Expert-Approved Hair Products That Will Define Wavy Hair Without Weighing It Down
Whether you want to cut down on heat styling or embrace your natural texture, styling wavy hair is all about finding a balance in your products. Since this curl pattern isn't as tight as those with 3C or 4C curls, you likely won't need an in-depth routine that consists of thick, deep-conditioning formulas, or a long-line up of styling products. However, hair products for straight hair also won't enhance your waves or moisturize those in-between curls, either.
Getting wavy hair to thrive requires using products that will define your loose curls and add hydration without making your hair feel too heavy or greasy. According to the professional hairstylist we interviewed here, the best types of products for wavy hair are lightweight creams, mousses, serums, and pretty much anything with the words "anti-frizz" on its packaging.
Ahead, find products that experts say will help you conquer your wavy hair routine.
Moroccanoil Volumizing Mousse
"The best type of product to emphasize 2A/2B curls is mousse and conditioner," says Michael Dueñas, a Los Angeles-based celebrity hairstylist. When picking a formula, he says a lightweight styling mousse will give you the bounciest and softest waves. Bonus points if you choose a mousse with hair conditioning ingredients, like this one, which has argan oil and anti-static properties that leave hair frizz-free and moisturized.
To shop: $28, sephora.com
In Common Magic Myst Universal Hair Elixir
Those with wavy hair have the luxury of either diffusing or air drying. However, Sarah Klein, a hairstylist at Nine Zero One salon in Los Angeles, prefers air drying to help reduce frizz. If you choose to air dry wavy hair, she says a lightweight leave-in conditioner is crucial. Klein recommends using this leave-in elixir as it hydrates, strengthens, and protects the hair. "It helps define the wave and is also a heat protectant, should you choose to define the curls with a curling iron," she says.
To shop: $35, amazon.com
Biolage Styling AirDry Glotion
If you go the air-drying route, an air-dry cream is a no-brainer, says celebrity hairstylist and self-proclaimed texture enthusiast, Cynthia Alvarez. Air dry creams, such as this one, can help enhance shine, define waves, and reduce frizz. They typically offer a lighter hold than a curl-defining cream or spray, so it's perfect if you're going for a more natural, lived-in look. "I'd suggest applying this product in raking motions from just below the roots to the ends of the hair," she adds.
To shop: $19, ulta.com
VIDEO: The 7 Major Hair Trends That Will Define 2022
Curlsmith Hold Me Softly Style Balm
Finding the perfect curl cream can be tricky since some formulas are very thick and better fit for tighter curl patterns. However, they can help enhance a wavy hair texture — the trick is to find one that has a light hold. "If you don't suffer from frizzy-prone wavy hair, a good choice can be flexible hold mousse or curl defining cream," says Jorge Buccio, a celebrity hairstylist and senior colorist for Cleverman Haircare. For the best results, Buccio recommends applying a curl cream to damp hair and if you experience frizz after the hair dries, then follow up with hair oil.
Editor's note: a little goes a long way with this curl-enhancing balm, so start with a dime-size amount of product and add more if needed.
To shop: $40, ulta.com
Ouidad Get Hydrated Ultra-Moisturizing Splash Mask
While all hair types can benefit from extra moisture, it's especially necessary for wavy hair since it's prone to frizz. Adding a leave-in mask into your hair routine will add a boost of necessary moisture before styling. Alvarez says that using a leave-in is a surefire way to ensure your hair is hydrated and your waves will flourish. To use, spray liberally all over your damp hair and style as usual. The results are shinier, moisturized, and nourished hair.
To shop: $32, ulta.com
Olaplex No. 7 Bonding Oil
Buccio says that serums and hair oils that promise to minimize frizz are a must-have for styling wavy hair. We like this one as it fights frizz and strengthens, hydrates, and increases hair shine and softness. Not to mention, it's also a heat protectant.
To shop: $28, sephora.com
Odele Air Dry Styler
Klein recommends this drugstore pick as it helps enhance your natural hair texture without sacrificing the soft look and feel of your hair. For the best results, she recommends scrunching this styler throughout your damp hair as the last part of your hair care routine and letting it air-dry.
To shop: $12, target.com
Ceremonia Pequi Curl Activator
This lightweight milky serum helps revive the look of wavy hair. It checks all the boxes experts say to look for when choosing wavy hair products: a lightweight formula, conditioning ingredients to reduce frizz, and enhancing curl pattern. Use it on damp hair from mid-lengths to ends for the best results.
To shop: $27, credobeauty.com