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How to create soft waves in your hair

Whitney Coy is a freelance writer and editor based in Columbus, OH, where she lives with her husband and two daughters. She writes frequently for SheKnows, as well as several other websites. She writes on topics including parenting, trav...

Create the perfect waves

Do you dream of a perfectly tousled head of hair? Beautiful, soft waves are easier to achieve than you think.

how to get soft waves

Pump it up

Start right out of the shower with clean, wet hair. Apply a volumizing spray all over, then blow dry as usual. For extra volume, turn your head upside-down and blow dry from the roots to get a little lift where it counts the most. Don't straighten your hair as you dry it. A little bit of texture will help your hair hold this style.

Smoth it out

After your hair is dry, brush it out and part your hair wherever you want. Make sure your hair is completely dry -- if there's any dampness left behind, it won't hold the waves.

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Twist away

Starting in the front, grab a one-inch section of hair and spritz it with a light hairspray or holding solution. Hold the hair near the ends and twist it until it's tightly twisted throughout the entire section.

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Apply some heat

Next, it's time to set that twist, and add a bit of bounce. Keep a hold on the twisted section of hair with one hand, and grab a hot, medium-sized curling iron with the other. Without opening the clamp, wrap the twisted strands around the barrel of the curling iron, hold them in place for five to ten seconds and release. Repeat the process to your whole head of hair. Since you're not using the clamp to hold your hair in place on the curling iron, you'll need to be extra careful not to burn your fingers. Use the lowest effective setting on your curling iron.

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Finish it off

Once you've finished twisting and curling all of your hair, you'll be left with soft, tousled waves. They'll be a little crazy and unruly, but that may be just the "bed head" look you're going for. If not, don't worry. It's easy to smooth out the look without calming the waves you've worked so hard to create. Once your curls have cooled completely, rub a small amount of smoothing solution onto the palms of your hands and lightly comb your hair with your fingers, separating the sections and smoothing any flyaways.

Quick tip

Don't brush your hair throughout the day when you sport this style. A brush will remove the waves, so just smooth your hair with your fingers when it needs taming.

More hair tips:

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How to do a chignon
Tricks for hairstyles you can do the night before

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