how to get 180 waves

How To Get 180 Waves In 5 Easy Steps

Learn how to get 180 waves with coarse hair even without a durag easily. This article will tell you all you need to know about the 180 waves hairstyle for men!

Waves or 180 waves are increasingly popular as a hairstyle for black men. And here’s how to get 180 waves in just a few easy steps.  

These hairstyles can be traced back to the ancient Egyptians. They look stylish and neat and are a common style for black men with short hair.

Related: Best Durag For Waves

Related: Best Caps For Waves

Related: Best Oil For Waves

What are waves

Waves are a type of hairstyle for black men that involve laying down hair in a way that causes “waves” in a circular or semicircular pattern.

This style can be achieved quite easily by brushing your hair in the right direction. This creates ripples in your hair, leaving it looking like waves.

There are different types of waves hairstyles. If you keep the waves limited to the top portion of your head, they are called 180 waves. 

But waves that circle your whole head are called 360 degree waves. There are even 720 waves that are formed vertically in your hair. 

How to get 180 Waves 

The routine you need to follow to get 180 waves is the same more or less. But it might take some men a little more time to get those perfect waves.

This is because some hair textures are coarser than others. If your locks are not moisturized enough, then this also stops your wave pattern from developing.

Shampoo and Conditioner Hair (Using the Right Products)

Any kind of hairstyle, including those 180 waves are not going to help if your hair isn’t healthy enough.

So before you get started, make sure your locks are in good shape. Pay special attention to your scalp as well.

You can use a shampoo specially formulated for African American hair. One that contains several moisturizing ingredients and is sulfate free.

If you want your 180 waves to come out looking good, I suggest brushing your hair while shampooing. 

Not only does this create a healthy wave pattern, but it also helps you exfoliate your scalp. 

Always follow up with a rinse out conditioner to keep your hair moisturized.

Check out this shampoo and conditioner from SheaMoisture to keep your 180 waves healthy.

Shea Moisture Coconut & Hibiscus Curl & Shine Shampoo and Conditioner Set

how to get 180 waves with straight hair

Get A Haircut

how to get 180 waves in 5 minutes

Before you can get 180 waves, you need to trim your hair to make it easier to create this wave pattern.

You really can’t do it with long, flowing locks! 

So get a haircut and make your hair low enough to make the waves definable. If you already have a wave haircut, it’s good to trim it to keep it in shape.

Here are some haircuts you can try:

  • A 1.5 or 2 haircut with level edges
  • A 1.5 or 2 haircut with edges at the back and a side taper
  • A level 2 haircut if you have been getting waves for a while 
  • A 1.5 haircut with a bald pate
  • A 1.5 or 2 haircut with moulette at the back

It’s important to give your barber the right instructions while getting a haircut. 

Apply A Pomade or Hair Cream

With African American hair, just using a regular conditioner after shampooing isn’t enough. 

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And the constant brushing for creating 180 waves can also leave hair a bit drier than usual. So it’s best to apply a bit of leave-in conditioner or pomade to your hair.

This cream can also help set your waves and control frizz.


How to apply a pomade for waves:

If you want to apply a pomade on 180 waves, take only a small amount (dime-sized). Rub it evenly all through your head. 

Then, use your hands to spread the cream in the direction of the waves. 

Cantu Shea Butter Men’s Collection Cream Pomade

how to get 180 waves without a durag

Brush It Out

how to get 180 waves with coarse hair

This is the most important part of creating 180 waves – brushing, brushing, and more brushing! If you have very coarse hair, there might be the chances of snagging and a bit of pain as well.

Hence, it’s a good idea to apply a cream or pomade before you get started.

If you want to get 180 waves, you need to brush your hair only at certain angles. And always remember to brush from back to the front. 

What to keep in mind before you purchase a wave brush for coarse hair? 

Wave brushes are very different from regular brushes, the function being to give you spines or to create 360 waves and more. 

They are unique in the fact that they are more dense and softer to stimulate the flow of natural oils through the hair. 

Some may have a good curvature, maintaining connection throughout.

Look for brushes with either Boar bristles or nylon, a good handle for grip and is travel friendly. 

How to care for your wave brush? 

Just like you care for your waves, make sure to maintain your hair brush for it to be as effective as day-1. 

Remember to always remove your hair stuck in the brush bristles. You can shampoo the brush bristles without conditioning them. 

Only let the wave brush air dry away from direct sunlight and artificial heat sources. 

Do not use soaps or detergents to clean your brush and avoid soaking a brush with wooden base in water for too long. This can damage the hairbrush very quickly. 

Here is the brushing routine your need to follow:

  • Getting 180 waves right takes time, so be prepared to put some work into it. You need to brush at least 20-30 minutes each day.
  • This period can increase to 40-60 minutes each day so I suggest carrying your boar bristle brush with you at all times.
  • If you’re unsure of the angles, try standing in front of a mirror while brushing until you get a hang of it.
  • For 180 waves you need only brush the top of your head.
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You will see the effects of your constant brushing in 4-5 weeks. 

Diane Premium Boar Bristle Brush for Men

hair brush for 180 waves

Wear A Durag

durag for 180 waves

A durag is a sort of head covering worn by African American guys. It helps keep your hairstyles in place and prevents hair from becoming frizzy as well.

These durags are made of velvet, satin, or other such materials with soft fibers. These do not pull or snag at your hair and prevent any tangling.

Such materials do not absorb a lot of moisture from your head as well. So it doesn’t make your hair feel dry.

I suggest wearing a durag 24/7 if you have really coarse, dry hair and are just beginning to get your 180 waves.

But if you have to go to an event, at least try wearing it an hour after brushing your hair. 

It’s also best to put it on overnight as the friction between your hair and pillowcase can leave the wave pattern disturbed. And it also makes your locks lose moisture.

How to tie a durag for 180 waves:

  • Position the durag on your hair in a way that the centre of your head aligns with the centre seam of the durag
  • Adjust your durag so that the front edge is between your hairline and your eyebrows
  • Take the ties of the durag and cross them over each other at the back of your head
  • Now bring the criss-crossed ties back to the front of your head.
  • Cross them once again and take them behind the back of your head one more time
  • Tie them together and make sure they aren’t too tight
  • Pull the flap at the back of your durag to keep it firmly in place

8 Pieces Silky Durag Caps Elastic Wave Cap

durags for 180 waves hairstyle

FAQs about creating 180 waves

How often do I shampoo my hair for waves?

If you want to create a definite wave pattern, I would not recommend shampooing your hair everyday.
Overwashing can make your hair dry and dehydrated. Curly type 4 hair also has a high porosity and doesn’t need to be washed often.
You can shampoo your hair once a week if you want 180 waves. And always remember to use a conditioner afterwards.
But people join the “no-poo” movement and prefer to just cleanse their hair with water. 

What hair brush should you use for waves?

The best hair brush for waves is one with boar bristles or other kinds of natural bristles. 
These help distribute the natural oils on the scalp and also prevent static electricity from building up. 
You can choose a double-sided boar bristle brush or get one with a steel handle. I suggest steel or wood as plastic is more prone to static. 
If you’ve just got your haircut, you should use a brush with soft bristles as they are not too harsh on your hair follicles. 
Once your hair starts growing out a bit, you can switch to a medium-strength boar bristle brush.

Can You Get 180 Waves on Straight Hair?

Well, getting 180 waves on straight hair is possible but can take longer time to form.
Getting 180 waves requires a person having the right hair texture and volume (thicker hair makes it harder to get 180 waves) or at least some sort of a wavy or curly hair pattern.
If you have straight hair, then the process will be harder and longer for you.
Certain things to consider can be using the right type of hair wave brushes, styling tools, hair care products, regular brushing and last but not the least remember that consistency is key during the process.
As for a few tips, growing out your straight hair will make it easier for the waves to form as compared to shorter hair.
Remember to use a durag (preferably a silk one to avoid any friction) over your hair while you sleep to maintain the 180 waves.

How Long Will It Take To Get 180 Waves?

Getting 180 waves definitely requires painstaking effort and the process is very essential in attaining the best results.
For the results to start showing, it may take anywhere between one month to a month and a half, considering the fact that you have the right hair texture for the waves.
Also you need to diligently follow up with the process which includes proper hair care and right product use along with using a durag overnight to protect the waves while you sleep.
If you slack in between or are someone with straighter hair types, then this process may take longer in order to achieve the perfect waves.

What’s the difference between 180 and 360 waves?

The difference between 180 waves and 360 waves is pretty simple to understand. The 180 waves are those that form only at the top of your head while the 360 waves go (all 360 degrees) around your head and form a spiral of sorts. I have noticed that it’s much easier to get 180 waves if you have shorter or straighter hair then it would be go get 360 waves.

If you want to get 180 waves, all you have to do is follow these simple steps.

This hairstyle is a fantastic way to make your short hair look good. It looks neat and professional and doesn’t require much maintenance apart from the brushing. 

I highly recommend investing in quality hair care products for black hair to keep your hair healthy too. As that’s the first step to any good looking hairstyle!

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