I never claim to be a hair expert but lately I feel like I’ve figured out what I like and how to achieve it. I still see the whole hair washing, blow drying, styling process as a real burden but at least now I know my hair might look half decent at the end of it. (Despite the fact I’m technically qualified in hair styling, I’m not a huge fan of it and it’s way harder to do hair on your own head, too.)
I go for the air-dry-then-ponytail situation 29/30 days of the month but for a special occasion (like getting invited to the ballet this week—I went to the dress rehearsal of the Royal New Zealand Ballet’s production of Romeo and Juliet) I’m a big fan of the chill wave. Not the music genre, but a low-key wave in my hair that hopefully doesn’t look too aggressively curled.
My strategy for making waves like this is curling my hair the night before, and then sleeping on it before brushing it out in the morning. It looks cute, and people at work complimented me on my hair, and at least my hair looked nice when I fell down the stairs during the ballet intermission and spilled two glasses of wine all over my expensive twentysevennames dress.
— morgoroth (@morganeleanor) August 15, 2017
To be fair, I’d already had enough wine by that point, as evidenced by my “wild” tweets (as my mother called them) about the dancers’ dicks and balls under lycra. (You should really be following me on Twitter, if you’re not already.) I had fun, but I can understand why I didn’t win the bottle of wine the RNZB were giving away for best tweets during the night.
Anyway, back to hair. Like I said, I wouldn’t call myself an expert, but there are a few things I’ve figured out that help with making waves with a curling wand.
It doesn’t matter what wand you use
I’ve had some cheap curling wands and some less cheap ones and while you can go hunting through reviews for the best curling iron, just get the best that’s in your budget. All it needs to do is a) get hot and b) get evenly hot and c) have a long enough cord that you can hold your arms above your head and not yank the plug out of where it’s plugged in. Some people like irons with clips and some prefer clipless wands—at the moment I have a clipless one but all that means is I’m more likely to burn my fingers.
It does matter the width of the barrel
The smaller the barrel of the curling wand, the tighter your curls (duh) so for a wave, you want to use a wider barrel. I have a NuMe Titan wand* with interchangeable barrels, which looks like a collection of sex toys when it’s dismantled. (I think it’s impossible to isolate any discussion of curling wands from sex toy references unless you’re the most uptight and joyless person in the world. Ruth made an excellent effort in her recent review of a bobbled curling wand, which is also good for waves.)
Take wider sections
Same thing as with the width of the barrel—the wider the section, the looser your curls will be. When I had my hair appointment with Matt on Wednesday he curled the sides of my head in just one section each. I don’t quite have the skills to do this without it looking awful and dropping instantly but I will still take wider sections than if I were trying to get truly curly hair.
Give it some time
My favourite way to get my curls into waves is to curl my hair at night and then sleep on it. If you don’t have the luxury of sleep to crush all your hard work, you can pull on the curled sections as they’re cooling to avoid them forming ringlets. You’ll get cool-girl tousled shape instead… but don’t do it too early or you’ll just end up with straight hair again.
How do you style your hair? Can you be bothered faffing with curling wands?