3 styling tools (and tips) for perfect curls and waves
All curling irons are not made equal.
Those beachy waves and loose, flowing curls continue to be one of the season’s hottest hairstyles, and if you want to give it a try — or improve your technique — there are a few things you should know first.
The key may be in the kind of curling iron you select.
Here are three different types of curling irons that go beyond the traditional barrel-and-clip style that you’re used to, and how to properly use them to achieve a modern hairstyle. Hint: It doesn’t involve Aqua Net, backcombing or ratting your bangs into a big cinnamon roll a la 1989. Oh, how curling irons have evolved.
1. A thermal brush:
If you’ve ever used a round brush to straighten or style your hair, this combines the hair dryer and the brush into one step. Ideal for gently wavy or straight hair (not tight spirals), this allows you to tame, smooth and curl your hair all in one, with loose, flowy curls.
What makes this curling iron unique is the bristles, which separate while curling, creating a natural look without the chunky divisions you often see with a traditional curling iron.
Note: It’s designed to be used on dry hair, not wet hair. Amika Bombshell Blowout Thermal Brush, $100 (plus Cash Back), Sephora.com
2. A clipless curl wand:
One of the worst offenses in curling your hair is the line you can get when you improperly wind the hair around the metal clip that holds your hair in place. Modern curls generally go from mid-hair and wind down, ending before the tips of your hair, so you can (and should) manually hold the hair in place. Just wind it around the barrel, hold for a few seconds and let go. No weird kinks. No right or wrong direction to coil. And it creates a perfect, beachy wave every time.
The tapered “curl wand” by ghd has a special shape to craft better curls than a straight-barreled iron just can’t achieve. ghd Curve Creative Tapered Curl Wand, $199 (plus Cash Back), Sephora.com
3. An automatic, no-fail curl “chamber”:
If you’re struggling to master your curls, Conair has a solution: the Infiniti Pro by Conair Curl Secret, which automatically pulls hair into its chamber, where it is wrapped and held for just the right amount of time. It’s the easiest and surest way to make a no-fail curl. Infiniti Pro Curl Secret, $79.99 (plus Cash Back), Ulta.com