Wavy Vs Curly Hair Men: Identify, Maintain & Style – Ultimate Guide!


Wavy Vs Curly Hair Men

Hi there! Do you know the difference between wavy and curly hair? It’s like having two different types of friends. Wavy hair is easy-going, while curly hair needs a little more care. As someone who’s spent years cutting and styling men’s hair, I’ve learned all about both.

I know firsthand that wavy hair has soft bends, and curly hair has tight twists. But don’t worry, both types can look great if you know what to do. And that’s where I come in! With my experience and tips, I’ll help you understand everything about wavy vs curly hair men.

So, ready to learn some cool hair tricks? Let’s get started, and I’ll show you how to make the most of your hair, whether it’s wavy or curly. It’s all about finding what works best for you!

Key Takeaways

  • Wavy hair, which falls between straight and curly hair types, can have different porosities. Low-porosity hair has tighter waves and curls, while high-porosity hair has looser waves and curls. It is important to wash and moisturize both hair types to keep them healthy and well-maintained.
  • Curly hair has tighter coils compared to wavy hair.
  • Wavy hair, known for its natural volume and texture, is popular among men. With its versatility in styling, low porosity, and thickness, wavy hair is easier to manage than curly hair.

Identifying Your Hair Type

To determine your hair type, you can categorize it into four main types: straight hair, wavy hair, curly hair, and coily hair. These hair types are determined by their density, care, and porosity.

Straight Hair

Straight hair, known as Type 1, is simple to spot. However, when it comes to wavy hairstyles for men, using curl cream can help enhance and define the natural waves. It’s strong and does not curl. Each strand of hair, regardless of curl type, comes out of a hair follicle, whether straight or curly, so they stay flat and straight. This applies to both men and women, regardless of hair density or porosity. Having straight hair can be rare in men, as it is a recessive trait. Men’s curl type, density, and different types of hair can vary greatly.

Wavy Hair

Wavy hair, commonly found in men, falls under the second category of hair types and is characterized by its porosity and density. It is known for its loose curls. Unlike curly hair, wavy hair, which is characterized by its porosity and density, is considered less noticeable and defined but still has its unique beauty and versatility in styling. Wavy hair can be styled in various ways and is suitable for men as well.

Curly Hair

Curly hair density, determined by factors inherited from biological parents, usually has more defined curls compared to wavy hair because the follicles have two bends in an “S” shape. This difference in porosity is more prominent in men. Embracing your natural curly hair type can give you a unique appearance, especially if you have textured hair, coiled hair, or coily hair.

Coily Hair

Coily hair, commonly found in men, is characterized by tight coils that start from the scalp. This hair type often exhibits high porosity. The shape of the hair shaft, porosity, determines the curl pattern for men. Men with this type of hair require specific care to keep it healthy and looking its best.

Understanding Wavy and Curly Hair for Men

Wavy and curly hair are distinct hair types for men, characterized by their unique styles, textures, and porosity.

The Difference Between Wavy and Curly Hair

Wavy hair, characterized by its porosity, is a bit curvy, lying between straight and curly hair. It has more tight twists or spirals, particularly in men.

Curl Pattern Range

The curl pattern range uses a scale of A-C to show the size and porosity of curls or waves in your hair. Wavy hair with high porosity forms loose twists in the shape of an ‘S’, while curly hair types exhibit more defined curls.

Differentiating Wavy Hair from Curly Hair


Wavy hair is characterized by loose S-shaped waves and has a medium porosity, while curly hair has tighter ringlets or coils and can vary in porosity. The wave pattern in wavy hair is more subtle compared to the defined curl pattern found in curly locks.

Understanding Your Hair Type

The genes inherited from your parents influence the density, porosity, and overall structure of your coiled, straight, normal, and textured hair strands. Wavy hair falls into categories: type 2A, 2B, or 2C, while curly hair types encompass a broader range: type 3A, 3B, and 3C.

Embracing Your Unique Hair Journey

Whether you have wavy or curly hair, understanding the characteristics of your hair type allows you to tailor your grooming routine accordingly, with specific recommendations for wavy-haired and curly-haired individuals. Each strand tells its own story.

Benefits of Wavy Hair

Wavy hair offers versatility in styling, natural volume and texture, and is easier to manage than curly hair. Curious about the benefits? Read on!

Versatility in styling

Wavy hair is great for styling because it can be easily shaped into different looks. You can achieve a sleek and polished style for wavy hair men by using a pomade or gel to hold the waves in place. Whether you have coiled hair, straight hair, or unruly hair, this styling product can help you maintain a defined and controlled look.

If you have wavy hair men, you can use sea salt spray to enhance your natural waves and give them that relaxed beachy vibe. Whether you have coiled hair, straight hair, or normal hair, this product will help achieve a more casual and tousled look. Wavy hair also works well with longer hairstyles, allowing you to create volume and texture effortlessly.

Overall, wavy hair gives you plenty of options when it comes to styling, whether you want something refined or laid-back.

Natural volume and texture

Wavy hair offers natural volume and texture that can enhance your overall look. Compared to curly hair, wavy hair gives you a more effortless and relaxed style. You don’t have to spend hours trying to make your hair appear fuller because wavy hair naturally has that bounce and body.

The waves create dimension, making your hairstyle interesting and eye-catching. Whether you prefer a messy bedhead look or a sleek, sophisticated style, the natural volume and texture of wavy hair can help you achieve the desired effect with minimal effort.

So embrace your coiled hair and let its thickness add character to your everyday style!

Easier to manage than curly hair

I have good news for you if you have wavy hair! Wavy hair is actually easier to manage than curly hair. The loose curls of wavy hair make it less prone to tangling and knots compared to the tighter coils of curly hair.

This means that styling and maintaining wavy hair generally requires less effort and time. You won’t have to spend as much time detangling or dealing with frizz, which can be common challenges with curly hair.

So, if you’re looking for a low-maintenance hairstyle, embracing your natural waves may be the way to go!

Maintaining Wavy Hair

To maintain wavy hair, it’s essential to consider three main aspects: washing and conditioning, selecting the right styling products, and using tools like curling irons for enhancing waves.

Close-up of hair products and brush, showcasing different hairstyles and outfits.

Proper Washing and Conditioning Techniques

To keep your wavy or curly hair looking its best, it’s essential to use the right washing and conditioning techniques. Start by choosing a shampoo and conditioner specifically designed for wavy or curly hair to enhance your natural texture and prevent frizz. When washing your hair, focus on massaging the scalp to remove dirt and oil, but avoid scrubbing too hard. Rinse thoroughly with lukewarm water, and when applying conditioner, work it through your hair and rinse completely.

Recommended Styling Products

Men with wavy hair may benefit from various styling products, including sea salt spray for a beachy wave style, sulfate-free shampoos for hydration, and volumizers for extra body. It’s essential not to over-layer products as it can make the hair feel heavy.

Using a Curling Iron for Enhanced Waves

Enhancing waves with a curling iron is another technique. When styling thick hair, remember to use heat protectant spray and start with a low heat setting to prevent damage.

Maintaining and Styling Wavy Hair for Men

Wavy hair in men can be both a blessing and a challenge. Embracing low-maintenance hairstyles and using specialized products can help in styling.

curly wavy hair men
Curly wavy hair men

Embrace Low-Maintenance Hairstyles

  1. The Messy Crop: A laid-back style.
  2. The Textured Quiff: Adds volume and definition.
  3. The Beachy Waves: Achieve a carefree surfer vibe.

These styles emphasize the natural texture of wavy hair without fuss.

Enhance Wave Definition with Specialized Products

Specific products can enhance wave definition. Consider using wave-enhancing shampoos, hydrating conditioners, styling products for waves, and pomade for finishing touches.

Taming Frizz and Keeping Waves Healthy

Keeping wavy hair healthy involves less frequent shampooing and weekly deep conditioning treatments.

Tips for Managing Thick, Wavy Hair

Managing thick, wavy hair involves preventing unruliness, choosing suitable haircut styles, and reducing volume without compromising style.

Wavy Vs Curly Hairstyle Men
Wavy Vs Curly Hairstyle Men

Preventing Unruliness in Thick, Wavy Hair

Consider using the right products and avoiding excessive heat styling. Regular trims and experimenting with different hairstyles can also help.

Suitable Haircut Styles for Thick Waves

  1. Layered cuts: Enhances natural texture.
  2. Tapered sides with length on top: Balances structure and waves.
  3. Undercut or fade: Adds contrast.
  4. Textured quiff: A popular choice.

Reducing Volume without Compromising Style

For those looking to reduce volume, consider using thinning shears, layering techniques, and specific styling products for control.

Benefits of Curly Hair

Curly hair offers a bold and unique appearance, with natural bounce and definition that requires minimal styling for a standout look.

Bold and unique appearance

Curly hair has a bold and unique appearance that sets it apart from wavy hair. The tight coils and natural bounce of curly locks create a standout look that catches attention. With its defined curls, curly hair can make a strong style statement without much effort.

It adds texture, volume, and personality to your overall look. Embrace your natural curls and let them shine to showcase your individuality. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different hairstyles and products to enhance the boldness of your curly hair even more.

Natural bounce and definition

Curly hair is known for its natural bounce and definition, which can make your hairstyles stand out. The coils in curly hair give it a unique texture that adds volume and movement to your locks.

Whether you rock tight curls or looser waves, the natural shape of your curls helps create that sought-after bounce and definition. No need for extra styling products or techniques – your curly hair does the work for you! Embrace those natural curls and let them shine with their inherent beauty and character.

Requires minimal styling for a standout look

Curly hair is unique and has a natural bounce and definition. The best part is that it requires minimal styling to stand out. With your curly locks, you don’t need to spend a lot of time or use many products on your hair.

Just embrace your natural texture and let your curls do the talking. Finger-styling can help enhance the shape of your waves and coils while reducing frizz. So, if you have curly hair, consider yourself lucky – you can achieve a standout look with minimal effort!

Techniques for Styling Curly Hair for Men

Curly hair can be a blessing and a curse. While it adds personality and uniqueness to your look, it can also be quite challenging to style. But fear not, because with the right techniques and products, you can enhance your natural curls and achieve the desired look you’ve always wanted. Here are some tried-and-true methods to help you master the art of styling curly hair.

Master different styling techniques to enhance your natural curls

One size does not fit all. Different techniques work better for different types of curls. Experimenting with various methods will allow you to find what works best for your specific curl pattern.

  1. Finger Coiling: This technique involves twirling small sections of hair around your finger to define each curl individually. It’s a great way to add structure and bounce to your curls without using any heat or excessive product.
  2. Plopping: Plopping is a method where you wrap your wet hair in a T-shirt or microfiber towel, allowing it to dry in a scrunched position. This technique helps enhance the natural shape of your curls while reducing frizz.
  3. Diffusing: Using a diffuser attachment on your blow dryer can help speed up drying time while maintaining the integrity of your curls. It distributes airflow evenly, preventing excess frizz and promoting defined curls.
  4. Twist-Outs: Twist-outs involve twisting small sections of damp hair into coils and letting them dry before unraveling them for beautifully defined curls.

Experiment with various products to define curls without weighing them down

Finding the right products for curly hair is crucial in achieving optimal results without weighing down your locks or leaving them greasy.

  1. Curl Cream: Curl creams are designed specifically for curly hair as they provide moisture, definition, and hold without making your hair feel heavy or crunchy. Look for curl creams that contain natural ingredients like shea butter or coconut oil for added nourishment.
  2. Leave-In Conditioner: Applying a leave-in conditioner after washing your hair can help hydrate and detangle your curls, making them easier to manage. Opt for lightweight formulas that won’t weigh down your hair.
  3. Gel or Mousse: These products are great for adding hold and definition to your curls. Choose a gel or mousse that is specifically formulated for curly hair and apply it evenly from root to tip.
  4. Oil-Based Serums: Oil-based serums can help combat frizz and add shine to your curls without weighing them down. Apply a small amount of serum to the ends of your hair to seal in moisture and prevent breakage.

Explore heat-free methods like finger coiling or plopping to achieve desired curl patterns

Using heat styling tools on curly hair can often lead to damage and loss of natural curl pattern. Embracing heat-free methods protects your hair’s health and allows you to achieve beautiful curls without any external assistance.

  1. Finger Coiling: As mentioned earlier, finger coiling is an excellent technique for defining curls without using any heat. It’s a simple yet effective method that allows you to control each curl individually, resulting in more uniform and defined ringlets.
  2. Plopping: Plopping is a way to dry curly hair without heat. You use a soft cloth, like a T-shirt, to wrap your wet hair on top of your head. This helps your curls dry in their natural shape without being pulled down. It’s a gentle way to get nice curls without frizz, and you don’t need any hot tools.

By trying both finger coiling and plopping, you can find simple, no-heat ways to make your curls look great. Give them a try, and enjoy your natural, beautiful hair!

How to Care for Thick, Curly Hair

Thick, curly hair requires regular moisturizing to keep it healthy and manageable. Without proper moisture, curls can become dry, frizzy, and prone to breakage. Opt for products specifically formulated for curly hair, such as conditioners and leave-in treatments containing natural oils like coconut oil or shea butter. These ingredients lock in moisture and nourish the curls.

To ensure maximum hydration, apply a deep conditioning treatment at least once a week, replenishing lost moisture and restoring vitality. Leave the treatment on for a few minutes before rinsing thoroughly. You’ll notice an immediate difference in the softness and shine.

Moisturizing and Hydrating Routines

In addition to using the right products, consider incorporating the LOC method into your hair care routine. LOC stands for Liquid (water-based product), Oil (sealing in moisture), and Cream (to provide additional hydration). By layering these products on damp hair, you create an effective barrier against dryness and promote long-lasting moisture retention.

Avoid excessive heat styling and opt for air drying whenever possible. If you’re in a hurry, gently scrunch your curls with a towel to speed up the process. You may also use a moisturizing shampoo and conditioner designed for your hair type to nourish and help retain moisture.

Gentle Cleansing: Preserve Your Natural Oils

Keeping your hair clean is vital, but harsh shampoos can strip away the natural oils. Instead of using sulfate-laden shampoos, opt for gentler cleansing methods. Co-washing involves using conditioner as a cleanser, massaging it onto your scalp to remove dirt and buildup while retaining essential oils.

Alternatively, try a sulfate-free shampoo designed for curly hair, focusing on gentle scalp massaging. After cleansing, follow up with a hydrating conditioner to replenish moisture, detangle, and manage your curls. Remember to rinse thoroughly to avoid product buildup.

Techniques for Reducing Frizz

To reduce frizz, apply a nourishing hair oil to smooth and enhance the natural texture. Apply products like leave-in conditioners or creams when your hair is wet, promoting curl clumping and reducing frizz.

Breakage Prevention: Keeping Your Curls Strong

  1. Avoid excessive heat styling: Embrace your natural texture and limit hot tools.
  2. Use wide-toothed combs or fingers: Brushes with closely spaced bristles can lead to breakage.
  3. Protective hairstyles: Consider styles like braids or buns that reduce friction.

Preventing breakage is crucial for thick, curly hair, due to its unique twists and turns. These tips help maintain overall hair health and minimize breakage.

Proper Drying and Styling Methods

When drying and styling your wavy or curly hair, avoid heat tools, as they can dry out your hair further. Look for alcohol-free styling products like curl-enhancing creams or gels to define and reduce frizz. Diffusers can be a great tool for drying and styling, distributing hot air evenly without disrupting natural texture.

Best Practices for Managing Wavy and Curly Hair

Having a regular grooming routine is essential for managing wavy and curly hair. Each individual’s hair is unique, so it’s important to tailor your routine according to your specific needs. Here are some best practices to consider:

Wavy and Curly Hair Men comparison
Wavy and Curly Hair Men comparison

Embrace a Regular Grooming Routine Tailored to Your Specific Needs

  1. Know Your Hair Type: Understanding your hair type is the first step. Wavy hair has loose curls forming an “S” shape, while curly hair has tighter coils ranging from spiral-shaped ringlets to corkscrew-like curls.
  2. Use the Right Products: Shampoos and conditioners for wavy or curly hair often contain ingredients that moisturize and reduce frizz.
  3. Avoid Overwashing: Washing too often can lead to dryness and increased frizz. Aim to wash every two to three days.
  4. Condition Regularly: Conditioner nourishes and hydrates, making hair more manageable. Apply from mid-lengths to ends.
  5. Detangle with Care: Use a wide-toothed comb or fingers for detangling wet hair, starting from the ends up. This minimizes damage.
  6. Style When Wet: Styling when wet defines natural patterns. Apply a curl-enhancing product evenly through damp hair, scrunching upwards.
  7. Air Dry or Diffuse: Avoid excessive heat styling. Air dry or use a diffuser attachment on low heat and airflow settings.

Protect Your Waves or Curls

To keep wavy or curly hair looking its best, safeguard it from heat and harsh chemicals.

  • Limit Heat Styling: Minimize the use of heat tools to embrace natural hairstyles.
  • Apply Heat Protectant: Use a protectant spray when using heat tools to reduce damage risk.
  • Avoid Harsh Chemicals: Some hair products contain sulfates and alcohol that can cause dryness and frizz.

Tips for Styling Wavy and Curly Hair

Embracing Your Natural Texture

Embrace your natural hair texture to reduce styling time and minimize heat damage. Work with your waves or curls rather than against them. Embrace who you are and let your natural hair shine! Find products and techniques that suit your specific needs.

Experimenting with Different Hairstyles

Experiment with different hairstyles to find what complements your natural texture. For tight curls, try fades, sculpted edges, and decorative lines. If you have wavy hair, an undercut is trendy, with short sides and longer hair on top. Experimentation helps find the style that makes you feel confident.

Consulting with a Professional Stylist

If unsure about proper care and styling, consult a professional stylist. They can provide personalized advice based on your specific hair type, manage frizz, maintain health, and suggest suitable products. Reach out to a stylist specializing in curly hair; they can offer valuable insights. Discount codes are available for consultations with curly hair consultants, making professional advice more accessible.

Famous Men with Wavy and Curly Hair

Some famous men with wavy and curly hair include Adrian Grenier, Tom Hanks, and Kit Harington.

Adrian Grenier

adrian grenier curly hair
Adrian Grenier curly hair

Adrian Grenier is an actor known for his thick and naturally curly hair. His hair falls into Type II curls, which means it’s not tight enough to form coils but also not loose waves either.

Adrian embraces his natural texture and often styles his locks in a way that accentuates their natural curliness. With his signature curly hairstyle, he has become a style icon for men with wavy or curly hair.

So, if you’re looking for inspiration on how to rock your own curls, take notes from Adrian Grenier’s confident and effortlessly cool look!

Tom Hanks

tom hanks curly hair
Tom Hanks curly hair

Tom Hanks is a well-known actor who has wavy hair falling into the Type 2 category. You might remember his wavy mullet hairstyle in the “Da Vinci Code” series, which gained a lot of attention.

Tom Hanks is considered to have a more relaxed type of curl, and he achieves a stylish look by using a little mousse to hold his hair shape and combing it back. Throughout his career, Tom Hanks’ curly hairstyles have evolved and showcased different looks.

So, if you have wavy hair like him, take inspiration from his styles and use some products to achieve that effortless yet fashionable appearance.

Kit Harington

Kit Harington Best Celebrity Hair
Kit Harington Celebrity Curly Hair

Kit Harington, known for his wavy and curly hair, has become a hairstyle icon for many men. His natural curls have inspired a rise in the popularity of perms among men. Interestingly, Harington himself didn’t know he had curly hair until he grew it out for his role as Jon Snow on “Game of Thrones.” What makes his hair even more impressive is that it doesn’t require much styling; it’s naturally curly and low-maintenance.

So if you’re looking to embrace your own waves or curls like Kit Harington, you can take inspiration from his effortless style.

Choosing the Right Hairstyle for You

When it comes to wavy vs curly hair men, knowing the difference is key. You’ve got to choose the right hairstyle that fits you best. Whether you’re a wavy dude or a curly guy, embrace what you have. Try different styles, ask a professional hairstylist for help, and rock your look with confidence. Remember, your hair is part of who you are, so own it and wear it proudly!

Hey, why not take a moment to check out some cool hairstyles online or stop by your local barbershop? You might find something that really suits your wavy or curly hair. Go ahead and have some fun with it because when it comes to wavy vs curly hair men, you’re the expert!


Can I straighten my wavy or curly hair?

Wavy or curly hair can be straightened using a flat iron, hair-straightening brush, or chemical straightening treatments. Utilizing heat protectants and proper techniques minimizes potential damage. Professional consultation is advised for chemical methods to ensure compatibility with the hair’s texture and condition.

How can I enhance my natural waves or curls?

Enhance natural waves or curls by using curl-enhancing shampoos, conditioners, and styling products. Techniques like scrunching, using a diffuser attachment on a hairdryer, or employing a specific drying method such as “plopping” can further define and support the hair’s natural texture. Proper hydration and care also contribute to curl vitality.

How often should I wash my wavy or curly hair?

The frequency of washing depends on factors like scalp condition and lifestyle. Generally, wash every 2-3 days to maintain natural oils. Care for wavy or curly hair with mild shampoo and conditioner designed for your type, and avoid brushing dry curls to prevent frizz. Regularly moisturize with leave-in conditioners or oils to keep hair hydrated.

Should I brush my wavy or curly hair?

Brushing wavy or curly hair is typically done when wet to minimize frizz. Using a wide-tooth comb or specialized brush designed for curls can prevent breakage and maintain the hair’s natural shape. Finger-combing is also a gentle alternative.

Can I get a short haircut if I have wavy or curly hair?

Short haircuts are suitable for wavy or curly hair. Consulting with a stylist experienced with these hair types ensures a flattering result. The right cut can enhance natural texture, while consideration of factors like face shape and curl pattern leads to a harmonious appearance.

What is the difference between wavy and curly hair for men?

Wavy hair for men forms loose, S-shaped waves, while curly hair creates distinct ringlets or spirals. The difference lies in the curl pattern’s tightness and shape. Wavy hair tends to be more relaxed, whereas curly hair is more defined, often requiring specific care and styling products.

How can I determine if I have wavy or curly hair?

Determine if you have wavy or curly hair by examining the hair’s natural pattern after washing and air-drying. Wavy hair typically forms loose S-shaped waves, while curly hair creates distinct ringlets or spirals. Hair type can vary across the scalp, so inspect multiple sections for an accurate assessment.

Can I change my naturally wavy or curly hairstyle into another style temporarily?

Naturally wavy or curly hair can be temporarily changed into another style using tools like flat irons, curling wands, or hair rollers. Utilizing heat protectants and specific styling products can aid in achieving the desired look without causing long-term damage to the hair’s natural texture.

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I'm the founder of Bald & Beards, an amateur barber and I've been obsessed with men's grooming, styles, and trends for over 20 years.