It's annoying, isn't it? Burning your fingertips time and time again just to end up with half-curled waves that fall flat an hour later. We hate that, too, but luckily - there's another way. Get the perfect soft waves with one of these seven HSOP-tested and approved techniques.
Go ahead - pick your poison.
Using a curling wand is the most common way ladies attempt soft waves.
The trick here is using the right size barrel. Without realizing, a lot of people use a barrel that's either way too small and end up with tight, Shirley Temple curls, or a barrel that's way too big and end up with flat, barely-there waves.
There's no one-size-fits-all curling wand, though. Use a 1-inch wand if you have short hair, a 1.25-inch wand if you have medium-length hair, and a 1.5-inch if you have long hair. To achieve the look, alternate the direction you curl each strand and leave a few inches straight at the bottom of the hair. This will create a more undone, tousled look. Finish off with a texture spray and light hairspray.
One of the best heatless ways to get perfect soft waves is to leave braids in for several hours. For more defined waves, we suggest taking wet hair, adding a bit of mousse, and then braiding it. It usually takes several hours to dry wet braids, so you may want to do this before you go to bed.
However, if you want looser, more natural looking waves, you can braid dry hair and mist some hairspray onto the braids. We recommend going for two braids if you have thin hair and four braids if you have thicker locks. It's all about personal preference here. If you like waves that start closer to your hairline, do a French braid, but if you want looser waves that start further down, opt for regular braids.
After your hair is dry, undo the braids and finger comb the waves to loosen them. Finish the look by spritzing in a lightweight hairspray.
Tying your hair up into a bun to get perfect soft waves typically only works if you have longer locks. With shorter hair, you'll probably end up with one annoying bump. You'll need to start with wet hair and pull it up into a high pony. While still keeping the pony in place with your hands, start twisting the loose hair into a ballerina bun and tie a hair tie around it as tight as it will go.
In the morning, undo the bun and finger comb through the waves. Then, spritz some texturizing spray and dry shampoo into your hair to create a tousled look. If waves are still flat or not to your liking, run a few curls through the hair with a curling wand to perfect the look.
Second Day Curls
Sometimes the best perfect soft waves come from a recycled hairstyle. If you're rocking tighter curls one day, leave them be for a night and see how they look in the morning. Even if they look a bit unruly at first, second day curls are easy to tame. Get your hands wet and finger comb through the curls to loosen and detangle them. Then, add some dry shampoo and texture spray. If any strands have fallen flat - don't panic. Just re-curl them and admire your new, carefree 'do.
Flat Iron Soft Waves
For less messy, more sleek soft waves, try using a flat iron. This works well on both clean and second or third-day hair - whatever your preference is. Start by using dry shampoo on your roots to add volume. Then, clip up the top half of your hair to start curling at the bottom. Take a section of hair and start halfway down the section, turning the flat iron outward and dragging down. For the next curl, do the same thing, but turn the flat iron inward. Alternate the direction you turn the flat iron throughout the rest of your hair so the curls don't clump together.
If your hair tends to fall flat, add some volume by lightly teasing the curls. Then, spray with a dry texture spray and complete the style with a finishing spray.
The benefit of using a pearl wand over other hot tools is its shape. Rather than producing perfect spirals like a regular wand, the pearl wand allows your hair to slip into the divets more randomly - creating a more natural wave.
Just like you would with a regular curling wand, take your hair and start wrapping outward around the pearl wand. For a more undone look, leave a few inches straight at the bottom of the hair. Finish off with a texture spray or light hairspray.
The problem with getting perfect soft waves is that it's always a hit or miss. One time, your curler will work wonders and the next, your hair will look like you let a five-year-old boy style it. The beauty of using clip in hair extensions to create soft waves is that you only have to perfect them once.
Take clean extensions, clip them in, and curl away. Then, when you go to wear them a second, third, and fourth time - the beachy waves will still be intact. The most you'll have to do is run a few curls through your natural hair to blend the two.
Just remember - don't drench the extensions in hairspray or other product. It'll build up quickly and start to tangle. Store your instant waves in a safe and secure place, so the next time you're feeling beachy - all you have to do is clip them in.
So, if this perfect soft waves thing isn't working out for you, you:
- Must be having a bad hair day.
- Are meant to try one of these easy hairstyles, instead.