Making Waves

I’m a big fan of hair with staying power. If I wear my hair straight and put it into a high ponytail, it’s toast until I wash it again (thanks to the gnarly crease on the middle of my head), so I have many strategies on how to wear my hair at the gym so it isn’t ruined (maybe another post?). Whenever I wear my hair in waves, it stays the best, and is easy to freshen up with a few curls. 

The key is to create soft waves (instead of crunchy curls) and don’t look like you spent an hour curling your hair. About 10 minutes of curling + a little styling spray and smoothing gloss and you’re good to go.

making waves with a curling wand

I filmed this video with my favorite little sidekick behind me in the babysitter balance: 

 babysitter balance

Fellow moms out there: this is how I shower, cook and get dressed for the day. Liv loves bouncing in the balance chair, it’s safe, and easy to move around so she can watch what I’m doing. She has about a 15 minute limit before she’s had enough, but it’s the perfect amount of time to make a snack, start dinner, shower (with the seat in front of the shower so I can see her), or curl my hair and get dressed.

Tools for Making Waves

 Hair stuff

Kenra styling spray

Bio Ionic styling wand (an Easter gift from the madre- they’re on sale for $80 at Amazon right now)

Keratin complex glossing cream (similar to this one)

 Me with waves

Tips for Curling Hair to Make Waves

-Start the curl at the middle of your hair (not the top) and curl vertically, away from your face

-Don’t curl the ends

-Lightly mist with styling spray

-Let curls sit while you get dressed and/or put on makeup, then gently comb your fingers through

-If your hair doesn’t hold curl well, try misting with styling spray (lightly!) before curling, too

-Vary the sizes of pieces you curl, so it doesn’t look too uniform

-The curls are tighter at first, but loosen throughout the day. The next day is when they look exactly like I like them- pretty but not overdone


(when I woke up this morning)

Curling Your Hair for Waves Video Tutorial

I’ve never liked making how-to videos (where’s the “edit awkwardness button??”) but practice makes…. better? I hope. Haha.

Hope you enjoy!



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  1. Claire @ Live and Love to Eat on May 30, 2012 at 3:47 pm

    This is what my pin-straight hair ends up looking like when I curl it – I have to use a ton of hairspray to make it last the day, too! Your hair always looks great.

  2. KariLynne10 on May 30, 2012 at 3:59 pm

    Definitely want more hair videos!!!! How do you like making movies on the Mac imovie?

    • Fitnessista on May 30, 2012 at 4:09 pm

      it took a sec to get used to, but i really liked it!

  3. Jaime on May 30, 2012 at 4:01 pm

    This is probably a stupid question, but I am horrible with a curling iron and have been wanting to try it lately. I have super thick, frizzy, coarse hair that I usually straighten. If I let it airdry or just blowdry it without straightening it looks…well, ridiculous to put it nicely. It is huge and super frizzy and damaged looking. Do I need to straighten it before I curl it with a curling iron?? Or will just using the curling iron smooth it out while curling if that makes any sense? Thanks!

    • Ashley on May 30, 2012 at 4:24 pm

      My hair is the exact same way!!!

    • Irene on May 31, 2012 at 10:12 am

      I have thick fairly curly hair, and I frequently just curl it over the natural texture to save myself from any more heat damage. I use a big (1.5 inch) curling iron and it makes nice loose curls that are actually smoother than when I straighten it myself. It works well for me – try it and see how it goes for you!

      • Jaime on May 31, 2012 at 10:16 am

        Thanks Irene! I will try that!

      • Fitnessista on May 31, 2012 at 11:20 am

        i do the same thing! i can’t bring myself to toast my hair with the blow drier, straightener and curling iron at the same time. i usually pick one thing and that’s it

    • Katy on May 31, 2012 at 1:27 pm

      Definitely do NOT straighten your hair before you curl it. A flat iron smooths the hair cuticle which affects your hair’s ability to hold said curl.

      The curling iron will do it’s job and smooth the look of your hair on its own.

  4. Stephanie @ Legally Blinde on May 30, 2012 at 4:02 pm

    Great video! Thanks for all of your tips. Your hair always looks awesome. I would LOVE a post about how you protect your hairstyle when you go to the gym!

  5. Casey on May 30, 2012 at 4:05 pm

    Yes, Gina, pleeeeeese do a hair post on how to wear your hair at the gym to keep it down and wearable for a day or two after fixing it originally. I too cannot do anything but a ponytail after I’ve put it in a ponytail once because of the awesome crease it creates, your help would be greatly appreciated!!! πŸ™‚

    • Johanna on May 30, 2012 at 10:15 pm

      Oh, the ponytail crease! Curses!

  6. Sarah on May 30, 2012 at 4:15 pm

    Thank you! I love your hair how-to’s. My hair is somewhat similar to yours and these days it spends way too much time in a messy bun on top of my hair. I would LOVE to see how you wear your hair for workouts too.

    BTW – I hear you on the Bjorn Babysitter. I don’t know how I could have survived the first few months without it! Shower/bathroom stuff/dinner/just sitting and breathing for a second lol. Now we’ve moved on to the doorway bouncer, he’s a fanatic about it πŸ™‚

  7. Maddy on May 30, 2012 at 4:18 pm

    This is helpful. LOL re:90s. I think late 90s/early 2000 was the last time I used a curling iron every now and then and I curled down and went to the end of the hair to start. I like this way much better and if that old curling iron still works I may try it. It’s adorable how Livi threw in her advice as well. Keep the videos coming. If you had described this I would have been lost, but seeing it, I think I can do it.

  8. Courtney @ Sweet Tooth, Sweet Life on May 30, 2012 at 4:45 pm

    Girl, I hear ya on the pin straight hair. Once it’s wrapped around the holder, it’s done for the day!
    Love the video πŸ™‚ xoxo

  9. Jill on May 30, 2012 at 5:01 pm

    Great post!

    Yes, please, please do a post on how to wear your hair while working out, so it is salvageable & you don’t have to wash it.

  10. Averie @ Averie Cooks on May 30, 2012 at 5:24 pm

    Great video and tips…and I have always said, you have GREAT hair!! Thanks for filling us in on some of your tips!

  11. Amanda on May 30, 2012 at 6:48 pm

    I loved this tutorial! I use hot rollers but my hair is so thick, I can only curl so much with them. A curling wand would be a lot easier. I like that you don’t have to hold the hot wand to your head for too long. I used to spend 30-45 minutes curling my hair!

  12. Sarah on May 30, 2012 at 7:19 pm

    You are so adorable (and Livy’s coos steal my heart too!).

  13. nysoonergirl on May 30, 2012 at 7:46 pm

    I would love to see how you keep your hair from being ruined at the gym! Same goes for the waterfall braid! So cute!

  14. char eats greens on May 30, 2012 at 7:48 pm

    I love curling with my hair straightener. I need to do it more often since my hair is getting really long and it’s thin, so being long and straight does nothing for it!! Plus, curlys just make you feel good!

  15. lisa on May 30, 2012 at 8:08 pm

    I love to do my hair this way. I workout in the morning and I need to wash it after so I have to plan it on those days. How do you deal with sweating so much throughout the day and what do you do with your hair between classes?

    • Fitnessista on May 30, 2012 at 10:34 pm

      i’ll do a post on it- i have a few strategies πŸ™‚

      • Irene on May 31, 2012 at 10:14 am

        Please do – and please tell me if you’ve found a dry shampoo that works well for dark hair! Most of the aerosol ones are basically lighter fluid…gross.

        • Fitnessista on May 31, 2012 at 11:19 am

          yes- ojon!!

          • Irene on May 31, 2012 at 1:13 pm

            Thank you!

  16. Brittany on May 30, 2012 at 8:27 pm

    So I might be the only person who doesnt know this but what is the difference between a styling wand and a curling iron? They look the same but do they do different things?

    • Caryn on May 30, 2012 at 10:31 pm

      I was wondering the exact same thing! Ideas?

    • Fitnessista on May 30, 2012 at 10:34 pm

      same thing πŸ™‚

      • Brittany on May 31, 2012 at 7:35 am

        oh. haha. I have my curling iron plugged in and warming up as we speak (type?). Ready to try this out!

        • Brittany on May 31, 2012 at 9:47 am

          so tried it this morning. I was running late for school so I wasnt able to use hairspray (big mistake!). But I am really happy with the outcome. I hold a curl really well so it worked well. Thanks Gina!

          • Fitnessista on May 31, 2012 at 11:21 am

            yay, i’m so glad!

        • Fitnessista on May 31, 2012 at 10:48 am

          whoo hoo! let me know how it goes πŸ™‚

  17. Kristen on May 30, 2012 at 9:30 pm

    Thank you so much for the video. That hairstyle is definitely easy breezy but looks so beautiful.
    I can’t wait to see the waterfall braid.

    P.S. Livi threw some great hair tips in there as well. πŸ˜‰ Cutie

  18. Amanda on May 30, 2012 at 9:53 pm

    Great hair video! I miss having wavy hair like this, I can’t wait until mine is long enough to use a curling iron on again. I would love more hair how-tos, it looks like we have similar hair and I have such a hard time finding new ways to style it.

  19. Johanna on May 30, 2012 at 10:10 pm

    Hair styling tips are always welcome – thanks for this! And yes – tips as to how to get hair to survive a gym experience would be really appreciated! πŸ™‚

  20. Ali on May 30, 2012 at 10:24 pm

    You are SO adorable! Thank you for the tips! <3

  21. Marie-SantΓ© on May 30, 2012 at 10:26 pm

    Thanks for the tips! I would love to learn how you keep your hair to look good after gym. I usually put mine in a french braid (my hair are too thick and long for a ponytail to hold!) and that’s it, they are ruined.

  22. Karen on May 30, 2012 at 10:35 pm

    Hi Gina Great video – easy to follow and the soft waves look really nice. You mentioned an instructional video for the waterfall braid – YES please! That hairstyle looked so nice. I had no idea how you did it though so a video on it would be fantastic! πŸ™‚

  23. Emily on May 31, 2012 at 1:05 am

    Aw you’re so cute! Loved the video. Your hair looks great that way.

    • Fitnessista on May 31, 2012 at 10:48 am

      you, my friend, have the BEST curls i have ever seen πŸ™‚

  24. Raewyn on May 31, 2012 at 5:02 am

    Thanks so much for the video, Gina! I love how your hair always looks – and you do a great job explaining/demonstrating…I can always follow along. πŸ˜€ I’ve used your hot rollers tutorial multiple times for weddings and was so proud that I actually did something with my hair! Please keep the hair videos coming; I’d love to see a waterfall braid and gym hair one. πŸ™‚

  25. nickee on May 31, 2012 at 10:44 am

    thank you for this lovely video!! cannot wait to try it out πŸ™‚

  26. Jennifer on May 31, 2012 at 12:10 pm

    Thank you! I love the video!! I would love to see the waterfall braid video too!

  27. Lynnlee on May 31, 2012 at 5:58 pm

    Love the video- your hair looks great and you make it look so easy! Do you think that this would also work with a flat iron with rounded edges?

  28. Sara on May 31, 2012 at 7:00 pm

    If you can buy a much cheaper iron at Target, etc., like you mentioned, why would I (or you or anyone) pay $110. I don’t get it. If you say a cheaper one is just as good, why would you tell everyone the price of yours?

    • Fitnessista on May 31, 2012 at 8:00 pm

      I said what type and how much it costs because I know I’d get asked in the comments. I didn’t buy it, my mom did. The less expensive ones work but they take longer to heat and since you can’t control the temperature, can cause damage. As far as function goes, they curl, and how much someone wants to spend is a function of their personal budget.

      • Sara on May 31, 2012 at 9:06 pm

        Then they don’t work as well. If your mom gave that to you as a gift, how would you know how much it cost? Very strange to discuss the price of a gift. And you think people would ask how much it cost? Seriously? Once again, $110 for a curling iron = no budget.

        • Fitnessista on May 31, 2012 at 11:39 pm

          Sara, our budget allows for occassional purchases of quality items. It didn’t always, so I try to offer capable alternatives (even if they may lack some of the bonus perks). You need to take a step back from this, friend. You’ve left multiple comments worried about our money, and you’re getting way too spun up over what is essentially a non-issue. It’s not worth the stress. I wish you guys luck with all your goals, but you and I are done discussing my family’s finances.

  29. Yvonne on May 31, 2012 at 7:46 pm

    My hair hates to hold a curl! The sock bun technique does the trick! Get on Pinterest and search for it! No heat curls and they HOLD. Let me know if you try it (or maybe I will read about it in a post πŸ˜› )

  30. Brett Marie on June 1, 2012 at 3:07 am

    Thanks so much for this post! I love the pics of you with your hair wavy & have wondered how you do it. Can’t wait to try. And would love to see a tutorial on braids, too!

  31. Jamie on June 1, 2012 at 11:36 am

    I have been an avid follower of your blog for over four years, hardly missing an update. I can’t tell you how many times that I’ll be thinking something…and the next day- you’ll blog about it- I find it hilarious! Like my blog prayers…answered! Yesterday- I had a freak out bc my ipod wasn’t working before my Zumba class…and this is exactly what I was thinking about this morning! “Man I wish I could do my hair like all those girls on tv (and Gina)” hahaha..and here a video tutorial! God bless you Gina- You have helped this girl in more ways than I can even mention!

    • Fitnessista on June 1, 2012 at 11:39 am

      aww, thank you jamie! i’m reading your mind, haha πŸ˜‰ so awesome that you’re a zumba instructor too πŸ™‚
      if you try it, let me know how it goes!

  32. Elizabeth on June 1, 2012 at 3:43 pm

    Gina! I love the hair tips! Keep ’em coming! πŸ™‚

    One quick dumb question, what is the difference between styling spray and hairspray?

  33. Yvonne on June 3, 2012 at 8:50 pm

    Gina.. I had another response written.. but I thought better. I just want to let you know that I read your blog EVERY day. Many staples in my diet came from the experimenting that You did for the benefit of us, your readers. Not to mention the countless beauty supplies in my bathroom. I truly appreciate that you try different things and share reviews with us. It actually saves me money because I know the better options to try first! Sorry for the rambling, but you are AWESOME.. Keep it up!!

    • Fitnessista on June 3, 2012 at 10:14 pm

      wow, thank you so much yvonne- i appreciate the kind words <3 it makes me happy to hear when people say they enjoy my blog, because i really enjoy writing it

  34. mary @ what's cookin with mary on June 5, 2012 at 12:33 pm

    Great video! You make it look easy enough for me to try ;0)

  35. Grace (Graceful Eats) on June 6, 2012 at 10:57 pm

    Whoa. Okay….(just submitting the two cents of another reader who doesn’t know Gina personally – so I’m not “biased”)
    I truly am not to be rude, Sara, but I think Gina is just trying be polite by calling you “friend.” It’s more of a slang thing; my aunt has called many women she doesn’t know “friend” just in passing. It’s like a guy calling another guy “bro.”

    And while I agree that a blog is a public place, each person also has the right to respectfully back away from nasty conflict. It’s Gina’s blog, so she has the right to ask her readers to refrain from aggressive comments. Every family has different lifestyles/incomes – a blog doesn’t always show all the very private, individual aspects of that. I have a friend who is very thrifty/conservative with money, middle-class so to speak, and a college student but she bought a $100 hair straightener. But it’s HER money! She can buy/not buy anything she likes! I’ve never gotten the feel that Gina blows all her money on frivolous things. If anything, I’ve been grateful to see a blogger that buys/suggests deals tips while still living a life she obviously enjoys.

    And usually it’s worth it for quality > cost. A single $110 curling iron that is excellent + lasts is sometimes better than a less expensive, cheap one that has to be constantly replaced.

  36. Amanda Lee on June 7, 2012 at 9:44 am

    I looked up this video this morning so I could copy it today and I have to say- girl you look great with no makeup!! – I’m a believer in giving a complement if you think it-
    (and I’m especially glad I came here after reading what’s above me).
    Some people don’t understand that your hair type also effects the type of product you should buy. Personally I have the wand from Target, however I have fairly straight thinner hair. Gina has thicker, waver hair (I’m making this assumption because well I can see your hair and I have a friend with almost the exact same hair). She buys a little more expensive products as well because of her hair type. A less expensive straightener-curler, etc would ruin her hair and make it frizzy. Mine, not so much.
    Gina’s giving you a couple options to get the product. She doesn’t know our budgets so if there is a lower cost option that would allow someone on a tighter budget to be able to do this hairstyle of course she’s going to tell us and hope we know what our hair type is so we don’t ruin our hair with a cheap wand that’s more likely to burn it. Relax. Be happy, count your own blessings instead of looking at hers.

    • Grace (Graceful Eats) on June 7, 2012 at 3:14 pm

      Amen, Amanda! Great comment…like you said, there’s tons of different options.

  37. Jane on June 10, 2012 at 10:23 pm

    Hi Gina! Thanks so much for making this video – seriously so helpful! Quick question(s): what size is your styling wand and is a styling wand the same thing as a clipless curling wand? (Sorry, I’m a beginner at curling hair without using hot rollers!) Thanks!

  38. Emma on June 14, 2012 at 5:59 pm

    Pretty please do a gym hair tutorial, I suffer quite badly with it!

    • Fitnessista on June 14, 2012 at 9:58 pm

      it’s in the works! i did two hair styles this week and am hoping to have the post finished by next week (i wanted to use real life examples!)

  39. brianna on June 30, 2012 at 9:46 pm

    hey I just started following your blog after looking up a google search actually. I am in the market for a new curling wand. i was wondering what you would suggest. Is there a huge difference between ionic and normal?

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