above

What do I do with Audrey’s beautiful wavy hair?!

Remember when my baby girl was this little?

Many of you have been reading the blog from the very beginning and have watched Audrey grow from in my belly to now – a sweet, funny, cheerful, sometimes-bossy almost eight-year-old.

audrey and the chickens Audrey’s hair is one of her prettiest features. It has always been very thick and gorgeous, with natural highlights and some wave in the back.

As this girl has gotten older, her hair has become wavier. I used to say that she had my exact hair (thick, long, with some natural wave to it), but hers has surpassed mine in the wavy factor. And I love it!

But I don’t really know what to do with it.

Our main problem is that the top portion of her hair is fairly straight, while underneath it is beautifully wavy. When I try to dry it straight, the back just doesn’t want to comply. When I brush it, it gets very fluffy and if I don’t brush it, it gets very tangly.

A few weeks ago, I posted this video to my Instagram stories to see if any ig friends could help:

I was so surprised by how many suggestion and comments I received.

Out of the 200ish comments, about half of them had great ideas for products and techniques for enhancing her natural wave (thank you to everyone who left a message!).

The other half were from women who either needed the same advice for their daughters’ hair OR they needed it for their own!

It seems this ‘what to do with wavy hair?’ question is a common one.

I promised I would give an update and share the suggestions and even though we haven’t really figured out our perfect hair solution, I ordered a handful of products (and a book!) to try and I’m happy to show you what we’re trying.

spray | mousse | oil | gel | brush | flower headband

DRYING

The overwhelming response from the Instagram messages was to let her hair airdry. Apparently, terrycloth towels are terrible for curly/wavy hair and many suggested drying with a t-shirt or pillowcase. We haven’t tried either, but I do use a cotton Turkish towel on her hair and that seems to work okay.

BRUSHING

So many people said “THROW THE BRUSH AWAY!” and just use fingers to comb throw her hair. I haven’t quite listened to that suggestion because the girl has some tangly hair. Instead, we’ve been brushing through her hair while she’s in the shower – first putting a generous amount of conditioner on the ends and getting all the tangles out before she comes out of the shower. After a couple of days without washing or brushing, I just put her hair up in a ponytail or topknot and hide the tangly/frizziness.

PRODUCT

Everyone has their own favorites and there were literally hundreds of suggestions for favorite products. I decided to give four different types a try.

Gel: Deva Curl was a brand that kept coming up and after looking into it a little bit, I decided to try their light defining gel. You put it on while the hair is super wet, let it air dry and then comb through once dry (with fingers!) to remove the coating and reduce that crunchy texture. This blog post is super helpful in explaining how to use it.

Mousse: A friend suggested this inexpensive Frizz-Ease styling foam. You scrunch on damp hair and let air dry.

Spray: I bought this Curl Booster spray to help reduce frizz. I haven’t tried it on Audrey’s hair yet, but I now use it on mine :)

Oil: Both Audrey and I have dry hair and my plan is to add in extra moisture with this Moroccan Oil. I’m not sure how often to use this? Still figuring that out …

RESOURCES

Before sending out that Instagram story and then researching the products and resources everyone suggested, I had no idea there was a whole genre of curly hair blogs and books. It’s fascinating!

So many people suggested looking into the Curly Girl Method. They have a facebook page and this Curly Girl Handbook.

I haven’t read through it all yet, but the parts I have read, it is very informative. If you have curly hair, or your daughter does, and you don’t know what to do with it, this book is a great resource.

Another friend (hi Kimberly!) suggested this blog post about how to get frizz-free waves and it was super helpful.

HAIRCUT

What Audrey probably needed most of all was a good haircut. I took her to my favorite hair stylist a few days ago and had a couple of inches cut off. But most importantly, we had long layers added in to help with the weight.

Our hairstylist spent the time drying Audrey’s hair straight and it was so silky and pretty. We haven’t washed it and let it be wavy yet, so I’m looking forward to seeing how her waves work out with her new haircut.

We’re on our way to enhancing her wavy hair and hopefully, this info is helpful for the wavy-haired beauties in your life as well.

22 Responses to What do I do with Audrey’s beautiful wavy hair?!

  1. Emily December 8, 2017 at 10:52 am #

    Thank you so much! I’m still trying to figure out what to do to make the most of my wavy hair and I look forward to reading through all of the links and resources you provided.

  2. Cheryl Heffner December 5, 2017 at 1:24 pm #

    I’m a total Deva girl myself. Lorraine Massey changed my life back in 2002, when Curly Girl was published. At 32, with her help, I finally learned to love my curly hair. Please add a shampoo without sulfates to also help with frizz and be more gentle on her hair. I love both Deva’s No Poo and Carol’s Daughter’s Hair Milk, which I buy at the grocery. If I remember correctly Curly Girl recommends Cream of Nature shampoo, which is found in the ethnic section of the beauty isle. Sulfates are detergents and are way to harsh on curly hair. The more moisturized her hair is the easier it will be to brush out.

  3. Jessica December 4, 2017 at 7:04 pm #

    Off topic, but how often does she bathe? And how do you keep her hair dry if it’s not a hair washing day? I have a 5 yr old, and we bathe every other day. I think her hair would benefit from less frequent washing, but I didn’t know how to keep it dry in the shower. I keep my own dry, but she’s a bit rambunctious in there to do it well.

    • Molly December 4, 2017 at 10:51 pm #

      My girls use a shower cap on non wash days. Our current one is from Home Goods.

    • Robyn Lupone December 5, 2017 at 12:32 pm #

      shower cap???

  4. Hannah December 4, 2017 at 5:45 pm #

    I used to have very curly hair and I straightened it too much and it has lost a lot of its curl. It also changed after I had my baby and my hair started falling out. I hope Audrey never wants it straightened because it’s so beautiful as it is!! I haven’t been able to find a hair dresser that will cut it curly so I’m currently waiting for it to grow out as it was last cut too short around my face and looks ridiculous! I get best results by leaving my conditioner in and letting it air dry. Will definitely be looking through some of the other comments for more ideas :)

  5. gina December 4, 2017 at 5:07 pm #

    I haven’t read everyone’s comments but my daughter has super curly hair and the “wet brush” has been an absolute life saver. We used to spend a LONG time getting the tangles out. She’s old enough now that she does it herself but the wet brush has been fantastic.
    She gets a “Curly cut” every six months or so and it encourages beautiful curls.

    • Rebecca December 4, 2017 at 10:18 pm #

      Tell us more about the curly cut. Do they cut it dry? Does it take a long time? I like the idea of 2x a year because they do seem pricy.

      • Lesley December 6, 2017 at 11:13 am #

        Yes, they cut it dry, and don’t use a comb, instead use fingers to pull up chunks to trim. Curl by curl to be sure the shape is where it should go, following the curl pattern. You’ll be going back when the shape starts to drag, typically at 4-6 months. Allow at least an hour, more if you want to sit under the bonnet to dry off the hair (Deva has its own version of this). I also use the clips to get the bend at the root, as my top layer tends to be a little too straight and flat.

  6. Meg December 4, 2017 at 3:36 pm #

    Thanks for the tips! Also love that chalkboard, would you tell me how big it is and where you got it? I’m looking for one for my kitchen just like that!

    • kari December 4, 2017 at 8:56 pm #

      I’m interested in the chalkboard too!

    • emily December 5, 2017 at 4:49 pm #

      The chalkboard is from a local salvage yard taken from an old school. It is 4ft x 8ft.

  7. Jennifer December 4, 2017 at 2:22 pm #

    For what it’s worth my hair is exactly like Audrey’s. use a pick to brush through it when wet or even a “wet brush”. That’s what I do and it doesn’t effect my curls at all. Both are available at target. I let the bulk of my hair dry naturally but I always dry the top and front of my hair to get rid of all the frizz. Using a T3 hairdryer is the secret to getting rid of frizz. Moroccan oil on dry hair daily will keep it shiny and frizz free….just don’t put too much in

  8. Sarah December 4, 2017 at 2:15 pm #

    She has beautiful hair! It will probably get curlier as she gets closer to puberty too. Make sure she’s using a good shampoo for curly hair as well. Something without sulfates. One of those books should give you some good options. I’m also a big fan of vinegar rinses that can help get rid of buildup and help revive the curls. I usually mix a cup of acv with a cup of water, shampoo as usual, poor the vinegar rinse on thoroughly throughout the hair and then condition.

  9. Lauralli December 4, 2017 at 1:39 pm #

    Please reconsider brushing her hair! Seriously, do not “evah “ use a brush on her hair unless you are straightening it! If you feel you must use something other than your fingers please use a very wide toothed comb only when it’s wet. Anything else just makes it more frizzy and tears it. Been there, done that for 40+ years!

    • Kristy December 4, 2017 at 2:04 pm #

      Yes!! I have super curly tangly hair and have not brushed it in years! Unless I straighten it. ;). I use my fingers in the shower with conditioner or a wide tooth comb. A brush separates the waves and turns it more into a frizz.

      I wish my mom would have sought out help when I was little! 😂

    • Wendy December 4, 2017 at 2:14 pm #

      Yes, agree. I have not owned a brush in….well, since I accepted and now love my curls, so 20-ish years.

  10. Sarah December 4, 2017 at 1:38 pm #

    In case it wasn’t mentioned on Instagram…

    1) for my daughter with ringlet curly red hair.., we “plop” her wet, oiled hair up in a long sleeve t-shirt at night. Otherwise we spray with water in the morning, add a dab of Moroccan oil and use wide tooth comb.

    2) for my daughter with wavy hair… we put one pumpnof Moroccan oil on the lower part of her hair and comb with a wide tooth comb. Every night we put it in two low, simple braids (Laura ingalls style) wet or dry. This child’s hair was a battle until we started using oil and braids.

    Good luck!

    • Sarah December 4, 2017 at 2:26 pm #

      Continued with another thought… my little 5 year old red head went through a phase where she wanted straight hair. I stopped straightening my hair and work to encourage my own waves/curls, telling her I want my hair more like hers. She hasn’t asked for straight hair for a few months.

  11. Ashley December 4, 2017 at 1:33 pm #

    I have hair just like your daughter’s! A word of advice – encourage your daughter to love it and appreciate how beautiful it is! When I was in high school it was the era of Gwyneth Paltrow – everyone wanted sleek, pin straight hair.

    Thanks for this post – perhaps I will finally make peace with my hair (it’s about time, I’m in my 30’s!) The most difficult thing about wavy hair is knowing what to do with it in winter. I agree, it’s best to let it air dry – but that is hard to do in the colder temperatures!

  12. Candice Hope December 4, 2017 at 1:29 pm #

    Yep Curly Girl method is the way to go! It is overwhelming at first but it works! I like Conditioner only washing with Trader Joe’s Tea Tree Tingle Conditioner. The Curly Girl FB group is an awesome resource as well!

  13. Judy Caywood December 4, 2017 at 1:24 pm #

    Hi Emily,

    I have found the Aquis hair towel to be very helpful. It is the only towel I use on my hair the past 3 years. You can see it at this link.

    https://www.bedbathandbeyond.com/store/product/aquis-reg-lisse-long-hair-towel/3250554?Keyword=hair+towel

Leave a Reply