How to Manage Wavy Hair

I recently found out that I have wavy hair. Yes, you read that correctly: it took me nearly three decades to become aware of my hair type. Up until recently, if anybody asked about my hair, I would respond with something like "I have thick straight hair, and it's got these unruly wavy bits sometimes, and a curly patch in the back - but my hair is straight."  As I re-read that to myself now, I realize it doesn't even make sense - how can my hair be wavy and curly but actually be straight? The answer is: is can't; because I don't have straight hair. 

I spoke to my mother about this sudden realization a few months back, and she laughed and said "of course your hair is wavy!" so, why have I been in denial about my hair for so many years? Maybe it all started with the poker-straight hair fad that had teens scalding themselves with clothing irons back in the day... But the source of my lifelong hair denial is neither here nor there, so let's get back to what you want to know: How do you care for wavy hair?

It took me a lot of trial and error, some greasy hair days and some frizzy hair days, but I am confident that I have figured out how to style wavy hair easily. The way that I style wavy hair is quite simple, and really low maintenance. My hair is day-ready within seconds of waking up every morning. 

Rule #1
The first rule to styling wavy hair, is do not brush it when it is dry. This was probably the hardest rule for me to follow as it was extremely hard to wrap my head around the idea of not brushing my hair several times a day, especially after a lifetime of combing out mattes. When you brush out knots in dry hair, you risk breakage, and you separate each strand leaving it fluffy and frizzy rather than the smooth and wavy look you are aiming for. 

Rule #2
The second rule, is to only wash your hair once or twice a week. This may take a couple weeks to adjust to as well, because your hair may feel a bit greasy for the first little while as it adjusts to not getting washed as often. Try and hold out as long as you can until your hair adjusts to the weekly wash schedule. Once your hair has adjusted its natural oil production, it should not need to be washed more than once a week.

Washing your hair:
When you wash your hair, use a sulphate free shampoo. Lather and rinse the shampoo as usual, then slather it in conditioner. Use a brush or a comb to brush your hair in the shower while the conditioner is still in your hair - this is the only time you should be brushing your hair, so make sure to get all of the knots out now - once your hair is knot free, rinse out the conditioner.

Drying your hair:
To dry your hair, wring it out with your hands first, then use a cotton t-shirt to scrunch the rest of the water from your hair. Do not use a bath towel, and do not rub your hair vigorously; simply place the t-shirt under your wet hair, and squeeze the water out using a scrunching motion. Once I get most of the water out, I either put an extra shirt over my shoulders, or place my hair inside a clean sock - this is not a necessary step to styling wavy hair, but it helps prevent your hair from dripping down your back while you are getting ready, so consider it an expert tip. 

Treating your hair:
While your hair is damp, flip your head upside down, and scrunch Argon Oil into your hair starting at the ends. Don't put oil on the roots as this can make your hair greasy. Simply rub the oil between your hands, then let your hair pool into the palm of your hands and squeeze your hands to work the oil into your hair. 

Drying your hair:
You can either stop here and let your hair air dry, or add a styling cream and use a blow dryer with a diffuser attachment to dry your hair. I usually opt to let my hair air dry, but I will use the styling cream and hair dryer if I need to speed up the process. 

I have tried several methods to deal with my hair for bedtime, including plopping (which is basically wrapping your washed and treated hair in a t-shirt dew-rag), leaving it down, creating a pineapple pony on top of the head, braiding it, and putting it in a bun. I do not recommend leaving it down, as you will most likely find that you wake up in the morning with a frizzy tangled mess that is begging to be brushed. Plopping was uncomfortable to sleep with every night, though it did yield nice results. My favorite way to deal with my wavy hair before bed, is to wear it in a top-bun. Simply flip your head upside down, twist your hair around into a bun on the top of your head, and secure it with a scrunchy or hair tie. Take your hair out of the bun in the morning, give your head a shake, and voila!

That's it. That is my low maintenance hair routine that allows me to wake up every morning with day-ready hair. Do you follow a similar routine, or something different? I would love to hear about how you style your hair on a daily basis in the comments below. 


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