How To Style Perfect Loose Waves

If you’ve been following my blog for the past few years, you know that I rarely stray from my go-to hair style: loose curls. I’ve never really enjoyed the process of styling my hair (I’m too impatient) so you can imagine what a celebratory moment it was when I finally mastered how to use a curling iron. Pretty much for the last 3-4 years I’ve been loyal to the same routine.

Bombay Hair 25mm Clamp Curling Iron

Wearing: Distressed Jeans | Bailey 44 Top (similar version here)

Maybe it’s the change in season, but lately I’ve been making an effort to switch things up (did you see I actually wore my hair in bun?!) and learn some new styling techniques. I was looking back through my blog archives the other week and was kind of horrified by the dated sorority girl sausage curls I’ve worn over the years. This look was definitely the result of two things: holding the iron too high up near the root of my hair and being too lazy to section off my curls in smaller manageable strands… Whoops.

Bombay Hair 25mm Clamp Curling Iron
Bombay Hair 25mm Clamp Curling Iron

While tight bouncy curls may have been in a few years ago, I’ve really been loving very subtle barely-there waves. Over the last month I’ve experimented with everything from a clamp-less curling wand to a hair straightener trying to find the easiest way to achieve this look. Surprisingly in the end the tool I had the best luck with was a standard 1” curling iron with a clamp. The one I use is the Bombay Hair 25mm Clamp Curling Iron. Don’t you just love the rose gold color? I’m obsessed.

Bombay Hair 25mm Clamp Curling Iron

With this iron you get complete control over the heat settings (the digital screen is amazing) and the titanium barrel heats up fast. I’m talking under two minutes. I also find the handle design really easy to grip and hold as I’m styling my hair. To get one curl I literally only need to have a strand of hair clamped for 10 seconds. This iron works fast. I’ve also experience a fair share of curling irons where the strand of hair will just slip off the barrel and the clamp doesn’t really hold. The clamp on this one is super tight and reminds me of the irons professional stylists use in salons.

Bombay Hair 25mm Clamp Curling Iron
Bombay Hair 25mm Clamp Curling Iron

Okay so here’s a breakdown of my routine:

Step 1: After applying a heat protectant, section off desired piece (try taking no more than a 1” worth) and clamp down halfway on the strand. I do this to avoid the sausage curl look– you don’t want the curl to begin too high on your head.

Bombay Hair 25mm Clamp Curling Iron

Step 2: Twist the barrel away from the face towards the back of the head, wrapping the strand one to two times around the barrel leaving about a 1” piece outside of the iron. The longer the strand—the more times I’ll wrap it around the barrel. Leaving a small bottom portion of the strand out of the barrel will give you more of an un-done look.

Bombay Hair 25mm Clamp Curling Iron
Bombay Hair 25mm Clamp Curling Iron

Step 3: Hold hair clamped for no more than 10 seconds (remember we only want a wave) and pull strand out through barrel.

Bombay Hair 25mm Clamp Curling Iron
Bombay Hair 25mm Clamp Curling Iron

Step 4: Once I’ve completely finished heat styling, I’ll run my fingers through my hair to separate the curls and add a little bit of a lightweight hairspray. My hair holds curl really well so I don’t find it necessary to pin my hair up or use a strong holding product. The goal is to get very loose subtle waves, so by using minimal product the curls naturally fall out into waves throughout the day.

Bombay Hair 25mm Clamp Curling Iron

And there you have it! As you can see, you absolutely don’t need to purchase some fancy wand or other trendy device to create natural-looking waves. I’ve tested so many tools and in the end, my standard clamp curling iron accomplishes the job exactly how I want in the shortest amount of time. If you’re intimidated by a clamp iron—don’t be! Practice absolutely makes perfect and the more you continue using one, holding it in your hand will feel like second nature. Trust me.

Big thank you to Bombay Hair for sponsoring this post!

- Katie

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