Wavy Hair Problems: Styling

Everybody wants the hair they don't have.

My mom has this thick, curly hair and it's gorgeous. And I've always envied the girls who can come out of the shower and their hair dries stick-straight. But I think there are a lot of girls who fall into the same category as me: wavy.
Air-dried. This actually wasn't a bad day!

Wavy hair is an awesome look...when it's not natural. Beach hair? Yeah right. Humidity and all of the  other earthly elements give my hair a very different look... You know when your hair is so nappy that the brush breaks when you try to run it through your hair? Story of my life.
It's also really inconsistent. Sometimes my natural hair looks pretty alright! Other times I look like a mad scientist. Do curly-haired people run into this issue, too?

Luckily I've learned some tips that have worked really well for me. If you're someone else that can't quite figure out what to do with your wavy hair, I've got your back...

Don't brush it

Everybody laughs when I say that, but do you know what happens to wavy or curly hair when you brush it? Frizz. And once you've got the frizz, your only option is to straighten your hair. Not even a ponytail is going to save you at that point. I suggest getting a wide-tooth comb and running it through your locks when you're in the shower.

Heat protection

Damaged hair is bad enough. But add that to your waves and you get a look that I like to call "witch hair." Where your ends are all damaged and frizzy and breaking off.

I can't emphasize enough how important heat protection is! Unless I'm in a hurry, here's my routine when I wear my hair straight:

  • Wash
  • Towel dry
  • Put in my heat protection
    • Redken Align 12 is a favorite
  • Air dry
    • To avoid blow drying and doubling up on the heat
  • A little more heat protection because I'm paranoid
    • Redken Iron Shape 11 for extra straight hair that is going to stay in place
    • Aveda Brilliant Damage Control for everything else
  • Straighten at the lowest possible temperature that will still straighten your hair
    • My hair is ironed at about 375, but the lower, the better


Length makes a difference, especially depending on how course your hair is. I wore my hair long for a long time and it was so heavy that my waves were really only visible at the bottom. Now that my hair is short, it will wave, or even curl right up. There are ups and downs to both, but make sure that you let your hair stylist know that you like to wear your hair straight and wavy.


In all reality, the products I've used have made all the difference. My biggest issues are frizz and the waves just not coming out right. You know what I'm talking about...one side of your head will looks great while the other side looks nappy. Or it all looks nappy. Or it will dry with hardly any wave, but also won't be straight and will just look bad.

Start with the shampoo and conditioner.

If you haven't noticed, I use a lot of Redken products. It's just personal preference, but here are the things to look for:
  • Moisture
  • Frizz control
  • Reputable brand and reputable store
I switch up my shampoo and conditioner based on what my hair is doing, if I've recently colored it, etc. My current Redken shampoo and conditioner are the Extreme line. However, I've also been using IGK Hot Girl Hydrating Shampoo and Conditioner.

If you're looking for something less expensive, Garnier has a released a new line geared specifically towards "Frizzy, dry unmanageable hair." It's their Sleek & Shine line and has argan oil in it. It actually works really well, but every third wash or so I need to use my IGK or Redken shampoos.

A mask is critical. I like Redken's All Soft mask and Aveda's Dry Remedy mask. I don't use them but two or three times a month because they're kind of a pain. You've got to wash your hair, towel dry it, put the mask in and let it sit for 10-15 minutes, and then rinse it out. But my hair feels amazing after I use a mask.

I've harped on about heat protection, so I won't get into that again. But if you
decide to go natural, Redken Curvaceous Ringlet cannot be beat. It smells good, it goes a long way, and it does wonders on how my waves come out when they're dry. I have tried so many products intended for curly or wavy hair and if they're not thick and heavy, they're crusty. Or they just don't do a good job. Curvaceous was a game changer.
If you decide to straighten, though, I like to put in a little touch of oil to keep the moisture in and the
frizz down. Verb Ghost Oil is my current favorite. Just a dot does the trick.

What tips and tricks work for you and your lovely locks?
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  1. What an amazing before and after. I too have wavy hair and it gets in an awful mess. I've never heard of redken but I'm gonna check it out.
    Ffi | The Essence Of Red

    1. I am a big fan of their products, it seems like they have something for any of your hair needs :)

  2. I am 49 years old and remember the one time I tried to run a brush through my curly hair like the straight haired kids. I had a frizzy poof on one side, and the slicked down hair my mom greased down on the other.

    There is a 5th grade school pic only I possess to prove it.

    So I bought a hair mask and heat protector as you recommended and my hair is the glossiest ever, sleek shiny, and most importantly straight! Very pleased with the results of your suggestions:-)

    1. Thanks, I'm glad the suggestions worked for you! But I wouldn't mind seeing the 5th grade photo haha!

  3. My hair is natural, so naturally I adore these images. Excellent post on natural hair care. I just wash mine, leave it to dry naturally.
    Lena || titanium curling iron