Wave Cap vs Durag: Know The Difference Between Them

Wave Cap vs Durag: Know The Difference Between Them

The advantage of having a short hairstyle is that it is easy to manage. Trying to style it can be more challenging, but that’s the compromise for speeding up one’s morning routine.

One way to add style to short hair is to wear a wave cap. This product creates waves overnight to deliver a new look without much effort.

A durag provides a similar result, although its primary function is slightly different. It fits closely to the head to offer protection.

If you wear helmets or hats frequently, a durag will provide more support for hair health than a wave cap.

Wave Cap vs. Durag: Know the Difference Between Them

The primary function of a wave cap is to accentuate the natural waves found in hair. A durag is a close-fitting cloth that ties around the top of the hair to protect it. Although both items serve a similar purpose, the wave cap has fewer protective features for individuals with longer hair.

Wave caps were first seen in the 1930s. African-American men in the United States used this fashion item to keep their chemically processed hair intact while they slept at night.

Since this thin material was worn a lot like a hat, it became known as a wave cap for the results it produced. Since the 1960s, it has also been worn as a fashion accessory. Several rappers, including artists like Eminem, have sported this item through the years.

Although durags and wave caps are used interchangeably in terminology, a durag is meant more for hair protection.

American football players often use it to protect their hair while wearing their helmets during games and practices.

You could also wear one under a bicycle helmet, a hat, or any other head apparel that would compress the hair.

The earliest wave caps were made with women’s stockings. They’re now manufactured with nylon and polyester.

The typical wave cap fits tightly around the head, almost like a skullcap. You can also find options that wrap around and require a knot by the nape of the neck.

How to Use a Wave Cap or a Durag

Wave caps and durags follow the same protocols. Knowing how or when to wear one depends on the style and need.

These generalized steps can help you make the most out of using one to achieve your style or fashion goals.

  1. Before wearing a wave cap or a durag, it helps to wash your hair thoroughly with high-quality shampoo. Follow it up with a conditioner.
  2. Allow the hair to dry naturally. Although you can use a blow dryer, the risk of heat damage is not worth the time you’ll save.
  3. Use a wave pomade in your hair. Don’t scoop some out with a finger and apply it directly. You want it to become closer to a liquid state by rubbing it on your hands first.
  4. Apply the pomade to your hair and scalp according to the directions on the container.
  5. Using a soft-bristle brush, apply gentle pressure as you push the pomade through the hair. The goal is to work the product from root to tip. It helps to have a brush with a wooden handle to ensure you’re using the correct amount of force.
  6. Brush the front part of the hair forward while applying gentle pressure.
  7. Next, brush the side and back sections away from your face.
  8. Apply more pomade wherever you don’t have enough coverage, but don’t go crazy with it. If you have too much in contact with your skin, it can dehydrate the surface and make everything itchy. Each time you apply more product, repeat the brushing steps.
  9. Put on the wave cap to ensure your style achieves the look you want during the overnight hours.

How to Put on a Wave Cap or Durag Successfully

When you’re ready to put on the wave cap or durag, the first step is to remove the item from its packaging material. Even if the product doesn’t come in a container or bag, it might have tags attached to it.

If you must remove plastic tagholders from the wave cap or durag, don’t try to rip them out. The thin material can develop tears or pulls from that force. Use scissors to cut the holder before gently removing the end from the material.

Open the wave cap or durag gently. It helps to have your head bowed to place the product on the head where the hair is covered entirely.

Begin below the hairline before stretching it to the front of the head.

If you’re wearing a wave cap, you’ll want to sleep it in overnight to maximize the pomade’s activity. You’ll need to have it on for at least 30 minutes to see some results.

After removing the cap, you’ll look for the wave pattern in your hair. Reapply between three to five times weekly to help keep the style lasting longer.

When wearing a durag, you’ll want to have it in place before starting your activity. It should stay on while taking a helmet or hat on and off, but it could slip away. If that issue occurs, just follow the steps to put it back on again before continuing.

Most wave caps and durags last for about 2-3 months before they require replacement. It helps to have a few available so that you aren’t washing them after each use.

Although you can re-wear a wave cap or a durag, the pomade or sweat creates unpleasant odors that can transition to your hair. Always use a clean product, even if your goal is to use one of these items as a fashion accessory.

Best Pomade to Use to Achieve Wavy Hair

Whether you use pomade to create an instant style that lasts for most of the day or wear a wave cap overnight, the best product to use is Jack Black Clay Pomade.

This sculpting product delivers a matte finish with a firm hold so that you have buildable control. It is a fragrance-free formula that limits itching while adding definition and texture in all the right places.

The pomade uses several all-natural vital ingredients to produce some extra shine, including basil, green tea extract, and tea tree leaf oil.

This combination gives it a lovely lemongrass smell that doesn’t overwhelm, even when putting on a wave cap or durag.

It does an excellent job for those who have thin or average hair. Those with thick, oily locks would need to spend time shampooing their hair first to ensure enough hold is available.

The result isn’t greasy, and you achieve a great hold that lasts well. There isn’t any flaking. One container will last about a month with daily use.

How to Wash a Silky Wave Cap or Durag

Wave caps and durags often require hand laundering to be washed successfully. To complete this task, you’ll need a clean sink basin, washing detergent, and flowing water. Don’t place it in a dryer because threading could occur. Allow it to hang dry in the open air without direct sunlight for the best results.

The only way to maintain good hair hygiene is to keep your wave caps and durags clean. Although some products might say you can put them in the washing machine and dryer, you’ll maintain the quality better through hand-washing techniques.

Here are the steps to follow if you need to get some pomade or sweat stains out of your wave cap or durag.

1. Fill the Sink

It helps to fill a kitchen, bathroom, or laundry room sink about halfway with lukewarm water. You’ll need to leave some room for splashing without worrying about overflowing while working.

2. Add Detergent

Unless you’re washing a month’s worth of wave caps and durags at once, a tablespoon of your preferred laundry detergent will get everything clean.

You’ll need to stir the soap into the water to have it dissolve if you’re using the powdered kind.

If your wave cap or durag has stains that require treatment, place a small amount on the affected area.

Let it sit for about five minutes, then drop it into a bucket with lukewarm water. Agitate it by rubbing the spot in the water before letting it soak for about 20 minutes.

3. Start Washing

When washing the wave cap or durag in the sink, you’ll need to create friction to remove dirt, grime, pomade, and odor particles.

Silky materials don’t respond well to twisting and pulling, so gently rub the product in the water. You’ll get waves in the sink that splash a little when you’re doing it right.

It takes about five minutes of gentle rubbing to ensure the product is clean. If you have stains, let it soak for another five minutes before repeating this step.

4. Rinse and Dry

Remove the wave cap or durag from the water. Drain the dirty fluid from the sink. Once the basin is clean and empty, rinse the material under lukewarm flows until the stream becomes clear.

Gently squeezes the excess water from the wave cap or durag at that point. You can hang it to dry in a warm area.

It usually takes about eight hours for the moisture to leave before you can wrap your hair again.

Should I Wear a Wave Cap or a Durag?

Wave caps provide overnight benefits, but they can create unusual compression patterns for those who toss and turn in their sleep. If you’re a side sleeper, the results may favor the side of the head on the pillow. Try wearing the cap or durag for 30 to 90 minutes before bed to achieve results in those circumstances.

The first time I went to the salon was when I was 16. My folks weren’t big believers in the idea of having someone cut your hair, so my mother insisted on doing it until I could pay for the services I wanted.

“Have you ever had pomade?” the stylist asked.

I shook my head. I’d never heard of the stuff before. She worked a little into my hair after giving me a look I wanted. The depth and hold she achieved with a bit of product were incredible.

The first container I bought was $13. When you’re working for minimum wage, that’s a lot of cash – but it was worth it. I had so many people turning their heads to see me pass by. I loved the attention.

When you work the right pomade into your hair, you can achieve all-day support for a look you love. Add a wave cap or protect your hair with a durag to ensure the outcome.


My name is Hajer and welcome to my site. This is my little haven, my outlet, where I can express myself, and show you everything I've learned about makeup, skincare, hair tips, and so much more, as well as the different beauty mistakes I've made so that you can avoid them.

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