Whenever summer is around the corner, I suddenly want to only wear my hair in tousled, beachy waves. The ideal beachy wave looks like you just emerged from swimming in the ocean and let your hair air-dry in the sun—it would look equally at home on both a surfboard and the red carpet. The problem with beachy waves is that they’re trickier than you might think to achieve. The best place to start? A solid shampoo and conditioner formulated with waves in mind.
“Someone with wavy hair should be looking for shampoo and conditioner that provides moisture and definition without leaving your hair feeling stiff or sticky,” says celebrity hairstylist Frederic Aspiras. “Shampoo and conditioner with moisture will help your hair from getting frizzy in the heat and provide smooth waves.”
Frederic Fekkai, celebrity hairstylist and founder of Fekkai, says to look for nourishing ingredients like olive oil, argan oil, and jojoba oil, which provide fatty acids without weighing hair down. There are also a few ingredients you should be sure to skip if you want waves, though. “Sulfates are not great for wavy hair types, especially if the individual has sensitive or dry scalp concerns,” says Fekkai. “I would also caution against heavy, non-soluble silicones as they can lead to buildup. In addition, overwashing will result in dried-out waves. Better to get a great, thorough shampooing in every other day.”
Keep reading for the best shampoos and conditioners for wavy hair, plus some essential styling products for the perfect waves—even if you’re starting with straighter strands.
Fekkai says that he and his salon team love this duo for wavy hair. Cold-pressed olive oil, prickly pear, rice proteins, and edelweiss extract are blended together to create formulas that hydrate and boost shine.
“The HydraSplash Shampoo and HydraSplash conditioner have coconut water in them to lock in moisture and quench the hair but still leave it feeling bouncy,” says Aspiras. “They also have sea kelp, which is packed with vitamins to restore nutrients and leave the hair strong.”
“If you have wavy hair that you color, Technician Color Care Shampoo and Conditioner are great for every other wash as the Keraguard and fatty acids from mirabelle plums lock in color vibrancy and prevent fade, while hydrating and smoothing.”
If your hair is in need of a bit of extra repair, these $7 picks are perfect for you. Infused with castor oil, neem oil, and peppermint oil, they are richly moisturizing and wave-friendly.
Formulated specifically with wavy hair in mind, this shampoo and conditioner duo aims to strengthen hair’s bonds, smooth hair, add shine, and boost your natural wave pattern.
These formulas aim to amp up your hair’s texture, so they’re perfect for straight hair that you’d like to add waves to. Seawater and sea salt help give hair that surfer-esque, tousled vibe.
By removing any product buildup with a clarifying shampoo, you’ll help strip your hair of anything weighing it down. Use this duo on days when you want to remove product buildup and repair your hair deeply.