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How to Get 360 Waves at Home

Drake waves haircut
Gregg DeGuire/FilmMagic

Like all great things in life, styling the perfect waves takes patience. A go-to ‘do among A-listers like Drake, Asap Ferg, and Michael B. Jordan, 360 waves, or simply, “waves,” has been an enduringly popular hairstyle in the African-American community for decades. They get their name from the wavy patterns that spiral out from the cowlick, and have been an excellent way for Black men to style their natural hair texture. If you’ve got short, curly hair from the root, then a 360 wave could be right for you.

Though you can achieve this look in a day, waves require plenty of maintenance. Luckily, we’ve streamlined this tedious process with a step-by-step guide so you’ll have your styling game on point, and develop your own routine that’s specific to your hair’s needs. Most importantly, stay patient, trust the process, and pay attention to how your hair responds to the regimen.

Get a Haircut

As you enter this new hair journey, it is best to go to the barbershop and get a fresh trim (or, if you’re socially distancing, do a simple at-home DIY cut). Don’t worry; you don’t have to go bald or even cut a lot off. You’ll just want to have it cut down to a level one, so you’ll have more flexible follicles that will be easier to mold into the wave pattern.

Wash, Wash, Wash

After completing your haircut, you’ll want to wash your hair with your favorite sulfate-free shampoo. After you’ve finished, rinse and shampoo again. The second time, make sure the shampoo lathers up, creating enough foam for you to mold the hair.

Start Brushing

Image used with permission by copyright holder

This process is the most tedious part, but sets the stage for how prosperous your waves will be. With the shampoo still in your hair, you’ll want to brush your hair with a hard brush until it lays down, which will require numerous brush strokes over the same sections of your hair. Don’t be afraid to add extra shampoo if your hair starts to feel dry. When brushing around your cowlick, you’ll want to be careful not to create a line as it will completely mess up your wave pattern.

Time to Moisturize

Vigorously brushing your hair will cause some dryness. That’s why after you’ve gotten your hair to lay down entirely, you’ll want to use conditioner to hydrate. Then you’ll want to put on a durag or wave cap — which locks in moisturize —  and wash the shampoo and conditioner out of your hair. It will probably feel weird having something on your head while washing your hair, but don’t take it off: trust the process. After all the products are rinsed out of your hair, you’ll want to let it air dry.

Time to Style

Last but not least, once your hair is completely dry, you’ll want to style it. Apply any pomade or style gel you like to your hair and go over it with a hard brush. And just like that, you’ll have waves everyone will be envious of.

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James Love
Former Digital Trends Contributor
James Love II is a stylist and writer based in New York City. Most recently, he was the Fashion Market Editor at Essence…
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