There’s nothing like thick, wavy hair when the atmospheric humidity levels are prime, and it’s having a “good hair day.” It’s on these days when everyone expresses their envy over how absolutely gorgeous your hair is–and oh, how blessed you were to have hair like that. If these people could only see you on most of the other days–the “off” days, when it’s doing its normal thing of not being anything but thick and a random mix of a curl here, straight there and a massive wave thingy all over one side. Thank God for heated styling tools, right? Well, sort of, because even with these, any style can quickly go awry under certain conditions. If this describes you, there’s a lot more you can be doing to get control of your hair, and here are some of the best:
Thick, Wavy Tip #1 – Make Sure You’re Using the Right Shampoo and Conditioner
If you’re not using a shampoo and conditioner that’s formulated for the type of hair you have–ie. thick, wavy–you’re starting off at a supreme disadvantage–like straightening deck chairs on the Titanic. Especially with thicker hair, it’s best to shampoo every other day, and even every couple of days, if you haven’t been sweating or less than clean environments. You can even put your hair into a high bun and cover it with a shower cap, to only shampoo your roots. After rinsing, take down the bun and lightly condition the ends and rinse. Look for products that are formulated as “curl defining,” or “low/zero frizz.”
Thick, Wavy Tip #2 – Hone Your Pre and Post Wash Treatment
Before shampooing, gently brush all the tangles from your hair. Shampoo and condition as usual using the right products and then gently wrap a towel up with your hair to wick most of the water away. Next, using a wide tooth comb or brush with plastic bristles, patiently brush out the tangles again. Now, wrap your hair in a towel for the second time–preferably a fresh one–and do a couple of other things for a few minutes while the towel wicks out hair water. When you remove the towel, use it to gently fluff and kind of separate the strands. This would be when you add any special products–details following. Now, take your hands and smoosh your hair into your head to give it some uniformly waved angles. Once you’ve done this, don’t touch it again until it’s dry, and then, only minimally. This is the best look for your kind of hair, so rock it. You shouldn’t even need to tousle it. If you notice any strays, spray a little hairspray on your hands and smooth the wild ones.
Thick, Wavy Tip #3 – The Truth About Heat Styling Thick, Wavy Hair
The only time you can heat-style this hair, Honey, is when it’s cold, cold: otherwise within minutes of hitting the ambient humidity, forget about it. Your hair is so well behaved in cold air–but don’t think about it, because this is kind of rare. Accept your hair’s default look and rock it–many people would kill to have such terrific tresses, and you know it.
Thick, Wavy Tip #4 – Keep it Brushed
Of all hair types, thick, wavy hair is the quickest to become tangled and severely. When you postpone brushing, you’re setting yourself up for major hair damage. When you’re just hanging out at home, when you awaken and before bed, give your tresses a gentle brush-through. If you must “be seen” after brushing–’cause you know what that hair looks like after brushing–just spritz down with your favorite beachy spray or some water with a few drops of an emollient hair product, avoiding the roots. Scrunch and go!
Thick, Wavy Tip #5 – Forget the Full, Straight Falling Bangs, and You Know It:
When someone attempts to take hair like yours and go for the brand of bangs that belong exclusively to thin, silky straight hair–well, this could easily be the very worst hair look–ever.
Products You Can Use on Thick, Wavy Hair
The following products are fine and fun to experiment with, either post-shampooing (pre-drying,) or post-brushing your dry hair for a little “refreshment”. Whether you use them–and the brand you choose is up to you.
- Flexible hairspray
- Nutritive, water-based curl spritz
- Beachy, saltwater type spray
- Dry hair oil
- Relaxing balm
Stay away from volumizers, texturizers, and if you must use dry shampoo, use sparingly, and kind of near the roots but not right at the scalp.