NOTE: This is for people who already have some form of curl/wave in their hair and want to define/moisturize it with ease. This is not for people who have straight hair and wanted an easier method to curl it up.
I noticed my little cousin spent much longer in the bathroom defining her curls than I did. She had this strange compulsion to de-tangle them. After showing her my routine, she can now finish her hair in under 5 mins every morning.
Step 1 - Get the hair relatively wet
Turn on your sink and gently splash a bit of water on your hair. Don't get it so wet that's it dripping out. Somewhere between slightly dry and damp works.
Step 2 - Dry/Pat your hair with an old t-shirt (OPTIONAL)
A towel is much too rough on the hair and removes too much moisture. Dedicate an old t-shirt that you never wear to your hair. Cotton is much tamer on curls. This step is optional, it's only recommended if you accidentally got your hair too wet from Step 1.
Step 3 - Moisturize your curls, preferably with a leave-in conditioner
This is the most important step. Moisture is like food for your curls. The more it has, the longer it retains the curls' "wet look". I've tried many conditioners/moisturizers to no avail, but I've had massive success with Cantu.
Great thing about Cantu is that water (essential for moisturizing) is one of its main ingredients and its free of sulfates, silicone, and mineral oil. It's made from mostly natural ingredients. On top of moisturizing, it also helps define the curls so you can get an extra bang for your buck (moisture + definition).
Some moisturizers have some harsh ingredients or do a rather half-assed job at defining the curls. Since Cantu is made for damaged hair; it makes healthy hair look 2x nicer. There are others out there like Cantu, but this is the only one I'm familiar with.
Step 4 - Play with your curls as you're moisturizing it
Chances are your curls got messy from those 8 hours of sleeping. Playing with them as you're moisturizing will help them spring up. Also if you have a SOFT bristle brush, you can gently brush your hair to help "wave" some of the curls.
And you are done.
Go out and conquer life now.