If your hair isn’t straight, but it isn’t curly either, then it sounds like you’re in the wavy hair camp. This pretty hair type is a stunning mix of both textures and the blend of bends, swirls and spirals adds versatility, giving your waves a unique texture that no-one but you has.
“In the last 10 years, we’ve made real progress with embracing the natural texture of our hair, and with this, waves have become fashionable,” says Valentina Ingrosso, creative director at the Neil Moodie Studio and a wavy girl herself. “I don’t think waves will ever be out of style.”
As for those that aren’t naturally blessed with waves, curling irons and wavers have given us the ability to add extra movement and texture to hair whether it’s natural or needs a little extra encouragement.
What are the types of wavy hair?
If you’re in the tousled hair gang, your wave type will have a number attached to it:
2a is a loose s-shaped wave that can be straightened with minimal effort.
2b is your more defined s-shape that’s often heavier at the ends.
2c tends to be a coarser mix of defined s-shaped waves and spirals (curly, coily and Afro hair sits in the 3 and 4 category).
What you have dictates which haircut and style will work most harmoniously with your natural texture, but the overriding rule of wavy hair is that there are no rules, so do what works for you.
How porous is wavy hair?
Another thing to be aware of when trying to pin down your wave type is its porosity. All hair has a protective cuticle layer made up of overlapping cells that manage the strand’s moisture levels. Heat and chemical damage can cause this layer to lift over time, and the twists and turns of wavy hair also leave it naturally more raised (with or without damage). This is why curly and wavy hair tends to feel more coarse, and lack the high shine of poker-straight hair. So, how do you check the porosity of your hair? Take a strand from your brush and drop it into a glass of water. If it sinks quickly, it’s highly absorbent (aka porous), so the cuticle layer is raised. If it stays afloat or takes a long time to sink, the cuticle layer is flat and functioning well.
What are the best wavy haircuts?
The most flattering hairstyle for thicker hair with a wave is a single-length cut, possibly with some long layers,” explains Ingrosso. “I would cut all the hair using the point-cutting technique [which is where you cut in small upward movements into the ends of your hair], softening the edges for a lighter result. But, I would make some small changes in the way I cut depending on the density of the hair.” She goes on to recommend a blunter haircut for fine hair. “Try to not soften the ends too much as this will help achieve a fuller, thicker finish.” (You’ll find more haircut inspo in our gallery further down).
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