You may have noticed recently that my hair is a lot less smooth and a lot more wild, and that’s because I’ve picked up my wavy hair experimenting again! Last year at the end of June I discovered and got deep into the Curly Girl Method and it was such a fun little summer project. My hair honestly got SO healthy, and I feel like it also grew faster because it wasn’t getting damaged with all of the heat styling.
Well, by October (right after my Madewell collection launched), I honestly felt overwhelmed with life and with the time it took for me to do the method and gave up. It felt like there was too much to remember and too many steps and too many products and I never fully figured out my routine. Styling with a curling iron was just faster and easier and that’s what worked for me for that season.
Well, now that we’ve been quarantined for months and I have all this time at home, I decided it was time to experiment again because I really love the idea of embracing my naturally wavy hair. And I’ve never been someone that needs to have perfectly smooth or styled hair—I’m cool with a wild mane as long as it’s not complicated!
I’d been following Atoya Bass for a while on Instagram since she has similar hair to mine, and I decided to join her wavy hair community this month. It’s been so fun to learn directly from her and get my specific hair questions answered and also so refreshing because she is all about making it as simple and minimalist as possible. The community is closed for now (possibly opening again in June!), but she does have a free “Minimalist Guide to Curls & Waves” download you can get if you’re wanting more wavy hair tips. Everything I’m sharing in today’s post, I learned from her!
Here’s the basic routine I’ve been doing and perhaps this is all you need to know to find your best waves. I didn’t edit any of the photos so you could get a really accurate picture of what my hair looks like at each step. If you still feel like you want more advice, I highly recommend joining Atoya’s wavy hair community next time she opens it up. She’s amazing! Such a wonderful person and just really down to earth and knowledgeable.
STEP 1 – DETANGLE
I’ve learned it doesn’t really matter for wavy hair if you detangle dry or detangle wet. It’s just preference. I like to dry detangle with a BeHairful Brush because it’s faster and easier for me. But if combing your hair in the shower with conditioner in it feels good for you, go for it!
STEP 2 – WASH + CONDITION
I double shampoo. I know, crazy. But my hair is fine and can get build-up quickly so I find my hair gets more volume when I double wash. The first wash sort of takes out the product, the second wash is where I get the suds and my scalp feels clean. I’ve been using Kristin Ess Moisture Rich Curl Shampoo. Next up, I condition. I do not wring out the water, but instead apply about a quarter size amount of Kristin Ess Moisture Rich Conditioner to super wet hair after I’ve rinsed out my shampoo, and I try to “marry” the water and conditioner together (see this video where Atoya explains this concept). I let the conditioner sit while I’m washing my face, shaving, etc. and then when I rinse it out, I scrunch as the water runs through it to help it really get into the hair strands.
STEP 3 – FLIP. COAT. SCRUNCH.
This method is a game-changer, and the name of it is exactly what you do. I shut off the shower water, flip my hair over, coat it with gel, and scrunch the gel in. You can see Atoya show the method here. I do that method with Kristin Ess Weightless Shine Curl Enhancing Jelly—and yes, I use as much gel as Atoya does in her video! Once it’s all coated, I then use a soft t-shirt to scrunch out some of the water and further set the wave. Atoya recommends scrunching and holding for a few seconds up near the root, so I do that, too!
STEP 4 – DRY
Sometimes I air dry, and sometimes I diffuse. Lately I’ve been dabbling more in diffusing because love the results I get and I love that then I don’t have to deal with wet hair for hours. My hair is fine so it dries with the diffuser in about 20-25 minutes. I dry it with a high speed on medium/low heat. Here I’m using the Kristin Ess hair diffuser, but I also really love the Xtava Black Orchid diffuser because it’s a lot deeper and really can hold my long hair. But you absolutely do not need to diffuse your hair and can let it air dry if you have the time!
STEP 5 – SHAKE + SCRUNCH
Once it’s 100% dry, I shake out the roots and scrunch my hair to make sure there isn’t any crunchiness from the gel. Then I’m done!
DAY 2, 3, 4…
I’ve gotten a few questions about refreshing and what I do with my hair on day 2 or 3 (or even 4), so I’ll address that really quick. I usually wash my hair in the afternoon/evening so on day 2 I usually do absolutely nothing. On day 3, I like to use a fine mist water bottle with just water in it (no added conditioner or gel or anything) to re-wet my hair and reactivate the gel I used on my wash day. Then I sort of smooth it lightly with flat hands and then scrunch a bit. This usually makes my hair even wavier than day 1! Sometimes, I’ll also add some Kristin Ess Signature Hair Water, which is an ultra-fine mist with a tiny bit of castor oil in it to keep hair moisturized and also add some texture and volume.
I’m still figuring out my part (and if it’s even realistic to have a part with wavy hair). I love a middle part, but the way my hair curls it’s been tricky to make it happen—I’ll keep experimenting, though, and will share if I figure it out. Until then, I just kind of flip my hair back and forth all day and let it be wild.
Any other questions? Leave the, below!