how to make straight hair wavy

7 Tips & Easy Tutorials to Make Straight Hair Wavy

Ready to turn your straight tresses into bombshell waves and turn up the heat on your look!  Great news, below you’ll find seven tutorials to make straight hair wavy, including options that don’t require heating tools like curling and flat irons. 

For the style guides that do require a heating tool, make sure you start with wet hair and use a microfiber towel to blot it dry vs. cotton.  Microfiber towels are more absorbent, and the material is less damaging to your hair, and that is vital when using heated tools.   

If you’re ready to “wave” off those long, linear, locks, lets “dive” in!

Ponytail Waves

When styling ponytail waves, your hair becomes pliable from the curling iron heat.  The waves are a result of your hair holding the shape of the barrel while they cool giving your ponytail that little extra wavy pop.  By keeping the rest of your look simple, you’ll draw attention to the texture and volume of your ponytail whether it's formal or casual. 

Materials you’ll need:

  • Heat protectant
  • Hair tie
  • Curling iron 

Get wavy hair with a ponytail:

  1. Spray heat protectant on your hair.
  2. Using a hair tie, pull your hair up into a high ponytail.
  3. Divide your ponytail into several sections.
  4. Wrap one section around the barrel of the curling iron and hold for a few seconds.
  5. Pull the curling iron up and outward to release the curl and repeat for the rest of the sections.
  6. Using your fingers, brush through the ringlets to make the curls loose and wavy.

Flat Iron Waves

A flat iron makes straight hair wavy by using heat to relax the protein bonds in your hair, and tension to bend and shape your hair into a wave pattern.  Flat iron waves are a versatile hairstyle that can be dressed up with hair accessories for black tie events or worn casually at get togethers like a game night with friends.

Materials you’ll need:

  • Heat protectant
  • Flat iron
  • Texturizing or holding spray

Steps to create wavy hair with a flat iron:

  1. Spray heat protectant on your hair.
  2. Separate a section of your hair and clamp it between the flat iron plates a few inches down from your roots.
  3. As you pull the iron downwards, rotate the flat iron in the shape of an S. 
  4. Once you reach the end of your hair strand, open the flat iron and grab the next section. 
  5. Repeat to create as many waves as you want. 
  6. Spray with a texturizing or holding spray to maintain the shape of your wave.

Wand Waves

Curling wands are designed specifically to turn straight hair wavy by using heat to shape and style your locks.  And you can customize your waves easily by using larger wands for loose loops, and if you lower the heat settings you can create more defined waves.

Materials you’ll need:

  • Heat protectant
  • Curling wand
  • Texturizing or holding spray

How to create wand waves:

  1. Starting in the back, wrap a two-inch section of your hair around the curling wand and wind it away from your face.
  2. Hold for 10 seconds.
  3. Comb through the curls using your fingers or a wide-tooth comb.
  4. Spray with a texturizing or holding spray to maintain the shape of your wave.

Pro-tip: Don’t curl the last two inches of your hair for a more natural look.

Barrel Waves With A Pencil or Straw

Barrel waves use the tension built when your wet hair is rolled up and allowed to dry around a pencil or a straw.  These waves can be worn at formal events like a wedding, or they can be worn for everyday activities like running errands.  Barrel waves give you a fun, bouncy look without the heat damage to your hair. 

Materials you’ll need:

Form a barrel wave:

  1. Divide your hair into sections; the size depending on how tight you want the wave to be.
  2. Take a section of your hair and wrap it around a pencil or straw.
  3. Secure the barrel you just created with a bobby pin or tiny hair tie.
  4. Repeat on the remaining sections of your hair.
  5. Once dry, take out each pin/hair tie and use your fingers to separate the curls.
  6. Spray with hairspray to hold the wave. 

Overnight Waves

Because your hair is being held in the same wavy formation for 8+ hours, your hair will be trained to stay in those waves after you take the braid out. These waves then can be dressed up with a fancy hair accessory or pinned back to create a sophisticated, elegant look.

Materials you’ll need:

  • Sea salt spray to help define these wave
  • Hair tie

How to get overnight waves:

  1. While your hair is still damp, spray sea salt spray from about the middle of your hair strand down to the ends to help the braid really take hold.
  2. French braid your hair. 
  3. The next morning remove the braid from your hair.  
  4. Use your fingers to style the waves from the braids.

Bun Waves

As you twist and pin your hair into a bun, your hair is put under tension which then bends and takes on a wavy shape. The longer your hair is in the bun, the more defined and pronounced your waves will be.  Bun waves can be worn to events like graduations and more casual get togethers like going out to dinner with friends.

Materials you’ll need:

  • Curl enhancing mousse for added volume and hold
  • Hair tie
  • Hairspray 

Create wavy hair with a bun by:

  1. Separate a section of hair and apply the curl enhancing mousse. 
  2. Twist the section of hair into a small bun and tuck the ends into the bun’s base. The smaller the bun, the tighter and more defined your waves will be.  
  3. Secure the bun with a hair tie.
  4. Repeat until all of your hair is in a bun.
  5. Let your buns dry for 5+ hours. 
  6. Once your buns are dry, unravel them. 
  7. Use your fingers to style the waves.
  8. Spray with hairspray to hold this style.

Pin Curl Waves

As you roll small sections of your hair tightly into pin curls while it is wet, it is curling your hair naturally. Once your hair is dry and you release the curls, your hair will come out wavy. Pin curls waves are a vintage hairstyle and are perfect for any events that have a retro theme.

Materials you’ll need:

  • Curling mousse
  • Wide tooth comb 
  • Hair clips
  • Hairspray 

To use the pin curl technique for wavy hair:

  1. Apply curling mousse to your damp hair, comb it through, and then create a small section of hair. 
  2. Grab the ends of the section, roll it upwards into a loop, and use a hair clip to secure the curl to your roots. 
  3. Allow your hair to dry for at least five hours. 
  4. Once your hair has dried, remove the hair clips and use your fingers to break apart the tight curls into waves. 
  5. Spray with hairspray to hold. 

If you’re ready to “make waves” whether you’re out for a walk, in the office, or going out for a night with the girls, you now have seven ways to make straight hair wavy whether you have tools, products, or a hair tie with a good night sleep.

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