How to get soft waves with a curling wand

Summer may be over, but soft beach-style waves are still in when it comes to hair. And for me, the love affair will probably last forever.

One of the most common questions I am asked in regards to my personal style is how I achieve my wavy locks, so I thought it was high time I bit the bullet and made a video tutorial.

Now, I’m no hairdresser, but I’ve given it my best shot and I’m happy to answer any questions if something isn’t quite clear.

While you can use a GHD-style device to achieve this look, I use the Stefan Conical Curling Iron. I bought it about three years ago (before that I used my GHD to achieve a similar look) and for $99, it’s served me very well.

I love that it doesn’t have a clip (instead it comes with a heat resistant glove so you can hold you hair in place) and it’s conical—one end of the barrel is wider than the other—so I can achieve more variety in the curl/wave size than if the barrel was just one width.

By using the whole length of the barrel, the curl will automatically vary in size, making it appear more natural. If you’re chasing tighter ringlet style curls, you can wrap your hair around the thinnest end of the wand, and if you want a bigger barrel curl, wrap around the thickest point.

Then, with minimal brushing (or simply by lightly running my fingers through my hair a few times), it gives me a more relaxed look.

Click on the video above to watch my tutorial, but there are a lots of variations to this technique, especially if you vary the size of the pieces of hair you use and where on the barrel you focus, so play around and see what works best for you and your hair type!

There are also lots of videos online by people far more professional than I am, so have a google and try some different techniques until you find the one that works best for the look you want to achieve.

A few quick tips for troubleshooting:

I find that my hair holds the wave best when styled on the second (and third and fourth) day after washing, but if I am doing it within 24 hours of washing my hair, I will use a texturising, curl or sea-salt spray or mousse so it has a bit of grip when it wraps around the wand. It also helps give the curls a bit more volume.

Make sure that the hair wraps flat around the wand. This will ensure an even heat distribution and a longer holding wave.

Always wind the hair away from your hairline as this will ‘open’ up your face and highlight your cheekbones.

If you have any questions, post them below and I’ll get back to you!

Good luck and happy styling!


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