With wavy hair, men have various haircuts to choose from that make the most of the hair’s unique texture. In this guide, we’ll show you the best hairstyles for men with wavy hair and how to style them.
Hairstyles for Wavy Hair Men
Wavy hair falls somewhere between straight and curly. Waves are a little easier to style and manage than curls, but they still need some special treatment.
Whether your waves are barely there or borderline curly, choosing a haircut and style that works with, not against, your waves will help you look your best.
The type of wavy hair men have depends on how intense the wave is. Wavy hair is considered Type 2 hair. There are generally 3 types of wavy hair: 2A, 2B, and 2C.
Out of these types, 2A is the most gentle wave, and 2C is the most intense wave.
- 2A Wavy Hair: Loose waves in an S shape
- 2B Wavy Hair: Medium waves in a prominent S shape
- 2C Wavy Hair: Strong waves in a distinct S shape
Below, we’ll show you haircut and style options for men with wavy Type 2A, 2B, and 2C hair. You’ll also see some tips for styling and caring for wavy hair. Check out our top hairstyles that wavy hair men will appreciate.
Don’t have wavy hair? See the top 30 men’s haircuts of the year instead.
Best Hairstyles for Men With Wavy Hair
Men with wavy hair have a lot to be thankful for. Your hair has lots of body, plenty of texture without styling, and healthy volume that keeps it from lying flat. But wavy hair can also be prone to frizz, uneven texture, and flyaways.
Getting the right haircut and style highlights the best features of wavy hair while minimizing the problem areas. Here are the best hairstyles to tame and make the most of your waves.
Tousled Top With Tapered Sides
Since waves are rarely symmetrical and perfect, a cut like this is the perfect solution. Keeping the sides and back shorter leaves the long, wavy section only on top. It’s easier to style a small section instead of the entire head!
Loose waves like the Type 2A shown here really benefit from a little extra length. The bend is primarily on the ends of this wave type, so long hair on top shows it off. A little mousse or styling gel helps the top hold its shape.
Read Next: What Is a Taper Fade?
Long Wavy Top and Close Cropped Sides
There’s no better way to highlight natural waves than with contrast. Super-short sides and back put all the focus on the gentle bends and S-shape waves on top.
Classic Fade With Long Top
Natural waves give a boost to any classic haircut, especially the fade. This style is a good choice for guys with coarse, thick hair. Use gel and a comb to brush the top back, then use your fingers to scrunch into the front to bring some wavy pieces forward.
Long Wavy Shag
Prefer to wear your hair long? This chin-length shag is a perfect match for wavy-haired men. Long enough to show off the waves but short enough to be easily managed, this style is a win-win.
Shaved Sides and Curtain Bangs
Trendy curtain bangs have a swooping shape that starts from a middle part. Natural waves will make these bangs easy to pull off. Shaved sides keep your head cool even with a longer top.
Styled Up Waves With Fade
If you’re not afraid of a little (or a lot of) volume, use a little medium to firm-hold styling gel in your waves on top. With a short fade on the sides and back, the height you’ll get in the front will create a nice contrast.
Cutting the hair short on the sides and back can often remove any trace of a wave. Leaving a little length on the back and sides like this example gives you optimum wave-age (yeah, we made that term up).
Middle Parted Long Waves
If you’ve got plenty of length to work with, don’t cut it just yet! Try a middle part to let your natural waves frame your face. Add layers to create additional waves.
Pushed Up Medium Length Top
Keeping loose waves cut short makes them easier to style and manage. Use a dab of gel or mousse in the top and style it back and upward for height. Short, tapered sides blend the medium-length top in with this cut.
Brushed Back With Tapered Sides
Can’t stand hair on your face? Medium hold gel is your friend. Work gel into the top and use a comb to brush the hair backward off the face. Tapered sides are brushed downward for a clean, Avicii-esque look.
Tapered Wavy Shag
Guys who prefer wearing their hair long can cut out some weight by opting for a tapered shag, where the hair is thinned out toward the bottom. Layering throughout the top and sides makes the waves more prominent.
Side Swept Top
This is a really popular look for men with wavy hair. The key is creating contrast between the super-long top and short, faded sides. Work a little gel into the top to bring out those natural waves.
Medium Length Textured Taper
If you’re growing your hair out or just reluctant to cut it yet, try having the sides and back tapered in length and layered all over. This creates a ton of wavy texture all over the head for a romantic look that can be styled in many ways.
A quiff is a section of the front left longer and typically styled upward or outward to contrast with the rest of the hair. Waves are perfect for this style! Keep the sides and back faded short.
Read Next: How to Do a Fade Haircut
Brushed Back Fade
Instead of a gentle taper on the sides and back, opting for a fade that is shorter and closer to the skin creates a nice contrast. Brush the wavy, long top backward with a dab of gel to hold it for this look.
Long Top Taper
If you like a more seamless look, blending the longer top with slightly shorter sides is the key. The longer hair on top naturally waves while the shorter sides keep the cut lightweight.
Tousled on Top
Get a classic, timeless look when you pair waves with a longer top that is tousled with a little gel for hold. The sides aren’t super short, but rather fade down to a shorter length to make sure the volume is concentrated on top.
Long Top With Curtain Bangs
When it comes to waves, letting them hang and do their thing is always the easiest option. Leave the top several inches long and part down the middle for the curtain bang effect. The sides and back are shorter and cut with scissors for a less uniform look.
If you’re adventurous with your hair and have a Prince level of confidence, rock this long quiff hairstyle with your waves. This works best with very wavy hair that borders on curly (Type 2C).
Brushed Over Top With Fade
If you find your waves hard to manage and style, keep the top of the hair short. Here, the hair on top is about an inch long before it fades down to shorter lengths on the sides and back.
Long Waves With Middle Part
Channel your inner musician with this style. Long hair shows off your naturally wavy texture and cuts down on the time needed to style it. If your waves are pretty prominent, you can just wash, add mousse, and go.
Medium Tapered Sides
Long hair on top gives waves room to bend and take shape, while tapering the sides slightly shorter to a medium length adds volume and fullness.
Undercut With Slicked Back Top
Barely-there waves (Type 2A) need length to show up properly. Leave the top long and slick it backward to show off the bends at the ends of your hair and have the sides and back shaved to concentrate attention on the top.
Read Next: What’s an Undercut, Anyway?
Side Parted Taper
This is a classic look that is so easy for men with wavy hair to style. Have the back and sides tapered in length, then brush the hair on top over to the side.
Wavy Man Bun
A great way to style longer hair, the man bun keeps the hair off the face and contained. Man buns look casual and lived-in with wavy hair peeking out the bottom.
Casual Slicked-Back Top
Shaved sides complement the longer, slicked-back top in this style. When you brush through waves on top to push them back, add a little gel to help them hold their shape.
Wavy French Crop
Ultra-short bangs brushed forward onto the forehead with an all-around crop at the same length is a modern look steeped in history. Waves add dimension to this trendy style.
Read Next: Caesar-Inspired Haircuts
Long Tapered Sides
Type 2A hair (the loosest wave) typically has only a slight bend on the ends of the hair. It can easily be confused with straight hair. A medium-length that tapers a bit on the sides and back shows off the hair’s slight wave.
Side Swept Bangs With Tapered Sides
Letting wavy hair sweep down over the forehead puts them front and center, while tapered sides keep the style manageable and easy to style. A dab of gel in the top accentuates natural waves.
Styling Tips for Wavy Haired Men
Figure out your wave type. We mentioned 2A, 2B, and 2C are the different types of wavy hair. Find out which one matches your hair type to get the best results from your specific wave pattern.
- 2A: Fine texture, very loose wave that may only bend at the ends
- 2B: Medium texture, loose to medium wave with a noticeable S-shape
- 2C: Coarse, thick texture, prominent wave in a distinct S-shape
2As with fine hair still need moisture to create the best waves, but can look greasy or oily with too-heavy products. Try lightweight conditioners and styling products like mousse that won’t weigh your hair down.
2Bs with a medium texture can handle more robust moisturizers, but can still be weighed down with oily products or heavy creams.
2Cs with coarse, thick hair can go for moisture-rich products and conditioners without getting weighed down. Moisturize as much as you can with this type.
Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize. Conditioned, healthy hair will always create better waves than dry, damaged hair. Make sure you’re using a good conditioner in the shower. If your hair is very dry, try a leave-in conditioner or even a weekly hair mask to lock moisture in.
Shower with warm, not hot, water. Hot showers are great every now and then, but they wreak havoc on wavy hair. Take warm showers and follow up with a rinse of cool water to make your hair less frizzy, shinier, and healthier. Warm water opens the cuticle just enough to thoroughly clean, and the cool water closes it to seal in the moisture and make it shine.
Skip the hairbrush after showering. Hair brushes can cause naturally wavy hair to lose its shape thanks to all the bristles pulling through the hair. Opt for a wide-toothed comb or your fingers to detangle the hair gently after a shower. This keeps the wavy sections together without pulling any of that bend out.
Squeeze and blot, don’t rub. Wet hair is the most fragile, prone to breakage and stretching that damages the hair. So after a shower, don’t rub your hair vigorously with a towel – ever. Use a cotton t-shirt or a microfiber towel to gently squeeze excess water out of the hair.
Lock the waves in place with your fingers. Using a curling iron might be a little much for most guys, so the best option to use is your own fingers. Wrap damp, moisturized sections around your finger to make the wave shape stronger and avoid frizz from heat styling. Let it dry naturally to get more intense waves.
Choose to diffuse. If you have longer hair or typically blow dry after a shower, start using a diffuser. These hair dryer attachments are designed to keep the shape of wavy and curly hair intact.
Diffusers gently blow hot air around the waves while pushing them in the direction you want to style them. If you have longer hair, you can toss your head upside down and push gently upward against them with the dryer and diffuser.
Read Next: Our Favorite Blow Dryers
Hands off the hair after styling. Finally, we know your luscious waves feel great, and you want to run your fingers through them. But don’t!Wavy hair is prone to frizz and breakage, and touching it too much makes these issues worse. If you have fine, 2A hair, touching it makes it oily. So once you’re done styling your hair, keep your hands off it to keep it healthy.
What’s the Best Hairstyle for Wavy Hair Men?
Did you find a hairstyle or cut that you want to try with your wavy hair? Save the photo or bookmark this guide so you can show your barber the cut or style you want. If you don’t have a go-to barber yet, use our Salon Locator to see the shops nearest you.