Brunette student with wavy hair in a library

We know how it starts. You see a viral TikTok, or stumble across a video on YouTube - and the story’s always the same. Someone who thought they had straight hair has now discovered their hair is actually wavy - and they’ve shown you all the signs of their hidden hair type.

But can straight hair actually be wavy hair in disguise, or is it just wishful thinking and clever advertising? We’ve done our share of mythbusting, so you don’t have to.

Signs you may have wavy hair

These signs aren’t a perfect science, but they may give you some clues to spot if you have some natural waves in your hair:
  • It looks straight when wet and shrinks in length when it’s dry
  • It’s prone to frizz and ‘puffy’ ends which flick out
  • Your hair tends to get tangled easily
  • You struggle to straighten certain parts of your hair

Tests to see if you’ve got wavy hair

There are two tests you can do to see if you’ve got wavy hair. One’s super-speedy - the other will take you a little bit of time.

1-hour test to see if you’ve got wavy hair

These methods can help you discover if you have wavy hair or not - but the end results may be hit or miss, so make sure you have the time to rewash and style your hair if the finished look isn’t what you’re after.
  • Wash and condition your hair normally in the shower
  • After rinsing out your conditioner, scrunch up your hair - but don’t rub too briskly. You want to activate your natural waves by gently scrunching your hair upwards, towards the root - not causing tangles
  • After blot-drying your hair with a microfibre towel, apply Dream Curls Air Dry Waves Styling Foam to your damp lengths
  • Let your hair dry naturally - and don’t touch or brush it while it’s drying 
  • If your hair dries wavy - bingo. It’s likely you have wavy hair

Brunette woman washing her hair

2-hour test to see if you have wavy hair

  • Wash your scalp - not your lengths - with a detoxifying shampoo to remove sebum and product build up
  • Gently smooth conditioner through your lengths - avoid your roots - and spread it through with a wide-tooth comb or your fingers
  • Rinse the conditioner out completely and gently squeeze the excess water from your hair
  • The next part’s important, as you’ll want to protect your natural wave pattern (if you have one). Without disturbing your hair or rubbing it, gently lift it into a clean microfibre towel or cotton t-shirt. You can do this by placing the towel or t-shirt onto a chair, leaning forward, and ‘dropping’ your hair into it. Let your hair pile up in its natural pattern, and keep lowering your head until it’s pressed gently against the fabric
  • Without disturbing your hair, wrap it up. If it’s thick, keep it wrapped up for 20 minutes so the fabric absorbs most of the moisture. Thinner hair will only need 10 minutes of wrapping
  • After your hair is 80% dry, remove the fabric by leaning upside down and unwrapping your hair
  • Gently stand up, turn your head upright and allow your hair to fall into place
  • Correct your parting if it’s in the wrong place. Don’t use a brush or comb - just flip clumps of hair on the ‘wrong’ side to where they need to be
  • Diffuse your hair on a low heat to totally dry it - but do not touch it any more than necessary. You want it to be 100% dry all over before the final step
  • Very gently examine the state of your hair when it’s dry - if it’s still wavy or curly looking, you have wavy hair

Brunette woman with wavy hair having fun outdoors

What does wavy hair look like?

Wavy hair tends to have a very loose, relaxed S-shape wave - depending on your hair’s thickness and how you style it, waves can range from barely-noticeable to full-on mermaid beach waves.

If you’re almost-certain you might have wavy hair, it’s likely you have Type 2A hair - this is fine hair with a barely-there wave that can occasionally look tousled or frizzy.

The best products to use on wavy hair

The best way to look after wavy hair is to use the right products which will care for your natural waves, and help you make the most of them. Don’t fight your natural hair texture - excess straightening and heat styling will lead to broken, damaged hair which is even harder to manage.

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