Achieving Waves for White Hair: A Comprehensive Guide (2023)


Discovering the allure of waves transcends racial boundaries, and many individuals, regardless of their background, aspire to embrace this unique hairstyle. This guide dispels any uncertainty surrounding the possibility of white people attaining waves and provides detailed instructions on how to achieve and maintain them.

Can White People Get Waves?

Contrary to misconceptions, white people can indeed achieve waves. The key lies in understanding the diverse textures of Caucasian hair, ranging from straight to curly. While individuals with a natural wave or curl pattern may find it easier, even those with straight hair can pursue waves with determination. However, for those with thick straight hair, the use of heat styling tools or chemical processing may be necessary.

4 Things to Consider Before Getting Waves

1. Your Hair Type

Waves suit those with naturally wavy or curly hair. Straight hair, especially if thick, may pose challenges. Achieving waves in such cases might require the use of hot tools or a curly perm, both of which can potentially damage the hair.

2. How Long You’re Willing to Wait

Patience is essential. Developing waves, especially for individuals with straight hair, can take up to 6 or 7 weeks. Quick results are unlikely, making waves a commitment that demands time and dedication.

3. How Much Time You’re Willing to Spend

Waves are not just a hairstyle; they're a lifestyle. Daily maintenance, including multiple brushings with a wave brush, is crucial. Consistency is key, and those unwilling to invest significant time should reconsider this hairstyle.

4. How Often Do You Want to Change Your Hairstyle?

Waves require time and repetition to train the hair into a specific pattern. Those fond of frequent style changes might find waves to be a more significant commitment than anticipated.

Cultural Appropriation

While waves are commonly worn by black individuals, white individuals opting for this hairstyle may face accusations of cultural appropriation. Consideration of potential negative comments and reactions is necessary.

How to Get Waves

For those ready to invest the time, achieving waves involves a step-by-step process:

  1. Shampoo and condition your hair.
  2. Apply a quarter-sized dollop of curl enhancer, distributing it evenly.
  3. Brush your hair in specific patterns, focusing on the crown, back, and sides.
  4. Compress your hair using a durag or wave cap for at least 30 minutes.
  5. Repeat the process at least twice daily.

How to Maintain Your Waves

Maintaining waves is as crucial as achieving them. Key practices include:

1. Brush Your Hair Often

Daily brushing, always in the direction of your waves, is necessary to maintain the desired pattern.

2. Get Your Hair Cut Regularly

Proper haircuts, maintaining a length of 1 to 1½ inches, are essential for wave maintenance. Barbers familiar with wave styles can cut with the hair grain, enhancing the wave pattern.

3. Cover Your Hair at Night

Use a durag, wave cap, or silk scarf to prevent friction and preserve your waves while sleeping.

Do’s and Don’ts of Getting Waves


  • Airdry or use a diffuser to enhance natural hair texture.
  • Use high-quality styling products.
  • Cover your hair at night to preserve waves.
  • Wash your durag and brush regularly to avoid product buildup.


  • Brush dry hair.
  • Overload hair with products.
  • Use brushes with stiff plastic bristles.
  • Overwash your hair.

Best Styling Products for Getting Waves

Choosing the right products is crucial for successful wave development:

  1. SheaMoisutre Smoothie Curl Enhancing Cream:

    • Gently coaxes out natural curl patterns without weighing down hair.
  2. Design Essentials Curl Enhancing Mousse:

    • Provides frizz-free and flake-free curl definition with strengthening wheat proteins and moisturizing almond oil.
  3. Argan Magic Defining Curl Cream:

    • Infused with biotin and argan oil for shiny, moisturized waves. Detangles, conditions, and reduces frizz.


In conclusion, this comprehensive guide dispels doubts about the feasibility of white people achieving waves. By understanding hair types, committing to the process, and following proper maintenance, anyone can enjoy the satisfaction of well-defined waves. Embrace the lifestyle, be patient, and witness the transformation of your hair into a unique and stylish wave pattern.

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Author: Dr. Pierre Goyette

Last Updated: 23/07/2023

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