Best hair products for short fine wavy hair
June 28, 2013 11:07 AM   Subscribe

I recently have gotten a hair cut that looks best when I wear my hair wavy. In the past when I wear my hair wavy the results have been mixed. Sometimes it looks great, and others dull and frizzy. I have tried a different types of products and find most of it to be inconsistent. Since my hair is shorter now and can't go to a pony tail, I am having to suffer through the bad hair days. Are there any products or styling regimines to have this happen as little as possible?

I am looking for a product that will leave my curls shaped (like in the photo below for the most part, today happens to be one of the decent days), but that does not feel sticky or leave my hair "crunchy" when it dries. The product I have been using is a mousse, and while most of the time I like the look, I have to break apart all of the crunchy stuff after it dries. I have tried several creams from drug stores, and while I don't get the crunch factor they tend to leave me with a liveless frizzy mess more often than not. I usually just let my hair air dry. I haven't gotten using the diffuser to work like I like for it to. Also I would like for it not to be super expensive, and as easy to get as possible of course. I would like not to have to spend more than 10 - 15 bucks, but I know that may not be feasible.

Here is a look at the cut.

And here is a better look at what my "curls" look like on a decent day.

Please ignore the face if possible.

Any suggestions MeFites?
posted by Quincy to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (20 answers total) 40 users marked this as a favorite
I just started using beach waves for this reason and it's great! Cheap drugstore version works just as well as Bumble. When your hair is just about dry, start spraying. I also love spray wax - Short Sexy Hair is good - instead of hairspray. It holds waves really well. Also - use less of this.

I don't know what took me so long - my hair looks better than ever.
posted by crankyrogalsky at 11:16 AM on June 28, 2013

I know gel is usually heavy and sticky and crunchy, but I've been using this gel for years and love it. It's so non-sticky that I don't even have to wash my hands after touching it. My hair is a lot curlier than yours, but my less-curly sister also loves it. And it's $4.
posted by decathecting at 11:17 AM on June 28, 2013

I am really liking Lakme Rings. It's a "curl activator balm" (woo!) that's light enough that it doesn't end up crunchy and helps the waves stay more like curls.
posted by machine at 11:20 AM on June 28, 2013

I'm a curly haired person, but my hair is of similar length. I swear by Lush products, and would recommend R&B for you. A little bit worked through wet hair does a nice job maintaining soft curls. Also great, and probably not too heavy for your hair, are a couple of squirts of DHC's Emulsion or just Oil, worked through wet hair.
posted by bearwife at 11:26 AM on June 28, 2013 [1 favorite]

This leave-in conditioner. You can find it at Whole Foods. Changed. My. Life.
posted by Mchelly at 11:36 AM on June 28, 2013 [2 favorites]

I started using Alterna Caviar conditioner, which is very expensive, and doesn't do the job all by itself-- but as a conditioner it's SO good and gets me 3/4ths of the way there.
posted by stoneandstar at 11:47 AM on June 28, 2013

Jessicurl products are amazing. I've been using the Devacurl line, but my curly-only hairsylist uses the Jessicurl. When I run out of Devacurl, I'll switch to Jessicurl Rockin Ringlets.

The best hair tip I ever got was on a blog. Just google squish to condish. It goes over some general curly hair principles. Squishing water into the hair does awesome things if your hair likes moisture.

The Curly Girl book has lots of tips too.
posted by icanbreathe at 11:49 AM on June 28, 2013 [3 favorites]

I have hair (and a cut) very similar to yours. My favorite product so far is Keune So Pure Curl Enhancer. It works well and is absolutely not crunchy but I think it's outside your target price range.
posted by workerant at 11:50 AM on June 28, 2013

Most crunchy products are meant to work like that, you scrunch the crunch out when it dries. Creamy-textured products are not as good at holding a shape, and they tend to be heavier.

When I'm using drugstore products, I really like a mix of Garnier Fructis scrunch gel and curl sculpting cream. Mix in hand, rake through hair and scrunch in, focusing on ends. I do this in the shower on dripping wet hair and follow the Naturally Curly method from there.

(When I'm not using drugstore products, I'm using Jessicurl Confident Coils and Rockin' Ringlets, but you might like CC + Gelebration spray. Use JSCRL256 for 25% off anything today.)
posted by Lyn Never at 11:50 AM on June 28, 2013

icanbreathe - My curly-only hairstylist just taught me "squish to condish"! I got my color done at the same time, so maybe I'm overestimating how well it works, but wow it seems to work really well.
posted by Lyn Never at 11:51 AM on June 28, 2013 [1 favorite]

I have fine, wavy hair that's a little longer and not as wavy as yours (there's a headshot of me in my profile). I use mousse, which controls the frizz factor, gives my hair volume, and makes it look styled. My hair looks just terrible without mousse. And I especially like that mousse disappears into hair (I can't bear the "feel" of product in my hair, all stiff and crunchy or greasy) and will keep working and looking totally natural until the next time you wash your hair, even when you've slept on it.

Thanks for posting this thread, though! I'm sure most of the tips in it will be worth trying on my hair.
posted by orange swan at 12:15 PM on June 28, 2013 [1 favorite]

The gel cast, or the crunchy part that results from mousse or gel in wet hair, is actually setting the curl in your hair. A softer product isn't going to result in a defined curl.

I don't like it when it's crunchy, either, but I think of it as the necessary evil to getting a lasting, defined curl after I wash my hair. I try to wait until my hair is dry before I break up the gel cast, and the longer I wait, the longer the curl will last.

I have long, fine, wavy hair. I wash my hair at night twice a week with silicone-free conditioner only or a no-poo product. I wear it in a pineapple ponytail overnight. My hair is usually still damp the next morning when I run lightweight gel through it, scrunching upwards as I go. Then I leave it alone for at least a couple of hours. At some point in the morning, usually on a bathroom break, I will scrunch upwards to break the gel cast apart on the dry hair. Soft curls will result and will last the day.

I also sometimes use a flexible hairspray that helps to keep the shape of the curls.
I recommend DevaCurl's lavender misting spray for second-day hair or when you want to bring curls back. It really does help. I mean, it's not a curling iron, but it makes a difference. I also really like DevaCurl's Set it Free, which I use on wet hair before gel. It helps with frizz (though obviously the best way to avoid frizz is to wash your hair less often and not to use a detergent shampoo).
posted by aabbbiee at 2:01 PM on June 28, 2013 [2 favorites]

Biosilk Silk Therapy Serum has been a life saver lately with all of this humid weather. I picked up a bottle at TJ Maxx for about $20. (Which might be a lot, but you only need a dime sized amount so it will last a long time.) I also use Straight Sexy Hair Power Straight straightening Balm which states obviously it's for making hair straight, but I actually find it better for my wavy hair. For revitalizing waves, I like Ouidad Botanical Boost Spray-In Daily Conditioner or Treseme Fresh Start Moisturizing Waterless Foam Shampoo.
posted by Bookworm85 at 9:16 PM on June 28, 2013 [1 favorite]

You use the creamy product to 'scrunch out the crunch' of the mousse. I like to think that, for fine hair, mousse is like a 'roller set'. It helps to hold your waves in place as it dries. When your hair is dry you take a dab of your creamy product and scrunch really well to break up the crunchiness and tone down frizz. You could try using your existing products this way to see if it helps!
posted by nerdfish at 4:02 AM on June 29, 2013 [2 favorites]

I started using Josie Maran Bohemian Waves Argan Hair Mist Texture Volume & Moisture and it is the most incredible hair product I have ever used on my fine, naturally wavy, above the shoulders bob. Waves easily hold all day with no crunchiness.
posted by postpostpostscript at 7:55 AM on June 29, 2013 [3 favorites]

I forgot to add that I've tried both Charlotte Ronson's A Perfect Mess Beach Hair and Bumble and Bumble's Surf Spray and found they dried my hair out, leaving it frizzy (something it's never been before) and super crunchy/unnatural looking.
posted by postpostpostscript at 8:00 AM on June 29, 2013

I'm using Aveda be curly to achieve the effect that you're looking for. I help it along by twirling my hair in chunks while it dries or gently blow drying it while in "pin curls".

I also used a defrizz product successfully for awhile.
posted by Heart_on_Sleeve at 9:13 AM on June 29, 2013

Biosilk Silk Therapy was my gateway drug into "product." I recently had my wavy hair cut shorter (I live in a climate that is very humid for part of the year.) and have started using Moroccanoil Curl Defining Cream. Although it is perhaps more expensive than you are looking for, I have found it to be essential. Aside from its structural performance, I value it for amazing way my hair smells.
posted by Morrigan at 3:57 PM on June 30, 2013 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Thanks everyone for the tips. I am excited about trying some new products (maybe in combination with the products I am using currently!)

icanbreathe - I have been trying the "squish to condish" method the past 2 days, and while I look like a wet rat for a couple of hours while it is air drying, once I seperate out the curls and do a little finger through the scalp for volume my hair has never looked better curly! I'm using minimal product, and still getting a great look. That dry time is the biggest issue though, but its totally worth it.
posted by Quincy at 8:29 AM on July 1, 2013 [1 favorite]

I'm late showing back up, but if you "squish to condish" and then rinse lightly or rinse well and then squish a little extra conditioner into the ends and then diffuse with a good big diffuser or a diffuser sock, you can get 2/3 dry and let it go the rest of the way in a lot less time.
posted by Lyn Never at 6:40 PM on July 3, 2013 [1 favorite]

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