The hair waver is similar to a curling iron in many ways. This includes the materials used, the heat settings, and the different barrel sizes. But there is one thing a waver has that a curling iron lacks, which is the ability to get perfect deep or beachy waves. Though this can be done with a curling iron, it can take a bit of practice. The best hair waver is designed strictly for this purpose, with a few styles to give you the look you want every time. A waver is easy to use and has designs that will work for every hair type and length. If you’re trying to achieve those wavy styles you keep seeing on the red carpet, a hair waver may be the right tool for you.
Short On Time? Here Is The Bullet List:
- Drugstore Hair Waver: Remington Wet 2 Waves Hair Waver
- Hair Waver for Short Hair: Bed Head A-Wave-We-Go Adjustable Hair Waver
- Hair Waver for Long Hair: Alure Three Barrel Hair Waver
- Hair Waver for Thick Hair: BlueTop Three Barrel Jumbo Hair Waver
- Hair Waver for Beach Waves: Revlon Salon Beach Waver
- Hair Waver for Deep Waves: Hot Tools Deep Waver
**Below are our more detailed reviews. Click the links above to see current prices or read customer reviews on Amazon.
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The Basics of the Hair Waver
Many people wonder why they should use a hair waver if they can achieve similar results with a curling iron. Well, that’s because the two styling tools are so different in design and in use.
The Hair Waver vs The Curling Iron
There are many different types of curling irons and hair wavers get lumped in with the rest. This may be because the barrels look similar on some models. But the hair waver has waved plates or multiple barrels next to each other, while the curler has only one barrel. The curling iron has a few different designs. These include clipless, spring, Marcel, or spiral curling irons. But no matter which one you pick, their main focus is curling your hair. You wrap your strands around the barrel, hold for a few seconds, and then release. What you have now is a spiraling curl down the length of your hair. Even when trying to use curlers to wave your hair, you still end up with curls, only longer ones that resemble waves.
The waver is different since you don’t wrap your hair around the barrel. Double barrel hair wavers have two barrels next to each other on one side. There is a waved piece behind it. You clamp your hair between these two pieces to form a wave, similar to the crimping iron of a few decades ago. There are also triple barrel models, which speed up the process due to the longer wave pattern.
How to Use a Hair Waver
If you have decided to add a hair waver to your styling arsenal, there is an easy way to use it to ensure the best results. The first thing you need to do is wash your hair. Condition it as well, so it is soft and moisturized. Any heating tools can dry out your hair, so protect it as much as you can before you start. Make sure your hair is completely dry, add some heat protectant spray, and you’re ready to begin.
Section your hair, leaving one part loose and clipping the rest out of the way. Starting close to your scalp, lay the hair across the open waver. Clamp it shut, hold for 5 to 10 seconds, and then release it. Move down a bit, but don’t leave a space between the waved and unwaved sections. It’s better to overlap them for a more natural look. Work your way through the sections this way, only waving a small piece at a time. When you’ve completed every section, check to make sure no areas were missed. Then run your fingers through your hair to loosen up the waves, add some hairspray to lock them in, and you’re ready to go.
How to Choose a Hair Waver
The first thing you need to consider in a hair waver is your hair type. Different hair needs different materials to heat it safely. Different heat settings are also important. This is because some hair is too delicate for high temperatures.
Fine or Thin Hair
Ceramic heat is best. It will give you safe, even heating, allowing you to hold the waver on there for less time. You should also keep the temperature low to keep from damaging or burning your strands. Start at the lowest setting, and only raise it if needed to hold your style.
Those lucky enough to have normal hair can get away with any type of heating materials. But you’ll need a bit more heat than the more delicate hair types. Test out your styler to find the right temperature for you.
Thick or Coarse Hair
Titanium is the best material for these hair types. But you can also use tourmaline and ceramic as well, for their even heat distribution. These two will also lock in moisture for less frizz. High heat is best, somewhere between 300F and 400F to set those waves in place.
Other Features to Look For
Though not necessary, there are a few other features that make your hair waver easier to use.
- Swivel Cord: To reduce tangling during use
- Auto-Shutoff: Turns your waver off after a set time
- Cool Tip: Gives you more control
- LCD display: Shows you the exact temperature you’re using
- Dual Voltage: Allows you to use your waver internationally without a converter
More Related Buyers Guides:
Best Hair Wavers on the Market
Best Drugstore Hair Waver: Remington Wet 2 Waves Hair Waver
Unlike most hair wavers, the Remington Wet 2 Waves styling tool can be used on both wet and dry hair. The ceramic plates heat up the water coating your strands, turning it to steam. This is then released through the special holes on the top plate. This saves you time normally spent blow drying before you style. A temperature indicator light glows red when the heat is ready for wet hair and amber when used for dry hair. Either way you use it, you’ll have smooth, sleek waves that will last all day long. Use the dial on the inside of the handle to pick one of 30 heat settings. Other handy features include a 30-second heat up and a 60-minute auto-shutoff.
- It will work on wet and dry hair
- It heats up fast
- There is an auto-shut-off
- This styler adds waves to all hair types
- Ceramic plates are less damaging to your hair
- The waves may be a bit small for some, similar to a crimper effect
Best Hair Waver for Short Hair: Bed Head A-Wave-We-Go Adjustable Hair Waver
Though long hair seems to have any tool at their disposal, shorter hair needs smaller tools for easy use. The Bed Head A-Wave-We-Go waver is thin enough to tackle your shorter strands. But it is also versatile, allowing you to adjust your style as needed. Tight or defined, loose or tousled, you can make any type of wave with this product. This waver features ceramic tourmaline technology for softer, shinier hair with no frizz. With temperatures ranging from 250F to 400F, you’ll be able to find the right heat setting for your hair type. The auto-shutoff reduces the risk if you run out with the waver left on. There is a 6-foot swivel power cord for fewer tangles. And for those that travel internationally, it is dual voltage for added convenience.
- It works on all hair types
- There is an auto-shutoff
- It is dual voltage
- The swivel cord reduces tangles
- There is no cool tip, so a glove may be needed for more control
Best Hair Waver for Long Hair: Alure Three Barrel Hair Waver
Styling long hair can take ages using a single barrel styling tool to create perfect waves. Having a three barrel wand at your disposal can speed up the process since it can cover more hair at a time. The Alure waver uses ceramic barrels coated with tourmaline. Together, these two technologies provide you with even heating from start to finish. This lightweight waver has multiple heat settings. It takes only a minute to heat up to its highest temperature of 430F. The clear digital LCD display shows you the exact setting you’re on every time. The 7-foot cord swivels for less tangling. It is also dual voltage for those who love to travel.
- This waver is good for all hair types
- It saves time when styling long hair
- It adds volume for those who need it
- There is an insulated tip for more control
- There is an attached heat stand to keep the hot plates from burning your counter
- The ridges on the plate only allow for small waves
Best Hair Waver for Thick Hair: BlueTop Three Barrel Jumbo Hair Waver
Thick hair needs high heat to penetrate it when adding waves. This BlueTop hair waver ranges from 356F to 428F, giving you all the heat you need for long-lasting style. It’s easy to adjust the temperature, and the LCD display shows you what setting you’re on. Tourmaline ceramic barrels keep hair free from heat damage and reduce frizz. This technology also softens your hair, bringing out a healthy shine. The PTC heating element in each barrel uses very little power while maintaining its heat. An insulated handle and three cool tips keep your hands safe while you style your hair. A 360-degree swivel cord and an included skid-proof mat add to this waver’s convenience.
- It uses high heat for fast penetration of thick hair
- There is a non-slip handle
- It is dual voltage for international travel
- This waver is easy to use, even for beginners
- The LCD temperature display eliminates guesswork
- The long swivel cord reduces tangling
- It may be a bit bulky for travel
Best Hair Waver for Beach Waves: Revlon Salon Beach Waver
This lightweight hair waver is part of Revlon‘s professional collection. It has a 3/4-inch deep barrel which is perfect for giving you those amazing beachy waves. A tourmaline ceramic coating reduces the frizz and increases the shine. It will also seal the hair cuticle to lock in moisture for damage-free results. There are 30 heat settings to choose from, so any hair type can use this waver and still achieve the right look. The High Heat, Constant Heat feature monitors the output for consistent levels. A cool tip lets you hold the end for more control of your styling tool. The swivel cord eliminates tangles while you twist and turn with your waver. When you’re done, use the locking switch to hold the clamps together during storage or travel.
- Gives you perfect beachy waves every time
- It works on all hair types and lengths
- There is a cool tip
- The low price may be good for those on a budget
- The waves aren’t very deep or defined
Best Hair Waver for Deep Waves: Hot Tools Deep Waver
The Deep Waver styling tool by Hot Tools is designed to provide you with amazingly defined waves. They have come up with a new plate design that is about a 1/2-inch wide for larger waves than other models. These plates also use a combination of tourmaline, ceramic and titanium. The first two emit far-infrared heat and negative ions for less damage and to lock in moisture. The third one distributes the heat evenly and adds strength to your machine. You can adjust the temperature using the variable dial heat settings. Hot Tools’ Pulse Technology maintains the heat for a consistent style all the way around. Other handy features include a cool tip, an 8-foot pro swivel cord, and a locking switch for easy storage.
- There are multiple heat settings for all hair types
- It has a cool tip
- It makes gorgeous deep waves
- The swivel cord won’t tangle
- There is no auto-shutoff
- It’s a bit expensive at almost $50.00
- The handle gets a bit hot during use
Best Hair Wave Final Thoughts
Whether you like the subtle waves or deep, defined ones, a hair waver will give you the style you want. There are so many different types to choose from, so any hair type and length can get the style they want. Best of all, they are easy to use, even for beginners. Though all 6 of the hair wavers we’ve reviewed are great for creating gorgeous waves, one tops the list. It was a close one, too, since two of our models have such similar features. These were the Alure and the BlueTop hair wavers. Both had the cool tip, swivel cord, LCD display and were dual voltage. But the Alure had a much wider range of heat settings. This makes it a better choice for all hair types, while the BlueTop model is only good for thicker hair. That’s why the Alure Three Barrel Hair Waver is the best hair waver we’ve found.
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