Having a wavy hair texture might seem like the best of both worlds, but when you want to rock what you've naturally got, wavy hair still presents its own set of challenges. You need a product that's strong enough to shape and define your hair's natural bends, but still lightweight and, at the same time, hydrating. To help determine the best hair products for wavy hair, Bustle spoke with John Paul Mitchell Systems brand ambassador and salon owner Paula Peralta to get her expert advice.
Before you get to the products, Peralta stresses that how you cut your hair will affect your waves. "Longer hair has more weight, which will drag down the waves, so be sure to have the appropriate layered haircut to allow a cascade of curls," she explains about enhancing your natural wave formation. Products aside, you'll also want to be careful of the tools you're using to style your hair. "Excessive thermal styling can diminish the wave structure over time," Peralta says, which means it's essential to apply a heat protectant spray or serum prior to using any hot styling tools to keep your hair healthy and your waves intact.
When it comes to picking a product, Peralta says that whether your hair is short or long, it's all about looking for a formula that enhances what you've got without weighing down your natural wave pattern. "Look for a two-part system," she says, adding that wavy-haired products should "hydrate the hair and help it develop memory and hold to create definition." This combo is key when it comes to maintaining your style throughout the day without leaving your hair damaged or dry, and it's easy to spot. On the ingredients list, look for oils (such as argan or coconut) to restore moisture, smooth out frizz, and add shine. And for hold, look for copolymers like VP/VA copolymer, which are traditionally used in gels and hairsprays to lock your style in place.
But no matter which product you choose, Peralta also recommends adding a diffuser attachment to your blow dryer. "Diffusers are great for coaxing your natural wave, and for even more definition, finger-coiling the hair before diffusing will maximize your natural texture," she explains.