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.”
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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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.
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.
Best soft hold vaporizer
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.
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.
Best Hydrating 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Ideal for beach waves
- 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.
Ideal for touch-ups
- Good for quick styling
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.
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.
Ideal for heat protection
Moisture Memory Reactivator
- 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Best Dry Shampoo
The Dry Shampoo
- Easy to apply
- 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.
Best scalp scrub
- 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.
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.
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