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For many women, curling irons can be a mystical styling tool that only the hair wizards at their favorite salons can master. Or, at least that was the case until the Beachwaver Pro curling iron ($199, Ulta) was born. The secret behind the coveted wavy hairstyles seen on Victoria’s Secret models, this rotating device does all the work for you with just the press of a button. Below, we give you our honest Beachwaver review — plus a few handy tips on how to use it.
How to Use the Beachwaver
Though it may be used by models, celebrity hairstylist Sarah Potempa and her sister Erin created the Beachwaver with regular women in mind. They wanted to show everyday beauties that styling their hair could (and should!) be fun and easy, and that’s exactly what they’ve managed to accomplish with this iron.
From a user standpoint, the Beachwaver couldn’t be easier operate. Simply turn on the device and select your temperature; featuring professional-grade settings, this iron goes all the way up to 450 degrees. As you wait for your tool to heat up, section off your hair as you normally would while using a curling iron.
Next, you’ll want to select your rotation speed. People new to the Beachwaver will appreciate the slow rotation setting, which can be triggered by holding down the “L” button for eight seconds, as they get used to the device (going too fast can wind hair up closer to the scalp than intended rather quickly, causing you to panic as your fingers search around for the “release” clamp).
Now, you’re ready to curl! Select a piece of hair and clamp down on it, leaving 1 to 2 inches out at the end — 1 if your hair is short, 2 if your hair is long. This will make sure your curls look more natural and “beachy” and less tight and springy, à la Shirley Temple.
Depending on which side of your head you’re curling, you can select either the “L” for left or “R” for right to rotate the Beachwaver in the corresponding direction. This feature makes it a breeze to recreate looks from celebs such as Kristin Cavallari, who is known for her beachy waves and recommends alternating your curl rotation from left to right as you move from piece to piece. “I curl my hair in both directions (except very top layer, I do that away from my face),” she previously told Celebrity Style Guide. “This gives it a more natural look and avoids having the curls all come together.”
From there, you can press go on your Beachwaver to watch the iron whirl up to the root, and open the clamp to release the perfect curl.
To finish your look, make sure you let your hair completely cool down (this will make sure your curl lasts) before any final touchups. Once cool, run your fingers through your hair to loosen it up, shake it out, and set your curls with a flexible-hold hair spray (We love Tresemme’s Compressed Micro-Mist Smooth Hold Level 2 Hair Spray( $6.49, Ulta) and Davines Perfecting Hairspray ($37, Amazon).
For a visual step by step, check out the video below!
While there’s definitely a learning curve to the Beachwaver, once you’ve gotten the hang of it, you’ll never go back to a regular iron. Not only will you be able to curl your hair in half the time it would normally take you (each curl takes about 20 seconds from start to finish), your waves will hold their shape better and longer — our commerce editor says this device keeps her curls intact for up to three days without so much as running a brush through them. If you’re ready for the curls of your dreams with none of the fuss or shoulder pain working with a regular curling iron can cause, the Beachwaver is definitely worth the investment — you’ll be giving those Victoria’s Secret Angels a run for their money in no time!
Where to buy: $199, Ulta
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