If you have the ability to grow princess-length hair and you have natural waves, we’re throwing some major side-eye your way. All envy aside, there’s no mistaking that long wavy hair is undeniably beautiful and never goes out of style. Whether your strands have a slight bend or your waves toe the line into curls, the options for wavy hairstyles on long hair are boundless.
Of course, with unlimited styling options comes a paradox of choice: How can we possibly nail down the right look when there are so many to choose from? Luckily, we curated 25 of our favorite low-maintenance long wavy hairstyles for you to experiment with until you find the one (or ones!) that best suits your style. So grab your curling wand or air-dry lotion, and get swept away in these inspirational ideas.
Which hairstyle is best for long wavy hair?
The better question might be, what hairstyles aren’t suitable for long wavy hair? Between the volume and length this hair type offers, the styling options are endless. We especially love braids, half-up, half-down looks, and fun ponytails, but letting your hair dry into its naturally wavy texture can be equally rewarding.
A lovely long wavy hairstyle can only go so far, though, because what good is a pretty ‘do if your mane’s health is in disrepair? If you’re struggling to grow or maintain long, strong hair without breakage, visit your stylist for regular trims. Sidelining those split ends greatly affects how long your tresses ultimately grow. In addition, consider investing in a hair care system like Redken Acidic Bonding Concentrate. Using the Intensive Treatment along with the rest of the collection has been shown to result in less breakage for longer hair.
Are layers good for wavy hair?
Like many things in life and hair, there is no one-size-fits-all approach that will work for everyone. Your face shape, hair type, and the kinds of layers you choose mesh together for a customized result.
If your hair is long (meaning at least past your shoulders) and leans to the medium or thick side, snipping in layers can release some of your mane’s weight and add dimension and movement. On the flip side, if your hair is finer, layers can have the opposite effect and remove too much hair density or volume.
After taking so much time to grow out your long wavy hair, be sure to consult with a professional when it comes to cutting it! A pro can nail down what kind of layers will look the most fabulous on your hard-earned length.
How do you style long wavy hair?
We thought you’d never ask! Get ready for some major inspiration with 25 of our favorite on-trend looks.
The 25 Best Long Wavy Hairstyles to Try Now
Wavy long hair is practically the poster child for a stunning blow-out. The round brush styling will make strands sleek and frizz-free while allowing the natural bends of your gorgeous waves to shine through.
For extra protection against humidity, frizz, and hot tools, use a primer like Kérastase Discipline Keratine Thermique Blow Dry Primer before every blow-out.
Scrunched Beach Waves
Beach waves are one of the most classic long wavy hairstyles, no matter the season. The look requires a bit of scrunching and a little texture spray. One of our go-to texturizing finishing sprays is Matrix’s Vavoom Extra Full Freezing Spray. It works as a dry shampoo and gives hairstyles workability, buildable hold, and shine.
If you have long, layered, wavy hair, you’re no stranger to the fact that hair tends to fall into your eyes and face. Rein in overgrown hair layers by fastening one side of hair into a tendril-hugging side braid. It’s so boho-chic that nobody will know it’s actually a problem-solver!
Knotting a section of long wavy hair over the rest of your free-flowing strands creates the look of a stylish ponytail while allowing your swishy length to cascade down your back.
Since textured ponytails work best on unwashed locks, work a bit of a style enhancer like Shu Uemura Art of Hair’s Ashita Supreme Intense Revitalization Hair Serum through the mid-lengths to ends of second-day hair.
Check out the quick tutorial above to see how L’Oreal global artist Danielle Keasling fastens her wavy long hair into a perfect messy top knot using Biolage Professional’s Thermal Active Heat Protectant Spray. This medium-hold hair spray protects hair against heat while adding body and shine
Waterfall braids are beloved for their elegance, and the best part about them is that your strands don’t have to be super-sleek to wear the look properly. The trendy plait shines when paired with loose, textured waves.
Side-Parted Bombshell Waves
A cut or color isn’t the only way to change up your hairstyle! An extreme side part forces hair to stand up straighter on the scalp, giving your long wavy hair some extra volume from root to tip. Try recreating this look with hot rollers—the bigger the waves, the better!
Ribbon-Tied Low Ponytail
Looking to update your long wavy hair but can’t part with any of your precious length? Consider curtain bangs. The dramatic addition switches your look in a flash and draws focus to your dazzling eyes.
Avoid heat damage when you re-style your fringe by applying a one-and-done thermal protector like Shu Uemura Art of Hair Netsu Design Blow Dry Cream. When you re-apply hot tools, the heat-activated formula springs back into protective action.
Light up the night with a dose of sparkly star stickers scattered throughout your long wavy hair. Whether you wear it up or down, this look adds instant festival appeal to any style.
Styling your hair isn’t mandatory, especially if you’re skilled at repurposing your waves. Luckily, the barrettes we loved in the 90s are all grown up, and they’re a cute way to embellish long wavy hair without spending too much time fussing over your look.
Half-up, half-down hairstyles look especially great on wavy long hair thanks to its ample length and inherent volume that remains even after locks are half-pulled up. Even better? If your hair falls on the thicker side, a half-up style takes the bulk of its weight off your shoulders while still appearing soft and flirty.
Loose Braided Halo
Create a loose braid and drape it across the back of your head before securing it with bobby pins on the other side. Be sure to apply wave-defining products on the ends to also prevent frizz—like Mizani True Textures Curl Enhancing Lotion—and a flexible-hold hairspray to lock the braid down.
Fanned-Out Bubble Braid
Regardless of whether your long wavy hair is fine or thick, we have no doubt bubble braids will be a stunner. The horizontal width created by pancaking your bubble braid to the extreme will make tresses look voluminous and bountiful.
We could make a laundry list of reasons for the benefits of having wavy long hair. One of the first that comes to mind is its ability to air-dry into picture-perfect waves without much interference.
Most people avoid air-drying because of frizz, but ensuring your hair is as moisturized as possible can outsmart the puffiness. It’s a good idea to give hair proper moisture during the first step of your air dry routine with a moisturizing shampoo like Biolage Professional’s Ultra Hydra Source Shampoo. The formula is a powerhouse against dry, damaged hair.
Nothing screams carefree beach babe, like mermaid waves that still look like they’re drying off after a dip in the ocean.
A combination of shine and moisture is all you need to give this look a go, so we recommend giving a liberal spritz of Biolage Professional’s Hydra Source Daily Leave-In Tonic all over your hair. We usually caution against applying moisturizing products so close to your roots, but it’s a necessary evil to nail down the aquatic hairdo.
Braids may not be a revolutionary concept for long wavy hairstyles, but fishtails have staying power since you can do fun things with them, like twist them or flip them over your shoulder. Letting a few wispy tendrils frame your face is the cherry on top of the boho-mermaid look.
High Messy Bun
As much as we love our wavy long hair, sometimes our luscious length gets in the way. A bobby pin-embellished high bun is just what you need to rein in your mane—and it looks perfectly artful and undone.
This hairdo is often best on unwashed hair since it has extra grip that helps anchor the bun into place. Just washed your hair? Fake the texture with a dry shampoo like L’Oréal Professionnel Tecni.Art Morning After Dust Dry Shampoo. Besides absorbing excess out, its mineral salt gives hair sexy volume, hold, and body.
Starting with a low, loose pony, split your tail into top and bottom sections. Tie an elastic on the top tail several inches below the first one. Split the section in two, then pull the bottom ponytail through it. Repeat the technique until 25 percent of your hair remains, then tie with an elastic and pancake the loops.
If you prefer to enhance your locks using the latest hair color trends, a balayage is the low-effort way to go. When done by a skilled stylist, the hand-painted technique adds more dimension to your wavy long hair, regardless of whether you wrap it around a wand or let it dry naturally.
There’s no strand sin as shocking as a flat pony, especially if you have long wavy hair. A high-placed ponytail with an oversize scrunchie keeps hair from sitting limply against the head, adding body and movement to your mane. Plus, the vintage accessory adds a welcome dose of nostalgia to your style.
Deep Embellished Side Part
Here’s a way to wear your princess-length hair down while achieving extra volume in the front. A deep side part and a timeless pearl hair accessory ups the glam factor.
Bouffant Messy Pony
Backcomb hair at the top of the head before sweeping it back into a low ponytail at the nape of the neck. Warm a bit of texturizing paste, like Pureology Style + Protect Mess It Up Texture Paste, between your fingers, then use it to pat down flyaways around the crown and slick down baby hairs around your temples.
Loose and Layered Beehive
This isn’t your grandma’s beehive! This less-structured, iconic hairdo relies on creating loose volume at the crown, subtle waves, and sporadically-placed bobby pins for a cool, lived-in feel.
Long, layered, wavy hair and tapered ends are a match made in heaven. The pointed ends create a more piece-y look that helps define and accentuate the individual bends of long wavy hair.
Looking for more personalized recommendations to enhance your long wavy hairstyles? Hair.com has all the products that professionals swear by.