Curly Hair Vs Wavy Hair

Curly Hair Vs Wavy Hair: What’s the Difference?

Curly and wavy hair might look similar, but they are quite different in terms of texture, shape, and styling. While curly hair forms spirals, wavy hair creates more gentle waves that can be easily straightened, curled or braided. Understanding the difference between these two types of hair can help you style and care for your hair in a better way. In this article, we will take a closer look at curly hair vs wavy hair and compare them in terms of their characteristics, challenges, and best practices for handling.

Curly Hair

Curly hair is characterized by a spiral or coiled shape, which can range from loose waves to tight coils. It can be thick or fine in texture, and it is often dry and prone to frizz due to the shape of the strands. Curly hair can be found in different ethnicities, from African to Mediterranean to Hispanic, and it can be both a blessing and a challenge to deal with.

Challenges: The biggest challenge with curly hair is managing frizz and maintaining shape. Curly hair tends to be drier than other types of hair because the natural oils produced by the scalp have a harder time traveling down the spiral strands. This can lead to frizz, especially in humid conditions. Curly hair can also be difficult to style, as the tightly coiled strands can be hard to comb or brush without causing damage or breakage. Curl patterns can also vary on different parts of the head, making styling and maintenance more complex.

Best Practices: The key to managing curly hair is to keep it well-moisturized and nourished with gentle, sulfate-free products. Use a wide-tooth comb or detangling brush to gently comb through wet hair, starting from the ends and working your way up to the roots. Avoid using heat styling tools or rough towels that can cause damage and frizz. Instead, let your hair air dry or use a diffuser attachment on your hair dryer to set the curls while minimizing frizz. Curly hair can benefit from regular trims to maintain shape and prevent split ends.

Wavy Hair

Wavy hair is characterized by gentle waves that can be described as relaxed curls. It is often finer in texture than curly hair, and it can be found in different ethnicities, from Caucasian to Asian to Native American. Unlike curly hair, wavy hair usually lies flat against the scalp and can be easily straightened or styled with heat tools.

Challenges: Wavy hair can be prone to losing its shape and volume, especially if it is not properly moisturized or styled. It can also be affected by weather conditions, such as humidity, which can cause frizz and flyaways. Wavy hair can sometimes look flat or lifeless, especially if it is not cut in the right shape or style.

Best Practices: To maintain the shape and texture of wavy hair, it is important to use moisturizing products that enhance natural waves and prevent frizz. Use a lightweight mousse or curl enhancing cream to scrunch hair and create volume, or use a round brush to create loose waves while blow-drying. Avoid using heavy styling products that can weigh down hair, and minimize the use of heat styling tools to prevent damage. Wavy hair can benefit from regular trims to maintain shape and promote healthy growth.


Q: Can wavy hair become curly over time?

A: It is possible for wavy hair to become curlier or lose its wave pattern over time due to hormonal changes, health issues, or damage. However, this is not always the case, and many people with wavy hair maintain their natural texture throughout their lives.

Q: Can curly hair be straightened permanently?

A: Yes, curly hair can be straightened permanently through chemical treatments such as a Brazilian blowout or keratin treatment. However, these treatments can be expensive and time-consuming, and they can also cause damage or breakage if not done properly.

Q: Is it better to brush or comb curly hair?

A: It is usually better to comb curly hair with a wide-tooth comb or detangling brush, as brushing can cause breakage and damage to the hair strands. Combing should be done gently and in sections, starting from the ends and working your way up to the roots.

Q: What is the best way to air dry curly or wavy hair?

A: To air dry curly or wavy hair, start by gently scrunching excess water out of your hair with a microfiber towel or t-shirt. Do not rub or twist your hair, as this can cause frizz. Apply a lightweight curl cream or leave-in conditioner to your hair and then let it air dry naturally, avoiding touching it until it is completely dry. You can also use a diffuser attachment on your hair dryer to dry your hair while enhancing natural curls or waves.

In conclusion, curly and wavy hair are two different types of hair that require different care and styling routines. Understanding the characteristics and challenges of each can help you better manage and enhance your natural texture, from preventing frizz to creating volume and definition. Whether you have curly, wavy, or straight hair, the key to healthy and beautiful hair is to stay hydrated, nourished, and protected from damage.