The Wavy Girl Method: Achieve Luscious, Gorgeous Waves 

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Embracing and celebrating your natural hair texture is an absolutely beautiful journey. 

If you’re blessed with wavy hair, you may find yourself seeking ways to enhance the look and overall health of your lovely waves. 

But navigating the world of hair care methods can be overwhelming, especially when popular techniques like the Curly Girl Method (CGM) don’t cater to wavy locks.

A beautiful woman with long wavy hair posing for a photo.

Fear not! This friendly and detailed guide is here to help. In this article, we will explore the Wavy Girl Method — a hair care approach tailored specifically for wavy hair. 

So if you’ve been searching for a method that truly understands your hair type’s unique needs, you’ve come to the right place. 

With our tips and tricks, you’ll be able to unleash the full potential of your waves and enjoy the bliss of having healthy, radiant wavy hair!

What Is the Wavy Girl Method?

The Wavy Girl Method, also known as the Wavy Hair Curly Girl Method or the Curly Girl Method for Wavy Hair, is a way of caring for your hair that’s perfect if you have wavy locks. 

It’s a modified version of the Curly Girl Method designed for wavy hair. 

What makes the Wavy Girl Method unique is that it’s all about bringing out the best in your natural waves and making them shine.

The method encourages you to develop a routine that suits your unique hair needs.

The main idea is to follow a few simple rules to keep your hair looking great and healthy.

These rules are based on the core tried-and-true principles of the CG method, which are customized for wavy hair. 

Let’s explore the fundamental principles of the Wavy Girl Method:

1. Cleansing the Hair With Gentle Shampoos

Like CGM, the Wavy Girl Method advises against shampoos with harsh sulfates that strip natural oils and disrupt waves. 

Instead, it recommends gentle sulfate-free or low-sulfate shampoos for a mild cleanse. 

That said, shampoos with sulfates can be used occasionally in the Wavy Girl Method to get rid of stubborn dirt and product buildup

2. Using Silicone-Free Hair Care and Styling Products

In the Wavy Girl Method, products that contain silicones, waxes, or heavy oils must be avoided. 

Why? These ingredients can build up on your strands, weigh down your waves, and hinder their natural movement. 

So if you want to follow WGM, look for silicone-free and lightweight products that won’t leave residue on your hair.

3. Opting for Nourishing Conditioners

Conditioners play a vital role in the Wavy Girl Method. They help hydrate and define your waves while providing essential moisture. 

This is why the Wavy Girl Method emphasizes the importance of choosing silicone-free and nourishing conditioners that contain ingredients like natural oils, shea butter, or aloe vera to keep your waves soft, hydrated, and frizz-free.

4. Scrunching and Enhancing

One of the key techniques in the Wavy Girl Method is scrunching. 

After applying your conditioner or styling products, scrunch your hair gently from the ends upward, encouraging wave formation and definition. 

This technique helps bring out the best in your natural waves, adding volume and bounce to them.

5. Diffusing or Air-Drying

The Wavy Girl Method allows you to choose between diffusing and air-drying your hair based on your preferences. 

Because wavy hair takes longer to dry than straight hair, you can speed up the hair-drying process by diffusing with a hair dryer on a low heat setting and using a diffuser attachment to help enhance your waves and reduce frizz. 

But you can also opt to air-dry your hair on less busy days.

Remember to gently scrunch your hair occasionally to encourage wave formation while it dries naturally.

6. Refreshing Between Washes

A woman with curly hair is spraying some water in her hair.

To maintain your waves throughout the week, the Wavy Girl Method places special emphasis on refreshing hair between washes. 

You can do this by lightly misting your hair with water, applying a small amount of conditioner to your locks, and scrunching them. 

This helps revive and redefine your waves, giving them a fresh look without fully washing your hair.

Why the Original Curly Girl Method Won’t Work on Wavy Hair

The original Curly Girl Method, while effective for curly hair, may not deliver desired results for wavy hair. 

Here’s why:

1. Unique Hair Needs

Wavy hair possesses distinct needs and characteristics that differ from curly hair. 

Using a one-size-fits-all approach by following the same rules and employing the same techniques in the CG method may not address these specific requirements.

2. Different Texture

Wavy hair falls between straight and curly, requiring a tailored routine to enhance and define its natural wave pattern.

3. Adjustments for Optimal Care

Fine-tuning the hair care routine and experimenting with techniques are essential to unlock the full potential of wavy hair.

A beautiful blonde woman with long wavy hair.

Key Differences Between the Wavy Girl Method and the Original Curly Girl Method

Knowing that the Wavy Hair Method and the Curly Girl Method share a common foundation is important when caring for your wavy hair.

But some essential distinctions between the two make the hair care routine of the Curly Girl Method less effective for wavy hair. 

Let’s explore these differences together:

Co-Washing: Not Always a Must

Co-washing (washing with conditioner instead of shampoo) is strongly recommended in the original CGM to preserve the natural oils of curly hair and maintain its moisture. 

This is because curly hair is more prone to dryness than straight or wavy hair.

So co-washing more frequently than washing with shampoo helps maintain the moisture of curly hair. 

Some CGM followers don’t wash their hair with shampoo at all and opt to only co-wash instead. Others co-wash every three to four days and wash with shampoo once a week to twice a month.

But in WGM, co-washing isn’t always necessary.

This is because wavy hair can become weighed down with excessive moisture or natural oils, especially if your hair is fine or thin.

In such cases, alternating between co-washing and using a sulfate-free shampoo can often yield better results, keeping your hair balanced and happy.

Brushing: Yes, It’s Allowed

In the original CGM, brushing is discouraged to avoid disrupting the curl pattern and causing frizz

However, in the Wavy Girl Method, hair brushing or combing can be acceptable, as it helps distribute natural oils and prevent tangling without compromising wave formation. 

This gentle approach helps minimize breakage and frizz, keeping your waves looking their best.

Occasional Sulfate Use: It’s Okay

The original CGM strictly shuns sulfates, the cleansing agents commonly found in many shampoos.

They can strip the natural oils from curly hair, leading to dryness and frizz. 

These harsh cleansing agents can disrupt the moisture balance and damage the delicate structure of curls, making them prone to breakage.

However, the Wavy Girl Method allows for the occasional use of sulfate-containing products to tackle stubborn buildup that can make your waves look flat and dull. 

It’s crucial, though, to use such products sparingly, as sulfates can dry your lovely locks.

Mousse and Cream: Your New Styling Buddies

In the original CGM, gel is often recommended for styling and defining curls. The thick consistency of gel coats the hair strands, reducing frizz and promoting curl formation. 

Additionally, gel helps seal moisture in the hair and creates a protective barrier around each strand, preventing environmental factors from causing damage to the curls.

However, for wavy hair, mousse and cream take the spotlight. 

These lightweight products provide ample definition without weighing down your hair or leaving any unwanted residue behind, allowing your waves to bounce freely and beautifully.

Steps for the Wavy Girl Method

An infographic featuring steps for the wavy girl method with seven steps

Before diving into this exciting hair care routine, it’s essential to prep your hair.

Follow these simple steps to get started:

Step 1: Clarify Your Hair

  • Use a clarifying shampoo to remove any product buildup, dirt, or impurities from your hair.
  • Gently massage the shampoo into your scalp and rinse thoroughly.
  • This step ensures a clean canvas for your Wavy Girl Method routine.

Step 2: Hydrate and Condition

  • Apply a hydrating and nourishing conditioner to your hair, focusing on the mid-lengths and ends.
  • Use a wide-toothed comb or your fingers to detangle your hair gently.
  • Leave the conditioner in for a few minutes to allow it to penetrate your hair strands.
  • Rinse thoroughly with lukewarm water.

Step 3: Scrunch in a Leave-In Conditioner

  • While your hair is still damp, apply a small amount of lightweight leave-in conditioner to help lock in moisture and define your waves.
  • Scrunch your hair gently from the ends towards the roots to encourage wave formation.
  • Avoid applying too much product, as this can weigh down your waves.

Step 4: Apply a Styling Mousse or Cream

Young african woman with curly hair holding a bottle of sunscreen on a yellow background.
  • Take a palm-sized amount of mousse or cream and distribute it evenly through your hair.
  • Scrunch your hair again to encourage wave formation and help the product coat your strands.
  • This step adds extra hold and definition to your waves, maintaining their shape and reducing frizz throughout the day.

Step 5: Use a Shirt or a Microfiber Towel To Dry Your Hair

  • Lay a microfiber towel or an old cotton T-shirt on a flat surface.
  • Flip your hair forward and gently lower it onto the towel.
  • Twist the towel or T-shirt around your hair to soak up excess moisture.
  • Leave it on for 10 to 20 minutes or until your hair feels damp but not dripping wet.

Step 6: Embrace Air-Drying

  • Once you’ve removed the towel, avoid touching your hair as much as possible.
  • Allow your hair to air dry naturally to encourage wave formation and minimize frizz.
  • If you need to speed up the drying process, use a diffuser attachment with low heat and airflow settings on your blow-dryer.

Step 7: Scrunch Out the Crunch

  • Once your hair is completely dry, use your hands to scrunch out the crunch from the styling products.
  • Gently break up any gel or mousse cast, revealing soft and touchable waves.
  • Avoid combing or brushing your hair, which can disrupt the wave pattern and cause frizz.

Wavy Girl Method: Tips and Techniques

If you’re ready to embrace and enhance your natural waves, here’s some good news: following the Wavy Girl Method is so easy! 

Follow these easy steps and techniques to achieve the best results:

Know Your Wavy Hair Type

Start by identifying your unique wavy hair type, whether it’s 2A, 2B, or 2C. This will give you insights into the specific needs of your waves, helping you choose the best products for the wavy girl method.

Here’s a breakdown of how various wave types can inform your product selection:

  • 2A Hair: This hair type typically has loose, gentle waves that are closer to straight hair. For 2A waves, choosing lightweight products that won’t weigh down the hair is essential. 

    Additionally, look for volumizing mousses or sprays that add texture and enhance the natural movement of your waves.
  • 2B Hair: 2B waves are more defined and tend to have a slight S shape. These waves often benefit from products that provide moisture and control frizz. 

    Consider using curl-enhancing creams or mousses to define and maintain the shape of your waves while also taming any potential frizz.
  • 2C Hair: This hair type exhibits more pronounced waves that form distinct S or C shapes. 2C waves require products that provide deep hydration and a strong hold to enhance their natural pattern and minimize frizz. 

    Consider using leave-in conditioners, curl creams, or styling mousses that provide moisture and definition while keeping your waves intact.

Opt for Wavy Hair-Friendly Products

When it comes to product selection, look for those that are CGM-approved. 

Why? While there are some differences between the WGM and CGM, most CG-approved products are suitable and gentle enough for wavy hair as well. Non-CG-approved products may be too harsh and drying for your waves.

These are some of the best products approved by the Curly Girl Method for wavy hair:

  • Pacifica Beauty Pineapple Curl Defining Shampoo — This is one of our favorite Curly Girl products for wavy hair as it cleanses and moisturizes waves while enhancing their shape. 

    With quinoa, argan oil, and hyaluronic acid in its lightweight formula, it gives your wavy tresses a boost of hydration to make them frizz-free and manageable.
  • SheaMoisture Coconut and Hibiscus Frizz-Free Curl Mousse — We love this mousse because it doesn’t leave the hair crunchy but rather gives you soft and defined waves!

    It contains neem oil, coconut oil, shea butter, and hibiscus extracts that moisturize wavy hair, enhance its natural wavy pattern, and make it soft and bouncy.
  • Briogeo Superfoods Banana + Coconut Nourishing Conditioner — If you’re dealing with flat, lifeless waves, this is the ultimate product for you. 

    It boasts a nourishing formula rich in vitamins and minerals and full of fruit extracts to revive your tresses, transforming dry and dull strands into soft, glossy waves!

Gently Detangle and Brush

To minimize breakage and frizz, handle your wet hair with care. Use a wide-tooth comb or a brush to gently detangle your hair while it’s coated in conditioner. 

This helps maintain the integrity of your waves and keeps them looking their best.

Apply Styling Products With the Praying Hands Method

Instead of raking styling products through your hair, try the “praying hands” method. 

This technique involves gently applying your chosen lightweight styling products by pressing them between your palms and gliding them over your hair. 

This method ensures even distribution and helps preserve your natural wave pattern.

Embrace Gentle Drying Techniques

When it’s time to dry your hair, opt for gentle methods that minimize damage. Swap out your regular towel for a microfiber towel or a soft cotton T-shirt. 

Use these materials to scrunch and gently dry your hair, encouraging your waves to form beautifully. 

Remember, it’s best to limit the use of blow-dryers and heat-styling tools as much as possible to keep your waves healthy and happy.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I Use the Original Curly Girl Method for Thick Wavy Hair?

While it’s technically possible to adapt the Curly Girl Method for thick and wavy hair, it’s important to note that the Wavy Girl Method has been specifically tailored to meet the unique needs of wavy hair types. 

What you can do is choose CGM-approved products that can cater to the needs of your thick hair while following the routine and techniques in the Wavy Girl Method.

This will likely yield better results and help you achieve the most beautiful and defined waves.

How Often Should I Wash My Hair With the Wavy Girl Method?

The frequency of washing your hair using the Wavy Girl Method can vary depending on your specific hair type, scalp condition, and personal preferences. 

Some individuals with wavy hair find that washing their hair every two to three days works well for them, while others may prefer a different schedule. 

It’s important to listen to your hair and observe how it responds to washing. 

Experiment with different washing routines, such as washing more or less frequently, to find the frequency that suits your hair best. 

Remember, the goal is to maintain a healthy moisture balance in your hair while keeping it clean and nourished.

Can I Use Heat-Styling Tools While Following the Curly Girl Method for Wavy Hair?

The Wavy Girl Method method encourages minimizing the use of heat-styling tools to prevent damage and preserve the natural integrity of your waves. 

However, it’s understandable that there may be occasions when you want to use heat-styling tools. 

If or when you decide to use them, taking precautions to protect your hair is important. 

Always use a heat protectant product before applying heat, and use the lowest heat setting possible. 

Additionally, try to limit the frequency of heat styling and incorporate heat-free styling techniques whenever possible. 

This way, you can enjoy the benefits of the Wavy Girl Method while still having the flexibility to use heat tools occasionally.

Can I Color or Dye My Hair While Following the Curly Girl Method for Wavy Hair?

Yes, you can color or dye your hair while following the Wavy Girl Method. 

However, choosing hair dyes and color treatments that are gentle and free of harsh chemicals, such as ammonia and sulfates, is vital. 

Opt for hair dyes specifically formulated for curly or wavy hair and labeled as CG-approved. 

Additionally, after coloring your hair, be sure to provide it with extra care and moisture to maintain its health and vibrancy. 

Deep conditioning treatments and regular trims can help prevent damage and keep your waves looking their best.

Unlock the Beauty of Your Natural Waves

Now that we’ve explored the differences between the Wavy Girl Method and the original Curly Girl Method, you can adopt a personalized approach that guarantees vibrant, healthy waves, leaving you feeling confident and radiant.

Remember, every hair journey is one of a kind.

As you embark on your wavy hair routine, experiment with it and tailor the steps and techniques to your specific needs. 

Embrace the freedom to customize and uncover what works best. Let your natural waves shine and reveal their true beauty. 

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  • Ashley Pena

    Ashley Pena brings over 13 years of seasoned writing and editing expertise, fortified by her Bachelor of Science in Management. Esteemed in the beauty domain, her content captivates readers with its depth and authenticity. While she navigates a broad spectrum of beauty trends, Ashley shines particularly as our resident K-beauty guru. Her articles are a harmonious blend of passion and profound knowledge, inspiring readers on their unique beauty journeys.

  • Jessica Hoelscher

    With thirteen years in cosmetology, Jessica Hoelscher is a seasoned stylist recognized for her modern techniques. A graduate of Paul Mitchell the School in St. Louis, her expertise has been showcased on Fox Two News and in People Magazine. Self-employed at Salon Lofts, her work has graced TV screens, styling for renowned events and Ole Miss cheerleaders.

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