Through the years, many hairstyles have fallen in and out of fashion, including stick-straight hair, teased curls, and more. But an enduring trend that seems to come back again and again is waves. Waves are a simple style to achieve, and for some, they're entirely natural. You can see them in paintings from past centuries, to the styles of the 1930s, 40s, and 50s. Wavy Hairstyles have come back into popularity in recent years, and there are many ways you can make waves in your hair.
You could leave your hair up in a bun overnight and wake up ready to do any of the wavy hairstyles on this list. From wind-tousled waves to beachy locks, wavy hairstyles are very versatile. You can dress waves up or leave them down. Adding accessories can make a wavy hairstyle more upscale, while leaving it simple can add to its natural beauty.
Because of this versatility, waves can be made just as elegant as any other hairstyle. To help you in choosing a wavy hairstyle, we've compiled our top elegant wavy hairstyle picks here.
Why Wavy Hairstyles?
Wavy hairstyles are simple, easy, and beautiful. You can achieve elegance without spending too much time, money, or effort on them. The simplicity is a time-saver, and they're still as lovely, if not more lovely, than straightened or curled hair.
Wavy hairstyles can also be very professional while saving you time, as you can use the same hairstyle for work and for play later in the day. They can be fun to create and even more fun to wear! Wavy hairstyles are great for saving time and effort doing your hair just to look elegant. Why do that when you can look elegant with these simple wavy hairstyles?
How Do You Get Wavy Hairstyles?
The best way to start a wavy hairstyle is to first create the waves themselves. As mentioned before, a great way to get waves is to leave your hair in a bun overnight. An alternative to this is to use a curling iron or a flat iron. Both can be used to create slight curls in the hair, however a flat iron is more complicated to use for this purpose.
For tips on how to create beautiful waves, YouTube is your best friend! There are tons of videos on how to make waves in your hair, both using natural methods and using appliances like those already mentioned. We recommend using rags, socks, or store bought methods of making natural waves overnight, but we're sure that there are other methods you could find online.
As for heat, you could use a curling iron or a flat iron. While curling irons are easier, it's also easier to burn your hair with them. There are many online tutorials for learning to make waves using a flat iron.
After you get the waves, the next step is to choose a wavy hairstyle to use. Check out our list of the best wavy hairstyles below.
How We Reviewed
We reviewed these hairstyles based on what is currently trending.
What We Reviewed
- Wispy bangs
- Messy loose waves
- Sweeping bangs
- Wavy side braid with soft bangs
- Surfer girl waves
- Middle-parted waves with curly ends
- Layered medium waves
- Middle-parted layered waves
- Retro waves
- Side-braided loose waves with layers
Light, airy bangs over beautiful waves is a wonderful, elegant look for almost any occasion. These bangs are perfect for a youthful, free look and, paired with the waves, would be a great mix of playful and professional. Wispy bangs can be paired with a variety of hair accessories and other types of waves to dress them up, or left alone for a simpler look.
Depending on what you prefer, the length of the bangs could vary. For a more playful look, you might choose fairly short bangs, while for a more professional look, you might go for longer bangs. The same could go for hair length. However the bangs are cut, you will find yourself with a beautiful look that's runway worthy.
Messy Loose Waves
While the word messy may bring to your mind anything but elegance, with the right length and set of waves, a messy waves look could be exactly that: elegant. This style can look as elegant as Retro waves, or as natural as Surfer girl waves, depending on how they're styled.
Messy waves are just the right way to go for a carefree but still elegant look, particularly for a more bohemian chic version of elegant. These are also fairly easy to create, and are a simple elegant that makes them good for work, as well.
Sweeping bangs are a classic look, with well-known celebrities such as Reese Witherspoon and Carrie Underwood rocking them. These banging bangs paired with a lovely layer of waves is the picture of professionalism.
These long bangs shoved to the side are a great match for free and fun-looking waves, as they complement each other in a way that's similar to waves and wispy bangs, only in reverse. In this situation, waves are the fun, while the bangs are the professional.
Wavy Side Braid with Soft Bangs
A messy, wavy side braid with bangs is the perfect pairing for an elegant look that also keeps your hair out of your face. The bangs frame your face, saving you from looking too severe like possible when your hair is pulled back as it would be in a braid. This creates a sort of soft, innocent look that comes across as sweet. So, this keeps your hair out of your face at work and can be worn as an elegant hairstyle for other occasions.
This look can be dressed up with a headband or a set of hair pins or can be left simple. Either way, it's an elegant, sweet look. To soften the look even more, you could leave small wisps of hair loose around the sides of the face, achieving more of a framing effect.
Surfer Girl Waves
An effortless, summery look that says "I woke up like this, but I'm still fabulous", this look is great for a more casual elegance. It is also very easy to do, making it a great look for a busy day that you still want to look good for.
This has been a relatively popular look in recent years and for good reason. It's pretty, simple, easy, and (for some women, anyway), entirely natural. This is a great look for any time you would like to look both natural and elegant at the same time. This is actually one of the most natural looks on this list, while still looking wonderfully elegant.
Middle-Parted Waves with Curly Ends
With stars like Beyonce Knowles wearing these waves, it's no wonder why they're popular. But, they're not just popular for who's wearing them. They're also just drop-dead gorgeous. They give off an air of professionalism that has many women in positions of power wearing them. This is a great look for the career woman who likes to go out after work for a cocktail. They're both fun and powerful, making them a great style to command respect and look great at the same time.
These waves look great on their own, but can be paired with hair accessories to dress them up. Try something new! You could pair these waves with some swept bangs or stick them in a high ponytail. Any way you style them, these will look great.
Layered Medium Waves
Usually a little harshly cut, these waves scream August on the boardwalk. We could just see you walking on the beach with an ice cream cone and a pair of sunglasses on with this cut. It's fun and warm and absolutely beautiful.
This cut isn't only great for summer though. It's perfect for almost any occasion. These waves can take you from the boardwalk to the boardroom because they're so versatile. These can be paired with a sweet set of wispy bangs for a playful but powerful look, or left alone for a simply fun hairstyle. The layers in this style are usually bluntly cut, as we said before, making it seem careless and fun. Like middle-parted layered waves, layered medium waves can come across as powerful, too. It's all in how you wear them.
Middle-Parted Layered Waves
These waves are almost as natural as the surfer girl waves, with the power of the middle-parted waves with curly ends. But, these waves seem to be pure modern Hollywood. You could go straight from work to the red carpet with this look.
These waves are simple and fairly easy to create. It shouldn't take much time to create this wonderful look. They can be paired with almost any hair accessory and would go well with nearly any set of bangs as well. Depending on how you style these, they will come across just as elegantly powerful as the middle-parted waves with curly ends.
A star-studded style, these waves have been worn by many celebrities. This hairstyle is a classic. So much so that almost everyone from Marilyn Monroe to Megan Fox have sported these babies. They radiate class and make any look instantly more perfect. These waves are runway ready and Old Hollywood to the core.
These would be even more perfect paired with a set of side-swept bangs or a sparkly hairpin, but they can be just as beautiful on their own. Some of their beauty lies in the simplicity.
These waves are a bit more difficult to actually create, but always remember that there are plenty of online tutorials to help you in creating the perfect look.
Side-Braided Loose Waves with Layers
Keeping your hair out of the way at work while looking elegant is apparently possible with this look. This is also a great way to braid bangs so they are out of the way of your face while still looking nice.
Speaking of bangs, you could pair a set of swept or wisp bangs with this style, or leave it on its own. They would both look amazing. This hairstyle is really functional and cute, giving off a powerful vibe similar to that of the middle-parted waves with curly ends, while still being very elegant. It's an interesting mix of function and fashion. This hairstyle can be worn with a great off-the-shoulder dress as well.
Wavy hairstyles are simple, easy, and can be very elegant. You can have very natural styles like the surfer girl waves, or you can have more classic styles, like the retro waves (we love the retro waves!). The style you choose is up to you. You could choose a style that conveys more power, like the middle-parted waves with curly ends, or you could choose a style that's more sweet, like the wavy side braid with soft bangs. Every outfit and person is different, so their choice of hairstyle will be different too.
For some, less complicated wavy hairstyles such as the surfer girl waves would be best. These would likely be easiest for those who are less experienced in styling waves. Retro waves are more complicated to create and likely are easier for those who have done them before. Practice makes perfect, even in the case of wavy hairstyles.
Many of these looks are described as "summery", however they are great for any time of year. What's a better way to beat the winter blues (or spring or fall) than by adding a bit of summer flair to it?
Wavy hairstyles are a great choice for saving time while being stylish. You can change up how you wear each style too. Pair a set of bangs with a style of waves, or change the style of the waves to be a bun. Any way you wear them, have the style express who you are. And don't forget to experiment with hair accessories. How your waves look is all in how you style them. Do you want your cut to come across as powerful, sweet, or beachy? It's up to you.
Create your own way of doing things and wear your own styles. Who knows, maybe the next big style of waves will come from you?