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How to Get 180 Waves (Even With Straight Hair)

man combing curly hair

Do you have 180 hair waves already, or are you looking to get some?


You're welcome to read this article for either of the two situations.

We'll start with a simple how-to showing you what to do, from cutting your hair to finally getting waves. That section will also include products and accessories needed for a beginner.

Further, we'll also look at how to get 180 waves with 1a to 2c hair just in case you have straight hair.

How To Get 180 Waves From Scratch: For Coily & Curly Hair

man with curly hair wearing a polo shirt

Perfect hair waves resemble a sound wave illustration. This ripple effect takes time to form.

It takes some hair types longer to develop perfect 180 waves because of their texture. On other occasions, the delay has to do with low hair moisture and not hair texture.

Fortunately, textured hair has an advantage when forming waves as it's curly or coily. That's from 4a to 4c type or even wavy hair.

If you are in this hair range…

Get A Haircut

Waves form on manageable hair that you can brush often and all through to the roots.

Unfortunately, it means your long hair has to go. If it's already short, get a trim to define the wavelength of your style.

Unlike how to get 360 waves, where you need one to two inches of hair all around the head, 180 waves need hair from the crown to the forehead. So, what do you do with the back and the sides?

You'll need to be creative. Consequently, you can leave the hair on the back of your head in a low fade, bald fade, or a taper.

After getting a 180 waves haircut, it's time to start your wave journey. Thus:

Gather Hair Care Supplies & Accessories

Shampoo & Conditioner

It should be sulfate-free as such cleansing ingredients dry the hair and scalp, yet textured hair already has a moisture challenge.

If your scalp has flakes, brushing while shampooing may help in exfoliation. You may need clarifying shampoo to remove residue or anti-dandruff formulation for scalp conditions.

After washing your hair with a shampoo, increase its moisture with a rinse-out conditioner.

Go for a conditioner with natural ingredients to nourish and strengthen hair shafts since the rigorous brushing process can weaken damaged or brittle hair.


Brushing your hair numerous times a day can leave it dry and damaged when it doesn't have enough moisture.

Even though the conditioner boosts moisture level, textured hair needs more.

Hence, wave grease sets your 180 waves and reduces frizz as you brush. It eliminates the painful brushing of tangled hair, more so in the wolfing phase.

Using pomade increases the need to shampoo regularly to prevent buildup.

Wave Brush

A soft wave brush is better when you have short hair, such as after a waves haircut.

You'll irritate your scalp if you use a hard brush on short waves. As the length increases, you can mix medium and hard brushes. However, coarse, curly hair may need a harder wave brush faster than straight hair.

On top of that, get a brush size that's comfortable in your hand because you'll be using it for a long time daily, and the last thing you need is painful arm pulses. The wave brush should be lightweight, with sturdy bristles that don't shed.

Now you're ready to learn:

The Brushing Routine

man brushing hair

Brushing is the crux of forming any waves on hair. Unlike brushing other hairstyles, waves have a brushing angle and direction. Always brush from the back to the front. Here's how.

Step 1

Shampoo and condition your hair. Apply shampoo and brush it before you rinse it out.

Brush from the back to front as that's the direction 180s form. Since shampoo removes natural oils and leaves hair dry, have a maximum of two shampoo days per week unless it's greasy or you're active outdoors. Always condition your hair before you leave the shower.

Step 2

Apply pomade to restore moisture content.

It'll also make it sleek for the bristles to run through without pulling your hair, more so if you have coarse hair. A dime-sized amount of wave grease is enough.

Spread it, moving your hands through your hair in the direction of waves, massaging the pomade from the root to the tips.

Step 3

Brush the top part from the crown toward your forehead.

Maintain a 5 to 15 minutes brush session, as it'll determine how and when your waves form.

A long brush session may need some distractions to get by, even if it means watching a game or chatting on social platforms.

Just get it done, and you'll love the waves hairstyle later. The total time spent brushing new waves per day should be between 20 minutes to an hour. 

Step 4

Wear a wave cap, then tie it with your best durag for waves over your hair to press it down.

It shouldn't be too tight that it's uncomfortable or too loose that it comes off at night. The silk fabric will also keep your pillow neat, without grease marks. It also prevents friction that can alter the wave pattern.

Since you'll have 180, not 360 waves, you'll only worry about the pattern the durag leaves on the top of your head.

How Long Does It Take To Get 180 Waves?

Regular brushing waves hair in 180 patterns faster than 360 waves as you only work on the top of the head. The 360 waves form on the top first, then the sides and the back take almost twice as much time.

You'll require a brushing session several times daily for all the parts of your 360 waves, which means more work.

Therefore, it's so much better when you create waves in 180 degrees.

You'll see deep waves forming in about four weeks. It's also easier to handle 180 than 360 waves as you can see your progress in the mirror every day.

If they don't form in four weeks, you may want to go over your brushing routine and the products you're using. After changing your brushing routine, get another waves haircut, and brush for four weeks. If they still don't form, maybe your hair texture needs a different approach.

How To Get 180 Waves With Straight Hair

The 180 waves hair pattern forms faster on textured hair, but you can also try it on your straight hair.

If you’re asking for tips on how to get 180 waves with straight hair, it means you have 1a to 2c hair. It doesn’t have curls or coils; thus, you have straight hair.

The first step is growing it out, as this hair type needs longer hair.

Once it grows to about two inches long, it's time to start brushing it.

Unlike coarse hair, you don't need additional moisturizing as your hair it's already getting sebum from the root to the tip.

But, applying a styling cream makes brushing easy and gives your waves dimension.

Go for a lightweight cream with hydrating agents. Apply it after shampooing your hair or air drying it slightly.

Brush hair from the crown to your forehead, and then tie a durag to hold it down overnight.

It'll take you up to six weeks to see a wave pattern.

Watch this video to guide you more on how to get 180 waves with straight hair:

Let's answer some questions now.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do you need to wolf for 180 waves?

Yes, wolfing is necessary as individual waves connect to create a wave pattern during this period. The longer you take before a haircut, the better the wave pattern. Thus, consider doing four to six weeks without a haircut.

In some cases, you may need three months of wolfing with a taper once in a while. It might feel awkward to spend weeks without a haircut, but the end will justify the means.

You'll also change your brush in the wolfing phase. Get one with harder bristles to reach the new growth at the root of your hair. You'll also want to clear product residue while shampooing as there's a likelihood that longer hair will hold more grease and dirt.

How do you shower with 180 waves?

Brush the shampoo through your hair, then do the same for the conditioner. One gets the dirt out, and the other restores the moisture removed by cleansing agents. Next, brush the water out until your hair is slightly damp, then massage it with a pomade.

What haircut should I get for 180 waves?

Textured hair should be shorter than straight hair when starting your 180 waves. Therefore, use a 1 to 1.5 hair trimmer guard for coarse hair. On the other hand, use a 4 to 5 guard for straight hair. There are many fade haircut options, from a skin fade to a low, high, and tapered fade. You could also get a part in front. Whichever hairstyle you go for, think about the maintenance needed while wolfing.

Final Thoughts

Have you seen those brothers or uncles with a bald fade on the back and meticulous, inch-length waves on the crown? Those are 180 waves.

The wave process needs patience, regular brushing, and the right products. A natural wave pattern is visible in about four weeks of brushing your hair from the crown to your forehead.

Thin hair takes longer to form wavy hairstyles than thick, coarse hair. Therefore, if you have straight hair, you'll wait for up to six or more weeks.

Are you up to the challenge? Let us know how it goes.

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