Thursday, April 26, 2012

Styling Techniques for Wavy Hair

Here are short descriptions and links to popular styling methods for curly hair of all sorts.  These are the techniques that also happen to work really well for wavy hair.

Plopping-  Plopping encourages curl.  Put a towel (microfiber, flour sack, cotton t-shirt, etc.) at chair height.  Lean forward and accordion fold your hair as you lean down.  When your head is against the towel, wrap the towel against your head and secure.  This is a popular video, but there are tons if you search "plopping curly hair" on  In the video, plopping is referred to as plunking.
Experiment with plopping different times.  Some people can only plop 10-20 minutes without causing frizz, others can plop overnight.  For some plopping will never work.  Plopping often doesn't work on short hair, but it worked for my hair when it was ear length.

 Diffusing-  This video shows how to use a diffuser.  I recommend using a bowl diffuser.
Pixie Diffusing-  Pixie diffusing encourages curl.  For some it doesn't work because it causes wonky curls (technical term :)).  To pixie diffuse you gather hair in the diffuser bowl and press it against your scalp.  Then you turn on the diffuser.  Diffuse that section on low for a 1-2 minutes.  Shut off the diffuser. Move on to the next section.  Turning the hair dryer on and off in this manner stops the hair from being blown around and therefore helps reduce frizz.  I work the diffuser around the perimeter of my hair. The original Pixie Diffusing Method does five sections:  sides, back, bangs, and top. Water Lilly 716 (video below) has a good youtube channel for curly hair and the curly girl method.
The Pixie Diffusing Thread on Naturally (

Smaster's Method, A.K.A. the consistently awesome hair technique-  This is great for encouraging curls.  It works especially well for shorter hair.  You apply half of your hair product.  For example apply your curl enhancer now and then gel later.  Or apply half your gel now and half later.  Anyway, apply 1/2 of the product.  Diffuse until your hair is half dry.  Wet your hands slightly and apply the second half of your hair products.  Diffuse some more.  If your gels are sticky (like mine), wetting your hands helps prevent frizz.  If you apply the second gel with dry hands, it will pull individual hairs away from their clumps and causes frizz.
Smaster's method thread on

Ice Queen Method-  The Ice Queen Method helps promote clumps.  What is a clump?  A clump is where several strands of hair (like a 1/2-1 inch square section) form one curl.  The opposite would be more stringy hair where that same 1/2-1 inch section forms several curls.  For the ice queen method, scrunch in conditioner upside down until your hair feels seaweed-y.  Then, rinse out your conditioner upside down with cold water.  Scrunch in your leave in conditioner followed by your gel or curl enhancer upside down.  Scrunch out as much water as possible upside down.  Scrunch again right side up, maybe adding more product.  For some people (like me) this method results in wonky waves, but nice clumps.  These links are more threads.
Explaining the ice queen method.
Big thread about the ice queen method.

Super Soaker Method-  This method is also to promote clumps.  You coat your hair with leave in conditioner and curl cream.  Comb or denman brush your hair.  Brush or comb away from the scalp.  Bring cupped hands full of water to your hair and up to the scalp.  Repeat until your whole head is soaked.  Scrunch out excess water from hair.
Link that explains the Super Soaker Method.  Video on page 2.  This is a concise, thorough explanation.
Link to Super Soaker Method thread.  Link to the same video in first post.

Scrunch Out the Crunch (SOTC)- After your hair is dry, squeeze it repeatedly to release the gel cast.  The hard gel cast helps hold your hair in a wave shape as it dries.  Crunch is your friend. When your hair is 100% dry, scrunch it out.  Some people find they prefer to lightly coat their hands with something first.  You could use a pea size of conditioner, curl creams, oils, butters, etc. to SOTC or just use your bare hands.
For some, especially those with fine hair, the water's weight will pull the wave downward and pull out the curl as it dries.  Diffusing hair helps set the gel cast in a wave shape and remove some of the water weight.  Using a gel with a hard hold can also help hold the wave shape. 
I use a mixture of these techniques.  I do a modified Super Soaker method.  Then I plop.  Next I Pixie Curl diffuse half way.  Then I add more product (Smaster's method) and Pixie Curl diffuse some more.  To finish,  I air dry a bit and then Scrunch Out the Crunch.


  1. DO you conside you have wavy hair? Because that's definitely not wavy. I loved your advices especially the first one with the t-shirt and hair down.

  2. There is a picture of my hair on the top left of this page under the words "About Me". I do consider my hair to be wavy,2B in the Fia system. The videos on this page are not my videos and the women in the videos all have curly hair. These styling techniques work for wavy and curly hair.

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