What comes to mind when you think of wavy hair? Do you think of unbraiding your hair to reveal softly zig-zagged locks? Or maybe you imagine the look of fresh-from-the-ocean, sea salt-kissed beach waves. Or perhaps you envision precisely polished, vintage-inspired finger waves.
Whatever your wavy hairstyle preference, no one can deny the dignified beauty of wavy hair — it’s the perfect fusion of straight and curly hair. It’s no wonder when you achieve that perfectly defined wavy look, you feel like you’re on top of the world. But for those of us who don’t have ample time (or money) to spare on hair, wavy hair problems can become a common occurrence.
Fortunately, you don’t have to tie up your mane in a bun or wear a hat when you don’t want to deal with excessive frizz, unwanted volume, or unbearable dryness. Loving and caring for your wavy hair is possible with the right products, tips, and treatments.
What’s Your Wavy Hair Type?
Some wavy hair types tend more towards curly locks and others more closely resemble straight hair, which is why it’s important to determine your specific wavy hair type. Within the hair typing system, wavy hair is known as Type 2 hair. Below is a breakdown of the three specific subcategories of type 2 wavy hair.
Type 2A Waves
This hair type is the closest cousin to straight hair. The roots of a 2a type are generally flat until the waves start setting in at eye or ear level. These “S” shaped beachy waves are larger in size and less defined, making them easier to brush through without causing frizz. While this hair type is definitely more voluminous than those with straight hair, it has the least amount of volume among the three varieties of type 2 hair because it tends to have a lower density.
Upside: Easier to flat iron
Downside: Least amount of curl pattern
Pro tip: Here’s how to add volume to low-density hair
Type 2B Waves
This hair type has a denser and more defined wave pattern than 2a types. The roots of 2b hair are mostly flat and start forming a wavy shape from the midpoint to the ends of the hair strands. Type 2b has a voluminous and bouncy hair texture, which makes styling it into curls easier. However, 2b types tend to have thicker strands, which can more easily lead to a frizzy mane.
Upside: Easier to style into natural waves and curls
Downside: Harder to control volume and frizz
Pro tip: Check out these solutions for taming frizz
Type 2C Waves
There’s no mistaking the well defined “S” shape of 2c waves. The density and tightness of these voluminous waves most closely resembles that of curly hair types. Though 2c waves have a ringlet-like look to them, the shape of the wave pattern isn’t quite coily enough to be defined within the type 3 hair or type 4 hair family. Type 2c waves generally start at the root and have the thickest hair texture among wavy hair types. Unfortunately, this means it’s prone to frizz.
Upside: Easiest to bring out natural curls
Downside: Quick to frizz up
Pro tip: Customized leave-in treatments help smooth out frizz
3 Tips for Perfecting Wavy Hair
Getting the most out of your wavy texture doesn’t mean spending hours trying to blow-dry your hair straight or using a scorching hot curling iron to give you poodle-like ringlets. It means finding quick, effortless ways to define, de-frizz, and hydrate your natural waves.
Taming the Frizz
We don’t like to be the bearer of bad news, but those with the most well-defined waves usually have the most frizz. The more similar your hair is to curl type textures, the more prone it is to be frizzy. This is especially true when you try to brush out your wavy locks.
If you have thicker, well-defined waves, then wave goodbye to your paddle brush and say hello to a wide tooth comb. This handy instrument offers a gentle way to detangle wavy locks. Plus, when used on wet hair, it can spare you from a whole lot of frizz once your hair dries.
Deep conditioning is another method for enhancing natural waves and avoiding unruly frizz. ICYMI, deep conditioners are thick moisturizing creams with the ability to penetrate the hair cuticles and hydrate the inner layers of the hair shaft.
One product we recommend is Function of Beauty’s Custom hair masks which features naturally derived and synthetic ingredients like Japanese sake extract, argan oil, and jojoba ester oil to smooth strands and encourage softness.
Use your wide tooth comb to apply the mask from mid-shaft to ends, making sure to evenly coat the hair and avoid the roots. This product is mainly intended for people with damaged or dry hair, but it can be used by all hair types once or twice a week.
On the other side of the wavy hair coin are those who have to worry less about frizz and more about achieving volume and wave definition. If you have looser and less defined waves, you may have noticed that even when you style and scrunch your hair to look extra wavy, the waves start losing their shape as the day goes on. It starts becoming that awkward in-between look of not quite curly yet not quite straight hair that simply appears flat and limp.
If your wavy hair has straight-hair tendencies, you’ve probably tried all kinds of styling products like mousses, gels, and hair sprays to keep your waves in place. Unfortunately, these can cause unwanted product buildup that makes your waves look and feel crunchy and unnatural. If wave definition and volume are what you’re after, add a volumizing and curl enhancing shampoo and conditioner to your wash routine.
Function of Beauty’s custom shampoo and conditioners are formulated to your specific needs. So if volume and curl definition is what you seek, your formula can be fully customized to address those hair goals. For instance, your custom formula might have chia seeds and linseed extract for enhancing natural curls or sweet almond extract and quinoa for rejuvenating limp locks.
Create Your Own Customized Wavy Hair Routine
It’s time to get the most out of your naturally wavy texture. This starts by pinpointing your unique wave type and determining how to accentuate the strengths of your wavy hair texture. Those with tighter, defined waves need products that highlight their brilliant shape and hide unwanted frizz. Those with looser, less defined waves need treatments to bring out their natural shape and turn up the volume.
Everyone has unique hair textures and goals, so why should we all use the same products? This is precisely why Function of Beauty has created billions of custom haircare formulations using over 60 natural derived ingredients. Our hair products are also cruelty-free, 100% vegan, and free of potentially harmful ingredients like sulfates and parabens, so you can rest assured that you’re using products that are healthy and safe for your hair. Take our hair quiz to create a custom formula that helps you reach all your wavy-haired goals.