Wavy tresses can be a hard nut to crack despite being a happy medium. They're neither pin-straight nor curly with ringlets, so readily available curl creams and mousses tend to weigh down bouncy waves, whereas, fine hair products don't offer the support they need.
The right collection on your vanity should, instead, add volume to your natural waves, contain frizz and hold the pattern, all day long. For the best wavy hair tips and products, we spoke to Doina Chiper, a Dubai-based hair artist and an educator under Nazih Group, a distributor of professional beauty products and equipment.
Before picking up any hair product, it'll be helpful to familiarise yourself with your exact hair pattern. Wavy hair is a curl type. "The shape of your hair follicles determines your curl type. Curly hair grows in spirals, and wavy hair makes more of an 'S' shape, going from side to side. It's not unheard of for someone to have a mixture of both wavy and curly hair strands," explained Chiper.
Even within the wavy hair spectrum, you'll come across three different patterns, ranging from 2A (almost straight, loose waves) to 2C (tighter waves but not ringlets). If your naturally wavy hair has become curlier over the years, Chiper says this could be a sign of damaged hair, whether from chemical processing or heat.
Most curl types suffer from frizz, including wavy tresses, so your styling products should address this to some extent. "You have to constantly hydrate if you want beautiful, healthy wavy hair without frizz. Using the right product for this hair type is a must," added Chiper.
You can apply leave-in conditioners, hair creams and mousses during and after your wash routine, and get salon-ready, heatless waves. Once the hair is set, Chiper says wavy hair can be styled messy, defined, half tied up or completely loose. Many of the unfavourable ingredients for curls, such as sulphates, parabens and drying alcohols, can also apply to wavy locks.
We take you through our expert's recommended wavy hair products, along with the internet's favourites, from Amazon. Subscribe to Prime to get free, fast delivery.
1. Best Shampoo: Saphira Divine Curls Shampoo
Styling begins with your wash routine, and that means choosing the best shampoo and conditioner for your waves. Chiper picks Saphira's Divine range for wavy to curly hair, infused with 26 active minerals to replenish dehydrated curls. The moisturising shampoo prepares the hair for the next conditioning and styling steps, fortifying the strands with Dead Sea healing minerals and boosting circulation to the hair follicles with African shea butter and black seed oil. The formula is sulphate-free, vegan and keratin treatment-friendly. Reviewers have even been able to wash their hair daily, without losing moisture or over-hydrating the hair.
2. Best Conditioner: Davines Love Curl Conditioner
While you could pair the shampoo with the Saphira Divine conditioner, there's no harm in swapping brands to find the perfect match. The Davines Love Curl Conditioner deeply hydrates wavy and curly hair types, making them more manageable for styling later. It contains sweet almond extract and is rich in proteins, B vitamins, vitamin E, magnesium, iron, potassium, copper and unsaturated fats to maintain the hair's elasticity and volume. The Love Curl Conditioner is supposed to go on for five to 10 minutes before rinsing. Wavy hair types in the reviews say that you only need a small amount to tame the frizz, and it doesn't leave the hair greasy.
3. Best Leave-In Conditioner: It's A 10 Miracle Leave-In
Those with dry wavy locks will want a leave-in product to prolong their post-wash hydration. While the hair is still wet, go in with our expert-recommended It's A 10 Miracle Leave-In spray. With the help of a host of natural ingredients, the conditioner spray promises to deliver 10 benefits, including eliminating frizz, restoring shine and enhancing your natural curl pattern. It carries sunflower seed extract to guard coloured hair against sun bleaching; green tea leaf extract to shield the hair with powerful antioxidants; silk amino acids for balancing strength and moisture; and vitamin C to fortify the hair strands. The best part? The product also doubles as a heat protectant. Reviewers spray this on after washing to detangle their frizzy, unruly hair easily.
4. Best Cream: Design.Me Bounce.ME
For definition and hydration, a lightweight curl cream is a must-have in your wavy hair routine. This tube of DesignMe's Bounce.Me might be a familiar sight for TikTok users, having been featured in several styling tutorials. It's an all-encompassing vegan curl cream, designed for wavy 2A to coily 4C types, but the amount should be adjusted according to the density and texture of your hair. Its star ingredient, argan oil, is a natural curl moisturiser, working alongside passionfruit seed oil and mango extract for the ultimate soft, non-crunchy definition. You only need a little product for every application. And don't forget to brush it out to distribute the cream before scrunching your waves. Some reviewers suggest following up with a dash of hair oil to get a fluffier body.
5. Best for Blowout: Paul Mitchell Smoothing Super Skinny Relax Hair Balm
Here's a lightweight hair balm, if your locks are easily weighed down by creamy formulas, and if you like heat styling often. Our expert recommends Paul Mitchell's Super Skinny Relaxing Balm, which displaces water in the hair to speed up drying and styling. It's also an excellent product to slather on on humid days, given its humidity-resistant properties. Reviewers love how it helps their wavy hair get pin-straight for blowouts.
6. Best Hair Oil: Ouai Hair Oil
Still can't seem to break the crunchy hold on your waves? It's nothing a hair oil can't fix. This popular beauty tip involves running a pea-sized amount of oil through styled hair for a more natural, bouncier look. Ouai's trending oil is just the bottle for the job - it smoothes out frizz, adds gloss and protects your hair colour from UV and heat damage. The non-greasy hair oil is infused with African galanga, Asian borage oils, jojoba seed oil and more. Many reviewers use it as a follow-up to hair mousse and gel to gently break the cast. You only need a few drops for each use.
7. Best Mousse: Maui Moisture Flexible Hold + Coconut Milk Curl Foam Mousse
Maui Moisture's foam mousse might just be the all-in-one styling product you need. Its an airy styling mousse that offers a flexible hold for curls, while de-frizzing them and adding volume. Free of parabens, sulphates, silicones and mineral oil, the curl foam introduces aloe vera as its first ingredient in the formula, followed by nourishing coconut milk and mango butter. It receives rave reviews all around, with buyers claiming that their waves survive in humidity. You don't need to diffuse your hair either - simply let it air dry to enjoy long-lasting results. Plus, the mousse surprisingly doesn't leave a stiff, crunchy hold.
Our recommendations are independently chosen by Gulf News editors. If you decide to shop through links on our website, we may earn an affiliate commission, as we are part of Amazon Services LLC Associates Program.