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How to Get Waves in 2024 | Step-by-Step Guide

Whether you’re looking to have waves once in a while or all the time, it’s a great look. You will look as though you have been relaxing by the beach. Our step-by-step guide will show you how to get waves in no time.

How to Get Waves: A Summary

There are different kinds of waves and different methods you can use to create the perfect look. All you need to do is follow these steps and choose your ideal method for beautiful, wavy hair:

  1. Use a Moisturizing Shampoo
  2. Condition 
  3. Massage Some Leave-in Conditioner Into Your Hair
  4. Apply Your Styling Products
  5. Choose Your Method

How to Get Wavy Hair in 5 Steps

Depending on the type of waves you want to achieve, you will choose different methods to create them, but the first part of the process is always the same. Follow these steps to prep your hair. Then, we will talk more about actually creating the waves later. 

1. Use a Moisturizing Shampoo

Start by shampooing your hair with a product that will improve the health of your hair and facilitate making waves later on. The key is to get a moisturizing shampoo made with natural products. Curl enhancing products might help you out too, as they don’t weigh your hair down, allowing more of your natural waves to come out.

You should not shampoo every day; it’s best to do it every other day. This allows your hair to continue to produce its natural oils. You should also use less shampoo than you might be accustomed to.

Put about a dime’s worth of shampoo in your hand, and then rub your hands together before you put it on your hair. Be sure to work it down to your roots. When you use less shampoo, you won’t get as much lather, but it will clean your hair without leaving a lot of residue behind.

2. Condition

After you rinse your shampoo, you need to use a conditioner that is rich in nutrients. While you reduced the amount of shampoo you used, you’ll need to double the amount of conditioner you’re accustomed to.

Cover all of your hair and rub it in. Make sure that your hair feels slippery and covered in conditioner. While the conditioner is in your hair, use your fingers to gently make sure that you don’t have any tangles. Once your hair is detangled, rinse the conditioner out.

Then, finish with a blast of cold water to close your cuticles and your pores to keep your hair shiny and hydrated so it’ll hold its waves.

Read Next: How Often Should You Condition Your Hair and Best Hair Conditioner

3. Massage Some Leave-in Conditioner Into Your Hair

When you get out of the shower, squeeze any excess water out of your hair. Then, take your leave-in conditioner and gently massage it into the ends of your hair. This helps hold the moisture in, which allows your hair to be shiny and healthy. It’ll also help eliminate frizz and flyaways.

Read Next: How to Reduce Hair Frizz

4. Apply Your Styling Products

Next, apply your favorite styling products. Some people use curl cream, and others prefer some hair gel or mousse. Take your favorite product, and squeeze it into your hand. Then, rub your hands together and glaze it over your hair. Be gentle with it and scrunch your hair up to your scalp.

5. Choose Your Method

The great thing about getting wavy hair is that you have quite a few options for how to achieve it. You’ll either braid your hair, twist your hair, or use the barrel method. The best part? None of these methods require heat, which is great for the health, strength, and beauty of your hair.

Heat is bad for your hair and causes it to become dull, frizzy, and dehydrated. If you want to use heated tools, your choices include a curling wand, a curling iron, or a flat iron. 

The important thing is to choose your method before you continue on. If you aren’t sure which one is best for your hair, try different methods so that you learn which you prefer. The next steps will cover each method for getting wavy hair. 

Braid Your Hair

The braiding method works well for both long and short hair. You have a couple of choices when you use this method. If you’re looking to create wavy hair, but you aren’t in a rush, braid your hair and leave it in for a couple of days. Braid it when it’s wet, and then wear it until it dries fully and sets. Be sure not to braid your hair too tight, though. Wet hair stretches when wet and shrinks when dry. If your braids are too tight to begin with, your hair will be under a great deal of stress as it dries.

When you take the braid out, you’ll have beautiful wavy hair. Be careful not to brush it too much or run your fingers through it after you style it so that your waves last throughout the day. Spray a little bit of hairspray on your fingers and run it onto your waves gently to hold your waves in place.

Read Next: Most Popular Types of Braids

Twist Your Hair

Another method that doesn’t use any heat is the twisting method. It also works for both long and short hair. Start out by dividing your hair into three different sections: the left, the right, and the back.

Take one section at a time and split it in half. Then, wrap the two sections around each other into a bun formation. Do the same with the other two sections and hold the hair in place with pins or a tie. Leave it in for 30 minutes.

If you have time, leave it in overnight. When you take it out, gently separate your hair with your fingers. Then, use some curl serum to make your hair shiny and reduce frizz.

Read Next: Twist Out Hairstyles

Use the Barrell Method

The barrel method is ideal for people with long hair. It gives you loose, natural waves, and it looks fantastic. First, divide your hair into sections the size of the curls you want to have.

Take the first section and wrap it around your finger. This forms a barrel with your hair. Take a few hair pins and secure it in place. Continue through all of the sections until you have all of your hair in barrels.

Now you wait for your hair to dry. It is ideal to put a shower cap over your hair and leave it in overnight. However, you can use a hood dryer attachment and dry it faster (30 to 45 minutes) if you are styling it for an event. Once you take it out, gently use your fingers to separate your waves. 

Curling Wand Method

This method uses a heated tool, so be sure to start off with heat protectant. Coat your hair in it, as this will reduce the damage from the heat. Your leave-in conditioner also helps to make sure that your hair stays hydrated. 

If you want to use the curling wand, you will create loose waves that look natural. The curling wand will allow your hair to hold its natural texture, so it is a wonderful look as if you just came off the beach. Use a one-inch barrel and take vertical sections of the hair and wrap them around it.

When you finish, use a small bit of hair spray to hold your waves in place. Another option is to use a curling iron. You may have heard that a small barrel curling iron will give you small curls, but it also helps you get waves.

Divide your hair into larger sections, and then wrap each section around the curling iron. This will leave your hair with cascading waves. If you have short hair, use a one-inch curling iron, and put it on a low heat setting.

Then, take vertical sections and wrap them around the curling iron. Make sure that you start with the top and move to the under-layers. Alternate the directions as you move through the sections for a more natural, wavy look.

Read Next: How to Curl Your Hair With a Hair Straightener

Flat Iron Method

The other heated tool method is the flat iron method. Using this tool helps to make sure that your waves are shiny. Face the flat iron down to the floor and twist the flat iron around the sections.

When you finish, your hair will look natural and have gorgeous waves. This method is ideal for short to medium length hair. If you have long, thick hair, it is possible to use this method, but it will take longer than other methods.

Read Next: Best Flat Irons

Things to Consider

Portrait of a woman with wavy hair in a white shirt standing in a pink room for a piece on how to get wavy hair

Roman Samborskyi/Shutterstock

Things to Do

  • Use a leave-in conditioner
  • Try heat protectant before using heat-based tools
  • Rinse your hair with cold water after shampooing
  • Wear a braid for a few days for natural waves
  • Try different methods to find your favorite

Things Not to Do

  • Don’t brush your wavy hair
  • Try not to shampoo your hair every day
  • Avoid using too much hair spray

So, How Do You Get Wavy Hair?

The key to wavy hair is to create loose, natural looking waves. Start by shampooing and conditioning your hair, and then choose how you let it dry. Your choices are to braid it, twist it, or wrap it in a T-shirt.

Avoid using a hair dryer if possible. You have different choices when it comes to creating your waves. The best thing to do is to experiment with different methods so that you find your favorite one.

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