Wavy hair is often thought of distinct from curly hair due to its subtle curl pattern, and treated as rebellious straight hair that must be flatironed into submission. Wavy hair is a type of curly hair, however, and as such needs to be given a fair shot to shine as its own beautiful hair type. As a type of curly hair pattern, wavy hair thrives with the Curly Girl/Guy (or CG, for short) method, just as curlier hair patterns do!
If you’d like to learn how to take care of wavy hair and keep it happy and healthy then you’ve come to the right place. We’ve put together a few guidelines to help you build an everyday routine for your wavy hair based on the CG method. Before reading on, however, remember that there are many factors that affect how your hair naturally behaves and how it will react to certain products and techniques. This includes your hair’s porosity, how fine your hair is, and even the weather on a given day. Take this as a starter routine for wavy hair, and use it as a starting point to build your own hair care routine that’s right for your hair.
** Assuming you’ve been using standard haircare products that are not CG-friendly, start with a reset wash using your regular shampoo before beginning your new wavy hair routine. **
One of the principles of the CG method is that hair with texture requires more moisture than hair that is completely straight. Unfortunately, however, the shampoos we’ve all grown accustomed to using every wash remove your hair’s natural moisture and leave it dull and dry. Start your wavy hair care journey by cutting out shampoo from your routine, at least for the time being. Instead of shampoo, you will be using a CG-friendly (silicone-free) conditioner to cleanse your hair. If you find your hair is too greasy after about a month of this routine, try a switching to a low-poo routine with a sulfate-free shampoo.
Detangling wavy hair is a whole different ballgame than detangling straight hair. First rule: no brushes. Second: detangle only in the shower, with liberal amounts of conditioner. With your hair wet and evenly covered with conditioner, use either your fingers or a wide-tooth comb to slowly work out any knots and tangles. Be gentle with your hair and don’t use force, as this could cause your hair to break.
Just because you’re using a CG-friendly conditioner to co-wash and condition doesn’t mean your hair is getting everything it can out of your conditioner. To get the most nourishment out of your conditioner, use the tried-and-true CG take on conditioning known as squish to condish. In a nutshell, this method of conditioning your hair allows the conditioner to penetrate deep within the hair shaft and leaves your waves beautifully bouncy and moisturized.
Conditioning is only half the battle – for truly healthy hair, you’re going to need even more moisture. If your hair is frizzy or dull, incorporate a moisturizing (silicone-free!) hair mask into your routine, starting once a week and increasing or decreasing the frequency as necessary. If your hair is damaged or is very high porosity, consider supplementing these nourishing hair masks with protein-rich products, which will help your hair better retain moisture.
Since we’ve removed shampoos and sulfates from our routines, silicones are now off the table when it comes to styling products. The reason for this is that silicone can only be removed from your hair with sulfates – without them, the silicone from your styling products will simply build up in your hair over time. You’d be surprised how many products contain various types of silicones when you start looking for them! To be sure that your product is CG-approved, just plug it into this website. Don’t be alarmed however – CGers can use all kinds of styling products, they just have to be CG-friendly. In general, however, wavy hair responds well to lightweight products with moderate to strong hold, such as mousses or light gels. Whichever product you choose, you’ll get the best results if you apply it to wet or damp hair and drying your hair with the product already applied.
Freshly washed hair and hair with product in it can be dried in two ways – air drying or diffusing. If you’ve got time to spare and aren’t craving additional volume, opt for the former. For faster drying and more volume, opt for the latter. Whichever way you choose to dry your hair, however, make sure you start with a plop. The plop is a uniquely CG approach to drying, and is meant to give your hair a gentle start as it begins to dry. No more frizz and tangles from terrycloth towels – for a plop you will use either a microfiber towel or a plain cotton tee.
Finally, your wavy hair needs to be treated with care and protected from anything that can cause frizz, tangles, and other harm. Avoid frizz altogether by using a silk pillowcase or bonnet to protect your hair while you sleep. If you want to straighten or curl your hair, be very careful of heat damage and use a CG-friendly heat protectant. Heat damage is serious business, and is a surefire way to flatten your waves out for good (or at least until you grow fresh ones back).