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Best Styling Products for Wavy Hair [Curly & Wavy Hairstyles]

Hey sis! Are you looking for the best styling products for wavy hair? So you can flaunt the cuuuuuutest curly & wavy hairstyles?

Well, you're gonna wanna kiss me after gettin’ ALL THIS GOODNESS and pro-stylist advice that I’ve prepared for you…

Because I’ve been a natural hair author since 2013 and have worked with the some of the curly hair industry’s most-popular brands, I know full-well wavy hair products can be tricky especially when you have type 2A hair, 2B hair, and 2C hair all on one pretty lil’ head.

Today I try to make your wonderfully-wavy-haired-life a little easier, and I’ll walk you through how to choose the best styling products for wavy hairstyles and boost your curl power to the MAX.  

best styling products for wavy hair - type 2 curly hairstyles

So here’s the deal:

You and I will quickly go over the function of different types of stylers for wavy hair and talk about a couple of often overlooked things to consider when you are deciding which hairstyler product you want to use for the Beauty Bombshell results you deserve!

By the way, I am showing you the best styling products for wavy hair in order from like lightest to heaviest weight in formula and texture like curl defining creams for wavy hair, I don’t include pomades in this tutorial because even though you can use pomades, if you have type 2 hair, it's not a common product choice for wavy hairstyles.

When & Why To Use Hairspray: Functions of Best Styling Products for Wavy Hair

Since we’re starting from the lightest products (not necessarily the best), the first styling product for wavy hairstyles I'm gonna go over with you is hairspray.

I know sis, I knoooooow…..

A lot of wavy-babies and curly girls don't consider hairspray an actual styler, yet, it is one.

The whole point, purpose and function and purpose of using hairspray styling products, is to apply only a fine mist that will hold your hairstyle in place. 

Even if you have naturally wavy hair, if you don't want to use any other styling products you could still wash your hair with a good shampoo and conditioner, bless your heavenly head with a dope leave-in conditioner, scrunch your hair really good and then spritz the hairspray on top. 

best styling products for wavy hair curly hair nhp

Pantene has a whole line of hair sprays for wavy hairstyles that will give you a flexible-to-high

hold depending on what kind of hairspray you’re using. I’d recommend the alcohol-free version from Pantene, the Flexible hold Pantene Pro-V Airspray Hair spray is an ultra lightweight, alcohol-free spray that provides a smooth, controlled finish for your style, and it’s really affordable. 

The best time to use this product on your wavy hair is when your hair is feeling overly-soft after you've washed it, when it feels extra soft like that and you just KNOW that your wavy hairstyle will fall out faster.

These hairsprays can be some of the best styling products for wavy hair to help prevent your style from completely falling the next day.

When & Why To Use Sea Salt or Wave Sprays: Best Styling Products for Wavy Hair

Next we have sea salt sprays or wave sprays on our list of best styling products for wavy hair. One of the best picks according to reviews is OUAI wave spray for wavy hairstyles.

When it comes to sea salt sprays or wave sprays, the entire purpose is to either give your hair a wet look or a beachy wave look and it can be used on a variety of different hair textures, yet ofcourse, you can even use sea salt sprays or wave sprays if your hair is naturally wavy. 

if you're looking for a looser wave pattern or a wet look, wave sprays and sea salt sprays (which don’t actually use sea salt, but instead use epsom salts) will help you create that texture and these top-notch wavy hair styling products can actually be used on a variety of textures from straight-to-curly.

Although, I wouldn’t lie to you and say that sea salt wave sprays are the best product to create waves in straight hair.

If you have curly hair, though... Give curly hair a spritz or two of these styling sprays and they'll give you a soft beachy wave look.

When & Why To Use Mousse: Functions of Best Styling Products for Wavy Hair

Next, we're gonna talk about mousse for curly and wavy hairstyles. Mousse is one of the best styling products for wavy hair, and it’s another lightweight styler for wavy tresses that can easily be found at your local drugstore.

For example, one of the best styling mousse products for wavy hair that’s also very familiar is from Herbal Essences Totally Twisted Curl Boosting Hair Mousse. 

This is a beloved mousse among type 2 wavy hair honeys…. Wavy hair reviews show that women love this mousse, and this is a tried-and-true staple product for women with wavy hairstyles.

It’s been out quite a while and many wavy babies have been using this styling mousse since middle school. This mousse styling product is very lightweight, and has decent hold.

Still, though…

You have to scrunch out the crunch with this to get your wavy tresses together..

Yes, I aaaaaalready know:

Alot of ladies are hesitant to use mousse to enhance their waves or their curls because they're like “oh noez, mousse makes my hair crispy”, but just like how you scrunch out the crunch with gel you can do the exact same with mousse.

So, if you apply mousse to your wavy wet hair and you find that it dries crunchy or stiff you can just scrunch that out and you'll still get that ohhh-so-desired definition.

As far as the functionality of hair mousse, it can be applied to wet hair and be used to encourage curl definition, wave definition and reduce frizz to naturally curly or permed hair.

When & Why To Use Gel: Functions of Best Styling Products for Wavy Hair

best styling products for wavy hairstyles curly type 2 hair 2a, 2b, 2cType 2 Hair Model: @amanda_wavygirl

Next, we've got a favorite type of styler for curly girls… The beloved hair gel, hair gel is by far one of the best styling products for wavy hair.

One of the most popular wavy hair gels is the light defining gel from Deva Curl, you might also know that one of the favorite hair gels among wavy naturals is actually the ultra defining gel from Deva Curl and even the up-and-coming Garnier hair jelly that leaves you hair looking nice and wet because it's still drying. 

Hair gel has superior functionality when it comes to textured hair, and it can enhance curl and wave patterns length while stretching out curls depending on your curl pattern.

The best styling gels for curly & wavy hairstyles can also control frizz, and hold in moisture depending on the formula of the gel. And wavy hairstyle gel also, just like hairspray, holds hairstyles in place.

Best Products for Wavy Hair to Air-Dry

You feel like worrying less and grabbing the best products for wavy hair to air-dry?


Because air-drying is convenient and less stressful. You flippin’ deserve less stress in your life. We already have men to deal with, right? No need adding more time-wasting issues to the agenda, lol…

And, as you know from owning your own head of wavy hair, getting those wavy hairstyles to look good, effortlessly so, requires some well-chosen products, and...

...if you’re not in the mood to wield a blow dryer or other hot tool, I want you to be able to simply reach for any of the best air-dry products for wavy hair featured below.

Almost all of the best styling products for wavy hair to air-dry are enriched with hydrating ingredients, they range from curl defining creams for wavy hair and sprays to mousses and shampoos, but finding the right one for you will depend on your hair type and texture.

Either way, though…

… here are a couple go-to best choices that fit most any wavy hair honey’s needs.

#1 Oribe Apres Beach Wave and Shine Spray - 

This Oribe Apres Beach Wave And Shine Spray is one of the best styling products for wavy hair if you’re after piece-y, bedhead waves.

This premium wavy hairstyle product performs similarly to a salt spray, but it doesn’t contain actual salt, which can make your wavy hair feel stiff and crunchy.

Rather, it boasts luxurious ingredients like safflower seed oil, calendula extract, edelweiss extract, and panthenol that help nourish and strengthen your wavy hair, AND, best of all, you’ll still get the grit and hold of a traditional salt spray.

It also boasts Oribe’s signature scent — an exquisite blend of jasmine, tuberose, citrus, vetiver, and sandalwood. It’s simply divine… ENJOY, and thank me later.

#2 Goldwell StyleSign Curly Twist Curl Control Moisturizing Curl Cream -

We at NHP like this premium-grade Goldwell moisturizing cream for thick, heavy waves, which can easily get dehydrated.

With this professional-level curl defining cream for wavy hair, the extra moisture will help your hair become silky and smooth, and help you regain those natural curls.

Amazon reviewers love how lush, soft, and bouncy it makes their hair look and feel, and other wavy hair naturals report that this curl product helps their hair hold a curl much longer than other wavy hairstyle products. 

Even though it’s marketed as a curl cream, wavy hair that’s on the thicker side can definitely stand up to it. Just use a smaller amount, and remember to focus the product on the mid-shaft and ends of your hair.

#3 Moroccanoil Beach Wave Mousse -

If you want one of the best styling products for wavy hair PLUS an exquisite, signature scent, THIS IS IT: 

This Moroccanoil Beach Wave Mousse is an equally viable way to achieve beachy waves, depending on your product/scent preferences (this fragrance is a blend of spicy amber and sweet florals).

This cloud-soft wavy hair mousse works on just about every type of wavy hair, too.

I know girl…

You normally wouldn’t think to reach for a styling mousse if you have thin-textured hair, but the mousse emulsifies into an ultra- fine lather that actually works wonders as one of the best products for wavy fine hair too, according to some Amazon product reviewers.

The Moroccanoil brand recommends running a golf ball-sized amount of this wavy hairstyle product through your damp hair, but even less will do the trick. Be sure to comb it evenly through your hair to avoid clumping.

Best Products for Wavy, Frizzy Hair

People with dry, frizzy hair should look for products that contain moisturizing and smoothing ingredients, like argan oil, vitamin B5 or coconut oil.

Also as previously mentioned, all of the best products for wavy, frizzy hair should contain hydrating ingredients to encourage body, movement, and softness.

Here are 3 of the best products for wavy, frizzy hair according to reviews:

#1 R+Co High Dive Moisture Plus Shine Creme

This R+Co styling cream isn’t designed specifically for waves, but it works absolute wonders for frizz-prone waves.

As the name literally says, this styling cream/treatment provides dry, frizzy hair with the two things it's screaming out for: moisture and shine....

...thanks to nourishing ingredients like sunflower oil, vitamin E, and provitamin B5, this wavy hairstyles product fills the bill in a BIG WAY. 

Just a dime-sized amount is enough to achieve a glossy, super soft finish. When your hair naturally air-dries — you’ll be blessed with the stuff of pinup-hair dreams, minus the heat.

Your wavy hairstyles will stay smooth and defined right up until your next wash a few days later.

#2 Color Wow Dream Coat for Curly Hair

For you ladies who have been air-drying your thick, curly hair for years, you already know one of the biggest downsides of the situation.

It requires 3-to-4 hours (and-some-dang-times more!) to dry out completely, so you end up walking around outside while your hair is still a little damp.

This sucks lemons because depending on the climate elements—like wind, humidity levels, and rainy weather—your curls can dry unevenly, with a ton of frizz or, worse, both. Well, Color Wow Dream Coat comes to the rescue.

As one of the absolute best products for wavy, frizzy hair according to multiple reviews, this lightweight mist claims to give you the definition of a curl defining cream for wavy hair, the moisture of a high-quality serum, and the hold of gel. 

And here’s the wavy hairstyle kicker:

This non-sticky, no-crunch claim actually holds up, confirming that this is one of the best products for wavy, frizzy hair.

All you do is just spray it before you leave your home, scrunch it in with your hands, and show up wherever your destination may be with BOMB uniform waves and curls that are so smooth and soft that you can leave your hair tie at home.

#3 R+Co Waterfall Moisture + Shine Lotion

If your hair is “straight-ish”, yet thick, and it gets large and frizzier than a mofo in sticky humidity. This will prove to be one of the best products for your wavy, frizzy hair.

The fact that so many wavy babies are JUST NOW able to wear their hair down with only a wash-and-go after using R+Co Waterfall Moisture + Shine Lotion speaks volumes.

While most creams are more appropriate for type 3 and type 4C hair, they're often too heavy for type 2a-2c hair, but this lightweight styling option for wavy and curly hair keeps frizz in check while boasting some proven hair-health ingredients like sunflower seed extract and glycerin.

After product reviewers are left with incredible shine and bouncy wavy hair, they can’t speak highly enough of this product.

Things To Consider When Deciding to Use One Of The Best Styling Products for Wavy Hair

Selecting the best styling products for wavy hair is only half the battle. One of the first things you’ll want to consider is the ingredient list noted on the bottle, if you’re a curly girl, ingredients are obviously very-flippin-important to you. So, the first thing you want to do is pick up the product and read the label.

And, even STILL: 

If you're not a strict curly girl, the ingredients still domatter, GREATLY! You should stay away from wavy hairstyle products that contain alcohol because these alcohol-laden products can dry your hair out. 

And, if you're gonna use silicones in your curly-to-wavy hairstyles, you should lean towards using water soluble silicones so that it will be easier to remove the product, won't buildup, cause frizz, crunch or stiffness. Whether you’re a “curly girl” or not, the ingredient list is very important in finding the best styling products for wavy hair.

Know Your Hair's Porosity When Choosing The Best Styling Products for Wavy Hair

Hair porosity is an important factor in finding the best styling products for wavy hair. Who among us doesn't have trouble with these “hair porosity tests”?  

I mean, sometimes your hair floats and sometimes your hair sinks to the bottom of the glass, right? So, knowing you TRUE hair porosity in order to find the best styling products for wavy hair can be a little bit tricky and difficult to understand. 


If you know how your wavy hair absorbs moisture and absorbs products or releases moisture and releases wavy hairstyle products…. that'll surely help you a little bit better when you're trying to decide if you want to go with a lighter product, a more hydrating product, a product with protein, a product without protein, etc.

These are all important aspects that are connected to your hair porosity.

best styling products for wavy hairHair Model: @frijolemom - Best styling products for wavy hair


After porosity, you’ll also want to consider how  thin or thick your hair is, it’s coarseness level and also how easily it is weighed down because some hair types, some hair patterns are weighed down easier than others obviously. 

For example, type 2A hair can be weighed down easily, even with hairspray and mousse which are the lightest-weight wavy hairstyle styling products. 

BTW, for all of the type 2A honeys… I do recommend that you use hairspray mousse. It’s one of the absolute best styling products for wavy hair that is type 2A.


Because type 2A hair is weighed down easier than type 2C hair…. 

Still, though:

If you have very thin 2C hair, your wavy type 2C hair might still fall out or get weighed down a lot easier than other hair types. So, you need to think about how thick or thin your hair is, and also…

Is your hair type 2 hair weighed down easily?

Knowing this will help you pick the best styling products for wavy hair and REALLY UNDERSTAND which ingredients are gonna work better for you.

What Look Are You Going For? (Picking The Best Styling Products for Wavy Hair)

A couple of other smart things you’ll want to consider when choosing the best styling products for wavy hair is what weather is your hair going to be blessed (or cursed) with?

And what look are you going for in combination with how the climate environment will naturally affect it.

I know a lot of people don't actually think about this, still though…

...it is something that you should use your noggin for because like I mentioned earlier, with wavy hair, with type 2 hair, its look and feel can change every single day depending on your surrounding circumstances.

And the best styling products for wavy hair in one cold and breezy city may not be the best styling products for wavy hair for someone in a hot and muggy or rainy area.

For example, with the hot and humid weather you may actually want to try to stretch your hair out and make it really loose.  Then, there may be days where you want more definition immediately after styling so that your hair can gradually fall throughout the week.

That way, at the beginning of the week your hair looks defined and sharp, but then, toward the end of the week it's nice and beachy!

Thinking ahead about what type of look you want to create will also help you choose the best styling products for wavy hair because different stylers will do different things for your hair and for your wave hairstyle pattern.

Lastly, let’s talk about application of the best styling products for wavy hair...

What’s The Best Application Order of Hair Products for Wavy Hairstyles

Applying the best styling products for wavy hairstyles in the proper order can make or break your whole look! You bet you cutie patootie on that… 

So let figure out the best order of hair products for wavy hairstyles for the bombest results (yes, I said “bombest”)...

One of the HOLY GRAIL application processes is to start with a top-tier styling cream followed by sea salt spray.

There are a slew of different combinations you can work with on wavy hair because of its styling versatility; however, to make the most of your natural wavy texture, this order of applying products is one you should try and vet first. 

suggests first using a quarter-sized amount of a styling cream that’s loaded with frizz-fighting ingredients, such as R+Co High Dive Moisture Plus Shine Creme, Reverie Rake Styling Balm or VIRTUE 6-in-1 Styler.

These 3 creams are all highly-rated, well-reviewed and widely seen as some of the best styling products for wavy hairstyles.

You’ll then follow up with a generous spritzing of a sea salt spray, gently scrunching your hair as you go, many product reviews from “wavy babies” out there show a current obsession with Captain Blankenship Golden Waves Sea Salt Shimmer Spray and the NEWER KICK Sea Salt Spray for Hair - Natural Texturizing Spray for gorgeous beachy waves all day long, and for that extra “sparkle”.

Once your hair’s dried, give it a few more pumps for an extra-beachy vibe.

APPLICATION PRO TIP: For the most body, movement, softness, application is key.

You never want to apply wavy hair products too heavy on your roots, it helps to divide (section off) your hair into quadrants for equal product distribution, so rather than one huge dollop on one spot of your head, you're using four smaller applications, for much better distribution.

With even the best styling products for wavy hairstyles, you should concentrate on applying to the midshaft of your strands and down to your ends, keeping away from the roots, as they tend to be not so frizzy.

Get Discounts & News About The Best Curl-Enhancing Products for Wavy Hair

I hope you really soaked up all of the games I gave you here. There are some true jewels here for women searching for the best products for wavy curly hair. 

And, while this tutorial focused on curly & wavy hairstyles. If you want to know the best products to create waves in straight hair, sign up for NHP’s wavy hairstyles-specific email newsletter. 

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Melissa Lee is a Contributing Editor to NHP and a former owner of the BlackhairOMG website. She formed 4C Trichology Growth Services, LLC., a US based hair care consultation service. She has also contributed as a writer and consultant for various hair and beauty websites. Melissa can be followed on Twitter here.

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