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Ask a Hairstylist: How to Bring out the Natural Waves in Your Long Hair

Reducing the weight works wonders.
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How to bring out natural waves

Q: Hi, Bill! I love your section on the blog, I've read all the articles and I'm very impressed with all the advice you gave to the ladies in the pictures.

I have long red hair, and I've been growing out my bangs from a blunt cut for the past two years. Now they're almost grown out and I'm not sure what to do with my hair. 

How to bring out natural waves

Elena has been growing out her bangs and is looking for a new hairstyle.

Should I add layers? Should I keep the fringe at this medium length? Should I just let my hair grow out more?

My hair is quite fine and dry, with a not-quite-straight, not-quite-wavy texture. It really, really doesn't like heat, and I usually just sleep with it in a bun to get soft waves in the morning. 

How to bring out natural waves

Elena usually sleeps with her hair in a bun to create soft waves.

I'm looking to define my style a bit more and to make my hair frame my face better, but I probably want to keep the length and the natural colour. Thank you in advance, I really appreciate your advice! — Elena

How to bring out natural waves

Elena wants to keep her length but add more style.

A: Elena, thank you for your kind words.

Stating the obvious… GORGEOUS COLOUR!

I love how your hair frames your face without bangs. I think your best bet is to leave the bangs long and blend them in with long layers.

Here is a cut that has very few layers at the bottom only, with no sign of a bang.

Lily Cole The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus Paris photocall 2009

Lily Cole at the 2009 Paris photocall for 'The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus.'

This diminishes the weight and will allow for more movement. Your current hair is bottom-heavy, which weighs out the wave.

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A bit more extreme layering will give you more waves that will last longer.

Jennifer Lopez American Idol Season 13 finale 2014

Jennifer Lopez at the 2014 Season 13 finale of 'American Idol.'

This will create more flicks of wave and curl. 

Tapering the ends will free up some movement as well. This cut is a perfect example of tapering the ends with layers.

Cara Delevingne Burberry Prorsum Fashion Show 2015

Cara Delevingne at a Burberry Prorsum Fashion Show in 2015.

The layers at the front should be long and soft around your face. No sharp edges, no sign of any bangs, and keep as much length as possible.

Gisele Bundchen Dolce Gabbana The One launch 2007

Gisele Bündchen at the 2007 launch of Dolce & Gabbana The One.

(Note: I love this length, but you have plenty of time for shorter hair. I say milk the length as long as you can...)

One more suggestion. Get your hair cut with a middle part. 

The reason I suggest getting it cut in the middle is because then you can flip your hair from side to side, depending on which side gives you more volume.

Wear it like this on occasion as well.

Chrissy Teigen Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue event 2015

Chrissy Teigen at the Sports Illustrated 2015 swimsuit issue event.

This will balance and distribute your hair nicely and open up your face.

Continue with your top knot while you sleep to get these natural-looking waves.

I hope that you find inspiration in this consultation. You can't lose for winning with your gorgeous hair.