What is the wavy girl method?
The wavy girl method is a style of haircare coined by Kristine Contreras, owner of “Wavy Girl Method (Official)- Wavy Hair Don’t Care” Facebook group. The wavy girl method is based on the belief that people with wavy hair should modify the curly girl method to suit their hair.
I’d strongly encourage you to join the wavy girl method Facebook group. It’s a huge group that’s really active, and it’s really accepting. I’ve seen some jokes online about how some curly girl method groups feel cult-like.
While the cult part is a joke, there are definitely some CGM groups that are extremely strict and will kick out users for even mentioning a product that has an unapproved ingredient in it, or things like that. The wavy girl method group is just a really nice group that allows people to share what works for their hair and their lifestyle.
What are the wavy girl method rules?
Most people hear of the curly girl method first, and it has several rules. It’s natural to then expect the wavy girl method to include a list of specific, rules, too. The wavy girl method doesn’t have a detailed list of rules. Instead, it’s more of a rejection of strict rules, actually. It’s just a method that says “do what works for you!”
Many people who follow the wavy girl method start off with the curly girl method, and then make tweaks as needed. In other words, they are doing a modified version of the curly girl method.
However, some people with wavy hair choose to not follow any of the rules from the curly girl method. For them, it’s not really that they have modified the curly girl method, but instead that they are just doing their own thing entirely.
Can you use sulfates on the wavy girl method?
There are no hard and fast rules with the wavy girl method.
You can use sulfates on the wavy girl method if you find that your hair does better with sulfates.
Most people with wavy hair will at least use sulfates when doing a clarifying wash to remove build-up. This usually happens at least once a month. Some people with wavy hair regularly use sulfates though.
If you have been clarifying only periodically and find that your best hair days are after clarifying, I’d consider using sulfates more often.
Can you use silicones on the wavy girl method?
It is popular to use water-soluable silicones on the wavy girl method. Some also use non-water-soluble silicones on the wavy girl method.
There are no strict rules with the wavy girl method so you can use silicones if you wish.
Can you blow-dry your hair when doing the wavy girl method?
While the curly girl method does not allow you to ever blow dry your hair, you can blow dry your hair on the wavy girl method if you choose. There are no strict rules on the wavy girl method!
Can you straighten your hair while doing the wavy girl method?
There is no strict rule against using heat tools while on the wavy girl method.
What are the differences between the curly girl method and wavy girl method?
The curly girl method has strict rules about which ingredients you an use, and encourages using a “botanical conditioner” to cleans with rather than a shampoo. However, the curly girl handbook does say that a sulfate-free cleanser can be used instead. So sulfate-free shampoos are curly girl approved. Many see co-washing as preferable while on the curly girl method though.
On the wavy girl method, you can use sulfate-free shampoos, or sulfate-containing shampoos! You can clarify as often as you want (while clarifying is ‘against the rules’ in the curly girl method).
There are no rules about heat tools, so if you want to blow dry or use a curling iron or straightener on your hair, that is allowed on the wavy girl method but not on the curly girl method.
If you want to learn more about the curly girl method, I have a blog post titled The real curly girl method it discusses what the handbook actually says the curly girl method rules are.
What products are wavy girl method approved?
The wavy girl method doesn’t have specific ingredients that they allow or disallow. If you’re wanting to get started with the wavy girl method, I’d recommend trying a curly girl method starter routine and then after assessing those results, consider trying other products if the curly girl products don’t work for you.
Wavy girl method starter routine
These products are all curly girl method approved, so technically this is both a curly girl method routine and a wavy girl method routine. This is an affordable starter routine that can get you going on the wavy girl method!
Suave daily clarifying shampoo (for clarifying days only – removes buildup)
Not Your Mother’s Naturals Royal Honey Shampoo (yellow bottle) – Used on regular wash days.
Not Your Mother’s Naturals Royal Honey Conditioner (yellow bottle) – Used on regular wash days.
Aussie Instant Freeze Mousse – used on regular wash days.
Garnier Fructis 1 minute treat – Used on clarifying days as well as when you want to deep condition.
Don’t like these products or can’t find them in stock near you? Check out my wavy hair product recommendations page for alternatives. Anything on there is wavy girl approved, as the wavy girl method doesn’t ‘ban’ any particular ingredient.
Wavy Girl Method Steps
This would be a regular wash day:
- Bend over so your head is upside down. You’ll remain upside down for most of your shower. Wet your hair and shampoo your scalp. Rinse.
- Add conditioner to the lengths of your hair. If your hair is dry or tangle-prone, you may choose to let it sit for a few minutes. Use a wide tooth comb to detangle your hair after you have conditioner in it.
- Squish To Condish. You can search squish to condish on YouTube to find a tutorial. This is basically squeezing your hair while there is conditioner and water in your hair. It helps evenly distribute conditioner throughout your hair, and get it really well conditioned.
- Rinse out the conditioner from your hair. Use your fingers to pull hair away from the back of your head. You don’t want it to stay stuck in that position. Tilt your head from side to side to make sure your hair is nice and loose from the back of your head. Then scrunch your hair to remove excess water and to encourage your waves to form.
- Apply mousse to the length of your hair by running your hands over each side of your hair gently, then scrunch to encourage your waves again. How much you’ll need to use can vary a lot depending on your hair type and hair density. If you have dense hair, you may have to use a couple of handfuls of mousse or more. IF you have fine, low-density hair you may need to use a goofball amount of mousse or less.
- Let your hair air dry or diffuse it. Check out my how to diffuse wavy hair post which shows 4 different methods for diffusing if you are new to it. Don’t touch your hair or sleep on it before it is dry, it can really hurt your results!
- Once your hair is 100% dry (not a minute before! Don’t let impatience get the best of you!) squeeze your hair to get rid of the stiff/crunchy feeling the mousse leaves.
Wait…so when do you use the clarifying shampoo and deep conditioner? You want to use both of those at least once a month. If your hair is dry, you can deep conditioner more often.
If you get built up often, you can clarify more often. Whenever you use the clarifying shampoo, you’ll want to use the deep conditioner in the same wash to help soften your hair again. Clarifying shampoos can be a bit intense, so following them up with a deep conditioner is what most people do.
From there, you will want to continue to experiment with different techniques to see what gives you the results you’re looking for. You may need to adjust how much of the product you use, as well. It’s common to use too much, or not enough mousse at first.
If your hair stays crunchy or is sticky even after you tried to scrunch it out, you probably used too much mousse. If your hair wasn’t stiff in all areas, you probably didn’t use enough to get a cast. Check out my post how to tell if you got a hair cast if you aren’t sure.
You’ll want to protect your hair overnight to reduce how much your waves are flattened among other things. I have a post on how to sleep on wavy hair that can help.
You may want to experiment with air drying vs diffusing, with styling upside down vs rightside up, with wet styling vs damp styling, among other technique differences.
Rebekah Turner says
Thank you so much for this blog. It has been an absolute treasure trove for me. I’ve been wanting to take care of my waves and I’ve always been overwhelmed by all of the information. You have helped guide me!
Emily Evert says
Aww, thank you! So glad you’ve found my blog helpful. 🙂