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I’m pretty sure only 20 percent of the people in my life actually know what I look like with my hair down. This is not for a lack of hair. In fact, my problem is the opposite: I have too much of it. I take after my dad in a lot of ways, and this is one of them. He’s in his late 50s and doesn’t have a bald spot in sight. Thanks to him, I have a thick, unruly mane of long hair. It doesn’t dry well (unless I’m going for a Richard Simmons vibe). I never am, so I almost always tie my hair back in a bun or a single low braid.
I’m sure you’re thinking, “Why don’t you just blow dry your hair and stop complaining about it on the internet, Khushbu?” And you’re not wrong. I should just blow dry my hair and stop complaining about it on the internet, but here’s the thing: I’m inherently (or in this case, in-hair-ently) lazy — at least when it comes to my appearance. I put all my hustle into my career and none into my hair.
Yes, of course I want “The Hair,” the gorgeous loose curls everyone seems to naturally have on TV, but I don’t want it bad enough to spend 30 minutes torturing my upper body muscles with a blow dryer and another 30 curling my strands into submission. I just want someone to do the work for me, and since I don’t have an army of Instagram-famous hairdressers like the Kardashians, I figured I was shit out of luck. The Hair would never be mine.
That was all before I met the Beachwaver.
Even though it sounds like the name of a bad indie band from Southern California that is always just one show away from making it, the Beachwaver is actually a curling iron. A $199 curling iron, to be exact. The price tag is equivalent to what it costs to get four blowouts in Manhattan, and unlike a blowout, it doesn’t come with free champagne.
But it’s worth it — especially if you subscribe to the lazy girl school of beauty like I do. The reason? It curls your hair for you.
The Beachwaver was invented by celebrity hairstylist Sarah Potempa in 2012, and for the past few years has been the official curling iron (and an official sponsor) of the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show. I first came across it in an Instagram video of Potempa curling Kendall Jenner’s hair backstage; the Beachwaver was bejeweled with Swarovski crystals for the event.
The secret to those perfectly tousled @victoriassecret waves! @cindybruna @bellahadid @rachelhilbert try curling their hair with the Beachwaver at the #VSFashionShow #igotbeachwaved #thebeachwaverinparis #victoriassecret #vsfsparis2016 #victoriassecrethair #vshair #bellahadid #cindybruna #rachelhilbert #thebeachwaver #sarahpotempa @sarahpotempa
And then I kept seeing it: a photo of Bella Hadid in the signature Victoria’s Secret pink robe with a Beachwaver in her hair; model Cindy Bruna posing like she was actually curling her own head of hair for the show. I was so intrigued! While I will probably never be able to get my butt looking runway ready in Victoria’s Secret lingerie, the models’ perfect curls didn’t seem that far out of reach.
I became convinced that I needed the Beachwaver in my life after watching an infomercial on QVC. This is something you should know about me: I love infomercials. I love infomercials almost as much as Oprah loves bread. I can’t even begin to tell you how many times I’ve watched infomercials for P90X from start to finish. I love watching Isaac Mizrahi try to convince women across the country to buy his denim shirtdress. But not once have I ever felt like I actually needed a product an infomercial was hawking in my life that badly until I watched a model curl her entire head of hair, by herself, in a matter of minutes. Had I finally come across a product that would give me great hair with basically no effort?
The rotating barrel is the Beachwaver’s biggest asset. It saves your biceps from feeling like you just finished a Tracy Anderson arm workout three times in a row, because you’re not actually doing the curling — the Beachwaver is.
All you have to do is pick how hot you want the iron to be, clamp a small section of your hair, and then use the arrows on the handle to rotate the iron up or down. Hold the iron for a few seconds — I like to count to seven — and then de-clamp to unleash some seriously good-looking curls. Depending on which angle you hold the Beachwaver, you can give yourself a tousled “I woke up like this” hairdo, make it look like you just walked straight out of a Pantene commercial, or yes, get The Hair.
Make waves Monday As a hairstylist, here's why @chameleoncreations92 uses the Beachwaver: "because of how versatile and easy it is! I can create a rollerset to loose beachwaves on any hair length. I seriously love that iron and my clients do too!" We can't get enough of the gorgeous balyage + beachwaves that she styled! #beachwaver #thebeachwaver #igotbeachwaved #beachwaves #balayage #hairinspo #makewavesmonday
Of course I got the best results after properly blow drying my hair. But everything looks better after you blow dry your hair, and I was more interested in whether or not this $200 curling hair could somehow tame the greasy hair that I stuffed into a ponytail all day. While I didn’t look I fresh off of a runway, the Beachwaver did a great job turning hair with a major ponytail crease into something bouncy and fun.
I curled my hair with the iron one morning before work (it only took me 15 minutes to do my whole head). Within 20 minutes of walking into the office, I got no less than four Slack messages complimenting my hair. Ten hours and a trying workday later, at drinks with colleagues, my hair looked pretty much as it did when I left my apartment that morning. I was aided only by three spritzes of a medium hold hairspray that I found on clearance at my local drugstore.
The only real downside to the Beachwaver is that you do really have to pay attention when you’re curling your hair. Otherwise, there’s the very real danger of rotating an extremely hot iron way too close to your scalp.
The price isn’t amazing, either. Honestly, if this was half the price, I would recommend that everyone invest in one, but if you’re only an occasional hair curler, or someone who isn’t so goddamn lazy with their hair, it might not be worth the $200 the Beachwaver commands.
But for me, someone who has been studying at the Lazy Girl School of Hair for the past decade, it’s worth every penny. While I don’t have amazing hair every single day, it’s nice to know that if I do want to have a stellar hair day, it’s only 15 minutes and one Beachwaver away.
It’s almost as good as having army of Instagram-famous hairstylists. Almost.