Finding the best haircare routine for wavy locks is often a delicate balance between ensuring hair is hydrated and defined. However, there’s a multitude of daily and weekly treatments and tools to help ensure every day is a good hair day.
Ben Rossiter, a stylist at Blue Tit salon in Clapton, recommends using oils to keep tresses in tip-top condition, as well as smoothing creams to maintain frizz.
“Try to avoid heat, but the use of a diffuser on towel soaked hair and lots of lovely products is a glorious way of keeping hair look amazing,” he told IndyBest, adding, “scrunching the hair with a cotton cloth removes excess water and plopping (wrapping hair in a cotton T-shirt) can also be a heatless way of drying your hair if you have time overnight.”
We’ve spent weeks creating a curated shopping edit of our favourite tried and tested products for maintaining the health of wavy hair.
From masks to oils, brushes and hair ties, these are our top-rated tools and treatments to protect from breakage, repair split ends, nourish bleached locks and safely detangle knots.
The best wavy hair products for 2021 are:
- Best overall – Wetbrush flex dry: £13.99, Cultbeauty.co.uk
- Best hair ties for wavy hair – Slip hair scrunchie: £39, Cultbeauty.co.uk
- Best hair mask for wavy hair – Oribe moisture and control deep treatment masque: £58, Net-a-porter.com
- Best wavy hair cream – Davines love curl primer: £22, Feelunique.com
- Best oil for wavy hair – Kérastase elixir ultime l’original hair oil: £35.90, Lookfantastic.com
- Best for split ends – Oway nurturing drops: £34, Bullerandrice.com
- Best for afro hair – Charlotte Mensah finishing mist: £38, Charlottemensah.com
- Best wavy hair treatment – Olaplex no 3: £26, Cultbeauty.co.uk
Wetbrush flex dry
If knotty hair is your bugbear, this makes brushing a breeze. It’s the best brush we’ve ever used to detangle wet or dry hair, saving us 10 minutes of painful post-shower brushing. The flexible head glides over your scalp and through strands, with no pulling or tension at all. It’s so good that brushing our mid-length hair takes less than two minutes. It also comes in useful when using a mask or deep conditioner, as you can use it in the shower to ensure your locks are saturated evenly.
Slip hair scrunchie 3 pack
Best: Hair ties for wavy hair
Elasticated hair ties can cause breakage and, if it’s between your locks or the band snapping, it’ll always be your hair first. If you have thick, voluminous tresses, you’ll know all too well the struggle of trying to secure a tie around a bun or ponytail. We’d recommend making the switch to these silk scrunchies that are super soft, don’t leave kinks and still look luxurious if you want to style an up-do. They stretch three times their original shape but don’t lose their elasticity. You’ll find they don’t snag or pull on strands, nor will they give you a headache after wearing a high pony all day.
Oribe moisture and control deep treatment masque
Best: Hair mask for wavy hair
This luxurious weekly treatment is ideal for maintaining a curl or wave pattern and can be used on all hair types. After applying a generous dollop of product to clean hair and leaving for 10 minutes before rinsing out, we found our hair was left soft but not limp. Like all Oribe products, this mask is gorgeously scented and the generous tub size means it’ll last ages. We loved how it didn’t weigh down our hair and gave a healthy moisture boost that kept our locks looking and feeling healthy.
Davines love curl primer
Best: Wavy hair cream
Designed for wavy and curly hair, this is a milky cream that has a multitude of benefits, from protecting from humidity to helping detangle knots. It’s perfect for before blow-drying, though we found it worked just as well when hair was left to air dry after being scrunched. The formula is vegan, like everything from the brand, and is housed in recyclable packaging. While it’s not the biggest bottle, it’s a lovely lightweight product that doesn’t leave a greasy or crispy texture. It also spreads well through hair, meaning a little goes a long way.
Kérastase elixir ultime l’original hair oil
Best: Oil for wavy hair
Hair oil can be a quick fix for frizz that can also enhance shine and smooth flyaways. While this Kérastase option isn’t cheap, it dispenses a generous amount and, after weeks of use, we’d barely made a dent in the 100ml bottle. It protects against heat up to 230C and boasts a beautiful fragrance of freesia, mandarin and violet leaf. If your hair is fine, try applying this to the ends while it’s wet, as this will dilute the oil and stop it from feeling greasy. It leaves hair soft, shiny and feeling healthy with just two pumps of product.
Oway nurturing drops
Best: For split ends
This split-end sealant has a gel-like texture but there’s no gloopiness or greasiness, making it a great option if your hair is in need of hydration but you don’t love the texture of oils. It’s a blend of marrubium, black quinoa, amla and ethically produced marula, which helps to keep hair healthy in between salon appointments. The dropper bottle makes it easy to adjust how much product you use too and, when our hair looks and feels parched, this is our go-to treatment. Our reviewer has been applying it religiously for the past eight months and it’s still going strong.
Charlotte Mensah finishing mist
Best: For afro hair
Afro hair specialist Charlotte Mensah has some of the most skilled hands when it comes to textured, wavy and curly locks, and has poured her more than 20 years of experience into a carefully curated line of products. This finishing mist enhances shine with just a few spritzes and is designed to be used as the last step of your hairstyling routine – leave it for two to three minutes before touching your hair. It’s an incredibly fine mist that contains manketti nut and ximenia oil to help tame flyaways. It’s beautifully scented and a fuss-free way to give waves a glossy finish without weighing them down.
Best: Wavy hair treatment
Olaplex was initially a bond-repairing treatment used exclusively in salons, counting celebrities such as Margot Robbie and Kim Kardashian as fans. the brand now has eight products in total for at-home use, ranging from maintenance shampoos and conditioners to hair oils and masks. No3 is the perfect way to care for bleached, highlighted and coloured hair. While it is recommended that you saturate towel-dried hair, comb through and leave for 10 minutes, we loved using this as an overnight treatment. Designed to be applied pre-shampoo, after just one use our hair looked healthier and with continued use it became much more manageable. Our only gripe is that the bottle is very small, so you will get through it quickly.
The verdict: Wavy hair products
We can’t fault the Wetbrush flex dry, as it makes detangling knots and brushing through hair when wet a painless breeze. It’s also easy to clean, which comes in handy if you like to use it in conjunction with a mask, and it’s a speedy, time-saving tool. While we love it for wavy hair, it can be used on all hair types too.
For the latest discounts on haircare and other beauty buys, try the links below:
Give thirsty tresses a little TLC with the best hair masks for hydrating dry and damaged locks
IndyBest product reviews are unbiased, independent advice you can trust. On some occasions, we earn revenue if you click the links and buy the products, but we never allow this to bias our coverage. The reviews are compiled through a mix of expert opinion and real-world testing.