Photo: BananaStock/BananaStock/Getty Images
Getting luxurious waves of tresses without adding styling product gunk to your locks seems like quite the conundrum, but even the most stick-straight hair can be transformed into a wavy halo without adding product. Straight hair may need heat to help waves stick without sticky styling products, whereas ladies with naturally wavy tresses can get by with air-drying and finger-scrunching to achieve a wavy look, without styling product buildup.
Wash and condition your hair, then blot it gently to towel dry. Be careful not to rub and scrub your delicate tresses, since this can cause hair breakage and frizz. Waves are hot; frizz is not.
Braid your hair so that it can dry overnight if you've got the time. Section your hair into 2-inch sections and braid from root to tip, securing with a hair band at the end. Sleep in your braids so that they can air dry overnight, and when you remove the braids in the morning, you will have natural waves, product-free. If your hair is naturally more textured, the wave will be more pronounced and long-lasting.
Create pin curls or use rollers for wave creation. Wrap a 2- to 3-inch section of hair around your finger until your finger touches your scalp, then insert a hair pin into the rolled hair to hold it. If pin curling seems intimidating, use large-barrel rollers to create big wavy volume. Allow hair in curlers or pins to air dry overnight, or speed up the process using a blow-dryer.
Blow-dry damp hair using a diffuser if you've got naturally wavy hair. A diffuser slows down the flow of air from the dryer so that you can maintain texture in your hair while the heat from the dryer sets the texture. While drying, concentrate on small sections and use your fingers to crumple or scrunch your hair to add waves. Ladies with straight locks likely won't get the waves they crave using a diffuser, since hair needs some natural texture to hold a wave this way.
Create glorious waves on straight locks using a curling iron. A large curling iron and small sections of hair will create layers of waves. Wrap dry hair around the iron and close the iron for a short moment before releasing. If you keep the heat on your hair for too long, you'll end up with curls rather than waves. Use your fingertips to tousle your newly wavy tresses for a natural appearance.
Be aware that if you don't use a styling product, wavy styles may not have a lot of staying power, particularly for women with straight locks.