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Wavy Girl Method: the routine for wavy hair

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Many people think that wavy and curly hair are the same thing, but they’re not. Don’t get us wrong; they’re both beautiful! But waves have different needs than curls, which is why a different hair routine is important. If you have wavy hair and have started the Curly Girl Method, you may not get the best results. That’s because your hair actually needs different products and techniques! Wondering which ones? In this article we’ll tell you all about the Wavy Girl Method.

Also read: How to start the Curly Girl Method: steps for beginners

What is the Wavy Girl Method?

The Curly Girl Method is a hair routine for people with curls, and the Wavy Girl Method is one for people with waves. You can see the differences in this image:

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The basic principles of the Wavy Girl Method are as follows:

  • Try co-washing, if it doesn’t work for your waves use a sulfate-free shampoo
  • Avoid sulfates unless you are using it as clarify
  • Avoid silicones
  • Use products that are lightweight and/or weightless
  • Minimal heat styling tools, such as a hair dryer or straightener
  • And no chemical relaxers

The differences with the Curly Girl Method

Wavy hair has different needs than curly hair, so it’s important to have a different routine. These differences are mainly related to the natural oils that the scalp produces, and how easily they’re able to travel down the lengths of our strands. This takes longer with curls than with straight hair. So for Wavies, who have less curls than Curlies, it’s easier for those oils to naturally moisturize the hair from root to tip. That’s why as a Wavy girl you can achieve better results with the Wavy Girl Method than with the Curly Girl Method.

There are many similarities between the CG Method and the Wavy Girl Method though. For example, both recommend the following: sulfate-free shampoos or co-washing, silicone-free conditioners, no heat styling tools (such as a flat iron or curling iron) and no chemical relaxers. But there are also many differences! We’ll list them below.

You can brush wavy hair

When starting the Curly Girl Method, it’s recommended to throw away your hairbrush. When following the Wavy Girl Method, this is different: wavy hair can be brushed without significant risk of breakage. Certainly people with wavy hair type 2a and 2b can brush their hair. You can use a Tangle Teezer or Denman Brush. Always do this before applying the conditioner or else you’ll probably comb out your waves.

Also read: Discover which Denman Brush you need

Co-washing may not work

The Curly Girl Method recommends to no longer wash your hair with shampoo, but start co-washing. It’s a great way to preserve moisture, but for wavy hair this isn’t always the best choice. You may experience build up over time, as your sebum plus the ingredients of your co-wash add up. In general, if you have thick or coarse hair you can try co-washing, but if you have fine or thin hair it probably isn’t a good idea. Especially in the summer months this can lead to limp, lifeless, weighed down hair. Then it’s better to opt for a sulfate-free shampoo or a low-poo. Want to try co-washing? Choose a conditioner that you can also use as a ‘normal’ conditioner, just in case. Or go for a consistent washday rotation, by doing a co-wash after two low-poos.

Also read: Everything you want to know about co-washing

Wavies can use sulfates (in moderation)

Sulfates are banned within the Curly Girl Method. These are ingredients that are often added to shampoo. They ensure that your shampoo will foam nicely after contact with water. That foaming effect not only gives you a nice clean feeling in the shower, but also helps remove dirt, oil and dead skin from your scalp and hair. But that cleansing effect is actually too intense for your scalp and hair. Sulfates cleanse your hair so good, that they strip your hair of not only dirt, oil and dead skin, but also of the natural oils on your scalp. And these oils provide hydration to the hair. Still, some people with wavy hair do need this from time to time to remove build-up from their hair. Try to do it as little as possible, for example once a month.

Use a mousse instead of gel

Many Curly Girls use gel to get hold and definition, but for Wavy Girls this often is way too heavy. It probably will result in weighed down hair and build-up, which will likely make you wash your hair too often. Therefore, preferably opt for mousse, which provides more definition, soft curls and no build-up. Don’t apply it too close to your roots, but about 4 cm from it, otherwise it will cause build-up anyway. And especially go for lightweight products, because these provide more resilience and therefore more waves!

Pay attention to how you apply hair products

In terms of styling, curls and waves really need a different technique. For example: where a lot of Curly Girls rake their hair, most Wavy Girls can say goodbye to their waves if they rake. Raking is a technique that you can use when applying styling products. You detangle your curls with your fingers, while at the same time distributing the product over the hair, from the roots to the ends. Wavies will destroy the clumps (curls that curl together or form one larger curl) and their hair will stay limp.

Instead of raking, divide the product over your wet hair using the praying hands technique and start scrunching. Be careful not to smooth your hair with this technique too.

Also read: The main techniques of the Curly Girl Method

Your Wavy hair routine will change throughout the year 

Every season is different for wavy hair. Each season your hair has very different needs. In the dry winter months, co-washing may work best to keep your hair moisturized, defined and bouncy. But in the warm and humid months, this can lead to weak, lifeless, weighed down waves. So pay attention to the time of year! This can be very frustrating, but once you’re through one year, you know roughly what to expect. Be sure to make notes so you can read them back next year!

Do you have any questions about the Wavy Girl Method? Let us know on Instagram!