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Can White People Get Waves? Styling Guide For Various Races

man combing his hair in front of a mirror

Looks like someone’s interested in getting 360 waves!

I got your attention, right?

Have you seen a white guy with waves and got shocked?

Or maybe a Mexican with waves, or any other race that isn't black?

Are you now wondering if it is possible for non-black people to have or get them? Or do you just want to find out if doing so is cultural appropriation or not?

In this article, we will tackle the answers to these questions as well as how waves are done, polished, and achieved. 

So... Can White People Get Waves? Is It A Race Thing?

The answer is simple.

No. It definitely is not a race thing. Although, some components of 360 hair waves are connected to the black-community race.

Nowadays, people often think that this hairstyle is exclusive to black people because it’s them we commonly see sporting this hairstyle.

Some also often see a Mexican with waves lately, which makes people think it's alright to get them even though you’re not black. But they also contemplate the fact that they’ve never or rarely seen a white guy with waves or an Asian with waves.

The truth is that this hairstyle is only suitable for certain hair types and textures.

So yes, it isn’t the race that’s stopping some people from getting waves, but genetics instead.

What Should I Consider When Getting 360 Waves?

Hair Type

man combing his hair with a small comb

Anyone with the right hair type can get waves, no matter what race.

The majority of the Black and Hispanic community have curly and wavy hair, while almost all Caucasians and Asians have straight hair. But it always varies through the genes that run through the family.

For this hairstyle, the specific hair type we’re targeting is curly or wavy. With this, you can conveniently and effectively achieve this hairstyle.

So you might be wondering… can you get waves with straight hair? It depends.

Waving straight hair may be difficult or hardly possible. And if ever it does wave, they’ll be big ones.

It also matters whether you have thick or thin hair. For waves, thin hair is obviously more ideal, but thick hair isn’t impossible! It will just take more time, effort, and dedication.

Curl Length

Another thing to consider is your curl length, or specifically how long your hair has to be to wave. We all have different curl lengths, the thicker and the more straight your hair is, the longer your curl length should be.

Longer lengths are easier to wave, while short lengths will either loosen their progress immediately or be tougher to maintain. But make sure your hair isn’t too long or you’ll end up with big fluffy waves.

You can tell your barber to not cut your hair below your curl length or shorter than an inch and a half.


There is no specific time or effort that will define how long it will take for your hair to wave.

Considering the thickness and straightness of your hair, it can take you a day to months. You’ll need to repeat the same exact process day by day and struggle with the things you’re not allowed to do with your hair.

Everything will be new to you, but with the proper tools and dedication, you’ll get there.

Sometimes it's not your hair type or length that’s holding you back from getting waves but your willingness to go through the process. So take a moment to think whether it is something you really want or not.

How To Achieve The 360 Waves Hairstyle

Shampoo And Conditioner

white bottles of shampoo and conditioner with a towel

Let’s start from the bottom. We want to make sure that your hair is in its best condition for a more convenient waving process.

A dynamic shampoo and conditioner that will bring out the waviness and thoroughly clean your hair are ideal.

This is also because as you wave, you will go longer periods between washes to avoid losing all the progress you’ve made.

So aside from a quality shampoo and conditioner, make sure you do the washing properly. When shampooing, make sure to massage it onto your roots. On the other hand, focus your conditioner on the middle and tips of your hair strands. 

Wave Cream/ Moisturizer

A Wave cream or moisturizer may be optional, but it can help you out a lot, especially if your hair is not perfectly suitable for it.

Using hair moisturizers once or twice a week can help improve your hair’s quality and as well as make sure that the waves are set in your scalp.

Wave Brush

One of the most important pieces of equipment in waving is a wave brush. This is a soft, medium brush that uses boar bristles to form a wave pattern over your hair.

Now that you have the right amount of hair length and a suitable strand condition, you can begin the process by brushing regularly. Do this right after applying your wave cream or moisturizer.

Begin brushing from your scalp’s crown to the ends of it. The standard duration for brushing is two minutes which may sound like a piece of cake. But brushing on patterns day by day may be harder than you think. 

Durag/ Wave Cap

Man wearing purple durag

And of course, a durag.

A durag or wave cap is a piece of silk cloth that acts like a cap tied in various ways and is used to protect and make thick waves in your hair.

These are best worn at night while you sleep to avoid any of your progress getting ruined.

However, some people also wear durags during the day for extra protection. It all depends on your preference.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I Get Waves If I’m Not Black?

Yes, of course. As mentioned earlier, waves are not exclusive to a certain race, but to a certain hair type and texture instead. If your hair is in the ideal condition, then getting them will be easy for you. However, if you really want them, there are a lot of ways to make your hair suitable for it.

I Have Straight Hair. How Long Before I Can Get Waves?

Having straight hair is one thing, having thick straight hair is another. If your hair is straight but thin, then it can take you a couple of weeks to a month with the correct equipment and procedures.

On the other hand, if it is both straight and thick, it may be extremely difficult or impossible. The process can take up to two months, but if you see absolutely no progress after two weeks of brushing, then maybe your hair is not for waves.

Watch this video for more beginner-friendly tips to get 360 waves with straight hair:

Does Race Have Anything To Do With Getting Waves?

Not entirely. When we say that race has something to do with waves, we mean that it can define whether your hair is possible to wave or not. We don’t mean that it is only for a certain race.

Genetics and race are slightly aligned, just like how the majority of black and Hispanic communities have curly and wavy hair and Caucasians and Asians have straight hair.

Curly and wavy hair is ideal and highly suitable for this hairstyle. 

Finishing Remarks

Waves are a beautiful hairstyle that is often negatively and/or exclusively viewed by many. We hope that this article has brought clarity and answers to your questions.

Now that you’ve read about the process and requirements of the 360 waves hairstyle, have you decided whether you’d like to get them or not?

If ever you will, we hope the procedure and tips above assist you well and that the hairstyle works out for you. Good luck!

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