The new way to get wavy hair

The pro technique for creating lived-in texture

Beauty Crew Editor / March 02 2017

When it comes to creating curls and wavy hair, there are so many different techniques and tools you can use to create your desired look. 

From disco curls to cool girl waves and every kind of kink in between, each hairstyle requires different prepping products, heat stylers, and methods. And while we thought we’d seen them all, we recently discovered a new way to create wavy hair that has the lived-in texture that looks absolutely effortless. 

The new wavy hair technique comes courtesy of KEVIN.MURPHY, so we grilled session master James Nicholson for his exact steps for recreating this wavy hair look.


Pick your prep product

A little air between your mid-lengths to ends will help create the volume needed for this wavy hair look, and Nicholson suggests using KEVIN.MURPHY FULL.AGAIN. “FULL.AGAIN is a thickening agent and what this does, is it coats the strands of hair with rayon fibres in a similar way to how mascara coats lash strands. Each strand gets thicker as you apply. You’ll want to apply it to wet hair to your mid-length as the hair tends to get finer there.”


Blast your hair with a dryer

“Blast it in, or what we call ‘sand blasting’ from underneath with your hair dryer. This is actually roughing up the hair a little bit, blowing the hair in the opposite direction and making it feel a little bit sand papery and we might add a little bit more product on,” says Nicholson.


Layer in some more product

If you want to up the ante on the texture for your wavy hair, spray in a texturising spray when your hair is almost dry, then finish off with some blasting to dry your hair off. Nicholson recommends HAIR.RESORT Spray, but we also recommend Eleven Sea Salt Texture Spray or John Frieda Ocean Waves® Sea Salt Spray.


Add your waves

Now this is where this wavy hair how-to can get a bit tricky, but stick with us. 

Take a round curling wand and holding it vertically, start wrapping your hair around the tong as you would to create a classic curl, but instead of wrapping the length of the section around the wand, only do about a half a wrap and hold it there for a few seconds. Let go, reposition your wand so it’s now horizontal and start your next bend under the one you have just created, and wrap it in the opposite direction to the one before. Keep going, alternating the angles of your wand and the direction of the wrap. 

Nicholson explains of this technique, “Holding it on a different angle gives you a gorgeous wave once it has cooled down; it gets a wave, a nice, kinky wave.”


Set the style

Once you’ve created your wavy hair, you want the style to set, and the best way to do that is to create even more kinks by allowing the sections to set in a completely different direction.

“Grab large sections of your wavy hair, scrunch them up, and then clip them to your scalp, and let it cool down in a totally different direction. So basically messing with what you’ve just done. After doing a set, the hair can’t remember what way and where it wants to go and that’s how you get what is called ‘super-natural’ wavy hair. It’s natural but it’s not. A handful of creates more natural movement,” says Nicholson.

If you have a fringe like Jessica Biels and you want to style it to suit your wavy hair, Nicholson suggests spraying the ends of your fringe with a powder spray, holding the hair up to let the powder set, and releasing to allow the hair to kink in different directions.


Spray and brush

Use a setting spray that will give your wavy hair the hold it needs, without leaving it stiff and inflexible. Spray a light layer of something like Redken Wind Blown 05 Dry Finishing Spray, leave it to dry, then brush out your style with a boar-bristle brush.

Carli was BEAUTYcrew’s Editor from launch in 2016 until May 2020. You can find her words right here on BEAUTYcrew, and previously on beautyheaven.