The Curly Girl Method has taken over the world with curlies everywhere swearing by this method because of the definition it gives to their curls. However, the curly girl method isn’t exactly super compatible with wavy hair. Wavy hair tends to be a different texture entirely and needs a different type of routine and care to make it look and feel good.
As a wavy girl myself, I’ve learned to adapt the curly girl method to suit my own needs. The rules of the curly girl method is a good basis on where to start. It reduces the damage taken by your hair, increases the nourishment, and defines the natural pattern of your hair which will benefit the wavies just as much as the curlies! However, some of the rules of the curly girl method can be a bit incompatible with wavy hair, which is why this guide will be an “adapted” version of the curly girl method that has just a few little changes to make it suit wavy hair a little better
Detangle or Brush Before Washing
For curlies, dry brushing and detangling are highly discouraged. Try detangling in the shower while conditioning or applying pre-poo (oils) and then detangling after. It is because curly hair is super voluminous, and the texture can be drier and coarser than the less curly hair types.
For wavies, it's ideal to detangle the hair while dry. You can lose a lot of the volume when detangling in the shower or while wet while detangling and brushing dry will bring back a lot of that bounce. Volume is important when it comes to wavy hair because it is a bit easier to be weighed down than curly hair. And since wavy hair can be a bit fickle (straight in places and curly or wavy in some), it can be quite flat around the root area where most of the moisture is concentrated. So, the more you can emphasize volume, the better your waves will look!Use a Gentle Sulfate-Free but Cleansing Shampoo – Wash More Often!
The curly girl method asks curlies to wash their hair with co-washes and less often. Curly hair is drier than wavy or straight hair and requires much less washing and way more moisture. A co-wash is an extremely moisturizing version of a shampoo that also acts as a conditioner. This is recommended for curlies because regular cleansing shampoos with sulfates can suck the moisture out of curly hair.
While this is the case for curlies, it is way different for wavies. Wavies tend to have more moisturized hair and produce more oil than curlies. This means the hair can look greasy, limp, and create more buildup. Co-washing is not the way to go. If you have wavy hair, choose a gentle, sulfate-free shampoo like the Mayraki Ultra-repairing & Weightless Moisture Shampoo that won’t dry out your hair but still cleanse it thoroughly and get rid of the buildup. Experiment with washing frequency to see what will suit you the best, but typically, you shouldn’t wash more than every two days to maintain a healthy balance.
Squish to Condish
It's a staple in both the curly girl method and the wavy hair method. Squish by applying a good amount of conditioner in your hair and squishing upward from ends to roots. This helps the hair absorb the moisture and nutrition from your conditioner and defines your wave pattern. Definitely keep in squish to condish in your showering routine.
Damp for Volume
Usually, curlies style their hair with wet, sopping hair to get maximum definition and less frizz. Also, hair definition is important for curls because it can get super voluminous, frizzy, and out of control when styled damp and dry. Curls will poof up and become an unidentifiable fluff of hair.
For wavies, it is also important to define the natural wave pattern of the hair, but too much definition can make it look limp and weighed down. To prevent this, damp styling is best for wavy hair. Damp styling will give you a little bit more frizz but still a good amount of definition and tons of volume. This means that squishing and applying your styling agents will have to happen a few minutes after you let your hair dry a little with just a moderate amount of dampness of the strands. You still need to hear the “squish” sound when you apply your styling oils and creams, but there shouldn’t be any dripping or excess wetness.
Go Light on the Oils and Creams
Typically, curlies tend to use more product on their hair than wavies. This is to make sure that the curls are super defined and sealed and to control the frizz.
For wavies, it’s best to go easy and sparingly on the oils and creams. Wavy hair is weighed down and prone to buildup. Use a lesser amount of styling agents to keep your hair voluminous and looking fresh and clean.
Another rule that the curlies and wavies have in common is the scrunch method! Scrunching in your styling products will help define the natural wave or curl pattern in your hair and lessen frizzing. The only difference is that wavies should do it with damp hair and curlies with wet hair.
Seal with Gel
A gel is a curly and wavy person’s setting spray but for hair. Applying gel after you define your curls or waves with curl creams and oils will help seal in the moisture and add a layer of protection around your hair from environmental debris. It also helps define your pattern even more.
For wavies, use a very lightweight, natural gel such as aloe vera or flaxseed gel. Avoid using any heavy and strong-hold gels that could make the hair look wet and weighed down.
Diffuse or Air Dry
Whether you choose to diffuse or air dry, make sure that you are not stretching out your hair or causing friction by doing too much to it. Simply point the blow dryer to your hair and let it do its thing. Don’t brush, agitate, or scrunch your hair.
Don’t Touch Your Hair!
This might not be as important for curlies, but for wavies, this is a rule that cannot be broken! Wavies are so much more prone to having different textures, losing definition, and having noticeable frizz in their hair. To prevent this, do not touch your hair until it is completely dry.
Touching your hair with your fingers can cause friction and the natural oils from your hands to weigh down your hair and lose some of its definition.
Before you touch your hair with your hands, make sure that it is bone dry before scrunching out the gel cast in your hair. And if you can, keep the touching to a minimum even after your hair is dry.
Dry Shampoo is Your Best Friend
Wavy hair can be a lot oilier than curly hair which means more often washing and a tendency for looking and feeling greasy after a few days. Still, you don’t want to have to wash your hair too often. Dry shampoo will be your absolute best friend for this. Whenever your hair starts to look a little greasy, just spray some dry shampoo on your roots to prolong your style until your next wash.
Add In More Oil
After drying your hair, you can add just a tiny bit more oil to the ends of your hair to tone down the frizz and make it super shiny. Make sure that you only use a tiny amount and apply it with a very light touch so as to not stretch your waves out.
Different Hair, Different Care
Different hair textures and types require different hair care. A lot of wavy-haired people have been a little disappointed when they tried out the curly girl method, and it didn’t exactly work wonders for them. That’s because wavy hair is different than curly hair, and not everything in the curly girl method will suit wavy hair. This guide made by a fellow wavy girl is a product of many trials and errors until I got the results that I wanted. Don’t be afraid to adapt this wavy hair guide to suit your preferences as well!