45+ Brilliant Wavy Hair Ideas for Contemporary Cuts

45+ Brilliant Wavy Hair Ideas for Contemporary Cuts

By: Avatar photo Andy Jones Updated: Mar 10, 2024


Do you want to know how to rock wavy hair like a boss? We’ve put together the definitive guide to the best hairstyles for wavy hair for the year. These assorted styles offer the perfect combination of volume and texture. From boho behead to glamorous billows, we have a wavy look for everyone. Check out the list below for some envy-inducing inspiration.

45+ Beautiful Wavy Hairstyles to Rock Wavy Hair Like a Boss

Still not sure if you’re ready to part with your straightening iron? Believe it or not, wavy looks are, for the most part, low maintenance. If you’re rocking naturally textured hair, a bit of product can keep frizz at bay, while moisturizing conditioner can help bring bold bends and curves to the surface. Of course, straight haired beauties can have curves too. Overnight goddess braids, barrel brushes, and heat can be used to achieve a variety of wavy looks.

Popular looks, like the shoulder-length lobs and contemporary shags, are all the rage. There is no better way to dress up these dynamic styles than with a bit of wave. Whether you’re looking for elegant twirls for a formal evening or a sexy everyday slept-in look for work, we’ve got you covered. What’s more, many of our favorite styles highlight chic dye job and highlights that add even more oomph to these buoyant looks.

Check out the following looks for a bit of inspiration when choosing your newest hairstyle. While it’s up to you to decide which wavy look flatters you, we guarantee there is a textured look to compliment each and every face out there. Wavy looks are trending, with powerhouse celebrities like Taylor Swift and Beyonce leading the way. With that, we want you to be on the chic side of history.

1. Broad Face Waves with a Blonde Ombre Short Cut

Broad Face Waves with a Blonde Ombre Short Cut

This hairstyle is especially known to bring out the features of your face well. It is elegant and graceful, as the layers that frame your face give you a flattering look. The light brown hair and blonde strands pair perfectly with this style, pairing it with a gentler version of a smoky eye to lock in those lingering looks.

2. Asymmetric Brunette Curls with Medium-Length Hair

Asymmetric Brunette Curls with Medium-Length Hair

This hairstyle looks amazing from behind. It has hair curls that do not follow a set pattern throughout your head, creating dimensions that look unintentional. They are complemented by some straight hair in the middle as well.

3. Pitch Black Voluminous Shoulder-Length Hairstyle

 Pitch Black Voluminous Shoulder-Length Hairstyle

This hairstyle is a simple yet elegant one. It is a common pick but never goes out of style. This hairdo has medium-length hair that is pitch black. This hairstyle gives your face features more space and lets the makeup do the talking. It keeps your hair behind the ears so that there is no discomfort on the face.

4. Shiny Golden Wavy Hairstyle

Shiny Golden Wavy Hairstyle

If luminosity is your goal, then look no further. The golden color gives a complementary look. This hairdo gives you a voluminous hair look. The soft texture of your hair gives you makes it easier to stifle them without destroying the effort that goes into creating the look.

5. Long and Messy Hairstyle with Dark Blonde and Brunette Hues

Long and Messy Hairstyle with Dark Blonde and Brunette Hues

This hairstyle is not systematic at all, giving it a “messy on purpose” boldness. With a dark blonde hair color, these trendy waves certainly bring out a Hollywood look that has long been worn by stars everywhere – from the red carpet to their living room.

6. Chunky Shoulder-length Waves with Choppy Layers

Chunky Shoulder-length Waves with Choppy Layers

This medium-length wavy layered bob is the perfect haircut to accentuate sexy two-toned highlights. Meanwhile, chunky layers and outward-feathered ends are what give this look its untethered rock star vibe. The hair is parted neatly down the middle, yet the textured ends are headed in all directions. There’s no need to tuck any hairs behind your ears. This simple sexy look is all about letting loose.

7. Short Layered Waves with Asymmetrical Side Sweep

Short Layered Waves with Asymmetrical Side Sweep

If you’re looking for a low-maintenance Cali look, this short to medium layered wave hairdo has it all. There’s plenty of texture thanks to the loose flowing waves swept to one side. Meanwhile, the alternative side is tucked flat behind an ear. The trick to this look is to create ever-so-slightly crimped flat-lying waves. This is certainly a drool-worthy just rolled out of bed look we can see ourselves rocking all summer long.

8. Unraveled Curls with Over the Eye Side Part

Unraveled Curls with Over the Eye Side Part

These extra wide waves barely have any curve to them. Nevertheless, it is a volume-rich yet easy hairstyle that most women with long minimally layered locks can rock. The subtle side part helps soften this look. Meanwhile, the voluminous billowing tresses are a cute easy hairstyle for women on the go. In fact, this entire hairstyle only takes a few minutes with a wide barrel round brush and a blow dryer.

9. Bohemian Beach Waves with Messy Fishtail Crown

Bohemian Beach Waves with Messy Fishtail Crown

This modern hairstyle has all the hallmarks of a 1960s hair-do with 2018 vibes. The super long bleach blond curves span the length of the model’s back. Each wave is glossy and ultra textured to give the look its all-natural feel. However, the jewel in this crown has to be the teased fishtail braid that loops around the back of the head. Whether it brings to mind images of Vikings, Game of Thrones characters, or beatniks, we’re sure this goddess-like look is going to stick around for some time.

10. Pastel Pink Hair and Purple Low Curls

Vibrant Pink and Purple Low Curls

Underneath it all, this is a fairly simple look. The smooth middle part and flat-lying locks usher in a subtle lower section of curls. However, bold purple hair roots are followed by an electric pink and orange middle section as well as lengthy lilac ends. Finally, the sharp angle of the chin-high curls accentuates the superhero-like presence of this spectacular hair-do.

11. Wavy Auburn Shag with Blonde Highlights

Wavy Auburn Shag with Blonde Highlights

The shag haircut is having a major comeback, and it just so happens that waves are its secret weapon. By parting this cut down the middle and adding some low-lying curves, you can quickly transform drab layers into a choppy textured wavy hairstyle. In this case, the generous addition of sun-kissed highlights adds a highly desired beachy flair.

12. Long Layered Waves with Subtle Highlights

Long Layered Waves with Subtle Highlights

This beautiful hairstyle is easy to achieve so long as you possess hip-length layer-less hair. If you’re looking for a wavy hair idea that doesn’t require drastic layering, this is the way to go. Simply part your locks in the middle. Then, use a curling iron to add waves every few inches or so from the roots down to the ends. A mild application of anti-frizz serum keeps this look fresh and prevents pesky flyaways.

13. Super Long Dirty Blonde Beach Waves

Super Long Dirty Blonde Beach Waves

Looking to capture the California surf look? This style features ultra long layer-less waves with sun-kissed highlights. It’s a great look for individuals with super long locks. You can simply braid your hair and let then let those relaxed tendrils free. Signatures of this look are the middle part, teased overgrown roots, and platinum blonde tips. Of course, this look looks great in any color.

14. Strawberry Pixie with Tousled Roots

Strawberry Pixie with Tousled Roots

This super short shaggy pixie cut is extra thick and wavy. The roots are teased and bangs parted in the middle for a bit of punk rock flair. Meanwhile, the faded burgundy color reminds us of a vintage Strawberry Shortcake Doll from the 1990s. This curly pixie cut look frames the face nicely, complimenting the cheekbones and neckline. The greatest part is, it only takes a few swipes with a flat iron and a little pomade to get these perfectly texturized tresses. The greatest part about this short wavy hairdo is you can set it and forget it. Make the look stand out even more with burgundy nails.

15. Natural Ombre With Spiral Waves

Natural Ombre With Spiral Waves

These bouncy waves fall off your back like a cascading waterfall of hair. Meanwhile, the natural ombre adds texture and loads of depth to the look. These curly hair locks are easy to achieve with a wide barrel curling iron and fortifying anti-frizz serum. When done properly, this is a classy look for a night out and pairs perfectly with ombre nails. The greatest part is this look can be achieved with wavy hair as well as straight locks.

16. Chic Beachy Platinum Waves

Chic Beachy Platinum Waves

First off, we love the way these bold platinum locks are softened by the slightly darker roots. It’s the perfect dye job for these laid-back beachy waves. In this look, the front locks and crown have minimal texture, while the bottoms and sides tresses feature minimally angled waves.

17. Cool Blue-tinted Lob with Side Party

Cool Blue-tinted Lob with Side Party

This fierce superhero-inspired style looks like it’s straight off the floor of Comicon. The dark blue highlights accentuate the model’s underlying black hair, giving it extra shine and depth. Meanwhile, wide loopy waves with pointy ends add even more flair to this adventurous look. This look works well on naturally straight hair.

18. Textured Pastel Rainbow Ringlets

Textured Pastel Rainbow Ringlets

These soft multicolored tresses conjure up images of unicorns and cotton candy. The soft loopy waves help create depth between the soft pastel green, blue, yellow, and pink lateral highlights. Beyond this, the asymmetrical lob is the perfect compliment to this vibrant color job. While this dynamic dye job isn’t for everyone, it’s a magical look for wavy-haired women who want to make a statement.

19. Unraveled Balylage Beach Waves

Unraveled Balylage Beach Waves

This carefree hairstyle features locks that slowly graduate from dark brown hair to blonde. However, what makes the transition so smooth is the elegant bottom of twisted tendrils. Above that, the crown is flat with only minor angling around the cheeks and chin. This look complements both casual and dressy attire. What’s more, it is an excellent alternative to naturally straight hair. We’d even recommend this look for an all-natural down do for weddings.

20. Extra-loose Wavy Lob with Chunky Highlights

Extra-loose Wavy Lob with Chunky Highlights

This shoulder-length lob features a mere two tiers of wide-angled waves. While not the kinkiest of looks on our list, the smooth curves work well with heart-shaped and round faces. The subtle yet chunky highlights are yet another summery touch that helps brighten this look and make it more youthful. What’s more, the dark teased roots are a sexy addition to this modern hairstyle.

21. Textured Layers With Pointed Waves

Textured Layers With Pointed Waves

If you want to add a little edge to your wavy style, this textured layer cut with pointy layered waves is a surefire choice. The laterally arranged curls are their boldest at the back of the head. Nevertheless, wispy side fringe frames the face and keeps hair from flowing over the sides of the face. Our favorite feature of this look is the high contrast highlights that add structure and depth to this awesome hairstyle. We recommend point waves for thin layered hair.

22. Layered Medium Layered Lob

Layered Medium Layered Lob

As you can see, this blunt shoulder-length haircut is drastically improved by a few wavy twists. This is an extremely versatile look that looks well with both straight and naturally textured hair types. The chunky layers reveal a bit of the neck but then droop down over the collarbone in the front. This is a great way to dress up hair that you’re growing out past your shoulders.

23. Dramatic Over-the-shoulder Lob with Waves

Dramatic Over-the-shoulder Lob with Waves

We adore this charming chin-high short bob haircut. The bold highlights and frontal balayage perfectly compliment the loose waves. This look works well with all face shapes as well as most hair types. We recommend a texturizing product for finishing the look, such as oil or mousse. Overall, this is a low-maintenance look that is both professional and flirty.

24. Strawberry Blonde Balayage Beach Waves

Strawberry Blonde Balayage Beach Waves

This beautiful balayage hairdo features a smooth transition between crimson roots and strawberry blonde tips. The loose ringlets work best with fine hair, as they add a lot of base volume, which flattens the flat-lying crown. This look looks best on oval and square-shaped faces. If you are looking for a long, wavy hair idea that’s original and hip, this crimson creation is worth considering. Keep in mind that long ringlets work well with all colors, we’re just particularly fond of this faded crimson dye-job.

25. Chic Long Bob with Textured End

This wavy long bob can be pulled off with ease and it looks absolutely stunning with the subtle highlights. The key to this look is the above-the-shoulder lengths cut with textured ends which conveys an easy summer feeling. It is a lively and fun hair idea, shake up your go-to style with it!

26. Below-the-shoulders Voluminous Waves

Below-the-shoulders Voluminous Waves

This blunt chunky-ended style is accentuated by choppy undone waves. Short hairstyles for fine hair are a great do for fine haired ladies looking to add a little volume and momentum to their heavy-set hair. The hair is cut evenly just above the nape of the neck. Then, it is parted down the middle and left to fall loosely over the cheekbones. This is easy to maintain and a great way to hide hair in an otherwise notoriously awkward stage of growth.

27. Textured Dirty Blonde Waves with Flattened Crown

Textured Dirty Blonde Waves with Flattened Crown

This sexy look is a great option for women with thick hair. The tousled waves are parted down the middle for a perfect face-framing look for women of all ages. Golden accents are accountable for this looks warm and summery vibes. As such, it compliments women with medium to dark skin colors. We recommend using a little product to tame inevitable flyaways. Other than that, this look requires minimal prep.

28. Wispy Auburn Curves

Wispy Auburn Curves

These ever so slightly curved auburn tendrils are a laidback alternative to straight hair. Not to mention, the brushed out waves are a great way to rock a second-day look or even skip a wash. Simply add a little frizz reducer and be on your way. The dark chestnut brown and auburn highlights help keep this look classy and sophisticated.

29. Unraveled Half-up Braid with Loose Waves

Unraveled Half-up Braid with Loose Waves

This loose half braid seems to defy gravity as it sits atop loose tousled waves. We suspect that a bobby pin or bit of product is being used to hold the style in place, but it’s truly hard to tell. There is nothing overly manicured about this look, even the wispy flyaways add texture and style to this partial up-do.

30. Dip-dyed Pink Waves with Top Knot

Dip-dyed Pink Waves with Top Knot

This hip look is oh-so 2018. The dip-dyed balayage pink ends add a punk rock flair to this otherwise clean style. The tiny topknot is a great way to thin out that bottom poof and create a division of layers. We love a good half up, half down look for all hair types and occasions.

31. Cool Blue Ombre with Rolled Middle Knot

Cool Blue Ombre with Rolled Middle Knot

This mermaid-unique look is stunning. The deep ocean blue roots fade into robins egg blue middles and baby blue tips. Meanwhile, the super long wavy tendrils are well defined and elegant. The top layers of hair are crisscrossed at the back of the head to create an additional element and even more volume.

32. Dramatic Bleached Ombre Ends with Subtle Waves

Dramatic Bleached Ombre Ends with Subtle Waves

We are loving the dramatic transition of this dip-dyed ombre look. Nothing ties this pretty look together better than a few mid-back twists. The look is best suited for women with minimally-layered thick to medium hair. It’s subtle, angelic, and compliments most face types.

33. Giner Chest Height Waves with Center Part

Giner Chest Height Waves with Center Part

These sexy ginger twists are parted down the middle for the perfect work/play look. The tight angles of these curls bring out the awesome strawberry blonde tips. This wavy hairstyle is easy to achieve with a medium-sized iron or straightener.

34. Big Hollywood Waves with Overgrown Roots

Big Hollywood Waves with Overgrown Roots

There is nothing classier than wide-angled tampered waves. These bohemian bends require long voluminous hair. To achieve this pretty hairstyle, leave your locks in French braids overnight. The end result looks far from a slept-in look. Enhance the look with french tip nails!

35. Short Wavy Hair with Voluminous Waves

Short Wavy Hair with Voluminous Waves

This short wavy hair with its dark brown dye job has a bit of Parisian flair. The crown is super teased with plenty of wispy over-the eyes shag. Heavily tousled curls and waves complete the playful look. Overall, this is a great wavy hair idea for women who are looking to stand out from the crowd. It stands to show that short wavy hair isn’t just for the grandmas.

36. Layered Shag with Beachy Waves

Layered Shag with Beachy Waves

This layered shag features soft dirty blonde waves that extend just below the shoulders. This easy hairstyle uses natural volume and texture to compliment the model’s facial features. This look works best with thick hair. However, a volume-boosting product can lift thin strands. Shags are making a major comeback, and they are the perfect haircut for wavy hair.

37. Two-toned Sandy Side Party with Elegant Waves

Two-toned Sandy Side Party with Elegant Waves

As you can see from the picture, this pretty golden-hued style is a major improvement from the blunt yellow-hued hairdo. The toned down color and soft shoulder-length waves are warm and inviting. This hairdo is a cute hairstyle for girls. Not to mention, it can easily be pulled into a low ponytail.

38. Shoulder-length Barely-there Waves

Shoulder-length Barely-there Waves

Barely-there waves are trending. They are pretty, simple, easy to master and work well for everyday use. In this case, the simple shoulder length lob and sun-kissed highlights are the perfect pairings for this easy laidback look.

39. Two-toned Windswept Locks

Two-toned Windswept Locks

Two-toned hair is a great way to rock your original color as well as a dye job. In this case, the textured waves help tie the chaos together. This is a great look for women who are looking to grow out dry or damaged hair. Not to mention, its a doable hairstyle for wavy hair and naturally textured tresses.

40. High-contrast Two-toned Lob

 High-contrast Two-toned Lob

This high contrast color job is tied together by skinny highlights. This is yet another prime example of barely-there waves that can be achieved with a straightening iron in just a few minutes.

41. Deconstructed Fishtail With Loose Waves

Deconstructed Fishtail With Loose Waves

This deconstructed fishtail is an original hair idea for women looking to make a statement. The crisscrossed strands add an attractive element to the back of the head while managing to pull the front strands up and away from the face. The final touch is a subtle wave. This is a bold and beautiful look for women with all types of hair.

42. Long Healthy Waves

Long Healthy Waves

This cute style is simple and easy to achieve, so long as you’ve got healthy butt-length tresses to work with. The soft subtle curves of these flat-lying waves are easy to master. In fact, you too can have them by sleeping in loose braids.

43. Electric Fuchsia Mermaid Waves with Lilac Roots

Electric Fuchsia Mermaid Waves with Lilac Roots

Are you on the lookout for a bold beautiful hair idea? These brazen fuchsia waves are anything but drab. What’s more, subtle lilac roots add depth and contrast to this pretty hairstyle.

44. Blunt Beach Waves with Fringe

Blunt Beach Waves with Fringe

We’ve seen a lot of two-toned and highlighted hairdos, but nothing beats blunt shoulder-length cuts in a single hue. These cute bouncy waves are perfectly accented by long feathery fringe and some subtle side layers. This is a cute easy hairstyle works well for both adult women and young girls.

45. Long Red Ombre Hairdo with Bouncy Ends

Long Red Ombre Hairdo with Bouncy Ends

We cannot get enough of this copper/auburn ombre look. The combed-out curls offer all-day texture, without being overly high-maintenance. After seeing this look, we’re pretty sure redheads have all the fun!

46. Auburn Locks with Curly Ends

Auburn Locks with Curly Ends

Curly-ended tendrils are a perfect way to add volume to a healthy head of hair. In this case, there’s no reason to add texture from the roots down. This look is best for hair that drapes over the middle of the back. Its cute hairstyle for girls who want to dress up their long locks without rocking an up-do.

47. Modern Shag with Parted Side Bangs

Modern Shag with Parted Bangs

This choppy shag is brought to life with wispy ends and backswept layers. Meanwhile, long over-the-eye bangs are parted in the middle. The best way to bring out these chunk layers is by angling the chunky ends with a straightening iron.

48. Wavy Lob with Dip-dyed Ends

Wavy Lob with Dip-dyed ends

Is it time to chop of those split ends? This above-the-shoulder look features soft barely-there curls. The bold black color job with dip-dyed auburn ends is a pretty option for autumn or late summer.

49. Long Layered Hair Tendrils with Straightened Ends

Long Layered Tendrils with Straightened Ends

While many layered looks end in blunt, straightened ends, this wavy look features wispy full circle tips. A bit of product helps keep the individual locks separate. This pretty do is great for special events and date nights.

50. Simple Undone Auburn Waves

Simple Undone Auburn Waves

Sometimes less is more. In the case of these barely-there auburn waves, there’s no need for fancy accents or time-consuming coiffures. Of course, a dandelion headband would turn this look into a perfect flower power fashion statement.

51. Bold Asymmetrical Bob with Side Party

Bold Asymmetrical Bob with Side Party

This above-the-shoulder haircut for wavy hair defies convention. The extra-long front pieces hang work well with round faces. The addition of minimal combed-out waves adds a bit of texture and playful flair to this already fun look.

52. Blackish Grey Flat Waves with Top Knot

Blackish Grey Flat Waves with Top Knot

We absolutely adore this medium-length haircut for wavy hair. The grey/black ombre color job is on display with vintage-inspired shiny flat waves. Meanwhile, the mini top twist serves as a cute contemporary accent.

53. Volumous Combed-out Waves

Volumous Combed-out Waves

Want a high volume hairstyle without full curls? These top to bottom waves are made by gently brushing out freshly ironed curls. They add plenty of bounce and texture to long hair and generate depth in highlights.

54. Short Pink Waves with Rose Gold Highlights

Short Pink Waves with Rose Gold Highlights

This short cropped hairdo features vibrant bubblegum locks with fuchsia roots and rose gold hair highlights. However, the real stars here are the loose coils that hang over the model’s cheekbones.

55. Shoulder-length Dented Do With Feathered Ends

Shoulder-length Dented Do With Feathered Ends

This last short blonde hair look features a subtle wave or dent in the middle of the hair. It’s a great way to add a bit of bounce without featuring full-on coils. The shorter layers also flare out and add a bit of flavor to this look. The best part about this cute easy hairstyle is you only need a few minutes and a flat iron to fully execute it.

Gorgeous Wavy Hairstyles for Women

After looking at 45+ contemporary wavy hairstyles, it’s impossible to deny the fun, flirty effect of curves. A little hook and bounce do wonders for contemporary cuts and colors. In this case, we’re fairly confident the pictures speak for themselves. Now, all that’s left for you to do is speak with your stylist about the best way to achieve these high volume styles. Of course, you’ll also want to find yourself a rocking event to debut your new do.

50 Beautiful Wavy Hairstyles to Rock Wavy Hair Like a Boss

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About the AuthorAvatar photo
Andy Jones

Andy focuses on getting readers familiar with the latest and trendiest hairstyles. There’s pretty much no style she has yet to try, and her mission is to help everyone find the perfect look they seek. When Andy is not gushing about hairstyles, she spends most of her time reading through her giant collection of sci-fi books or watching old Star Trek shows. See all articles from Andy.