In our book, being born with wavy hair is the genetic equivalent of winning a prestigious award. Whether your mane is thick or fine, wavy hair can do almost anything.
Unlike soft, straight hair, wavy strands hold curl well—in other words, it’s ideal for updos and braids. We also love the way thick waves look when they’ve been professionally blow dried. Up or down, dyed or virgin, wavy hair is bound to look beautiful.
For those babes who are overwhelmed by the possibilities, we’ve compiled a list of foolproof wavy hairstyles. Bookmark this page to eliminate all your bad hair days.
Center Part with Volume
The key to making the most of wavy hair is learning to amp up the volume. Long hair can become very heavy. To avoid flat roots, create a center part with a long-tailed comb. Then, apply a mousse or texturizing blow dry cream, using the diffuser attachment on your dryer while scrunching sections of hair at the roots.
Bob with Messy Waves
If you’ve already embraced your natural texture, why not set it free from the weight of crispy, dull ends? Give your stylist permission to make a dramatic cut, bringing your ends just under your ears into a stylish bob.
We’re not ones to fawn over every French girl hairstyle that comes our way, but we make an exception for long, shag-inspired bangs on wavy hair. We’d call this look “bedhead chic,” implying that you rolled out of bed already looking fabulous.
Lob with Side Part
Here’s a style we’ve seen all over red carpets this past year. The wavy lob is inherently flattering because it combines shoulder-grazing length with added texture and bounce. If you’re looking for a way to make it extra modern, give yourself a deep side part.
Whether you’re working with waist-length waves or a lob, it’s important to have a few styling tips up your sleeves for days when there’s no time to shampoo your mane. In that case, let us introduce you to the crown braid, which follows along your hairline and boosts volume.
For waves to stand out, they need to be light and healthy. Long layers—starting round chin level and cascading through the ends—will help you achieve bouncy, happy hair.
Fact: Waves and humid weather do not get along. Your curly-ish locks are extremely susceptible to moisture in the air, and that can result in the worst hair day of all time. Fight the frizz by treating yourself to a flippy blowout with curled ends. Bad day, meet good idea.
We appreciate a braid that allows your hair texture out to play, so the waterfall braid is a natural pick for wavy hair. The complex-looking technique starts with a standard French braid. Every time you add hair, however, you’ll drop your third strand and pick up a new one.
Braided Half Ponytail
Here’s another look that hides oily roots while allowing your waves to be free. To accomplish this style, create traditional or fishtail braids from above either ear. Braid each back to meet under the crown of your head, securing with an elastic and allowing the ends to hang loose.
Boho Braids Throughout
With wavy hair, you can never emphasize the importance of texture enough. Although a texturizing shampoo can take you a long way, we love the look of small braids placed randomly throughout the hair.
There is no hair crime quite as egregious as a limp ponytail, especially on wavy hair. To avoid a case of noodle-tail, back comb at the crown before shaping the style. If you really need help, add a few curls with your curling iron.
Wavy hair looks incredible in short cuts, but perhaps most strikingly in a very blunt bob. As much as we love the look, this is one for the ladies who are willing to schedule a touch up haircut every other month.
To add visual interest to very long, wavy hair, try a subtle highlighting technique like balayage. The natural-looking technique will break up your lengths, creating a subtle gradient instead of a flat block of color.
Faux-Shaved Side Braid
If you’re lucky enough to have hair with natural body, there’s no way you’d risk shaving it off. To mimic the edgy look, pull the hair over one ear into a very tight French braid and secure it behind the ear.
Are you bored of your mane, but would like to embrace your texture? Try a dramatic color shift like a pastel to breathe new life into your locks. Whether you go aqua or lilac, you’ll love the way soft, bright waves look.
Mermaid Length Beachy Waves
Many celebrities like to talk about “beach waves,” but they’re always the kind made by specialty curling wands and salt sprays. Why not embrace your real waves, growing your hair extra long or purchasing extensions? The messier, the better.
Braided Top Knot
When you’re having a bad day or dealing with a blowout that’s gone oily at the roots, the braided top knot is a savior. French or Dutch braid from the hairline to the crown, securing the hair with a no-show elastic before pinning into a loose bun shape.
Loose Half Knot
Here’s an even lower-maintenance style for wavy hair, particularly the second day variety. Tease your hair at the crown before loosely drawing it back into a half ponytail. Instead of pulling your hair all the way through the elastic, leave it in a casual half loop.
Face Framing Low Ponytail
For girls with wavy strands, updos are easy as can be. Instead of hiding your texture in a bun, let it run wild and free in a fashionable low ponytail. Be sure to give your roots a serious teasing before tying your ponytail. For added panache, leave two face-framing strands free.
We’re officially living in an era where dirty hair is so much cooler than the clean kind, and grungy style statements rule over all. To make your own, embrace your visible roots. A dark root on a blonde head of hair? That’s our mane dream.