August 9, 2018 2:06 PM   Subscribe

I have long, thick, wavy hair with lots of potential. Help me style it so that it looks beautiful every day. Something like this or this.

Thick, glossy, non-frizzy hair that moves (and can be touched/flipped around) is what I'm after.

First off: I'm not asking how to get this look with minimal work. I'm ok with putting in the work - I need to know what the work is, and if there are some tips/tricks I don't know about! (Also, assume a good haircut to begin with).

Right now I can't achieve this look without a thorough blowout, and then some work with either a flat or curling iron. I'm ok with doing that if that's the answer, but are there better products or techniques out there?

Basically if you style your hair like this every day, I'd like to know your routine, tools, and products. Do you wash at night? How often? What do you use in between? Specific blowdrying and styling techniques are definitely also welcome!
posted by orange and yellow to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (9 answers total) 19 users marked this as a favorite
Depends on the start state and natural tendencies of your hair. I think at minimum you'd want a volumizing product on your roots, applied prior to air-drying or blow-drying. This kind of style doesn't look good with flat hair at the crown/top of the head. You might try something like the SleepStyler, though it has mixed reviews.

I have somewhat thick hair that's wavy but does get weighed down with more length. I could usually achieve something close to this look with shampooing at night, volumizing foam at the roots, then air drying overnight, then curling wand in the morning or whenver for loose waves, though it always looked better if I had time/patience to blowdry before curling.

The upside-down technique of blow drying is probably not as popular these days, but I usually would flip my head over and just do my roots that way, which gave me lots of nice volume on top so the waves at the bottom would look balanced once I started curling.

Specific products: Nexxus Mousse Plus, wide-barreled curling wand (mine has interchangeable wand sizes). Kenra Blow-Dry Spray to cut down on blow dry time.
posted by rachaelfaith at 2:18 PM on August 9, 2018 [1 favorite]

Hi, I have combo wavy/curly hair that I used to often style to look like this.
1. Take a shower at night
2. Let hair dry naturally overnight since I need to blow it out anyway and it would take me an hour to use a hair dryer just to get it dry much less glossy
3. Blow out dry hair in morning. Use a heat protector spray
4. Use a curling wand to get the waves (my hair is this so no “6 pieces and I’m done” bs. It usually takes me about half and hour. Hairspray a bit on each section to it stays better
5. Maybe a little more hairspray all over to set it
6. Shake out my head upside down a little
7. Wear
8. Dry shampoo and curling iron touch up on days 2 and 3

It was a lot of work so something I did rarely, but the results were worth it to me for special events
posted by raccoon409 at 2:21 PM on August 9, 2018 [2 favorites]

I recently bought this hot air brush and it has changed my life. Now my hair looks like your pictures. I blowdry with a regular hairdryer until it's about 80 percent dry, concentrating on the roots and underside, then work from the front of my hair to the back with the hot air brush, clipping back the parts I'm not working on. It takes me about 15 minutes and I have thick coarse hair past my shoulders.

I really can't say enough things about this brush. For me it gives me that shiny look with the volume I lose if I use a flatiron, and without the tedium of using a round brush with a hairdryer. I used to do all sorts of intricate routines to get hair like you want, and now it's easy enough that I can just wake up, wash my hair, blow dry, and then hot air brush and it looks amazing. Doesn't matter what products I use, although I usually put in some sort of heat protectant before blow-drying. A++ would recommend.
posted by stellaluna at 2:55 PM on August 9, 2018 [6 favorites]

I have thick, coarse, wavy/curly hair that goes frizzy in humidity. I use a quarter-sized glob of hold gel and spritzes of silicone-based shine product. The silicone coats the hair making it slippery and glossy and reduces frizz. The gel keeps it from going in 200 directions.
posted by theora55 at 3:21 PM on August 9, 2018 [1 favorite]

Whether you can achieve this look with this technique depends entirely on your natural hair texture, but my natural hair texture is wavy, so my hair looks a lot like your first photo with touchable/movable non-frizzy hair with a modified approach to the Curly Girl method.

In terms of modifications, wavy hair tends not to do well without any shampoo at all (the "No Poo" method), so I use a non-SLS shampoo (Trader Joe's Tea Tree) and follow up with a CG approved conditioner that I scrunch into my hair and only partially rinse out. I follow up with Deva Curl Frizz Free Volumizing Foam and LA Looks Extreme Sport Gel, then plop my hair into a t-shirt for about twenty minutes. Absolutely no combing, brushing, or drying with a terrycloth towel.

After I'm done plopping, I can either finish by air drying (my hair is long so it takes about three hours to get to completely dry) or use a hair dryer with a diffuser to speed up the process.
posted by telegraph at 3:42 PM on August 9, 2018 [4 favorites]

Hi hair twin! Came in to recommend my favorite products, this blow-out cream which gives body and a bit of curl hold and this heat protectant / shine serum which says relax but really doesn't flatten my waves, it just prevents frizz, and this hairspray which is absolutely the best.

If I'm not planning on blow drying and heat styling in the morning, I wash it at night and let air dry, in the morning put on Shea Moisture Curl Cream and some argan oil on the ends, put it up into two or three low buns and leave it for an hour. Then I shake it out, run some of the Kerastase relax serum over it, give it a light mist of hairspray and I'm good to go.
posted by ananci at 3:49 PM on August 9, 2018 [6 favorites]

I just started getting weekly blowouts at the beauty school in my city, and it’s the best $11/week I’ve ever spent. Not sure where you are located and if you have a similar spot, but it’s so much nicer to have someone else do it for you and it lasts me about 5 days (if I don’t do any super sweaty activities).
posted by girlalex at 11:40 PM on August 9, 2018

My hair is a lot like Hermione's in the first Harry Potter movie, or Julia Roberts' in Steel Magnolias. I finally got thick, smooth, shiny flippy hair *this week*, I kid you not. This is what I'm doing:

Wash my hair with a nice bar soap. The only one that works so far is Coffee and Coconut by Community & Co here in Australia. Lots of coconut is the trick, I think. Assuming you're in the USA, I might try Mountain Skin Trip Coconut Soap.

Rinse out soap, then rinse with about 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar diluted in 4 cups water - I keep a big plastic measuring cup in the shower. Rinse again with water.

Use a non fuzzy towel (tea towel, anything smooth and not terry) to wrap hair and squeeze out as much moisture as possible.

Rub a dime size spot of coconut oil through wet hair.

Blow dry.

This has lasted all week! I can run my fingers through my hair for the first time ever - it doesn't tangle or start curling up or anything. I intend to try putting waves in, or rinsing + air dry and seeing how my curls hold. Do try - it's cheap and if it doesn't work for you the soap and vinegar can be used for other things anyway.
posted by jrobin276 at 3:28 AM on August 10, 2018 [2 favorites]

Lots of good advice above. I'll add: talk with your stylist a lot and in detail and be honest.

But the main reason I'm answering is to say the type of hair you want is hard work. It's beautiful and if you want it you should go for it, but I wasted a lot of my life imagining I was somehow wrong because it took me at least 30 mins a day to get to that hair, and also lots of time and money at the stylist. It looks natural but it isn't.
posted by mumimor at 11:57 AM on August 10, 2018 [2 favorites]

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