How To Refresh Wavy Hair In Just 10 Minutes (And Keep It Stunning For DAYS!)

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Having wavy hair is both a blessing and a curse. On good hair days, those tousled waves look effortlessly beachy and chic. But on others, they can look flat, frizzy, and totally uncooperative. As someone who has dealt with the wavies my whole life, I’ve picked up quite a few tricks over the years for how to refresh wavy hair when it starts to lose it’s oomph.

These are the tips and techniques I swear by for breathing new life into wavy hair between wash days. I find that using the right combination of products and styling methods helps stretch the time between shampoos while keeping my waves fresh and defined. Let’s get into it.

Getting Started: Dry or Damp?

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As any wavy-haired girl knows, maintaining those tousled beachy waves isn’t always easy. One day your locks look effortlessly chic, the next they’re a frizzy mess. The key is having an arsenal of tips and tricks for refreshing wavy hair between wash days

Whether your hair is completely dry or just needs a little morning moisture reset after sleeping, there are different starting points for prepping your hair to get fresh, bouncy waves without going through the whole wash and restyle routine.

For Dry, Day(s)-Old Waves:

Sometimes wavy hair just needs a little zhuzh to revive the pattern and pump some life back into limp or fallen waves. When working with totally dry hair, I’ll start by liberally misting my waves all over with a revitalizing conditioning spray or moisture mist like Redken One United Leave In Conditioner Spray or Verb Leave-In Mist. Then I scrunch it with my hands to get the wave pattern back a bit.

But sometimes, I just use plain water mixed with a bit of leave-in conditioner – a natural way to rehydrate waves between washes without weighing them down.

This gives the hair enough dampness to reactivate the natural texture and any leftover styler. Then, I go in with my tried-and-true refresh methods to restyle and piece out the renewed waves.

🪮Note: If it needs some combing before adding the mist, I use a wide tooth comb! This help so much to limit adding frizz!

DON’T FORGET Dry Shampoo

One of the biggest challenges with refreshing dry, day-old wavy hair is dealing with oily, limp roots. Before attempting to revive the wave pattern, remember to hit your roots with dry shampoo if you need it.

Dry shampoo is a godsend for absorbing excess oil and adding refreshed grip at the roots between washes. I like to section my hair and apply the Living Proof Perfect Hair Day Dry Shampoo directly to my scalp, using the nozzle to really concentrate the powder where it’s needed most at the roots.

For Slightly Damp/Slept-On Waves

If your waves are still slightly damp from sleeping on wet hair, the first step is working in a curl or wave cream to help redefine and reactivate that natural texture. My go-to is the Ouidad Anti-Frizz Cream, which I emulsify between my palms and then glide through and scrunch through my damp waves from roots to ends.

Once I’ve got that styler distributed and my wave pattern reformed, I’ll give my roots a light, all-over misting with a water/leave-in conditioning spray. Then I lightly shake out and scrunch the waves again (upside down) with my hands to reactivate their pattern and natural texture.

Your hair should now have just enough dampness combined with the right curl cream to follow the refresh steps below for frizz-free, defined waves.

Adding that wave cream on damp hair first is key for resetting the texture before attempting to refresh and restyle. The cream gives the water something to reactivate and bind to so your waves look smooth and springy, not frizzy and undefined.

Complete The Refresh Using The Right Heat Techniques

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After you’ve gotten your waves refreshed and prepped, sometimes your good to go and sometimes wavy hair needs a little extra oomph to revive limp or fallen waves.

While you definitely want to avoid excess heat styling, a little warm air or quick iron touch-up can do wonders for setting your refreshed waves when used correctly.

The Diffuser Method

I rely on the diffuser attachment of my Dyson Supersonic hair dryer for an overall wave refresh. With the heat on a low to medium setting along with a low speed air flow, I can gently reset and reform sections of my waves just by cupping and scrunching them with my hands while directing the warm (but not scorching hot!) air.

The key is using a diffused air stream to reshape the waves without disturbing or blowing out the pattern. The low, diffused air and quick, light passes allow me to revive second-day waves and add piece-y definition without trashing my hair’s texture

💇‍♀️I also found this Dyson Dupe that’s only $39 — check it out!

The Wave Iron Touch-Up

For pieces that are especially limp or need more definition, I’ll go in with a wave iron like the Bed Head Hair Waver. Taking small sections at a time, I’ll lightly clamp the iron just at the wave pattern and give a partial pull through without clamping all the way to the ends. This kick of heat helps redefine and bump up stubborn waves while leaving lengths and ends natural and piece-y.

Using a Regular Curling Iron

Sometimes, no matter how many tricks I try or products I use, my waves just need a little more help. That’s where my 1 1/4 inch curling iron comes in. Here’s exactly how I use it to bring life back to my waves:

  1. Choose the Right Heat: I always make sure to set my curling iron to a medium heat setting. High heat might work faster, but it’s way harsher on my hair —something I definitely want to avoid.
  2. Focus on Limp Areas: I don’t curl every single strand. Instead, I focus on areas where my waves are most limp or have lost their bounce. This helps maintain a natural look without over-styling.
  3. Finger Comb: Once I’ve touched up my waves, I let them cool for a minute and then gently run my fingers through to break up the curls. This helps blend the newly curled pieces with the rest of my waves, making everything look seamless and natural.

More Advice For Wavy Hair

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How long can you expect refreshed waves to last?

With the right product cocktailing and styling techniques, you can usually revive and refresh wavy hair for 1-2 days after following these steps before needing another refresh between washes. A lot depends on your hair’s thickness, density, and how oily it gets between washes…

Can you refresh wavy hair by just wetting it?

While a light misting can help reactivate waves on dry hair, I’ve found fully re-wetting hair causes the wave pattern to become amorphous and undefined again. If you do need to fully rewet hair for a refresh, make sure to pair it with plenty of stylers, creams and scrunching to re-encourage your natural wave pattern to take shape. Simply re-wetting alone will likely lead to stringy, formless waves.

How often should you actually wash wavy hair?

There’s no one-size-fits-all answer, as how often to wash wavy hair depends on your individual hair type and how quickly it gets oily or weighed down. However, I try to go around 3 days between washes while using refresh techniques in between. Pay attention to when waves lose definition and roots look greasy – that’s usually the signal it’s time for a reset shampoo.

Final Word

how to refresh wavy hair

Whether your waves are feeling weighed down, dehydrated, limp or just blah, having an arsenal of refresh techniques is a must. With the right rebooting methods using moisture, grip products, and gentle heat, you can maximize your wavy pattern while extending time between wash days. I hope these tips and tricks for how to refresh wavy hair have helped you — they definitely help me embrace my natural texture on the regular rather than going for the straightener.


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