The below guide breaks down the most common questions we’ve received. It’ll provide you with the tools and knowledge you need to unleash your wavy hairs true potential.
We need to understand that everyone’s hair is unique. What works for one person may not work for someone else. So be open minded during this journey. Experiment with different quantities and test different techniques. One day you’ll hit breakthrough where your hair will be transformed into soft, defined, gorgeous waves.
All questions in this guide are below. Click on any to get directed to it.
A - Getting started
A1 - Does my hair need protein or moisture?
An optimum protein-moisture balance is the key to incredible hair.
A simple test you can do to determine if your hair needs more moisture or protein is by stretching a strand of your hair down towards the ground and seeing how far it extends before breaking.
Balanced hair = strand stretches a little then bounces back without breaking
Protein deficient = strand keeps stretching without breaking (feels limp and mushy)
Moisture deficient = strand stretches more then breaks (or feels dry and brittle)
Note that your moisture/protein balance will change all the time, so it’s worth doing this test every month.
A2 - What products to use if I need more protein/moisture?
Balanced hair: use entire Merwave range (numbers 1-5)
Protein deficient: use numbers 1-5. Experiment using more Feed Treatment (number 3) for protein hit
Moisture deficient: skip number 3 (Feed Treatment) as you don't need more protein right now. Use more Repair Conditioner and apply Deep Conditioning Mask once or twice per week to hydrate your hair.
Worth noting wavy hair is normally moisture deficient. So don't be alarmed if your hair currently feels dry and brittle.
A3 - I’ve used other products and heat tools before, will this cause issues?
If you’ve used heating tools and harmful products (hair dyes, silicones etc) before then your hair may be damaged. So more protein will be required to repair your hair.
If you want a hard reset, wash your hair using a clarifying shampoo. This will remove any old product build up so you can start from scratch. It will leave your hair dehydrated and super dry though, so make sure you deeply condition after.
A4 - Can I brush my hair?
Only when it’s soaking wet and coated in conditioner. Brushing your hair when it’s dry causes tension on your hair strands which leads to breakages.
B - Wash day questions
B1 - What's the process?
Full video demos can be found here. We advise watching them to see the routine in action.
This is where the fun begins! The process may look daunting, yet it’s super easy once you’ve done it a couple of times.
Steps 1 and 2 are simply washing and conditioning. Then you just apply the styling products.
Here’s the process:
Step 1: Wash hair using Cleanse Shampoo
The shampoo doesn’t contain any sulphates, so you won’t get a lather. Yet your hair will still be deeply cleansed.
Massage into fully saturated wet hair. Start at the root making sure you use your finger tips on your scalp (not your nails as this disrupts your scalp).
Step 2: Condition hair using Repair Conditioner
It’s during this stage we detangle our hair to get rid of knots. So you want to use enough conditioner to make your hair feel super slippery (like seaweed). You should be able to glide your fingers through it.
Smooth through your hair from the roots to the end. Use your fingers, a tangle teaser or a wide tooth comb to brush through. Leave on for a few minutes or a bit longer if you want it for a mask.
Step 3: Apply Feed Treatment
This is a leave in protein treatment. If your protein/moisture test (see question 1) says you need more protein then add this to your routine. If the test says you need more moisture, drop this out for now and use more conditioner.
Take a small amount and smooth it through your hair with your hands in a praying position. Keep smoothing it through until you feel that your entire hair is covered. Focus on the length (not the root). Don't wash out as it's a leave in treatment.
Most Merwavers use the Feed Treatment every 3-4 washes to give their hair a protein boost.
If your hair feels dry and brittle after using it, then it’s likely your hair needs moisture not protein. So remove it for the next wash.
Step 4: Scrunch in Cast Foam
Foam is a wavy girls best friend! It creates space between our hair strands which enhances the shape and definition of our waves. It’s also super lightweight so doesn’t weigh our waves down.
Flip your head upside down. Rake foam through gently. Then take small sections of your hair and scrunch them up towards your scalp. Squeeze slightly to get rid of excess moisture to help the drying process.
Step 5: Apply Protect Gel
This locks our waves in place. Start off using smaller quantity of gel. Then if you feel you need more hold, add more in.
Cover your palms with the gel. Repeat the scrunch and squeeze motion until you have evenly spread the gel throughout your hair.
Step 6 - Dry hair
See options below
Step 7 - Break the cast
The Cast Foam and Protect Gel create a crispy cast around your waves as they dry. You need to break the cast when your hair is fully dry by clapping or scrunching it out. This is called ‘scrunching out the crunch’. There’s a video on this page showing you how to do this.
B2 - What quantities should I use?
Everyone’s hair is different. Some people (like me) have lots of hair so need more product. Others have finer hair that reacts better to less product. There is no right or wrong amount.
Experiment with different quantities until you discover what works best for you. Start off with less and add in more if required.
B3 - How do I dry my hair?
Few options depending on how much time you have. The big no no is blow drying. This will cause all sorts of problems with your waves.
Option 1: Diffuse
Full video on this page. Quickest method if you’re in a rush. Use on a low heat and low speed. Post diffusing your hair may look a little crunchy, so you’ll need to break the cast (see how here).
Option 2: Air drying
Healthiest option, yet also the longest. Just let your hair dry as normal.
Option 3: Microfibre hair towel and air dry/diffuse combo
Best of both worlds. The microfibre hair wrap will absorb excess moisture. You can then air dry or diffuse to finish it off.
C - Post wash questions
C1 - When should I start seeing results?
Some people’s waves will be unleashed after the first wash. Others will take time. It all depends on how you’ve cared for your hair prior to starting this process.
If you’ve been using products that contain sulphates, silicones, parabens and damaging it using heating tools (blow drying, straighteners, curlers etc), then your hair will likely be damaged. It’ll therefore need to go through what’s called the ‘’transition stage’’. Read this article about it.
Your hair is a living thing (like your skin). So the longer you use the products the healthier your hair will become, which equals more defined waves.
C3 - How to protect my waves when sleeping?
Nothing worse than having a great wash day, going to sleep and waking up looking like you’ve been dragged through a bush (frizz, tangles etc).
You must protect your waves at night. Firstly, swap your cotton pillow case for a silk pillow case. Silk results in less friction with your hair, which is a big cause of frizz. A silk hair bonnet for sleeping in will also keep your hair tidied away and secure. Putting your hair up in a pineapple will also keep it safe.
C4 - How often should I wash my hair?
Depends on your hair type and lifestyle. We’ve compiled a full guide on how often you should wash your hair. Read it here.
D - Help! My hair is...
D1 - My hair is crispy/crunchy
Likely because you haven't broken the cast. The Cast Foam creates a crispy cast around your waves as they dry. You need to break the cast when your hair is fully dry by clapping or scrunching it out. This is called ‘scrunching out the crunch’. There’s a video on this page showing you how to do this. If it still feels a little dry try adding a few drops of oil through your hair.
D2 - My hair feels producty
Few reasons why...
1. Used too much styling product (steps 4 & 5). Next time use less.
2. Haven't scrunched out the scrunch as mentioned in question D1.
3. Not use to having product in your hair
D3 - My hair is dry, brittle and feels like straw
This is due to a lack of moisture. So, remove Step 3 (Feed Treatment) from your next wash.
At this stage your hair doesn’t need protein. It’s craving moisture. So treat it to a deep condition using our Deep Conditioning Mask. Wash hair as normal, apply mask and leave on for 30 minutes, rinse off, then style as normal.
D4 - My hair looked great yesterday, but now a mess
Main reason why is because you didn’t protect it when sleeping (see question C3).
You may just be going through the transition stage (question C1) so your hair is reacting differently to the new products. If this is the case you need to persevere. It will get better, as members in our group have confirmed.
If your hair is messy in the morning, perform a refresh. See question C2.
D5 - Lots of hair is coming out when I brush
It’s normal to lose between 50-100 strands of hair per day. You may notice you’re losing more hair, yet the main reason for this is because you’ve gone from brushing your hair daily to only brushing it in the shower when conditioning it.
Instead of brushing out 50+ strands daily, you’re now only brushing it twice a week, which has caused a backlog of dead hair strands.
If you do see chunks of hair coming out then it’s advised to speak to your doctor.