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If you want to try out 360 waves or even 180 waves, you don’t need curly hair for that. Here’s how you can get waves with straight hair easily.

Waves are a type of hairstyles popular with African Americans. It’s usually adopted by men with curly, type 4 hair textures.

These waves are more defined in the coarse, kinky textures of type 4b and type 4c hair. But with a little effort you can get waves with straight hair as well. 

You’ll need certain products and styling tools and this process will become a lot easier if you have a slight wave to your hair already. 

But if not that’s okay, here’s how to get waves with straight hair. 

How to get Waves with Straight Hair

Determine Your Hair Texture

The first thing you need to do to get waves with straight hair is to check if your strands are really straight in the first place. 

Some people actually have wavy or even curly hair, they’ve just mistaken it to be straight. Frizz is a huge giveaway! 

The best thing you can do is grow out your hair 1-2 inches. If they fall perfectly straight without frizzing, you have type 1a hair textures. 

How to get waves with straight hair

Here’s how you can identify other hair textures based on the Andre Walker Hair Typing System:

Type 2a– This hair texture is straight normally but can appear wavy after air drying. Even then, it only waves at the ends.

Type 2b- 2b hair is more wavy all over. It’s also prone to being frizzy. But the roots of these hair types fall flat.

Type 2c– This type of hair is wavy all over, even at the roots. 

Type 3a– This type of hair has an s-shape to it. It’s the easiest type to create waves on. 

Don’t worry if your hair falls in the type 1 or 2 category. If you want to get waves with straight hair, it’s still possible. 

But it will take some time and effort. 

Grow Out Your Hair

The first thing you need to do in order to get waves with straight hair is to grow them out. Wave patterns, whether they are 360, 180, or 720 waves won’t show up on short hair. 

how to get waves with long hair,

You need to determine your curl length as well. This means your hair will shrink by an inch or two in length when you make them wavy or curly. You need to account for this change. 

This is different for each person. It depends on how wavy your hair gets and how coarse your hair texture is.  

Invest In A Hair Brush

The next thing you need to get waves with straight hair (or any hair texture for that matter) is a good hair brush. 

I really suggest investing in a high-quality natural bristle brush that will last you a long time. This is not the time to skimp on the price.

hair brush for creating waves on straight hair

When buying hairbrushes for creating waves with straight hair, remember the following points:

  • Go for a natural bristle brush such a boar bristle one. These do not hurt your hair follicles like plastic or nylon bristles can do and help distribute the natural oils on your scalp as well.
  • Pick a soft or medium brush over a hard one. Hard brushes are great for type 4 hair with an established wave pattern. Soft ones are better for creating new waves.
  • Get a small rounded brush that fits comfortably in your hand. You’ll be spending a lot of time brushing your head. So make sure the brush has an ergonomic handle.

Prep With A Cream

how to get waves with straight hair overnight

Straight hair doesn’t need as many moisturizers as African American hair textures or even type 3 hair does.

But prepping your hair with a styling cream before you start brushing can help give dimension to your waves.

Choose a styling cream that is hydrating but not heavy. It’s also good to pick a product which gives a strong hold as it can help straight hair fall into place.

You can apply this cream straight out of the shower after air drying your locks a bit.

Brush, Brush, and Brush Some More

how to get 180 waves with curly hair

The key to getting waves with straight hair is to brush your hair. Very often. You can do it multiple times a day.

I suggest getting a hold of the brush when you are listening to a podcast or watching Netflix to kill the time. It’s also a good way to time your brushing period.

Here’s how to brush your hair go get waves on straight hair:

  • Brush your hair forward from the crown of your head towards your forehead for50 strokes
  • Now brush your hair from your crown towards the nape of your neck at least 50 times
  • Brush the sides of your head 50 times too. But angle the brush in such a way that it points towards your chin and not your cheekbones.

If you have difficulty brushing the back of your head, you can stand in front of your mirror to do it. 

The more you brush the more the wave patterns start forming in your hair. So you need to brush your hair a lot.

You can also try brushing your hair in the shower when it is still wet. This helps set the waves better. 

Just remember to dry your brush afterwards before using it on hair. Or you can keep a separate shower hairbrush for wet hair. 

It’s very important to brush your hair at the same angle every time. And don’t forget to brush your entire head thoroughly without missing a section. This will help your waves appear even and more defined.

Wear A Durag

durag for waves hairstyle

All that brushing will be for nothing if your hair gets all messed up while you’re sleeping. So I suggest investing in a durag.

A durag is a head covering that protects your brushwork. It’s usually made of materials like silk, satin, or velvet that do not absorb moisture.

So wearing a durag can also prevent your hair from getting dry and dehydrated. 

Another way a durag helps is by preventing your hair from getting tangles due to friction between the strands and the fibers of your pillowcase.

Maintain your Waves

Getting waves with straight hair is tricky in the first place. So any kind of slacking off on your part can ruin your efforts completely. 

If you want to get waves with straight hair, you need to be ready to maintain it as well. 

Here are some points to keep in mind after getting started on your journey to get waves on straight hair. 

Don’t forget brushing: Never forget brushing your hair, even for a day. It’s difficult to get waves on straight hair and it’s even more difficult to keep them that way.

So once your wave texture has developed, don’t skip the brushing. Your waves will disappear in no time. Remember, it might take weeks for waves to develop, but if you forget to brush one or two days, they will disappear. 

haircuts for waves hairstyle

Get your waves trimmed regularly: Waves are difficult to appear on very short hair, but they are not very noticeable on longer hair either.

You need to get your locks trimmed every 2-4 weeks to keep waves in good shape. Always go to a trained hair stylist who specializes in 360 waves.

Avoid touching your hair: Leave your hair alone after you brush it, especially after you see wave patterns forming. 

Constant touching can mess up your waves. So refuse the urge to run your hands through your head, except when you are brushing your hair or showering.

If it’s really necessary to scratch that itch, try rubbing your head in the same direction you brush it. This way you won’t mess up the wave pattern. 

Tie your durag properly: I’ve previously told you how important it is to wear a durag. But you also need to use it properly.

Always get a durag in silk or satin materials. These prevent static and frizz on your hair. 

When tying the durag keep the seam on the outside so that it doesn’t leave impressions on your head.

Don’t tie the durag too tightly. This can hinder blood circulation and hurt your head. If you’re worried the durag will get loose, use a fabric headband on the outside to keep it secure.

Wash your durag regularly so that it doesn’t get sweaty or unhygienic. Forgetting to do so can lead to dandruff on your scalp.

can you get waves with straight hair

Don’t wash hair often: Washing your hair every other day can lead to dryness and also mess up wave patterns. Limit the shampooing to 1-2 times a week. 

You can also use a curl enhancing shampoo to add more texture to your straight hair.

If you feel your hair’s getting too dirty, you can always try a dry shampoo or co-wash.

A co-wash is where you use a conditioner and then rinse off with water without using shampoo. 

Just make sure you use a product without sulfates as these can dry hair and silicones as these cause product build-up.

Straight hair can be difficult to get into waves, but it’s not impossible.

With a little effort and patience, you can get 360 waves and other styles on your straight hair. 

I hoped this guide on how to get waves with straight hair helped. 

Also Read:

How to choose a hair straightener

Hairstyles for teenage guys

Black male braid hairstyles



Mira is committed to bringing you the latest popular hairstyles, hair care tips, and hair-related products. You can check more of her work on besthairlooks to find fashion inspiration, product reviews, tutorials and more!

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