Banishing Bad Hair Days since 1997!™

Making Prom Waves!


Ken Paves

Courtesy Ken Paves All Rights Reserved

There's no question that Ken Paves, founder of the world famous Ken Paves Salon in Beverly Hills, California and the Pave Salon in Clinton Township, Michigan, is on the leading edge of hair fashion trends. Not only is he Jessica Simpson's famous hairdresser, he works with many celebrities and non-celebrities to create fabulous hairstyles for all sorts of special events.

Ken has also created the award winning all natural Paves Professional hair care line that is used by his many celebrities including Jessica and Ashlee Simpson, Eva Longoria, Jessica Alba and Jessica Biel and Brittany Murphy, to name a few.

Even before the big wave of texture hit the Red Carpets, Ken pointed out to me how to craft a fabulous array of wavy tresses that morphed from wild and unruly to soft and finished.

Waves In An Instant

Ken understands that for some, waves may be desired "in an instant" to create a hot new look for a special hair event such as the Prom.

Whether you go for the trend making wave treatments or just want to ride the wave to temporary new texture, Ken Paves graciously and brilliantly provided the detailed styling steps below.

Steal This Style

Ken is famous for the fact that he always "designs styles that can be easily changed to be worn in a variety of ways". The styles shown throughout this article is displayed both in a very soft loose "down" style and a wilder "updo style. This was intentional on Ken's part because he wants his beloved celebrity clients to have lots of great "styling options".

The same hairstyle is also shown with and without a soft "bandeau" style headband worn near the front of the face to instantly change up the look. Ken likes the fact that the style can be "dressed up or down" with the hot fashion trend of adding "headbands".

Basic Style Notes

Ken Paves explained that "this style is best created on tresses that have a natural wave or bend". Of course Ken also noted "the basic wavy style can also be created on hair that is naturally curly".

The optimal hair length "would be shoulder length or below." This style can also be created on hair that has been "extended" or with clip in hair pieces. Since Ken is also a master hair extension expert, he always makes sure that he designs hairstyles that work "with or without extensions".

Step By Step Instructions - Down Style

Listed below are the detailed steps that Ken Paves recommends that you follow to recreate his spectacular basic wave style:

  1. Shampoo hair with a good volumizing shampoo designed to enhance natural waves or texture. For hair that is chemically treated or has been colored or highlighted, use a good moisturizing shampoo that will protect and add moisture.
  2. Finish shampoo treatment with a rinse-out conditioning product designed for your hair type, texture and condition.
  3. Complete the final rinse with cool/cold water rinse to close cuticles.
  4. Towel blot hair to remove excess water.
  5. Apply detangling or leave-in/detangler and working from the ends to the roots, carefully detangle strands. Create desired parting (front, side, high or low).
  6. When hair is completely detangled, apply a styling cocktail that includes a mixture of leave-in conditioner and/or styling cream and mousse. Note: If your hair requires extra hold you may wish to apply a styling glaze and/or gel in addition to a leave-in product.
  7. If you do have lots of natural waves, use a blow dryer set on medium heat and "scrunch" 1-2 inch sections of your hair with one hand as you direct the heat "up the shaft" from the "ends to the roots" with the blow dryer. Continue to work completely around your head from side to side scrunching 1-2 inch sections until the entire head has been scrunched and texturized.
  8. If you don't have natural waves, use a long finger diffuser to create loose waves. Select 1-2 inches of hair at a time and "drape the section of hair" into the bowl section of the diffuser. Use the air flow to dry the strands, creating natural texture. Continue this process until all the hair has been completely dried. Note: Hair that has a natural wave, curl or bend will respond well to the finger diffuser drying technique. Straight hair may not develop much texture or wave utilizing a diffuser.
  9. To crank up the waves and texture, use a medium barrel curling iron and work from side to side creating a series or different sized spiral curls. Release the curling iron and carefully pin the newly created curl to your scalp while working on the next section of hair.
  10. When hair has been completely curled, cooled and ready to be finished, spray the entire head with a firm hold hairspray.
  11. Unpin the individual sections and "finger tousle" to achieve desired wave pattern.
  12. Slide a "bandeau style" headband up over the front of the hairline. Push the headband farther back then you ultimately want it, then slightly nudge it forward. This gives the front of the hair a little lift. Pull any side fringe gently out from under the band.
  13. Finish with a light spritz of hairspray and a light application of shine spray or drops carefully palmed over the top of the waves to prevent them from getting too much product which can make hair greasy or oily. Remember, a little goes a long way.

This style looks stunning with either a strapless gown to show off your shoulders or a halter top gown, as shown above. Keep dress and accessories relatively simple so that they do not compete with your fabulous waves and texture.

Step By Step Instructions - Up Do Style

This updo style (shown to the side) is a modified version of the basic wavy style created above.

Once the basic style is completed, and the headband positioned in the desired location, use fingers to gently pull individual waves forward over the front of the headband. Use bobby pins in the same hue as your current hair and anchor the waves so that they naturally cascade from the back of the crown down around your face and over your ears.

Working from side to side along the back, pull individual waves up from the nape of the neck and pin them against the back of the head so that they form a messy tousled "faux" chignon.

The key to this look is to be creative and pin waves in a random pattern so that they cascade down around the face and up along the crown.


This brilliant wavy style is perfect for Prom, a wedding or a special hair event.

Whether you wear the hair down in loose waves or pinned up with cascading texture, the style can be adopted perfectly for any face shape, hair texture or length.

If you desire more hair fullness or length, experiment with add-on strands. Another option is to have a series of hair extensions added before your big event.

If you want to talk more about this or other hair care articles on or anywhere else, please post a message on's Hair Talk Forums.

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For a low maintenance style, try to work with your natural hair type rather than against it. For example, if your hair is naturally wavy, select a hairstyle that works easily with the waves.
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