How To Make Hair Naturally Wavy

Do you want to get wavy hair without damaging it with a curling iron? There are a variety of ways to add beautiful waves to your hair without using hot tools.

Preparing Your Hair

  1. Wash your hair. Regardless of which of the below methods you choose, getting your hair wet first is an important step. Curls will look better in clean hair.
    • Use shampoo to make sure your hair is clean.
    • When using conditioner, do not apply it to your scalp but instead focus on the ends of your hair. This makes your hair lighter so that it is not weighted down.
  2. Dry and comb your hair. Eliminate excess water by squeezing it out or using a towel. Leave your hair slightly damp. The curls will last longer this way.
    • If you have very thick hair, use a blow dryer to remove some of the water. Your hair should be damp, but not sopping wet.
    • Removing tangles from your hair will allow you to create smooth waves rather than knots which may catch or look unappealing.
  3. Apply leave-in conditioner. Leave-in conditioners make hair smoother, stronger and more flexible. Begin by working a small amount, about 1 tsp, into your hair. Too much conditioner can leave your hair weighed-down.
    • Apply conditioner to sections of your hair to ensure it is evenly distributed from root to tip.
    • You can add more conditioner as needed.
  4. Consider a curl-enhancing product. If you have very straight hair that struggles to hold a curl, adding a texturing spray, a small amount of mousse, or some hairspray may help your hair hold a curl for longer.
    • Often it works best to apply this to the under side of your hair so the crown of your head does not look greasy or heavy.
    • Lean over so that your hair is flipped upside down and use your fingers to work a small amount of gel or spray into your hair.

Braiding Your Hair For Waves

  1. Divide your hair into sections. The hair should still be damp as you do this. The size of the braid will determine how wavy your hair will be. The bigger the braid, the less wavy your hair will appear.
    • If you want a tight frizz, divide your hair into many small sections to braid.
    • If you want loose waves, divide your hair into four or five sections.
  2. Braid one section at a time. Take one section of hair and divide it into three equal parts. Hold the left section in your left hand, the right section in your right hand, and the middle section between two fingers of your dominant hand. Cross the hair over the middle strand.
    • First bring the right strand over the middle strand. What was the right strand is now the middle strand.
    • Now bring the left strand over the middle. What was the left strand is now the middle.
    • Repeat this process until the whole section has formed a braid.
  3. Secure the braid. At the end of the braid, use an elastic band or butterfly clip to keep the braid in place. You want the braid to be secure enough that sleeping on it or blow-drying it will not cause it to come loose.
  4. Braid the rest of your hair. Repeat the process for each section of hair. Remember that only the braided part of your hair will be wavy.
    • Begin as near the crown of your head as possible, to ensure that the waves don’t begin halfway down your head.
    • Braid as far down the section as you can so that the tips of your hair are not straight when you undo the braid.
  5. Dry your hair. In order for your waves to stay, you’ll want the braids to dry completely before undoing the braids.
    • Use a blow-dryer to dry the braids.
    • Sleep on your braids and undo them in the morning.
  6. Undo the braids. Carefully unbraid your hair to release the waves. Gently run your fingers through to separate the strands. Do not brush or comb your hair as this may create frizz or undo your waves entirely.
  7. Apply hairspray. If your hair tends to lose curl easily, add a light covering of hair spray to fix the curls. Choose one with a relaxed hold so that the hair does not become crunchy or sticky.
  8. Divide damp hair into sections. The more sections you create, the more waves you will have. It is a good idea to have a top layer of sections around the crown of your head and a second layer around the bottom.
    • If you plan to have your hair parted after your waves are done, make sure to have that part in place before dividing your hair into sections.
    • 10-12 sections is a good number to start with. After you have experimented you may find you like more or fewer sections depending on hair length or texture.
  1. Select one section to twist. You will create small buns one section at a time. Beginning with a section near your face will allow you to clearly see what you’re doing. Work your way backward.
    • Start with a section near the crown of your head. If you start with a lower section, hair from an upper section is likely to get in your way.
  2. Twist the hair tightly. Turn the section of hair in one direction to create a tight twist. When you hold the strand out from your head it should look something like a rope.
    • A tight twist will create a firmer wave.
    • Remember not to pull your hair too tight, as the hair may tear and your head will hurt.
  3. Create a bun. Coil the strand around itself at the base, so that it look something like a cinnamon roll or snail shell.
  4. Affix the bun in place. How large the buns are will depend on how long your hair is and may determine what you use to secure it. Larger buns may require an elastic band around the circumference of the bun.
    • Use bobby pins to hold smaller buns in place. Use two at perpendicular angles to ensure an even hold.
    • Use duckbill clips instead of bobby pins to hold curls.
  5. Set the curl. The curls will need to dry completely before you undo the buns. Sleeping on your wet hair is often the best way to do this. Light blowdrying may also help, but the heat is unlikely to penetrate to the center of the bun.
  6. Release the buns. When the hair has dried completely, undo each bun carefully. Run your fingers gently through your hair to make loose waves, but do not brush or comb it.
    • Use a hair spray or scrunch fixative gel into your hair to ensure that the waves will stay all day.

Using Rag Curlers To Make Waves

  1. Cut cloth strips. To make rag curls you will need small pieces of fabric, about four or five inches long and about an inch wide. How many you need will depend on how tight of a wave you want.
    • Begin with twelve strips, six for the top layer of your hair, six for the bottom.
    • Cutting up an old pillowcase or old shirt can be an economical way to get fabric.
  2. Separate a section of your hair. You will have six rag curls that go around the crown of your head, then another six that go a little below. This means you’ll have two sections of hair on each side and two sections at the back in your first layer of curls.
    • Pull a small handful of hair away from your face. If you divide the side of your head into quarters, it will be one quarter of that hair.
  3. Roll one section of hair. Place the rag at the tip of your hair and begin rolling under. At first it will be tricky and the tip will want to come out. Keep tucking it back in and roll your hair upward.
    • Watching what you’re doing in the mirror will help as you’re first learning.
  4. Tie the rag curl. Take the two ends of fabric and tie them together to secure the curl. You will want the knot to be snug enough that it will not come out as you sleep, but not so tight that you cannot untie it the next day.
  5. Set the curl. Allow the hair to dry overnight by sleeping with the damp rag curls. In the morning, undo the knots to release loose waves.
    • Run your fingers through your hair to turn ringlets into waves. Do not use a comb or brush as this creates frizz.
    • Apply hairspray to set the waves if you have hair that easily loses body.
  6. Try using foam curlers. If you struggle with using rags to curl your hair, purchase foam curlers instead. The process is exactly the same, only instead of tying a rag to set the curl you will instead clip a plastic cross-bar or special pin.
    • Some people find sleeping on curlers to be uncomfortable or difficult.
    • Remember that the size of the curler will determine how loose or tight the waves are. Big curlers make loose waves.

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