If you’ve been trying to figure out how make your waves more defined, the curly girl method for wavy hair is a game changer. Also known as the Wavy Method, this process involves gently cleansing, deep conditioning, and avoiding habits that damage your waves.
The Curly Girl Method was popularized by Lorraine Massey to accentuate natural curls with gentle care and deep moisture. Getting into the nitty gritty of the Curly Girl Method leaves you with a lot of guidelines and tips to get well-defined curls, but this post will give you guide for wavy hair that is beginner-friendly.
Does the Curly Girl Method Work for Wavy Hair?
Using the Curly Girl Method on Wavy Hair will make your waves more defined and look wavier, but following the Curly Girl Method will likely weigh your hair down since waves don’t tend to need as much moisture and deep conditioning as curly or oily hair. The basics Curly Girl Method look like this:
1. Avoid sulfate-free shampoo and massage shampoo into scalp
2. Saturate hair with conditioner
3. Rake wet hair to detangle and smoothen
4. Scrunch gel onto still-wet hair from root to tip
5. Scrunch excess water out of your hair and air dry
6. Scrunch out any crunchiness remaining from the gel
It’s also worth noting that the Curly Girl Method won’t make your hair curly if that’s not its natural pattern. However it’s great for emphasizing what you do have and bringing your natural wave pattern to life.
The Wavy Girl Method
1. Try co-washing or use a sulfate-free shampoo
The “or” here will depend on your hair type. In the Curly Girl Method, it’s recommending to co-wash, or wash your hair with a conditioner instead of a shampoo. By doing this curls don’t become drier with shampoo and instead become more moisturized with a conditioner wash from root to tip.
For wavies, this can work if you have medium or thick hair, but if you have too much buildup from not shampoo or have fine hair, using a sulfate-free shampoo (sulfates can be drying) are a good choice.
2. Saturate the hair with conditioner
This step is similar to the Curly Girl Method in that you want to douse your hair in conditioner until it is slippery. Deeply moisturizing your waves is what will allow them to come to life.
If you have super dry hair, don’t rinse out all of your conditioner. For fine hair you will probably want to rinse it all out. Whether you have dry hair or well-moisturized hair, you can add a little bit of leave-in conditioner as well as needed.
3. “Praying hands” technique instead of raking
Raking is a common way of distributing product in curly hair and detangling by using your fingers. This isn’t ideal for wavy hair because it loosens waves. Instead, using the praying hands technique.
Lean your head to the side a little and close your hands together so both plans and fingers are touching your hair. (Your hands should look like they are in prayer.) Starting at the root, move your down towards the end of your hair. This will help keep the clumps of waves together and leave your hair to dry wavier than usual.
4. Use mousse instead of gel
Gel is too heavy for your waves so instead go for a lightweight mousse. In general, you want to search for lightweight products for your waves, ones that aren’t loaded with oils and butters. Avoid applying the mousse to your roots so as to not cause buildup. Mousse will preserve your waves without leaving you with crunch.
5. Avoid scrunching
Scrunching is a popular method of defining curls and while some wavies have had success with scrunching, it can make hair frizzy. Avoid touching your hair as it air dries to keep it frizz-free.
Does plopping work for wavy hair?
Yes! For those not familiar, plopping s a technique for drying and defining natural waves by scrunching them on top of your head before wrapping your head with a towel. Just like with curls, this is a great way to get more definition and air dry your waves.
Best Products for The Wavy Girl Method
Best Shampoo and Condition for Fine to Medium Waves: Living Proof Perfect Hair Day Shampoo and Conditioner
This shampoo and conditioner is my current favorite whether I’m enhancing my waves or styling with volume. It is sulfate-free and delivers gentle hydration.
Best Shampoo and Conditioner for Medium to Thick Waves: Davines LOVE Curl Enhancing Shampoo
This sulfate-free shampoo and conditioner is friendly to waves and curlies alike and the accompanying conditioner is co-wash friendly.
Best Deep Conditioner for Dry Waves: Aussie 3 Minute Miracle Moist Deep Conditioner
This deep conditioner uses avocado oil and jojoba oil to drench your hair with moisture. It’s great for creating slippery hydration in the shower that dries into defined , bouncy waves.
Best Lightweight Leave-in Conditioner for Wavy Hair: It’s a 10 Leave-In Lite
For those who don’t need the moisture of a deep conditioner, the It’s a 10 Leave-In Conditioner is a classic for quick hydration. Their “Lite” version is even more lightweight and perfect if you don’t have much dryness but just want an quick injection of hydration.
Best Mousse for All Waves: Verb Curl Foaming Gel
This foaming gel works like a mousse to de-frizz waves and define them without the crunch. Perfect for any type of wave.
Best Mousse for Dry Waves: Pattern Curl Mousse
This is a moisturizing formula that uses castor oil to add softness and smoothens your waves. It’s still lightweight enough to not weigh down waves and keeps them in place.
Wavy Girl Method Conclusion
Since, wavy hair doesn’t require as much moisture as curls or coils, it can be easy to see quick results with the Wavy Girl Method. Figuring out how much moisture your hair needs and what products work best for your combination of hair type, wave pattern, and level of dryness does require some trial and error, but these tips should give you a good starting base to start defining your waves.