8 Easy Steps to Bring Out Natural Waves

by Unorthodoll
5 Materials
2 Hours

My hair naturally has a slight wave to it, but when I let it dry naturally, with no product, it tends to dry pretty straight.

In this tutorial I will show you how to bring out your natural waves and texture with a special air-dry technique and using products that you probably already have.

Tools and materials:

  • Leave-in conditioner or detangler
  • Hairbrush
  • Curl cream
  • 2 t-shirts
  • Wave mousse or gel
Prepping hair

1. Prepare your wet hair

Start with freshly washed, dripping wet hair, and bend over so your head is upside down. 

Take a generous amount of leave-in conditioner or detangler suitable for your hair type. Apply it to your hair, focusing on the lengths and ends. 

Use your fingers to gently comb the product through your hair.

Brushing hair

Detangle any knots using a hairbrush.

Scrunching hair

Gently scrunch your hair to remove excess water. 

Applying curl cream

2. Apply curl cream

While your hair is still wet, apply a generous amount of curl cream evenly all over your hair.

Use your fingers to comb the cream through your hair.

Scrunching hair

3. Scrunch your hair

Begin scrunching your hair from the ends upwards.

Continue scrunching to encourage the formation of waves.

Plopping hair

4. Plop your hair

Lay a t-shirt on a flat surface with the neck hole facing you. 

Carefully lower your hair onto the t-shirt.

Plopping hair

Flip the bottom of the t-shirt up over your head and tie the sleeves in the back.

Plopping hair

Leave your hair plopped for a duration of 20 minutes to 1 hour.

Applying product

5. Apply wave mousse or gel

After removing the T-shirt, apply a wave mousse or gel evenly throughout your hair.

Applying product

Scrunch the mousse into your hair to maintain the wave pattern.

Plopping hair

6. Plop your hair again

Take another dry T-shirt and carefully plop your hair one more time.

Leave it in for another 20 minutes to 1 hour.

Unplopping hair

Then flip your hair over and careful unplop your hair.

Air drying hair

7. Allow your hair to air dry

Instead of diffusing with a blow dryer, allow your hair to air dry naturally, scrunching every now and then.

Try not to handle it too much, so you can avoid any frizz.

Flipping hair

8. Finish air-drying

Once your hair is mostly dry, flip your head over one last time and shake out your roots gently. 

Leave your hair to finish drying naturally, then flip your head over and shake out your roots one more time.

How to bring out natural waves

That's it! This hair routine takes approximately 1.5 to 2.5 hours, depending on your preference for plopping duration.

Feel free to share your wavy hair routines or any questions you may have by leaving a comment.

Suggested materials:
  • Leave-in conditioner or detangler
  • Hairbrush
  • Curl cream
See all materials

The author may collect a small share of sales from the links on this page.

Join the conversation