How to Apply Wave Nouveau

by Damica Brownswood ; Updated September 28, 2017

A permanent wave is a chemical treatment applied to the hair to produce a curl pattern or loose wave texture. Wave Nouveau is a permanent wave hairstyle that is also referred to as a “cold wave.” The results are similar to a body perm; however, Wave Nouveau is designed for African American hair and requires daily maintenance. Several daily maintenance products accompany the Wave Nouveau system.

Items you will need

  • Shampoo
  • Towel
  • Cotton hairline strip
Step 1

Test the hair. Using the Wave Nouveau Shape Release, perform a strand test. Wear gloves and apply a small amount of product to the hair and wait for approximately 10 minutes. If the hair breaks or discolors, do not apply Wave Nouveau to the hair.

Step 2

Shampoo your hair. Thoroughly clean your hair to remove excess dirt and oil so the chemicals can properly set.

Step 3

Apply the shape release. This is known as phase one. Cover the entire hair with the shape release ¼ of an inch from the scalp. The process should take no longer than 5 to 10 minutes. Once the hair is completely straight, thoroughly rinse the product from the hair using warm water.

Step 4

Apply the shape transformer. Phase two is a conditioning liquid gel formula that keeps the hair moisturized while wrapping. Section the hair for wrapping and apply the shape transformer section by section as you place the hair in wrapping rods. Wrapping rods are body perm rollers and come in various sizes. Larger rods will produce more loose waves. Smaller rods will create tighter waves. Let the rods sit for 30 minutes.

Step 5

Apply the shape lock. This is phase three. Place a cotton strip around the hairline to prevent solution from dripping into the face. Apply a generous amount of shape lock to each rod. Let the solution sit for 10 minutes, then rinse thoroughly. Towel blot and remove the rods.

Step 6

Apply the finishing solution. Rinse the hair with warm water to remove the remaining residue. Towel blot the hair and apply the finishing solution. Do not shampoo hair for 48 hours for this will affect the longevity of the results.


  • The Wave Nouveau products are considered professional products that are not recommended for self-application. Please consult a professional stylist.

Photo Credits

  • Jupiterimages/ Images

About the Author

Based in Baltimore, Maryland, Damica Brownswood has been writing music articles for over four years. Her most recent articles have appeared in several notable online music sources. Brownswood is currently pursuing a career in the entertainment business. In her spare time she enjoys saving money by creating things from scratch.