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Difference Between Wavy vs Curly – Hairs Care

wavy vs curly

If you have wavy hair, you might be confused about how your hair differs from curly hair. Likewise, you may not know the difference between wavy vs curly hair if you have curly hair. I thought I would explain in a way that makes sense to me.

This article explores the difference between wavy and curly hair and wavy hairstyles. We also list wavies’ most common problems and work with wavy hair instead of against it.

I have wavy hair. I used to refer to myself as “wavy-curly” because I didn’t think my hair could be described as just “wavy.” My sister has curly hair, arguing that my waves differ from her curls. On another note, one of my closest friends has very different waves that are not the same as mine. Anyway, I used to think that my hair was confusing and didn’t know where it fits in on a spectrum between wavy and curly hair. But, I decided to figure out how they are different.

Let’s clear out the difference between wavy vs curly Hair.

Likewise, you may not know the difference between wavy vs curly hair if you have curly hair. I thought I would explain in a way that makes sense to me.

Curly hair can be wavy, and wurly. They are interchangeable terms in that wavies can use products meant for wavies/wurlies/curlies, but they get different results depending on your texture!

A wavy’s waves are stretched out, wiry, and smooth, while a curl’s curls are puffy, frizzy, and defined (meaning they keep their general shape). Waves tend to clump together in larger sections, whereas curls have smaller sections of individual strands clumping together. Curlies have tighter coils with fewer spirals than wavies do.

Waves tend to clump together in larger sections, whereas curls have smaller sections of individual strands clumping together. Curlies have tighter coils with fewer spirals than wavies do.

Some people have wavy hair that they call wurly or curly, but wavy is neither wurly nor curly. Only wavies can use products meant for wavies, although it depends on the individual. If you are unsure, take the strand test. 

So, for example, if your curls are super defined after not brushing them for a while, there’s too much moisture in the air. There isn’t enough heat from your body if it’s cold out. Curls tend to need more moisture than waves do.. although it depends on the individual. So if wavy hair gets defined after you don’t brush it, wavy hair is wavy. 

What is wavy hair?

Wavy hair is hair that forms naturally in wavy patterns. Depending on the hair’s natural state, it may be straight, wavy, or curly. Waves are formed by loose and stretched hair strands. Wavy hair is typically soft and shiny and has an “S” like shape when you look at it from the end.

How to get wavy hair?

1) Wavy hair can be inherited genetically from either parent’s side of the family, even if one parent with wavy vs curly hair has the waviest children. In contrast, the other has the straightest children. 

2) If wavy hair isn’t inherited from your parents, waviness can be created by repeatedly applying heat and pressure to your hair.

3) Wavy hair can also be achieved with the right products and moisturizing techniques used on wavy vs curly locks.

wavy vs curly

What is Curly Hair: 

Kinky, coiled strands of hair form curls. Curly hair is typically dryer than wavy hair and very fluffy with a “Z” like shape when you look at it from the end. It also tends to be frizzy depending on how much moisture is in the air. So, for example, if your curls are super defined after not brushing them for a while, this means that there’s too much moisture in the air to have defined curls.

If they are undefined, then there probably isn’t enough moisture in the air.. or if it’s cold out, there’s not enough heat from your body. Curls tend to need more moisture than waves do.. although it depends on the individual, of course.

Wavy, wurly, and curly are interchangeable terms for the same thing. They are interchangeable in that wavies can use products meant for wavies/wurlies/curlies, but they get different results depending on your texture! A wavy’s waves are stretched out, wiry, and smooth, while a curlie’s curls are puffy, frizzy, and defined (meaning they keep their general shape).

Waves tend to clump together in larger sections, whereas curls have smaller sections of individual strands clumping together. Curlies have tighter coils with fewer spirals than wavies do.

How to get curly hair?

1) Curly hair can be inherited genetically from either parent’s side of the family, even if one parent with wavy vs curly hair has the curliest children while the other has the curliest children.

2) If wavy hair isn’t inherited from your parents, waviness can be created by repeatedly applying heat and pressure to your hair. 

3) Curly hair can also be achieved with the right products and moisturizing techniques used on wavy vs curly locks.

What is the difference between wavy vs curly in detail? 

wavy vs curly

As you can see the difference between wavy vs curly is in the picture attached above. Often wavies have a hard time styling their wavy vs wurly locks because they think they should only use products made for curly-haired people as it is commonly believed that wavy and curly hair is almost the same thing. However, if we discuss the difference between wavy vs curly interchangeable then wavy, wurly, and curly hair are not interchangeable. 

To learn how to make wavy hair look extra wavy, go here. Wavies have wavier waves, while curlies tend to be more frizzy depending on weather conditions. Making wavy hair look wavier vs. making curls look less frizzy is an entirely different ball game! 

There are 3 common types of wavies: 

1) Layers- People with layers usually find their lower layers get weighed down by their top layer, which often creates an undefined wave pattern. 

2) Longer Layers- This wave has long layers that define its already defined waves. 

3) No Layers- If you have wavy hair that is not layered, then you probably don’t want layers. 

To learn how to make wavy hair look less wavy, go here. Waves are generally wirier than curly hair, which can be pretty fluffy when treated with the right products. A wavy’s waves are stretched out, wiry, and smooth, while a curlie’s curls are puffy, frizzy, and defined (meaning they keep their general shape).  

What is waviness? 

Waves are a type of curl that usually has a “Z” like shape when you look at it from the end. It also tends to be frizzy depending on how much moisture is in the air.. so if your waves are super defined after not brushing them for a while, this means that there’s too much moisture in the air. If they are undefined, there probably isn’t enough moisture in the air. In other words, if wavy hair gets defined after you don’t brush it, wavy hair is wavy! The strand test will help determine this for sure, though.

In other words, if wavy hair gets defined after you don’t brush it, wavy hair is wavy! The strand test will help determine this for sure, though.

The strand test will help determine this for sure, though.

Where does waviness clump?

Waviness usually clumps together in larger sections than curls do; waves tend to only be in smaller sections that come together into one extensive section. Whereas curlies’ curl strands usually stick together into large sections of squished-up curls.

Types of waviness:

All Types of waviness:

Layers

People with layers usually find their lower layers get weighed down by their top layer, which often creates an undefined wavy pattern.

Longer Layers

This type of wave has long layers that define their already defined wavy pattern.

No Layers

If you have wavy hair that is not layered, you probably don’t want layers. Waves usually form in small sections and clump together, whereas curls tend to be in more prolonged and more considerable sections and clumps together. 

Wavier Waves

Wavies who find that they have wavier waves should keep it wavy, while wurly/curly wavies should add more volume! Add the volume on wavy locks with brush or scrunching techniques.

Wurly Waves

Wavies with wurly waves should scrunch in mousse/gel to give them volume and help define their wurly shape. Add more volume on wavy locks with brush or scrunching techniques.

Curlier Waves

Wavies who have curlier waves can either do what they like or style it depending on how wavy the hair is – if the hair is super wavy, use some products/scrunching technique to achieve your desired look! Curlier wavies should avoid volume as it will only accentuate their already curly shape and make it frizzier than usual.

Do products work best?

wavy vs curly

Wavy

Wavy hairstyles work well with wurly/curly products as long as you don’t have any wily wavies (see below) and scrunch your hair to give it volume and to define the wavy shape.

Wurly

Wurly hairstyles work best with scrunching techniques, curl-defining creams and gels, mousse, and curling irons.

Curly

Curly hairstyles work best with creams (no gels), curl-defining creams, and curl enhancers like oils & butter. Curls also work well with curling irons or rollers used for all types of curls! Curls tend to be less frizzy than waves only when scrunching your hair.

Wily wavies

Wavy hairstyles work best with wurly/curly products as long as you don’t have any wily wavies (see below). Wurlies can wear wavy hairstyles if their waves are more defined than wavy ones! Curlies will need to add volume to their curls or neutralize the curl pattern (or even reduce it) to rock a wavy style.

This is because curly hair has too much volume and clumping, whereas wavies want less volume so they can define the shape of their waves. If your waves aren’t defined at all, then scrunching, mousse and volumizing products will help define your waves and curl pattern. You can even scrunch in wurly products to give yourself wurly wavy hair and style it wavy (see what I did there?)

Things you Need to Take Care of

Chemicals are used to amend your hair when taking Care of wavy locks. If you find that your wavies get frizzy and unruly, then use a shampoo and conditioner containing silicone to calm the frizz down and tame wavy hair. Try using products that work best for wavy hair or wurly vs curly products. Curl creams and gels also work well on wavy hair as long as you add volume to your wavy locks by using a volumizing product.

Styling wavy hair:

Style wavies by scrunching in wurly or curly products (if your waves are worried wavy, use wurly products). Add volume to wavy locks with a volumizing product if necessary! Wurly products or curl creams and gels work best for more natural wavy hair! Add volume to wavy locks with a brush. Curl creams add more texture than volume, but they add both shine and hold, which wavies love.

Avoid Washing Your Hair:

wavy vs curly

Washing wavy locks too often will dry out wavy vs curly hair and make it frizzy. Wash wavy locks with wurly products and avoid shampooing your roots! If your wavies get frizzy, use a volumizing product to give your wavies more volume and tame the frizziness.

Hair cuts

If you have wavy hair, don’t cut it yourself as you’ll never know how much to cut off or if you’ve done it right until after the haircut, but barbers usually know what they’re doing! Have a professional cut-off of less than an inch (just enough length to remove the split ends). 

Products for wavy hair: 

If needed, add volume with a volumizing product. Curls can utilize curl creams and gels, and wavy products for added texture. wavy hairstyles wurly/curly products wurlie wavy wurly wavy wavies

Haircuts for wavy hair: 

Have a professional cut-off of less than an inch (just enough length to remove the split ends). If your waves are wavy, use curl creams and gels instead of wavy products. Use tools to add volume, like curling irons.

How should you Style Wavy Hair? 

Style by scrunching in either wurly or curly products, depending on how big your waves are. Add volume with a volumizing product if necessary! Try using curl creams and gels—Volumize wavy hair with a brush to make wavy hair wurly wavy wavies. Curl your hair for more defined wave waves!

Stay Away from Color Treatments:

Color-treated wavy hair is very vulnerable to breakage. If you must color wavy locks, use a professional colorist who can work with wavy vs curly hair! Try using semi-permanent spray-on highlights for wavies as they are less damaging than regular coloring treatments.

Don’t Use Heat Tools: 

Using heat tools on wavy locks will only dry out the wave tresses and make them more frizzy. Avoid heat tools.

Waves are probably one of the most underrated hairstyles of all time so remember, ladies, wurly your wuvs today! You can even scrunch in wurly products or curl creams&gels if your waves aren’t worrying wavy! 

There are a few distinct features between wavy and curly hair:

1) wavy hair has unruly locks : 

wavy locks are not defined at all, so wave wurly wurlies will need scrunching, mousse, and volumizing products to define your waves!

2) wavy hair is wurly/wurlie wavy: 

3) Wavy hair is more likely to be porous.

4) Wavy hair is more prone to require clarifying than straight hair.

5) Wavy hair is more likely to have a curl pattern that begins lower on the head.

6) Wavy hair is more likely to be weighed down, especially when wet.

Conclusion: 

Well, I hope now you have your answer about the difference between wavy vs curly hairs: it’s a little more challenging to style wavy hair than curly locks. However, wave curly don’t have to give up on that beautiful wack of volume! Use volumizing products and scrunch your wurly waves for more texture! You can even curl wavy tresses with a curling iron if you feel brave! Just try not to use any heat tools unless you don’t mind some frizz – nobody wants to see wacky wavy hair! Wavies are unique among hairstyles so let your inner wave shine through today and rock those wuvs like no tomorrow.