Is Wavy Hair Considered Curly? Or Are They The Same?

Categorized as Hair Care

Last Updated on March 27, 2022 by Rei

A lot of people think that “wavy hair” and “curly hair” are the same but did you know that they have a very different characteristics. The main difference between the two is from the follicles. Curly hairs have oval-shaped follicles that give them a ringlet or corkscrew shape when they grow. While wavy hair has disk-shaped follicles, this gives them an “S” shape when fully grown.

Another misconception people have between the two is that they think wavy hair is a completely different hair type, but wavy hair is actually a type of curly hair.

In short, wavy hair is technically a type of curly hair, but the look, texture, thickness, and tightness of the curl are completely different.

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What is the difference between curly and wavy hair?

Is Wavy Hair Considered Curly
Is Wavy Hair Considered Curly

Before we can tell the difference between the two first we must understand the types of hair. .

We have four types of hair according to Andre walker.

Type 1 is usually called straight hair or absence of curl. This type of hair can be fine, fragile, thick, or coarse, but they will still be resistant to curl. This type of hair is the most resistant of all hair types, they are hard to damage, and the most difficult to curl.

Type 2 is called wavy hair, this hair type is the hair type between straight hair and curly hair. Wavy hair is more likely than straight hair to become frizzy. 

Type 3 is called curly hair; they follow an “S” shape pattern. These hair types are difficult to manage because they are highly climate-dependent. Curly hair tends to get frizzy when the climate is humid. They are also the most damage-prone of all hair types. This hair type needs proper care to get those defined curls.

Type 4 is called kinky hair; they are the densest of all hair types. While this type of hair can be mistaken as strong because of being coarse, they are actually the most fragile of all the hair curl types. They can have many patterns or no patterns at all. Some have an “S” pattern, while some have a zigzag pattern. These hair types also need a lot of maintenance because they require constant protection and hydration.

How can I turn my curly hair into wavy hair?

While not a permanent solution, to turn your curly hair into wavy you can do that with this steps:

Start by washing your hair and using a lot of conditioners or leave-in conditioner. This should be used to the ends of the hair to help get rid of tangles. Then use a comb to get rid of any tangles, use a wide-tooth comb for this.

Braid them with french braids or twist and put a satin bonnet on your head and let it dry overnight. To reduce frizz, make sure that you moisturize a lot.

Warning – We don’t recommend doing this because curly hair is easily damaged.

Should I brush my wavy/curly hair?

Whatever the type of hair you have, you should always brush your hair when wet. This is especially true for wavy hair and curly hair because they are easily damaged.

You also have to be very careful about what type of brush you use when combing your hair, especially curly/kinky hair. You should avoid brushes with stiff bristles. We recommend that you use a wide-tooth comb while your hair is damp. You can also use this while your hair is dry, but that depends on how curly your hair is.


Wavy hair is a type of curly hair. Wavy hair follows an “S” shape pattern while curly hair follows a zigzag pattern. Both hair types are easily damaged and should always be protected and well hydrated to avoid frizz. This is especially true for curly and kink hair as they are the most easily damaged. Whatever your hair type is whether curly or wavy, you should always comb when your hair is wet. This would lessen the damage caused by your comb snagging your hair.

By Rei Garnet

I've been a hairstylist and worked for salons for over 8 years and I want to share my passion and knowledge with a wider audience. My goal is to give everyone the best hair they could possibly have.