Gettin’ Wavy: 5 Tips From Prep To Finish (& Everything In Between!)
If you’re not already finishing every haircut with cool-girl waves—you know, the ones your clients keep double-tappin’ on Instagram—you should be! Whether you create long layers or bobs and lobs, face-framing textured waves will help emphasize movement and accentuate dimension in your clients’ hair color. That’s why we’re spilling the tea on everything you need to know to make waves from prep to finish. Just keep scrollin’ for some Insta-worthy tips and techniques, plus videos to show you how it’s done!
Before you snag tips from @chrisjones_hair, @danielleemilie and @hairbychrissydanielle, TAP through some of their cool-girl waves inspo!
Learn how to cut and style a soft, blunt bob with @chrisjones_hair! Click here + watch the 90-minute course!
1. Prep Tip For Clean & Controlled Texture
Before waving, Danielle Canseco (@danielleemilie) uses this blowout prep routine to smooth out her canvas—this way, the hair has a more polished base and you can manipulate the texture as you wave and texturize. Plus, this will help give the finished waves a naturally shinier and healthier feel. Follow these steps:
- Work a quarter-sized amount of Virtue® 6-In-1 Styler through your hands and apply throughout damp hair.
- Using a large round brush, blow-dry all the hair in front of the ears and crown while keeping the ends fairly straight.
- Then, rough-dry the back of the head.
- Continue to use a round brush to straighten the remaining hair.
2. How To Determine The Size Of Your Barrel & Sections
If your clients have waist-length layers or a cropped bob, you’ll need to use different tools to achieve tousled texture on their hair. For short-haired clients, don’t make the mistake of using too big of an iron or taking large sections—otherwise, those waves will fall flat ASAP. Chris Jones (@chrisjones_hair) suggests taking smaller sections and using a 1-inch Marcel iron for bobs and lobs. Smaller pieces = better hold.
Watch Chris’ Technique For Bobs & Lobs Below!
3. The KEY To Longevity—Just Keep Layering!
Yes, finishing with a texture spray will always help lock-in waves BUT Christina Lotenero (@hairbychrissydanielle) recommends layering Virtue® Texturizing Spray on every section before curling. This will prep every wave with a soft hold, then go back and finish with a full mist over everything at the end to set the style.
4. Wave Pattern: Face-Framing Layers
For clients with long layers and dimensional color, Danielle uses this technique to emphasize the face-frame by creating tighter waves around the hairline:
- Section-Free: Without sectioning, start waving at the hairline on one side of the parting and curl everything going back until you reach the center-back. Then, repeat the same motions on the other side.
- Wave Technique: Wrap same-sized sections around a 1 1/4-inch barrel, so there’s only enough hair to wrap around the barrel once for a more stretched-out curl. Allow to cool and unwind until you reach 2 inches from the ends, then quickly straighten them as you pass through for a loose finish.
- Emphasize The Face-Frame: Start clamping the hair closer to the root around the hairline and then 2 to 3 inches on the remaining hair. Stand facing the client and apply Virtue Texturizing Spray, using your fingertips to separate the curls.
- Rake ‘Em Through: Break up the curls with your fingers for a piecey effect, or use a paddle brush for a less separated and smoother finish.
5. Clients With Extensions? Finish Like This!
Try adjusting your wave technique to accommodate clients with extensions. Here’s how: Use a wide-tooth comb to work through each individual extension to expand the strands and make the ends look fuller. For a frizz-free look, apply Virtue® Polish Un-Frizz Cream and alternate raking with your hands and the comb.