Real Simple March 1, 2023

Real Simple


7 Best Hairstyles for Wavy Hair, According to Stylists


Wavy hair, don’t care.

I have a love-hate relationship with my wavy hair. On good hair days, it's wonderful and flowy, but taming it can be an absolute nightmare. That said, wavy hair definitely has its pros. It can add some texture and volume to a hairstyle that otherwise lacks dimension. These days, wearing it wavy is one of the most coveted finishes after a salon cut.

Want in on the waves? Whether you have long or short wavy hair, we asked hairstylists for the best styles to pair with your glorious curls the next time you go to the salon.

Blunt Bob

A blunt bob is known for its straight lines (particularly at the ends) for a clean, precise look. For those with natural waves, the hair itself won't be straight, but it will have a uniform look. "Depending on the density of the hair, a blunt bob can enhance wavy hair if it's on the finer side," says Shelly Aguirre, stylist at Maxine Salon in Chicago. It's also a great, face-framing hairstyle for round faces.

Shag With Layers

Over the past few years, the shaggy cut's been all the rage among millennials and Gen-X-ers alike. It works especially well with wavy hair. "A shaggy cut effectively removes the weight and bulk at the bottom with well-cut layers for a flattering, polished style," says Nunzio Saviano, the owner of Nunzio Saviano salon. In addition to its stylish vibe, the layers can help you keep better tamed. "If the hair is longer and thicker," he adds, "then adding layers will help remove some unwanted bulk."

Pixie Cut

While pixie cuts work for almost any hair type, wavy hair can add texture and dimension that a typical pixie lacks. Another advantage: "With wavy hair, a pixie cut can be quite versatile," says Aguirre. If you like to go a little longer between appointments and want to use minimal product, ask your stylist for a choppy, tousled finish.

Full-bodied Curls

Craving more definition? Enhance your wavy hair with some additional curls for that extra bounce. "Adding a few curls to your natural waves can give it a great textured look and feel," says Lacy Gadegaard West, CEO of Laced Hair Extensions. Create this look with hot rollers or a traditional curling wand—just make sure to use a smoothing serum or taming product to help minimize frizz.

Curtain Bangs

Want to get bangs but not ready for a full commitment? Wavy hair lends itself well to curtain bangs as they frame the face and add dimension. This style requires minimal effort with a blow dryer and a round brush to create the desired shape. You can easily pin these longer bangs back if you want your hair off your face, not to mention they'll blend right into the rest of your haircut as they grow.

Inverted Lob

Accentuate those waves with an inverted lob (aka a "long bob") that gradually gets shorter as it reaches the back. Not only is this style on-trend, but it can also easily be grown out by adding some bangs along the way for a more even shape.

Short Undercut

Dare to go bold? An undercut is a haircut with one or both temple areas cut very short. Although it's been a very popular men's style for years, it's a trendy look for women who want to accentuate a wavy mane. Half of your hair will be short while the waves on the other side reign free.