Hairstyles How-To: Sexy Waves

Jennifer Aniston, Liv Tyler and Angelina Jolie wear them -- so can you

With such busy schedules, it's no wonder jet-setting celebrities like Angelina Jolie rely on easy, sexy waves as their go-to hairstyle. Soft and touchable, they can easily be dressed up or down for any occasion. The best part? While long, naturally wavy hair is the ideal for this style, you don't need it to pull off the look. Look for your hair texture in our guide to find out how to get sexy waves in your hair.

Image: Getty Images

By Charli Schuler

Straight Hair: Option One Creating long-lasting sexy waves is challenging on straight hair, especially if it's thin and fine, but it can be done, says hairstylist Daniel Martinez of Warren-Tricomi Salons. The trick? French braid your hair. "Braid it just out of the shower, when hair is wet," he says. Then secure with an elastic like Vidal Sassoon No Crimper Elastics , $2.99 . (Editor's tip: Do this at night and sleep on the braid. You'll wake up with a head full of voluminous waves.) Once it dries, undo the braid and it'll be set with a natural bend and wave that lasts longer. Finger comb waves to loosen, then set with a light-hold hairspray (try Sebastian Shaper Zero G Featherweight Dry Finish Hairspray , $16.99 ). Next: Straight Hair Option Two Image: Andrew Stiles Straight Hair: Option Two, Step One If you can't braid your own hair, pin curls are another great option. Waves will be loose and more subtle than those created by a braid. Start by sectioning hair into four quarters. Twist each quarter, then wrap it around your fingers to form a coil. Pin the coil on top of your head. Secure with a large bobby pin (try Scunci Salon Bobby Pins , $1.99 ) or duck bill clip. Next: Straight Hair Option Two, Step Two Straight Hair: Option Two, Step Two Use a blow-dryer with a diffuser attachment like Conair Ion Shine Translucence Lightweight Ionic Styler , $25.99 to dry pin curls. Once curls are set, let hair loose, finger comb and set with a light-hold hairspray (like Sebastian Shaper Zero G Featherweight Dry Finish Hairspray , $16.99 ). Find your hair type yet? Pick up more styling tips and inspiration with our celebrity beach-y hairstyles gallery . Otherwise, keep clicking. Next: Wavy Hair Step One Conair Ion Shine Translucence Lightweight Ionic Styler Wavy Hair: Step One Your hair type is naturally perfect for this look, so all you need to do is use the right product to enhance your texture. Martinez recommends applying an anti-frizz cream containing silicone (like Frederic Fekkai Luscious Curls Cream , $19.50 ) while hair is still wet. Next: Wavy Hair Step Two Wavy Hair: Step Two Encourage volume and more wave by blow-drying your hair with a diffuser attachment. (Try the T3 Bespoke Diffuser II , $30 .) "[A diffuser] dries hair without directing too much heat at one particular area [and damaging it]," he says. "It also encourages natural movement to come out without becoming frizzy." Find your hair type yet? Pick up more styling tips and inspiration with our celebrity beach-y hairstyles gallery . Otherwise, keep clicking. Next: Curly Hair Step One Curly Hair: Step One Shampoo and condition with products that contain silicone (look for ingredients like dimethicone, found in Tresemme Smooth & Silky Shampoo and Conditioner , $4.49 each ). Such products will weigh hair down and stretch out your curls, which is necessary for this look. Towel dry hair to remove excess water. Next: Curly Hair Step Two Curly Hair: Step Two When hair is evenly damp, apply a styling cream like Redken Outshine 01 Anti-Frizz Polishing Milk , $14.99 at salons . "It contains silicone and shea butter, which is great for eliminating frizz on curly hair," Martinez says. Next: Curly Hair Step Three Curly Hair: Step Three Pull hair in a high, tight ponytail right away (don't secure yet), then wind the ponytail into a bun. Secure with an elastic or duck bill clip and let hair dry that way for a few hours. Release hair and finger comb, stretching and loosening curls for a sexy effect. Spray a bit of light-hold hairspra y (like Pantene Classic Touchable Hairspray , $4.99 ) to set. Pick up more styling tips and inspiration with our celebrity beach-y hairstyles gallery . Hot Hairstyle: Beach-y Waves The Best Products for Curly Hair Worst-Rated Hair Volumizers Subject Subject Subject Message Message Message /content/package/c_sexy_waves_hairstyle/

Products Mentioned in This Story

Vidal Sassoon No Crimper Elastics

Average Member Rating: 8.1

T3 Bespoke Diffuser II

Average Member Rating: 7.6

TRESemme Smooth & Silky Conditioner

Average Member Rating: 8.4

Fekkai Luscious Curls Cream

Average Member Rating: 8.2

Tresemmé Smooth & Silky Shampoo

Average Member Rating: 8.8

Sebastian Professional Shaper Zero Gravity

Average Member Rating: 8.2

Scunci Salon Bobby Pins, Black

Average Member Rating: 10.0

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older comments

Sometimes I do the braid out method when it's damp to get waves. Sleep with the braids overnight, undo in the morning, hairspray and go.

by Monique3 Friday, April 12, 2013 at 07:29AM Report as inappropriate

I have fine hair and the braid after a shower really works. Though I like to wear my messy braid for a day then have sexy waves the next and my husband thinks both styles are hot. He usually isn't one for any change.

by Chica181 Tuesday, March 12, 2013 at 09:13PM Report as inappropriate

I liked the Wavy Hair tip because I have that hair type Definitely off to buy the Fred Fekkai Mousse now

by cindy11052 Saturday, March 2, 2013 at 09:03PM Report as inappropriate

great tips

by LittleBunny Monday, January 21, 2013 at 10:45AM Report as inappropriate

Great tips for straight haired girls like me!

by shellychen1110 Thursday, January 10, 2013 at 07:04PM Report as inappropriate


by LittleBunny Monday, January 7, 2013 at 12:16PM Report as inappropriate

Nice tips I enjoyed this!

by NillaButterfly Friday, December 28, 2012 at 03:14PM Report as inappropriate


by EricaF123 Thursday, December 27, 2012 at 12:35PM Report as inappropriate

Thx for the tips, i will try.

by lilas Friday, October 26, 2012 at 12:04AM Report as inappropriate

I'll give this a try

by LittleBunny Sunday, August 5, 2012 at 05:41PM Report as inappropriate

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