Hey! Since you are reading this, you must be wondering how to get waves. Well, I can help. Before I start, let me start out by this is my knowledge of waves, not nobody elses, only me, L.J. Well anyways, let me begin.
1. Your Hair
Before you even begin, verify the type of hair you got. Do you have straight hair? Nappy hair? Or in between? The reason that it's important is because it determines the type of waves you'll develop. Straight hair will have bigger, more noticible waves when fully developed. It takes longer to develop because waves are flattened curls in a pattern. If you have straight hair, and you notice curls when you wet your hair or anything you do to notice curls without activator, then you can have waves. White people can also get waves, it depends if their hair is curly enough. I know few white people who have the hair type to get waves. Well anyways, if you have in between waves, you may have a wave count of 10-15. These waves are kind of common in the black hair world. If you have nappy hair, you may have a bunch of waves, like me. I have nappy hair and I have about 20 waves in my hair when growing my hair out.
2. The products (brushes, moisturizers, pomades, hair growth products, shampoos & conditioners, and durags & wave caps)
Well, since you want waves, the first thing you need to do is hit up your local beauty store and get the products you need. If you have straight hair, your scalp is probably going to be in pain from a very hard brush. I recommend using a medium brush. Not soft because it won't wave up your hair fast. In between, you can choose medium or hard. If you don't know which is right for you, try them both out and see for yourself and come to a conclusion. If you have nappy, (like me), I recommend hard. For all hair types, after a cut, I recommend a medium because your scalp will be more exposed then it was before the cut. All hair types will need a moisturizer to so your hair won't dry out, no dandruff development, and no build up. Moisturizers differ from person to person. Different types of moisturizers are Lusters Pink Lotion, Motions Oil Moisturizer, Carrot Creme, Olive Creme, and K7 Oil Moisturizer. I use only K7 as a moisturizer and my only product. It works well for me. You can chose any of these because these are the top moisturizers. You may not like one of them for the smell or its too thick for your hair. Try another one. Trial and error is important when trying out brushes and moisturizers.Up next is hair growth products. People use these when growing their hair out (which is mentioned later on below). I don't use these. Why? I believe in growing your hair out without products so you can work for a longer time to really focus on those tough spots or full deepness. Using hair products will make you have to cut your hair faster and before you planned it and you won't be able to work longer. Some people use hair growth products, regardless of what I just said and go for 7 weeks using it. Here's the breakdown: 1 week of hair growth products=2.5 weeks, 2=3 weeks, 3=4 weeks, 4=5 or 5.5 weeks, etc. Well, I don't use them and I never will. Next are pomades. What can I say about them? I don't use pomades. Why? Simply for the fact that it takes nutrients from your hair and scalp because of the tremendous amount of petroleum in them and you can end up losing your hair and be prone to dandruff. That is NOT good. Some wavers do know the effects of pomade and can use it right, like using it 2-3 days out the week. Pomades will try to sell by saying "This will give you waves!". That's not true. Waves are formed by dedicated brushing. It's your choice on if you want to use them or not, but be warned on the effects from long term misuse. Now, time for shampoos and conditioners. Really, it doesnt matter on the type of shampoos or conditioners you use. All shampoos and all conditioners clean and help your hair. I use Dollar General shampoos and conditioners all the time. Just as long as my hair ends up clean and right, I don't care. People say don't use them every day because it takes away natural oils from your scalp. Well, if you apply a moisturizer after you are done with washing your hair, then your scalp will have the oils it need. I wash my hair every day, nothing bad happened. Some people wash their hair every 2-3 days. Well, your hair needs to be washed frequently so your scalp doesnt develop dandruff and your scalp will stay fresh and clean. Now, time for durags and wavecaps. Personally, I like and recommend durags. I own two and wear two all the time. I like them because they don't come off at night, gives a nice hold when wearing, and doesnt mess up your hair when you take them off. Some people use 1 durag after their cut, then wait for a week or so to wear 2. I wear two all the time, so my hair can hold down better and the waves will stay in place nicer. Well, that's it for products and getting started.
This was supposed to go at the end but if you are starting out, this is the right place to put it. Go to your local barber (preferably black because they have knowledge on waves). Now when you go in and sit down, tell him you want a #2 cut. Usually, people get a haircut with the grain when they start out. But since your waves haven't fully kicked in yet, it doesn't matter. A #2 cut will make your hair and waves show much better then a #1. Most wavers do get a 1 or 1.5 because their waves are so deep in. Well, if you are first starting out, make sure to get a fresh cut. If you already do have waves, make sure you are getting #2's with the grain. Make sure you are confident when getting a 1 or 1.5 if your waves are fully deep in.
Ok, now you have the essential products (brush, shampoo & conditioner, moisturizer, durag), and you have a fresh cut. Now, before you put your moisturizer in, make sure your hair is clean. Go on ahead and take 3 minutes to wash and condition your hair so your hair doesnt stink or look dull when having the moisturizer in. This will maximize the moisturizer effects. Now after you wash your hair, make sure you dry it completely. I brush my hair with an old medium-soft brush when I get done out washing my hair and getting out the shower. It helps me dry my hair while still getting my brushing in and it doesnt hurt my scalp. After your hair is dry, then you can apply the moisturizer in. If you have pomade, apply that correctly (by putting a little bit in then using a hot towel on it to melt it in, but hopefully you don't have any. :]). Well, after that, get to brushing! The correct way of brushing is brushing down from your crown, the middle of the top of your head. Brushing your top is self-explanatory. Just brush your whole top straight down, all the way to your hairline. Then, brush straight down where your top and right or top and left meet, then rotate around, then brush your right or left straight down, then brush your back right or back left straight down, then your back straight down, then repeat a lot. This is the correct way of brushing to get a 360 pattern. Follow the brushing instructions, and in time, your waves will form in a 360 pattern. Make sure you brush all the time. Waves are formed by dedicated brushing, so stay dedicated to brushing a lot.
Growing Your Hair Out
Now, this is the most important part next to brushing. Growing your hair out for weeks will help out development, connection, and deepness. Hair growth differs from person to person. Me, I be ready to cut my hair after 4 weeks because I have a bunch of hair by then. My hair grows super fast. Some people hair takes a while before it gets to the point to where it starts to get thicker. When you grow your hair out, your hair will get nappy and wild and your waves won't be as visible. It's ok when that happens, because that means that your waves are getting deeper and your hair just needs to be trained to stay flat. Usually, people use pomade to hold their hair down during this time period. I don't use pomade at all, so that doesnt apply to me. If I want to hold my hair down, I'll just put on my durags for a while. Now, make sure you are still brushing, even when your waves aren't really visible. You should get a cut when your hair gets too nappy (trust me, you'll know) or, like me, when you have too much hair on your head (again, trust me, you'll know). For first timers, I recommend you going a full 6 week term, then deciding your next (preferably a 5 or 6). Do a couple 7's when you need to work on deepness or connection. I know people get trims when their hair reaches that "It's time for the hair to get nappy" phase (usually at 2-3 weeks). That's fine, but I don't get trims. To me, it's taking off a week or 2 of growing. I believe in just letting your hair grow out for the full term without taking off weeks. But be sure you are growing your hair out and brushing constantly to achieve 360 wave status!
Well, that's it for the tips on how to get waves. Make sure you have read my entry throughly and follow it just right and you'll achieve perfect 360 waves. I'll give an update on my waves later on. I'll also post my method, faqs, etc. in the future. STAY DEDICATED TO THE BRUSH!