Image of four happy women with wavy and curly hair

Published 4th May 2022

How To Tell If Hair Products Are Heavy Or Lightweight

When you have wavy hair or curly hair, it can be difficult to find the perfect products for your needs. Many products are too heavy for wavy haired people. They can way down the hair and make it difficult to style.


Usually, lightweight products are better for low density hair. But if you have wavy hair that is on the finer side, it can be difficult to find hair products that are not too heavy for your locks.


The important thing is knowing the difference between heavy and lightweight products. In this article, we will run through what lightweight hair products are and how you can identify them. We’ve also got some recommendations for the best lightweight products for all of you wavies and curlies out there!

what are lightweight hair care products?

Lightweight products are water-soluble products that are thinner in consistency than heavy products.


Usually, lightweight products are serums, gels, or mousse. Whereas heavy products are usually butters and oils. Some shampoos and conditions are also lightweight, but not all of them.


Because lightweight products are thinner and less heavy than their sticker counterparts, they don’t weigh down your waves as much. As a result, it’s easier to style your hair and keep it in place for the day ahead.


Lightweight products are usually:


• Oil free

• Butter free

• Wax free

• Silicone free

• Petroleum free

• Mineral oil free

How to find the best lightweight products for curly hair

Here are some of our top tips for identifying the best lightweight products to use when you have curly or wavy hair. 

Image of a women with a wavy hair

1. search for a product that is mostly water

All lightweight products should consist predominantly of water. In other words, water should be the first ingredient on the list when you take a look at the label.


Water is a hydrating molecule for the hair and it is extremely lightweight. It won’t wear your hair down and it won’t affect your ability to style your waves or curls in whichever way you like.


Water is the first ingredient in all of the Merwave products, including the Protect Gel, Feed Treatment, Cast Foam, Repair Shampoo, and Repair Conditioner. You can complete a full hair care routine with each of these products to maintain soft, bouncy curls that are moisturized and free of frizz.

2. search for products that contain other lightweight ingredients

Products that are produced mainly with extracts, milks, and hydrosols are likely to be lightweight. As long as these ingredients aren’t combined with lots of heavier components, like oils and butters, they shouldn’t weigh your hair down too much.

3. pay particular attention to the first five ingredients

Even if water is the predominant ingredient in a hair product, there could still be some heavier components.


When you are taking a look at the ingredients label, check the first five ingredients. Since components of a product are listed in order from the highest percentage to the lowest, you can get a good idea about whether or not a product is lightweight based on the first five ingredients that are listed on the label.


For example, the Merwave Deep Conditioning Hair Mask has several lightweight ingredients, which are listed in order of concentration on the label - Aqua (Water), Cetearyl Alcohol, Cetrimonium Chloride, Behentrimonium Chloride, Hydrogetaned Ethylhexyl Olivate.

4. take a look at the rest of the ingredients

It’s okay for a product to have one or two heavy components, but try to avoid products that have several heavier ingredients.


Take a quick look at all of the ingredients in the list to double-check that there aren’t too many heavy ingredients. Even if they are only found in small amounts within the product, they can weigh down your hair if there are more than one or two of them.

5. avoid oils and butters

Both oils and butters are thick components that can cause a product to feel heavy on your hair. If you look at the label of a product and one or more of the first five ingredients are oils or butters, it’s best to avoid it when you have wavy hair.


For example, a popular leave-in condition may contain water, coconut oil, sunflower oil, propanediol, and distearoylethyl dimonium chloride. All of these are heavy weight products that are not recommended for those of you with wavy hair, especially if your hair is on the finer side.


Heavy ingredients that are commonly used in hair care products are shea butter, macadamia oil, and avocado oil. If you spot these on any labels, give the products a miss!

final thoughts

So, if there is anything that you take away from this article, it should be this – lightweight products are much better for wavy hair than heavy products. They won’t weigh your hair down and leave it feeling tacky for the whole day.


Instead, they will provide hydration and nourishment, leaving your waves looking luscious and healthy. They will also make styling your hair much easier by providing a hydrated base to work with.


If you’re searching for the perfect lightweight products for your waves, head over to the Merwave shop to find everything that you will need when it comes to styling and maintaining your locks.

£80.00£68.00
£53.00£48.00

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