Natural Wavy Hair Tips from a Licensed Cosmetologist

Do you struggle with your natural wavy hair? You’d love to just scrunch and go to save time but it never looks nice so you always pull out the flat iron? Not to mention all that blow-drying and straightening is hot and tiring!

Natural waves can be so beautiful and are especially fun for the summer. But, it can be a challenge to find the right products and maintain them. As a licensed cosmetologist with wavy hair myself, here are my tips for your best style!

This page contains affiliate links and I may receive a commission if you make a purchase.

Tips for Wavy Hair from a Licensed Cosmetologist | Caitlin Cosmetologist

Products for Natural Wavy Hair

Wavy hair tends to be dry naturally, so give it lots of moisture to help your curls come to life. I’ve tried a lot of products that are meant for curls and they still left my hair feeling dry. So, you have to find the right combination for you.

Here are my recommendations:

Start with a moisturizing shampoo and conditioner. Put the conditioner on early and leave for the rest of the shower before rinsing it out. My go-to favorites are Sexy Hair Healthy Moisturizing Shampoo and Conditioner and Joico Moisture Recovery Shampoo and Conditioner.

Try a hair mask like Joico Defy Damage Protective Masque in the shower a couple of times a month. As you can tell from the name, this also helps protect from damage.

Pro-tip: apply a deep conditioner or mask (to your ends) over a regular conditioner like once a week if your hair feels extra dry. Too much conditioner can weigh your hair down, so keep it on the ends and only use as necessary.

Apply a hair oil, like Sexy Hair Healthy Moisturizing Love Oil, on the ends. I do this after I wash it and before I refresh my waves. It prevents the ends from getting dry and looking split.

I also use a leave-in conditioner before I finger comb through my hair. Joico Defy Damage Protective Shield, IGK Mistress Hydrating Hair Balm, or Good Behavior 4-In-1 Prep Spray are in my current rotation.

Use cream products to enhance your waves. I find that cream products provide moisture and hold without feeling crunchy or looking wet. Lightweight products are key so they don’t weigh down your curls!

After taking a curly hair class by Ouidad I was excited to try their products designed specifically for wavy hair. I’ve been using the Curl Shaper Take Shape Plumping + Defining Cream (for med/thick hair) and Curl Shaper Bounce Back Reactivating Mist and they are wonderful! They also have Curl Shaper Volumizing Jelly for fine hair.

Prefer a more beachy, summer look? Use a texturizing curl cream like Kenra Sugar Beach Sun Creme along with IGK Beach Club Volume Texture Spray.

Because I don’t wash my hair every day I like to use a light-hold hairspray when I scrunch it. My go-to is Sexy Hair Healthy So Touchable Hairspray.


Another common concern was how to style wavy hair. It tends to be more straight on one side/half or have a really uneven curl pattern.

Braids or twists are wavy hair’s best friends! I like to braid or twist a front section back to keep it out of my face and sometimes I will pull the rest of the top back into a cute half-up style. This is my go-to on days 2 and 3!

You can also use a curling iron or waver to touch up pieces as needed.

I can’t forget to mention the best part about styling wavy hair – it doesn’t have to be perfect because it’s not going to be smooth anyway! Even with a ponytail, people can see that your hair is wavy, so save yourself some stress and go with whatever it wants to do. We know it has a mind of its own, haha.

Natural wavy hair can be flat, especially on top. Try a texturizing spray or cream to give a little extra definition if you like that look. I’ve been using Sexy Hair Creme 2 Powder Play for a couple of years and recently have been really impressed by IGK Beach Club Volume Texture Spray. It’s the 1st texture spray I’ve tried that doesn’t feel gross in my hair. I use these products on the underside near the scalp as well as down the strand. Avoid the top of your hair so it doesn’t look greasy.

You probably know by now that I’m all about stretching out my styles between washes. Mostly because my hair can be dry but also because it saves so much time! My steps for refreshing are: apply dry shampoo, use oil on the ends, and apply a reactivating spray to scrunch. This is where the Curl Shaper Bounce Back Reactivating Mist comes in. Then, finish with an anti-frizz spray. I like Sexy Hair Healthy Smooth & Seal Anti-Frizz & Shine Spray.


Frizz gets its own section because it was the most common concern when I asked my Instagram followers about their waves. I want to start by saying there is always going to be frizz because like I said earlier, wavy hair is dry.  Dry hair takes moisture from the air. More humidity = more frizz. So, don’t let that stop you from embracing your natural hair. But, there are some ways to tame it so it’s not completely out of control.

Use a clear brow gel to brush hairs down around the hairline and part. This is really helpful when wearing your hair up! Spray a humidity-resistant smoothing spray, like Healthy Smooth & Seal Anti-Frizz & Shine Spray that I mentioned before, downward and smooth hair down with your hands.


When detangling your hair use your fingers or a wide-tooth comb starting at the ends and working your way up. This prevents you from using too much tension which will actually pull your waves and loosen them.

Air drying can give a great result but it’s not always practical. Especially if you have a lot of hair and would be walking around with damp hair for hours! If that’s the case, use a diffuser and scrunch your hair in your palm.

Pro-tip: It really helps to keep the shape of your hair by getting regular trims. They say not to get trims if you’re really trying to grow your hair. And while I agree with this, sometimes a trim is still necessary. Especially if you have wavy hair! Because the ends are dry, they look fuzzy quickly. Plus, when the ends get heavy, it causes curls to fall flat and lose their shape. Regular trims actually keep your hair healthy! Personally, I go about every 7 weeks.

I hope these tips are helpful and have given you the confidence to rock your natural waves this summer!

%d bloggers like this: