Skip to main content

How to Make Waves: A Guide to Turn Nappy Hair Into 360-Degree Waves

yours truly

yours truly

How to Get 360-Degree Waves With Coarse Hair

I began my aquatic adventure more than a decade ago when I was introduced to my first du-rag. When creating 360-degree waves, think about “training." As with any training, consistency is imperative and form is indicative of your success. Keep in mind that practice makes perfect. Please do not be discouraged by slow results initially; the final product will be worth your effort.

First of all, let me say that women love a man with nice hair. The gentler sex has and always will be man’s primary motivation. Your hard work has paid off when you get your first compliment, yearning look, or caress from a lady. Guys will also appreciate your wavy cranium; they will look upon your scalp with awe and envy. With no further ado, we proceed.

Here is what you will need:

  • Water
  • Shampoo and conditioner
  • Hairbrush
  • Wave grease
  • Du-rag

These items should be attainable readily at your local hair supply store or online.


I mention water first because besides it being a generally abundant resource, it is important in the wave growing process for a couple of reasons.

  1. The first thing you should do with your water is to pour yourself a glass and drink it. Hydration is key, and the glass is half full to an optimist such as yourself. Drinking plenty of water will keep your waves healthy and hydrated from the inside out. Water is also an important external catalyst for excessive wave growth. You will need water to wash your hair, and water will soften your hair and keep it receptive to your training
  2. Washing your hair is fun and hardly time-consuming. Lather the shampoo of your choice on your hair, rinse and repeat.
  3. Next, follow this step with a fragrant conditioner, so your waves will not only look but smell nice. Shampoo and conditioner will clean and revitalize your waves as well as strengthen your hair and hair roots.
  4. You may use a leave-in conditioner also for faster results.
  5. The best time to train your waves is shortly after washing them. You may also use apply a moist, hot towel to your hair, to soften your hair before styling.

Choose Your Brush

Now for the fun part; wave training. Everyone’s hair texture varies, from very coarse to silky even liken unto lamb’s wool. Here are some tips on brushing.

  • Purchase a brush that caters to your particular texture of hair.
  • A hard bristle brush may be necessary for beginners and for coarser varieties of hair. A hard brush will show your waves who’s boss, even if you can’t see them yet.
  • Be careful not to brush too hard or risk injury to your hair and scalp.
  • If you are new to brushing your head may be tender at first, so ease into it, champ.
  • If your hair is soft naturally, then a soft-bristled brush should do. I use a medium bristled board hairbrush to train and maintain my 360-degree waves.

Your technique will put you ‘ahead’ of the game, no pun intended.

  1. Find your waves’ “point of origin” which is usually located to the left or right of the very center of your dome and less commonly directly in the center. Use a mirror or two to locate your POI if you’re having trouble otherwise.
  2. Now that you’ve found your “point of origin” or “cowlick”, brush from that central location to the edges of your hairline. Your waves should radiate for this spot to every corner of your head; to your forehead, sideburns and the nape of your neck.
  3. Remember to brush with the grain of your hair. Brushing against the grain will achieve less than perfect wave patterns which may be difficult yet possible to correct later.

Shorter lengths of hair may be easier to train, but longer hair creates deeper 360° waves. Find a barber that appreciates the intricacies of your waves and get regular haircuts in order to capitalize on your efforts.

Grease and Du-Rags

Wave greases come in stiffer and more relaxed varieties, so choose wisely.

  1. While your hair is still slightly damp, apply a quarter-sized dollop of wave pomade evenly across your entire head.
  2. Use your brush to train and style your waves once the pomade is applied. I suggest at least 20 brush strokes in every direction.
  3. Finally, tie your du-rag over your head.

A du-rag or a wave cap is crucial for formulating an impressive wave pattern. A du-rag is a breathable nylon cap that is tied over the scalp to contain moisture and set your waves into 360-degree motion. Tying it too tightly may result in loss of circulation to your scalp, headaches and the dreaded du-rag line on your forehead. For optimal results sleep with your du-rag on, eat with your du-rag on, work, play and pray with your du-rag on, you get the idea.

Enjoy Your Waves!

Now it’s time to enjoy the fruits of your labor. Remove your du-rag and show the world your 360° waves. The process may seem tedious and time-consuming on paper but is actually quick and easy once you get the hang of it. Never give up my nappy-headed friend, it will be worth it in the long run.

“In the land of the nappy, wavy-haired man is king.”

— Paschal IV

Other Tips

I am revisiting this article currently to add a technique to the wave grooming processes which I overlooked previously which will be beneficial to developing deeper wave patterns. Simply grow your hair past your general depth even to the extreme of a mini-fro, continue to train your 360 waves (you may have to look rough for a while) until your curls open into a deeper wave pattern. I recommend a medium- hard bristle brush to make more stubborn hair lay dine.

Additional benefits of training your waves are that the brushing of your hair and scalp delays the onset of male pattern baldness by causing blood flow to your dome so you may enjoy your 360 waves after your prime! Brushing your hair may alleviate migraines, reducing stress-causing hormones and stimulating pleasure-causing ones. Brushing your hair brings couples closer together. Have your significant other brush your hair for ten minutes a day and tell me how you feel. Peace and hair grease.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2012 Innuentendre


Thattboiichris on August 12, 2019:

How do I get waves if my hair is extremely course?

360 jezzy on December 15, 2018:

How do you get waves

Ndumiso on July 05, 2017:

It such a nice looking wavy hair...ii did create my own wave into my short hair some people are asking how did ii made it

david phiri on April 21, 2017:

I don't get waves way but i'm using soap

Ann810 from Sunny Cali on August 02, 2016:

Cool article, a short hair cut/360 hair waves is the most attractive hair style on men of color. 360 waves are masculine and clean looking.

caswell on June 12, 2016:

it did not work what shuid i do agian

Jade on April 28, 2016:

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this article. Not only was it informative but funny as well. Continue on lad.

khalilbrooks135 on April 25, 2016:

how many days do it you to have waves

Innuentendre (author) from Houston, Texas on February 08, 2015:

my pleasure samba!

samba on February 06, 2015:

thank youuu

Innuentendre (author) from Houston, Texas on February 11, 2013:

Thanks Kenyahill4444!

Kenya Hill from Kingsland, Ga on February 01, 2013:

Your hub is very informative..