Wavy hair can be both a gift and a curse. It has a lot of natural texture, making it easy to create a myriad of styles. On the other hand, it doesn't have the same definition as curly hair and can lose its shape throughout the day without a bit of styling. Waves lend themselves well to curly hairstyles, as they will hold a curl without much product; the curls appear more natural while blending in with your hair's texture. Not a great deal of actual curling is required when adding curls to wavy hair, but you can define your wavy hair's natural texture and enhance your curls with some basic styling tools.
Wash hair with a curl-enhancing shampoo. Opt for a shampoo free of sulfates, as they tend to dry out textured hair and cause frizz.
Apply a deep conditioner to your hair from root to tip, and allow it to sit for 5 minutes before rinsing completely. Hair that has been moisturized will be much more manageable and will mold more easily to a natural curl pattern.
Gently squeeze the ends of your hair dry with a towel. Apply a leave-in conditioner to your hair from mid-shaft to the ends. A dime size is suitable for shoulder-length hair. Use a cream product for thick hair and a serum for fine hair.
Work a golf-ball size amount of curl-enhancing mousse through your hair from root to tip.
Comb your hair using a wide-tooth comb to detangle and disperse the products evenly.
Section off your hair by taking your thumbs and moving them from the tops of your ears, around to the back of your head where they meet. Clip all hair that lands above your thumbs up on top of your head.
Dry the bottom section of hair by gently scrunching it with a blow dryer and diffuser. Push small sections on top of the diffuser while on low heat, and hold for 10 seconds before allowing them to drop and cool. Continue until completely dry.
Pin the bottom section of hair back and dry the top using the same method.
Spray your hair with a heat protectant. Opt for a mist product to avoid weighing down your hair.
Grasp a section of hair at the end, and roll it up to the root with a hot curling iron; hold it there for 10 seconds and then release. Use a 1-inch curling iron for defined curls. Curl away from the face for soft ringlets, or toward the face for a bouncier look.
Continue curling, grabbing random sections as you go. Pick up different size sections of hair each time in order to create a more natural look. Not all hair has to be curled, as the curls will blend with your natural waves.
Work a dime-size amount of anti-frizz serum into the palm of your hands, and smooth it over each individual curl. This will help to define the curls and add shine.
Celeigh O'Neil has been writing professionally since 2008. She has a Bachelor of fine arts from the University of Ottawa, as well as degrees in fashion illustration/design, digital arts and certification in hair and makeup artistry. O'Neil was a frequent contributor to Toronto's "Dialog" newspaper and has worked as an instructional writer, creating lessons in fashion, art and English for students of all ages.
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