The 20 Best Products for Wavy Hair, According to Experts

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Managing wavy hair is a real balancing act. If the products you use are too heavy, your hair will likely fall flat. If they are too light, frizz is almost guaranteed.

So what should you be looking for to get the right combo? “To make wavy hair thrive, you need products that define your waves and add moisture without making your hair too oily,” says celebrity hairstylist Deaundra Metzger. “The best types of products for wavy hair are lightweight creams, mousses, and serums. Look for anything anti-frizz on the package.”

Meet our experts: Deaundra MetzgerAtlanta-based celebrity hairstylist, Nordia McIntoshsenior stylist at Fabio Scalia the lounges

Ideally, you want to make sure you’re not putting anything in your hair that prevents moisture from entering the hair shafts, adds stylist Nordia McIntosh. If you’re looking to up your wavy hair routine, here are the options our experts recommend you try.

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1

Best hair mask

Curl Manifesto Nourishing Mask for Curly Hair

  • Good for damaged hair
  • Mineral oil free

This hair mask nourishes damaged hair while protecting it from future breakage. It’s also free of mineral oil and contains manuka honey and ceramides to help lock in moisture.

2

Best light gel

Curl Maker Defining Gel

  • Incredible smell
  • Long duration

This gel will leave your hair smelling and looking amazing! Camille Rose is known for her sweet-smelling products, and the gel curl maker is no different. This product contains notes of marshmallow, agave, coconut, pomegranate, botanical juices of seaweed and aloe.

3

Best soft hold vaporizer

Acai-style refreshment

If you need a product to use after the gym or when you’re in between wash days, this spray could be a great option for you. It is vegan, silicone and sulfate free and has carbon neutral shipping.

4

Ideal for colored hair

Absolute Chroma Shampoo

  • Glossy finish
  • Good for removing scalp buildup

Designed for all hair types, this product helps revive dry, damaged hair while protecting hair color, removing scalp buildup and improving shine.

5

Best Hydrating Conditioner

Moisturizing conditioner

  • Smooth finish
  • Restores elasticity

Alongside vitamin A, which prevents hair aging and improves moisture retention, this one has argan oil as its star ingredient, which restores elasticity to hair.

6

Best fortifying shampoo

Hair Alchemy Resilience Shampoo

  • floral fragrance
  • Prevent breakage

This thick, gel-like shampoo gently cleanses hair while preventing breakage. It also contains key ingredients such as green tea, honeysuckle and daisy.

seven

Best defining mousse

Sculpting mousse for curls

  • Gives volume to the hair
  • Adds shine

If you’re looking for a product to define your curls without flattening them, this mousse will keep your curls full of life. One of the key ingredients is sweet almond oil, which nourishes the hair and gives it shine.

8

best light cream

Lightweight Curl Defining Cream

  • Not ideal for type 4 hair

This curl cream can do it all! It has a lightweight formula that straightens curls and locks your desired style in place all day long. It can also be used on a variety of hair types from 2A to 3C.

9

Best detangling spray

7 second leave-in detangler

  • Protects against knots
  • Strengthens strands

If your hair has ever been chemically treated, this leave-in conditioner is for you, as it helps strengthen your strands with rice protein. It’s also safe for extensions and works wonders on tangles that need to be untangled.

ten

Ideal for beach waves

Wave Vaporizer

  • For all hair types
  • Can be used with hot tools
  • Not ideal for a smooth finish

The name “Wave Spray” speaks for itself. This sulfate-free product will give your hair just the right amount of texture and shine to perfect your beach waves for the summer.

11

Ideal for touch-ups

Hydrating mist

  • Good for quick styling
  • vegan

This hydrating mist contains aloe, coconut oil and avocado oil to give your hair the nourishment it needs between wash days. It is vegan and free of parabens, silicones and formaldehyde.

12

Best styling spray

Frizz Ease Dream Curl Spray

  • Lower price level
  • Controls frizz

This spray will help control your frizz without leaving any residue on the hair or causing crunch. It’s especially good for tightening your curls, so expect some shrinkage.

13

Ideal for heat protection

Moisture Memory Reactivator

  • Versatile
  • Vegan and cruelty-free

This formula is vegan, cruelty-free, and made with moisturizing ingredients like olive, coconut, and sunflower oil. It is also made with aloe, sage, rosemary, pepper, and basil, which are rich in antioxidants.

14

Best Frizz Eliminator

Frizz-Free Intense Hydrating Hair Mask

  • Adds shine and moisture
  • Controls frizz

Living Proof’s mask formula is suitable for all types of curls, but works best on medium to thick hair. If you have the time to give your hair the TLC it needs, this product is sure to restore moisture while minimizing frizz.

15

Best hair oil

Baomint™ Protective & Shine Oil Blend

If you’re dealing with a dry or flaky scalp, this lightweight oil could be your savior. Like many oils, this one stimulates the scalp. However, it also provides protection against UV rays and other environmental damage.

16

The best on a budget

3 Minute Miracle Waves Deep Conditioner

  • Works fast
  • Reasonable price

Hair products can be very expensive these days, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t others on the market that can do the same job for a fraction of the price. Aussie’s Fast-Acting Deep Conditioner is a great option if you want soft, manageable waves in less than ten minutes.

17

Best lightweight leave-in

Cactus Flower Leave-In Conditioner

  • Light fragrance
  • Protects against heat damage up to 450 degrees
  • Application can be difficult

Looking for a restorative formula? Dae’s leave-in conditioner will protect your hair from breakage and heat damage up to 450 degrees. The cactus flower formula also supplies your follicles with essential vitamins and minerals.

18

Best Dry Shampoo

The Dry Shampoo

  • Easy to apply
  • Customizable
  • Not ideal for thicker hair

This dry shampoo gives you more freedom in your application process, making it easier to target specific areas and control how much product you want to use. It is color safe and ideal for those with oily hair.

19

Best scalp scrub

Scalp exfoliation

  • Contains shea butter and soybean oil
  • Promotes cell growth

Using multiple styling products at once can often lead to scalp buildup. Luckily, this scrub exfoliates and helps fight dandruff, dead skin cells, and excess oil. It can also be used to help soothe your scalp after coloring.

20

Ideal for low porosity hair

Rosewater sulfate-free moisturizing shampoo

  • Promotes hair growth
  • Contains vitamins
  • Not ideal for thicker hair types

TGIN (Thank God It’s Natural) is no stranger to creating hydrating formulas for different curl styles. The rose water in this product leaves hair feeling fresh and gives your hair a boost of antioxidants and vitamins A, C, D, E and B3.

What are the different types of wavy hair?

Here are the three types of wavy hair: 2A: This type usually starts straight at the roots, but then forms loose S-curls. It tends to be quite silky and delicate, and volume is something you might struggle to navigate. 2B: It’s mostly straight, but curls are generally more defined and respond well to products designed to define curls. This type of hair often suffers from frizz at the top of the head, which is manageable with the right products. 2C: This type is thicker and has very defined S-shaped curls, creating a defined wave. Curls start at the roots, which makes this type of hair prone to frizz. Although this type of hair can be more difficult to style, with the right products used during and between washes and scheduled regularly, styling can be more manageable.

How can you prevent damage to wavy hair?

In terms of maintaining and protecting your waves, Metzger recommends looking for products that say “designed for wavy hair textures.” She also notes that air drying is a plus and the use of heat should be avoided if you want a healthy wave pattern. “If you must use a hair dryer, apply a heat protectant to your hair, use a diffuser and put the hair dryer on the lowest setting. Use a comb as little as possible, detangling from ends to roots,” she says.

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