Wavy Hair: The Science Behind Your Waves

Wavy hair enjoys the best of both worlds—you get the body and bounce often lacking in straight hair, minus the challenge of caring for curls. Here’s how to care for and make the most of your sexy, tousled wavy hair.

Natural characteristics: Wavy hair tends to form in a loose S-shape, but the hair type can possess similar characteristics to straight hair (a slight, smooth wave) or curly hair (a tighter S-shape). Like most hair types, wavy hair can be fine, medium-textured or thick and coarse.

The nitty gritty: Scientists don’t know why different hair types develop, but the shape of the hair follicle matters (yours is wavy), as does the way hair proteins (keratin) are clustered in the hair shaft. Your type can change, so your wavy locks may turn to curls later in life.

Hair challenges: If your wavy hair tends to be on the straight side, your hair may lack volume. If you have more in common with curly hair, frizz and dryness may be your enemies. Either way, “the biggest challenge women face maintaining their wavy locks is finding the proper way to style their hair,” says celebrity hair stylist Kristan Serafino.

Challenge accepted: If your waves are subtle and on the straight side, take your cues from straight-haired types by using voluminizing products to give your hair a much-needed lift. If your tresses fall more on the curly side of the spectrum, steer clear of volumizing products and opt for smoothing and wave-defining silicones instead.

Best wavy hair care ingredients:

* Conditioning polymers give wavy hair bounce and movement.

* Silicones create shine.

RELATED: Haircuts Styles for Wavy Hair

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