Try hair stylist Eva Scrivo's method for getting loose waves in place in longer hair, as illustrated on Oprah.com. Her method starts with the right haircut. Long layers cut into the hair lay the groundwork for elegant waves.
Work the correct styling product into damp hair according to the texture of the hair. For thick hair, use a smoothing oil to tame frizz from mid-length to the ends of the hair. For very straight or fine hair, comb mousse into the hair from the roots to the ends to help the waves last. Dry the hair while holding the strands taut with your fingers as you direct the dryer nozzle down toward your hair.
Use a curling iron with a 1 1/4-inch barrel to create waves starting around the face, working with 2-inch sections. Keep the curling iron at a 45-degree angle to the head, and twist the hair away from the face. Use clips to hold the finished front sections forward and out of the way. Use the curling iron to curl the back side of the head, holding the iron vertically, with the top right above ear level. After the hair has cooled, use the fingers to comb out the hair into soft, loose waves.