Instyler Style Guide

From Classy to Beachy:
20 Beautiful Wavy Hairstyles | InStyler

One of the biggest trends right now is wavy hairstyles, but there are so many to choose from! These celebrities have pulled off their own wavy looks, and today we are giving you the tools and inspiration to try them yourself! Use your favorite curling tool, like the MAX 2-Way Rotating Iron, for any of these looks to achieve maximum results, and let us know which wave is your favorite wave! Whether you have long, short, medium, thin, or thick hair, you will be able to find the perfect head-turning style below!

Celebrity images

Long to Medium Length Wavy Styles


For long hair, we will start with a look that will get you through the day in style! Alexa Chung rocks a loose, slightly messy wave paired with a short bang to give off a casually elegant look. This style is made to transition from day to night and could easily be worn to work, happy hour, and even your dinner date afterward. Start with some volumizing mousse fingered through wet hair. When dry, use a larger barrel to curl 1-2 inch pieces of hair in all different directions to keep them from merging together. Finish with a texturizing spray for a messier look, and wow everyone from coworkers to your significant other at the end of the day!


The technique for Candice Swanepoel's runway-ready hairstyle is similar to Alexa’s easy day-to-night waves. Start out with a dollop of volumizing mousse in damp hair. For larger waves, however, you will blow dry 3-4 inch pieces with a round brush. Once dry, use your fingers to twist each piece loosely toward the scalp and pin in place for staying power. After 15-20 minutes, remove the pins and your Angel look is ready to go!


Chrissy Teigen is the queen of the natural looking wave. Start by curling with a larger barrel and loosely wrapping large sections of hair around it for only 3-4 seconds. You are going for more of a bend here than an actual curl. You can also leave the ends straight. Finish this look off with a texturizing spray, the wave’s best friend, and run your fingers through all of your hair to draw out some of the curl. Natural waves are perfect for a casual day out or grabbing drinks with your girlfriends.

Celebrity images


This style is a classic and sexy look that you can rock in any length or color, as seen here by Blake Lively, Jessica Alba, and Kate Hudson. Start by making larger curls using 3-4 inches of hair at a time, facing mostly in the same direction. Then, lightly brush the curls together for this sleek, glamorous look. To get Kate Hudson’s softer waves, use a round brush with soft bristles. Old Hollywood curls are perfect for date night or for catching your favorite Broadway show!

Celebrity images


Of course we had to have another Kate Hudson moment in our top Wavy hairstyles! Kate totally owns this beach vibe while keeping her waves perfectly balanced between messy and...well, messed up. Whether you are grabbing your bikini for a day at the beach or meeting up with friends, these waves will surely put you in a California state of mind. To achieve this look, go heavy on the mousse--emphasis on heavy--after your hair is dry; this will give your hair this solid matte finish. Lightly curl the middle portion of your hair, leaving the top and bottoms free, and then use a flat iron on the ends to keep them extra crisp.


Kim Kardashian West rocks this cool choppy wave look, especially coupled with the leather outfit. This look works best if you have lots of layers--separate them out into 1-inch sections and curl all the way down tightly with a larger iron, like our 1 ¼ inch MAX 2-Way Rotating Iron. Get staying power by leaving each curl individually pinned to your scalp afterwards until fully cooled down; this will help each wave stay separate from the others. If you have a nice long bang like Kim, sweep it to the side, or you can fake it by pinning a piece near your ear. Wear this hairstyle out on the town, bonus points if you can pair it with leather too!


These waves are so subtle they almost aren't even noticeable on our 3rd Victoria’s Secret Angel on the list--Karlie Kloss! She uses the slight wave to add texture and volume to her hair while keeping it very simple otherwise. The trick here is to use a small iron like the ¾ inch MAX 2-Way Rotating Iron, start mid-way down the length of your hair, and only wrap it 2 or 3 times around the iron. Leave the hair in place for only a few seconds and then let loose with no additional product to keep it light and natural.

Celebrity images

Short Wavy Styles


This look is the equivalent of Karlie Kloss’s barely-there waves but with short hair, worn beautifully here by Jordan Dunn. Using a small barrel to curl, twist only the middle to ends of your hair in small sections, all going in the same direction. We like this look with no finishing product so it stays natural and softens with time. Jordan wore this look for a day out with a slight edge—you can keep it casual too with softer makeup and some big fun earrings. This look proves that wavy short hairstyle can definitely be just as fun and pretty!


For very short hair, this look worn by Charlize Theron is perfect to dress up your waves! You start with volumizing mousse through damp hair, and then twist sections up and away from your face as you dry. Curl each piece, starting at the scalp, with a large barrel iron and pin in place as needed. You will never think of a pixie cut in the same way again!


Comedian Kristen Wiig is serious about her soft, beachy waves. She keeps it very light on the curl, but heavy on the texture! You can get Kristen's look by simply spraying wet hair with a spray gel and scrunching it dry with a towel. Finish up with plenty of texturizing spray and some rough finger-tousling to get that wispy look that takes messy chic to a whole new level. This look is definitely ready for a day out on the weekend—it screams casual, relaxed and simple.


These waves are perfect for shoulder-length hair and are easy to create. We suggest using a small barrel for a tighter curl— our ¾ inch MAX 2-Way Rotating Iron, for instance. Curl your hair in alternating directions and small sections of 1 inch or less. These curls should go from the scalp to the end of your hair. After your hair is curled, run your fingers or a soft brush through to soften them a little. Spritz with hairspray to keep the whispies at bay! You can dress this one up like Lily Collins with a thicker eyebrow, or tone it down by brushing it out more for a casual look.

Celebrity images


Another great option for pixie cuts is shown here on Evan Rachel Wood. She achieved a lot of volume with not so much hair! For this look, you will start again with the volumizing mousse and then dry hair away from your face using a medium-sized round brush. Drop and re-twirl the hair often so that your end result is a little uneven and not one large curl. Wear this style anywhere you are going out at night—your waves will be a hit on the dancefloor or the red carpet!


Ever wonder what to do with your 2nd-day waves? You know, those waves that remain after you went all out with the curls last night? Mandy Moore shows us a sweet and casual option here. Simply pin your hair to the side, and re-scrunch your waves with some spray gel to keep rocking them for brunch with the folks after your big night out! To create this look from scratch, let your hair dry or blow-dry it while braided in 6-10 sections around your head. This will give you a softer wave than an actual curl.


The key to this look, sported by actress Kate Mara, is to keep your waves all going in the same direction so they sort of drift into one over time. Wrap your hair in small sections around a larger iron like our 1 ¼-inch MAX 2-Way Rotating Iron, starting halfway down the strand. Twist one or two full twists, let sit for 10-15 seconds, and then loosely relax the wand to the end of the strand. Smooth all the sections together with your fingers, and finish with a bit of texturizing spray! This look is especially nice if you have more length in the front, or could be adapted for long hair with a ponytail in the back.


Jennifer Lawrence practically glows with these soft waves framing her face from her updo. Make sure you start with a middle part, and pull pieces from the top of your head before running them through with a smaller barrel. Curl away from your face to keep the strands back a little, and leave them a little tighter at the beginning--they will soften up by the time you are dressed and ready. We love how Jennifer paired this with light makeup for a heavenly look that still works for evening.

Celebrity images


Ashley Madekwe is giving off seriously cool vibes with her part-bun, part-wave ‘do. She used the same techniques from Kate Hudson’s light beachy waves and made sure to go heavy on the texture before pulling half of her hair up into a messy bun. Pull out the bangs and you’ve got a winning combination of casual and cool for a day date or a shopping spree. Or, if you want to clean it up a bit, follow Kate Middleton’s lead—use a larger curling iron, drop the texturizing spray, and join the top portions in an elegant braid or twist.


This classic updo is all wave and all wow! Hayden Panettiere used tight curls wound up and away from her face, gathered them into a French twist in the back, and then pinned them down with a crystal headband. Make sure to start the headband farther back and then push forward for more volume up front. This is a look that is evening-ready and sure to impress!


Actress Nina Dobrev used her waves in a fun, new way that gives her a bit of an edge. To get this look, you will need to lean heavily on your volumizing mousse, then dry your hair with it straight up to increase that upward momentum. Curl up and away from your face too, and then gather your waves messily around the top of your head. Try this one at a concert—this gorgeous look is sure to turn heads in the best way!

Celebrity images


Waves and braids go together like two peas in a pod...or maybe let’s say like celebrities and great hair. Whether you choose a crown braid like Mary Kate Olsen, a messy braid like Blake Lively (let's face it, the queen of messy braids), or a full braid like Kerry Washington, make sure you incorporate waves before, during and after braiding for a bombshell look! Loose, messy waves work best for these styles, so keep your texturizing spray on hand, and have fun!