The term 360 Waves may only be familiar to some people.
This is because the style is most popular in the African American younger male community.
360 Waves have recently taken hold with younger females as an optional hairstyle.
360 Waves simply means when a pattern of tight and deep hair waves has been developed into a complete circular or 360 system.
Although the goal is often to work hard to achieve full 360 waves, achieving waves, in general, is often the goal of young African males.
Popularity Of 360 Waves
Waves, whether 360 or not, are popular with younger African American males for a number of reasons:
1. They are highly prized as a type of status and accomplishment, especially when they are carefully nurtured and developed into the 360 circular pattern. Even more so, the 360 waves are valued when the waves form deep ridges and are shiny.
2. They are often more popular with African American women who sometimes prefer that their men have softer, touchable hairstyles. In general, some women do prefer a wave style over styles that are less touchable such as braids, knotty dreads or locs or natural styles. Especially when the hair is naturally coarse and rough.
3. The wave and 360 wave style is often popular with African American celebrities, Hip Hop stars and sports figures. As a result, the style is often considered the highest in African American male hair fashions.
Celebrities with waves include, but are not limited to: Nelly, Sean 'P. Diddy' Combs, Lebron James and Reggie Bush
African American Male Hair Texture
How successful someone is at developing a complete 360 wave pattern depends on a number of factors but the most important is the natural hair texture which is determined solely by genetics.
The key to having great waves, whether they are 360 degrees or not, is tied directly to the texture of the hair. Generally speaking, African American male hair falls into two primary textural categories which are:
While there may be exceptions to this rule, one more common occurrence is when there is mixed textures. It is more often the case that a head of hair may be a combination of both soft, fine and delicate textures with coarse strands.
In some cases, the textures will be located and mixed on different parts of the scalp.
Having mixed texture makes developing a full and deep 360 wave pattern more challenging. Usually textural challenges occur at the nape of the neck and along the sides of the head.
The key to having great waves, whether they completely form a 360 pattern or not is to have hair that is not too straight or too soft. This will prevent the waves from forming.
Because a lot of pomade and grease is used to help with the waves, it is often suggested that a clarifying type of shampoo be used on a regular basis to help remove the grease from the hair.
Listed below are some general shampoo tips.
1. If hair is normal or not super dry, wash daily with shampoo that will not make hair too soft. Use warm but avoid using hot water for the shampoo. Hot water dries out hair making it harder to wave. 2. Rinse out shampoo completely. 3. Use wave brush to brush in wave pattern. 4. Add rinse-out conditioner letting it remain in hair at least 5 minutes. It can be left in hair longer if desired. 5. Rinse conditioner out with warm...not hot water. Do not wash all the conditioner completely out. A little helps to keep dry hair moist which makes it better for creating waves. 6. At the very end do a quick 25 second dose with cool/cold water. Use a clean plastic bottle pre-filled with cool water and dose it over head. 7. Finish with warm water. 8. Let hair air dry until about 90% dry. Add pink lotion, jojoba, baby or similar oil as desired being careful to keep off skin since this can cause skin breakouts. 9. Add some wave wax to hair. 10. Use good hard brush and brush thoroughly to get waves to form. Remember to keep brushing hair during the day. 11. Get a hot towel and then press it down on your hair in your natural wave direction. 10. Keep hair moist throughout the day by adding in a little oil as needed OR using a spritzer bottle filled with a little conditioner mixed with warm water and shaken well. 11. Wear a durag or similar cap for sleeping at night.
For more tips visit: 360 Wave Forums
Creating 360 Waves
Creating 360 Waves require the following steps:
1. Commitment 2. Good barber that knows how to cut 3. Using the right wave enhancing products 4. Selecting the proper brush (hard vs. soft) bristle 5. Following the best shampoo & care techniques 6. Lots of brushing to deepen the pattern and care for the waves 7. Willingness to try new methods of wave care for better results 8. Hard work
The 360 Waves movement is generally limited to African American males because no other race has the hair texture and type that is conducive to the 360 wave pattern formation.
There have been known to be some mixed races which can achieve the 360 Wave patterns but these are usually people that have African American genes which allow for the hair to have the proper combination of coarseness and softness.
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- Revised Publication Date: 08/18/11
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