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natural wavy hair

Natural Wavy Hair: Complete Care Guide & 11 Best Products

Want to learn how to care for natural wavy hair? Read on for a complete guide to natural wavy hair with product picks best suited for your hair type.

Anyone you ask may very well tell you that women with wavy hair have it made. Their naturally beachy texture is desirable for anyone who loves a wash-and-go styling routine. Plus, wavy tresses can be blown out to perfection and can hold curls for hours, making this hair type truly the best of both worlds.

Wondering how to get wavy hair naturally? Well, you have to be born with it. According to Mizani’s Texture Chart, natural waves fall into texture types two and three. To determine whether you have naturally wavy hair, examine your strands after air-drying and before you’ve applied any styling products. If your product-free, air-dried hair resembles open beachy waves or loose, s-shaped curves, you have natural wavy hair.

If this sounds like your hair type, you’re in luck! We’ve put together a guide to naturally wavy hair that’ll help maintain the look and feel of your gorgeous texture. From some of our favorite natural wavy hair products to use to the best haircuts for naturally wavy hair, we’re breaking down everything you need to know.

How To Care For Naturally Wavy Hair

Whether you’re looking to enhance the look of your waves or improve your overall hair health, it’s essential to create a daily hair care routine tailored to your natural texture. Keep scrolling to discover the best products and care tips to keep your waves looking gorgeous.

Products To Use


Yes, pre-washing your hair is a thing and it can be a major game changer in the health of your hair. For example, Mizani Style Shifter Society Wonder Crown Scalp Foaming Pre-Cleanser helps remove product buildup from your hair without aggressively stripping. Think of it as a way to start off your shower game with a truly clean slate. 

Kérastase Resistance Soin Premier Thérapiste Strengthening Pre-Shampoo is another pre-wash product to try. It's particularly ideal for those with damaged tresses or anyone sensitive to cleansers. The formula creates a protective film over your hair to shield it during your shampooing, and also helps visibly repair hair structure while moisturizing.


Whether you have thick naturally wavy hair or fine strands, frizz can be an issue for people with curled, wavy, or textured hair. If unruly frizz is standing between you and perfectly polished waves, we recommend investing in a frizz-fighting shampoo and conditioner, such as Redken’s Frizz Dismiss Smoothing Sulfate-Free Shampoo and Conditioner duo. In addition to taming it moisturizes, detangles, smoothes, and boosts softness and shine.

About once a week, we also recommend incorporating a deep conditioner into your shower routine. Dryness can be wavy hair’s worst enemy by leading to breakage and making frizz and flyaways more of an issue. We love the Redken All Soft Heavy Cream Deep Conditioning Treatment Mask, a nourishing, argan oil-infused formula for dry, brittle hair.


If you like to detangle your mane immediately after you shower, it’s important to note that wet hair is extra susceptible to breakage. For that reason, we recommend using a wide-tooth comb and a detangler such as the Biolage Hydrasource Detangling Solution on your wet strands. The product instantly renews moisture as it detangles and controls static.

To really embrace your natural texture, use a few spritzes of  a texturizing spray like L'Oréal Professionnel Tecni.Art Next Day Hair Dry Finishing Spray. This styling product for natural wavy hair adds texture and gives hair a tousled, disheveled look.

On days you plan to reach for your flat iron or blow dryer, make sure you’re protecting your delicate strands with a heat-protecting formula. Mizani 25 Miracle Milk is a multi-tasking leave-in conditioner that helps prevent heat damage while providing other essential benefits for hair.


Strength Cure Split End Salve Treatment

A leave-in split end treatment that fortifies and reinforces micro-scarred and color-damaged hair.

One size only for Strength Cure Split End Salve Treatment
1.7 fl oz

Haircut Tips

It’s no secret that natural wavy hair looks stunning all on its own. There are, however, ways of making your wavy mane stand out. Step one is finding the haircut that best suits your hair type.

If you're working with fine hair, lengthier hairstyles might weigh your waves down. Instead, opt for a shoulder-length blunt cut or a short layered haircut to naturally amp up your texture. Feeling really bold? A pixie is one of the most flattering cuts for showing off your natural texture. Not to mention: It’s super easy to style!

Those with wavy strands on the thicker side should ask your stylist for a haircut with lots of layers to eliminate any bulk. This approach works for natural long wavy hair or short natural wavy hair looks, so choose a length you like and run with it.

Another important healthy hair tip to keep in mind for natural wavy hair is to not let split ends linger. Once you’ve achieved your perfect haircut, head to the salon every few months or so to keep your ends split-end free. 

How often you should trim, however, depends on your specific hair type and your daily styling practices. For instance, those who heat style or bleach their manes frequently may have more hair damage, and therefore should snip their ends off more often to keep them healthy. 

If you’re looking for a way to manage split ends between appointments, pick up a hair treatment like Pureology Strength Cure Split End Salve Treatment. This leave-in, strengthening formula helps prevent split ends while providing velvet-like softness and shine.

Styling Tips

Is mousse or gel better for wavy hair?

Hair gel and hair mousse can work as a styler for wavy hair—as long as you use them correctly. While hair gel works to hold texture in place and smooth frizz, hair mousse builds volume and enhances natural texture. A hair gel like Biolage Styling Texture Sap Gel is ideal for wavy hair types. This formula is lightweight and flexible, so it won’t weigh hair down. Use a hair mousse like Redken Full Frame 07 All-Over Volumizing Mousse if you want all-over volume with a soft finish.

Is there a better way to brush natural wavy hair?

Regularly brushing is a major key to healthy hair but doing it incorrectly, or using the wrong tools, can seriously damage your mane. It’s essential to follow a few simple steps to ensure you’re detangling natural wavy hair the right way. 

First, always brush at your ends and slowly work your way up towards your roots. This is the best way to gently remove tangles without causing unnecessary breakage. For natural wavy hair, we recommend choosing a brush with gentle bristles like a boar bristle brush.

If you follow these expert tips, your natural wavy hair will be healthier (and more stunning) than ever!

Interested in more expert hair tips? Use our salon locator to book an appointment at a salon near you.

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