African-American men and women with very short hair often train it into a style called 360 waves. Styling the hair this way tames unruly curls into attractive, manageable waves that lie flat against the head. When done properly, 360 waves create rings around the head, earning them their name. Setting hair into 360 waves takes weeks of consistent attention, but it is possible to do it in just minutes each day. The best results, though, require more time.

Things You'll Need

Apply a dollop of pomade the size of a silver dollar to clean, dry hair. Distribute the pomade evenly across the head.

Cover the hair with a towel soaked in hot water. The towel should be wet but not dripping. Press the towel onto the hair for two minutes or until the pomade melts and then remove it.

Brush the hair from the crown outward. Always brush in the direction the hair is growing. For best results, continue brushing for 10 minutes.

Bind the hair flat with a nylon headscarf. Leave it tightly covered for as long as you can, including overnight while you sleep. When you remove the headscarf, don’t brush the hair.

Repeat the styling process once or twice daily for a month to set the style firmly.


  • You need a lot of pomade to make the style work, so don’t worry if it looks like you have used too much.

  • Brush the hair evenly on all sides; the brushing creates the waves, so if you brush some areas more than others, the waves will be uneven.

  • When the waves are set, cut the hair with a 1.5 guard in the direction of growth.