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Wavy hair is super versatile and obviously stunning, but it can also be quite temperamental. Finding the right mix of products that enhance your waves without weighing them down can take a bit of trial and error, but why waste time when you can get top-notch product recommendations from some of the best hairstylists in the business?
That's exactly what Shop TODAY did so you can get right to work and start whipping your waves into shape. Here are some of their favorites!
Best shampoos, conditioners and masks for wavy hair
The journey to great waves starts in the shower and celebrity hairstylist Michelle Clevelandtold Shop TODAY that she loves this wave-boosting shampoo from Olaplex. "It's highly moisturizing, leaves hair shinier and healthier and enhances the natural wave pattern," she said.
The Allure Best of Beauty award winner is safe to use on color-treated hair and is also known for reducing breakage while it lends your waves a little TLC. As an added bonus, it tackles frizz and flyaways like a pro and even takes on split ends and damaged strands.
"Keeping your tresses in great condition is the key for amazing waves that look bouncy and fresh every day," celebrity hairstylist Matilde Campos explained. The stylist believes in the power of hair masks to help maintain your mane and swears by this one from Maria Nila that's formulated with softening argan oil and a Colour Guard Complex that keeps your color going strong.
"It gives your hair that TLC it needs from the inside out. If you feel your hair getting heavy and dry and hard to comb through, revive it with a moisturizing masque that will reset your hair back to life," she said.
When shopping for wavy hair shampoos, Holly Dear of House of Dear Hair Salon believes it's important to look for formulas that go beyond just cleansing. "You want a product that cleanses while keeping the hair's pH balance in mind," she told us.
Bianca Hillier, colorist at Andy Lecompte Salon in Los Angeles, agreed and listed this sulfate- and paraben-free shampoo as one of her go-tos. "It helps nourish the hair and give a proper level of pH while enhancing the health and shape of the hair strands," she explained.
Drugstore shampoos are pretty darn effective, but sometimes you need some ultra luxe support to turn lackluster waves around. That's when Hillier reaches for this Shu Uemura shampoo. "It’s super hydrating but doesn’t weigh down the hair," she said.
The product harnesses the power of moringa and red algae extract to cleanse, moisturize and smooth strands. The two star ingredients also help protect locks against pollutants and encourage hair cell regeneration, so it's more like you're using an intensive treatment than a wash-out shampoo.
Best leave-in products for wavy hair
Sometimes the best wavy hair products can be found at your local drugstore, and celebrity hairstylist Sophia Porter couldn't stop raving about this affordable hair gel that offers 20-hour hold. "I love using it heavily diluted with water to give wavy hair a light hold," she said.
The product has a delightful citrus scent and is also full of nourishing ingredients. "The gel is enriched with jojoba oil, which is most similar to the oil produced by our skin, so it’s great to lock in hydration while combating frizz and providing hold," Porter revealed.
Craving a lighter, softer hold? Porter digs this mousse that moisturizes as it enhances waves. "It's perfect for those who prefer a mousse or foam for definition and it's great for fine, wavy hair types. This product is versatile and you can also use it for sleek styles (like tight ponytails) to combat frizz and provide hold," she said.
The foam dries quickly without flaking and also lends strands a vibrant shine. Plus, it's formulated with almond and avocado oils and wheat protein, which helps promote strong, healthy hair.
Campos appreciates how light this leave-in conditioner is and the fact that it works well for both fine and thick locks. "It fights frizz while adding smoothness and shine and will become your untangling miracle and your wavy hair's BFF," she told us.
The multitasker works overtime to hydrate, soften and add shine to strands, and it's even safe for colored strands. It gets the job done with the help of several cruelty-free ingredients like strengthening refined oats, color-protecting quinoa proteins and hydrating vitamins C and E.
We asked Cleveland to spill the beans and share her tips for enhancing natural waves, and she was nice enough to oblige. "It's all about finding the perfect balance between keeping it hydrated like a full curl but also not weighing it down too much to avoid straightening the wave pattern," she revealed.
The strand savant recommended this lightweight wave spray from Ouai and said it's perfect for all hair types. It's basically like a day at the beach in a bottle and is infused with rice protein, an ingredient that's safe to use with color-treated hair.
Beachy waves are the definition of #hairgoals and a sea salt spray can help you master the style. For an extra fabulous look, celebrity hairstylist Marilee Albin recommends spraying this one in after using a curl cream to achieve offers a polished, matte finish. "It'll help you get more texture out of natural waves," she said.
The stylist did admit that this technique will create a bit of frizz at first, but said it can help you achieve more overall volume. "I think a little frizz and flyaways feed into that whole French girl vibe that I’m obsessed with," she said.
Campos likes to refer to this Virtue leave-in cream as a "miracle product" and said it's great for unruly waves. "This hidden gem battles frizz, conditions and smooths out your hair, and keeps it looking incredible all day long. Your hair will be obsessed with the brand's secret ingredient, Alpha Keratin 60 ku protein," she said.
The patented ingredient helps smooth wavy hair so it's polished and sleek, plus it joins forces with other powerhouse ingredients like nutrient-rich pink pomelo and frizz-fighting phospholipids.
If you've got natural waves, you're pretty lucky, but finding a product that helps enhance them can be challenging. Luckily, Campos was nice enough to share the name of this Kevin Murphy anti-frizz cream that she adores.
"It's perfect for those with thicker hair. Make sure to use it when your hair is damp to get it through all your strands. It defines, fights frizz and gives your waves a great sheen," she said.
Hillier has wavy hair and says this is the only styling product she'll use. "It’s great for damp or dry hair, doesn’t weigh the hair down, and gives an extreme boho texture," she told us.
The sulfate-free mousse from Shu Uemura works equally well for all textured hair types and it's a triple threat since it defines waves, fights off frizz and protects strands while styling with heat tools.
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