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How to Make Wavy Hair Curly: Tips to Make Waves Curlier

Are you looking for ways to make wavy hair curly? There are many curl activators and enhancers on the market, but sometimes just making some adjustments to your hair care routine can do the trick! This post lists 15 tips to make wavy hair curly.

How to Make Wavy Hair Curly

The reality is, a lot of women with wavy hair actually have curly hair that’s either become frizzy, fallen flat, or been damaged by too much styling.

There’s nothing you can do to change the actually curl pattern of your hair, but you can take steps to replace lost moisture, repair damage and use methods to give waves and curls more definition.

Whether you have naturally curly hair that has lost its shape, or naturally wavy hair that you want to make curlier, this post lists 15 tips to help increase the tightness of your curls!

How to Make Wavy Hair Curly

Pin Your Curls

This method involves finger twisting the hair when it’s damp, securing it with a bobby pin and leaving it to dry. To make this technique more effective you can also spray the hair with a curl enhancer beforehand.

This is one of the best ways to make wavy hair curlier since it doesn’t involve using heat and won’t damage the hair. Twisting your hair and securing it in a little bun with bobby pins is the best alternative to using a curling wand.

If you want to create ringlet style curls you can use this technique but instead wrap the hair around a piece of foam or sponge. Amazon sell a number of different foam or silicone hair curlers of different sizes.

Curl Activator Spray to Make Wavy Hair Curly

If you have used the pin curls method you can spray the hair with a curl activator before it dries to make the curls more defined. If you have a wavy hairstyle, a curl activator spray can help to tighten your waves into spirals. Once your hair has dried, and you have taken it out of the pin you will be left with beautiful bouncy curls.

The Noughty Haircare Hello Curls is a great option to use on your hair while it’s drying. You can also use it straight onto the hair without twisting and pinning the hair first. The product contains shea butter and avocado oil to leave you with less frizz and more shine.

Use a Sea Salt Spray to Make Wavy Hair Curly

Sea salt sprays or ocean sprays are a great way to give your hair extra texture without using chemicals. When salt is applied to your hair it helps to turn waves into curls and make curly hair even curlier!

Salt sprays are popular for creating beachy waves in straight hair, but also work well to make wavy hair more curly! The salt helps to enhance the natural curl pattern and increase hair texture.

OGX make a great salt spray which won’t dry the hair out. It mists the hair with both salt and Argan oil to enhance your curls and leave them looking bouncy and fresh. It is recommended that you spray onto damp hair after washing but you can spritz onto dry hair throughout the day to keep your wavy hair curly!

Sea Salt Spray to Make Wavy Hair Curly

Use a Diffuser Attachment on Your Blow Dryer

Using a diffuser attachment when you dry your hair can help boost volume, reduce frizz and shape your curls.

One of the major advantages of using a hairdryer with a diffuser attachment is that it won’t damage your hair since the heat is diffused over a wide area. It’s also best to keep the dryer on a low heat and not put it too close to your head.

If you have long, wavy hair, you may find that scrunching your hair or applying a curl enhancer before drying it with a diffuser helps to tighten your curl pattern.

curly hair diffuser

Related: Best Diffuser Hair Dryers for Curly Hair

Scrunch Your Hair to Make Wavy Hair Curly

Scrunching the hair involves taking your hair in your hands and pressing it towards your roots. This can be done after applying a gel or mousse or whilst blow drying with a diffuser. This technique helps to shape your hair and encourage curls to form.

This an effective way to make wavy hair curly and doesn’t have to involve heat! You can scrunch tighter to encourage a tighter curl formation. The technique creates an accordion effect which helps natural curls to form.

Related: 3 Simple Ways to Scrunch Your Hair

Use the Curly Girl Method

If you want to make your wavy hair curly, changing your hair care routine may do the trick. The Curly Girl Method is a hair care technique taken from Lorraine Massey’s book “Curly Girl: The Handbook”. It recommends a healthy hair regimen using moisturising hair products like gels and conditioners and avoiding drying alcohols or harsh sulphates. The CG method also doesn’t use silicones or heat.

Women who use The Curly Girl Method long-term find that their natural curl pattern tightens as their hair becomes healthier. It’s a technique to consider if you have wavy hair that is not as curly as you would like.

Curly Girl the Handbook

Related: Can You Use the Curly Girl Method on Wavy Hair?

Keep the Hair Moisturised

Keeping your hair moisturised is extremely important when dealing with wavy or curly hair, which tends to be drier than other hair types. You may find as you add more moisturising products to your routine that your curls become more enhanced and defined.

Options for moisturising the hair can include leave-in conditioners or hair masks. You may also want to apply a light oil such as grapeseed every week or so. Over time added moisture helps to improve the natural texture of the hair and enhance curl definition.

I really recommend the L’Oreal Hydra Hyaluronic Acid range for keeping curly hair hydrated. I did a full review of this range in the video below.

Plop Your Hair

Plopping hair is a technique where you wrap up wet hair with a cotton T-shirt or microfibre towel after a shower. This method helps to reduce drying time and doesn’t pull excess moisture from the hair like a regular towel can do. Hair plopping helps to enhance your hair’s natural curl pattern and reduce frizz.

If you have wavy hair, applying a curly enhancer before plopping can help to leave the hair curly and voluminous. If you don’t want to use an old t-shirt you can buy a microfiber towel which works just as well. You can also get elasticated towels which make it easier to keep the hair on top of your head.

I use a microfiber towel with an elasticated edge. The one I have is shown in the photograph below.

Microfiber Towel

Related: How to Plop Your Hair and Prevent Frizz

Use a Wide Tooth Comb Instead of a Brush

A wide tooth comb can help make waves curlier by separating individual curls without disrupting the hair’s natural curl pattern. Using a wide tooth comb can help to define your curls and prevent frizz. Using a regular brush can be bad for waves because it can disrupt the curl pattern and create frizz.

A wide-tooth comb can also help to distribute natural oils from the scalp down the hair shaft keeping the hair lubricated and shiny.

Related: 15 Best Wide Tooth Combs for Curly and Wavy Hair

Use Lightweight Products

Heavy products can weigh down the hair strands and elongate your natural curls. Lighter products, however, can help enhance your natural curl pattern and make wavy hair appear curlier. Look for mousses or gels that are free from silicones or heavy oils.

Mousse, Cream or Gel with Hold

Using styling product to to activate and hold curls can help your wavy hair look curlier. Curl creams enhance your natural curl pattern and hold the curls in place. You can also use gels or mousses that can be applied to towel-dried wet hair. They are designed to provide definition without weighing the hair down.

A great curl activating cream that I regularly use is the Cantu Shea Butter Curl Activator Cream. It smells great, provides hold and gives good curl definition.

Cantu curl activator cream

Related: Best Curl Enhancer for Wavy Hair

Use a Clarifying Shampoo Regularly

If you have naturally curly hair that’s fallen flat, a clarifying shampoo may help. Residue can build up on the hair if you live in a hard water area, or if you regularly use styling products with silicones or heavy oils.

A clarifying shampoo can help to prevent this build up which could weigh the hair down and cause your curls to look less defined. Using a clarifier every one of two weeks may help to lighten your hair and enhance your natural curl pattern.

Clarifying shampoos

Related: Best Clarifying Shampoos for Hard Water

Use Ayurvedic Hair Care to Make Wavy Hair Curly

Following an Ayurvedic hair care routine can help to improve the health of your hair and define your natural curl pattern.

Ayurveda’s holistic approach looks at your hair as an indicator of how healthy your body is. An Ayurvedic approach to hair care can help you understand the root causes of dry, damaged and frizzy locks so you can treat the problem at the source.

Treating your hair with Indian herbs can help restore shine and softness to dry, damaged locks and define curls that have become lost in frizz.

There are many Ayurvedic hair oils that can restore moisture to the hair and help curls to reform.

Related: 10 Best Ayurvedic Hair Oils

Use a Sulfate Free Shampoo

A sulfate-free shampoo can prevent your hair becoming dried out during washing. Dry hair is more likely to become frizzy and less likely to form into perfect curls. Once you remove harsh shampoos from your hair care routine you will notice an improvement in your hair’s natural texture and it will form curls easier.  

Sulfate free shampoos are sometimes referred to as “low poo shampoos“. Sulfate is commonly found in most traditional shampoos and soaps, but it can strip away essential oils from your hair and dry it out. The OGX Coconut Curls is a great sulphate free option that’s specifically designed for curly and wavy hair.

OGX Coconut Curls Shampoo

Related: Best Cheap Sulphate Free Shampoo

Use a Hair Curler

I recommend curling your hair without heat if possible, but if you want to try a hair curler to make your wavy hair curly, there are some great ones available on Amazon. To avoid heat damage always use a heat protectant on the hair first. Using a flat iron, curling iron, or other hot tools can cause damage to the strands over time, making them frizzy and causing them to loose their natural shape.

You can get curling tongs with different sized barrels allowing you to create tight curls, coily hair or the perfect beach waves. To use the hair curler, divide the hair into smaller sections and wrap it round the barrel. Hold for a few seconds before unravelling.

Related: Best Curling Iron for Long Hair


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This Post was All About How to Make Wavy Hair Curly

Thank you for reading my post on how to make wavy hair curly. If you have tried any of my recommendations please leave me a comment below and let me know how you got on. If you have loose waves there are many different ways you can turn your waves into curls just through adjustments to your hair routine.