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Wave Check: What Is It & Why Did It Become So Popular?

man with durag

If you’ve been around the internet this 2019, then you’ve probably seen “wave check” videos all over social media, especially from high school or college students.

So now...

You may be wondering, “What does a wave check mean?” We’re here to explain to you how these are done, the meaning behind them, and how this hairstyle created a huge trend.

So keep reading below!

What Is The Waves Hairstyle?

man with waves in black trousers

To fully grasp the idea of this hairstyle, the “waves” is a short hairstyle characterized by its ripple-like appearance and texture.

It is done by having a short-cropped haircut (like a buzz cut), continuously brushing the curly hair to flatten it out, and covering it with a wave cap (durag) to create deep waves and hold them in place.

This is considered a very trendy and versatile haircut because there are many wave variations to experiment with and paired with other designs.

What Is A Wave Check?

This is simply the act of telling someone to take off their durag and reveal the wave pattern on their hair.

The durag serves as both a fashion accessory and a means of preserving waves by preventing them from getting ruined.

So, a wave check determines whether a person actually has waves or they’re only wearing a durag for the looks.

This can be done in a large group where it can turn into a waves showcase or even a friendly competition, especially if there is a large audience!

Why Do People Do Wave Checks?

Not only are waves trendy among black men due to their unique pattern, but it’s also not easy to achieve, so this trend is also an opportunity to flex all of your efforts in cultivating wavy hair.

This is also a means for black men to share their culture regarding waving and fashion, considering that black hairstyles are deeply rooted in a history of slavery.

For example, durags were used to label slaves, until the Harlem Renaissance in the 1920s changed how black people perceived them.

Durags began to be used for hair care and eventually as a fashion statement in the 1960s, especially in mainstream hip hop.

There is still a lingering stigma about durags today where some people think they reflect “gang culture”. But the companionship and uplifting atmosphere brought by black men during these will eventually leave all of this negativity behind.

In maybe a few years, people will ask “what does a wave check mean” and the new generation will provide a positive response about a trend appreciating black culture instead.

Here are more reasons why men and women should buy and use a durag vs wave cap:

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Wave Check A Fad?

The hairstyle itself is part of black culture but the wave check is a fad. In 2019, it became a huge trend for some time in high schools and colleges wherein there would be a huge gathering of wavers and spectators.

People used to go around saying “wave check” meaning they wish to “check” if you’ve got your trendy hairstyle.

There were tons of wave check videos uploaded on all social media platforms during the time and they would garner a lot of views, although some people still do to this day.

Is "Wave Check" Some Sort Of A Challenge/Competition?

It can be a challenge if you record yourself doing a wave check and uploading it on social media, but if there are a lot of participants, it can become a friendly competition of who has done the best job to get 360 waves. The winner is determined either by a selected judge or by which participant receives the best reactions out of the audience.


“What is a wave check?”

It’s quite a simple ceremony, but it can emphasize the camaraderie among like-minded people and bring out positivity as they share their culture in hairstyle and fashion.

There are a lot of wave designs for you to explore, so why don’t you join the wave culture and rock a cool but classy hairstyle that you can flex to your peers?

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