with knowledge and confidence. Happy styling!