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Written by Kate Thompson Last updated: August 1, 2012
You’d love to have amazing looking hair on your wedding day, either cascading like silken waves over your shoulders, or elegantly swept into an ‘up do’. If your budget just won’t stretch to a bridal hair appointment with a salon, invest instead in a decent miracle maker and do it yourself in style! Our Kate puts three great hair styling products to the test, and shares the results!
Image by Adrian Valencia
You know you can do great things with your hair – you’ve curled it, you’ve straightened it, you’ve styled it up and down before, so do you really need a professional? Perhaps not with the latest high tech hair equipment we’ve tested for you! I tried three of the latest professional styling tools on my long hair to achieve:
• A 1930s wave style
• A sleek, shiny straight style
• A curled style
Toni & Guy Deep Barrell Hair Waver
Toni & Guy £39.99, Amazon at £24.49
Images courtesy of: Toni & Guy, Bobby Pin Blog
This is a hair waver, different to a curler and straightener, which gives a sleek and stylish 1920s/30s finger wave shape to the hair - very on-trend at the moment with beautiful bo-ho and Gatsby-esque wavy hair styles everywhere!
What it Promises:
‘The Deep Barrel Waver has unique 32mm ultra deep plates which create extra deep and sultry set waves with a bold shine. Designed to protect your hair and colour with the Ceramic Tourmaline plates, its unique Colour Lock Technology is developed to enhance shine, smooth hair follicles and lock in colour as you style. It heats up to 180C in seconds and has 25 heat settings so you can find the one that best suits your tresses. Beach chic, bohemian style and Great Gatsby-esque waves don’t get easier than this!’
Tried and Tested Results
This is an easy-to-use hair waver that delivered exactly what it promised, by creating lasting deep waves in my hair and adding shine.
Top Tips for Making Waves
• Use hair spray to hold your waves
• Use large sections of your hair – I did my whole head in three sections, but with help from a friend you might even be able to divide into two. If you have very long hair like me, you’ll need to start at your ear and do one wave and then do another wave underneath. Shorter hair will get away with one wave.
I love it! And I think that at just £35 this is excellent value for the results I got.
Vidal Sassoon Hydra Gloss Straightener
At Amazon, Argos and Boots for £24.99 or less
Image courtesy of Vidal Sassoon
What it Promises
‘Vidal Sassoon Super straight and glossy hair will be yours with the Hydra Gloss Straightener. Powerful in-built Ionic Port protects your hair while styling by injecting negative ions which then lock natural moisture and eliminate frizz. The result is healthier, more manageable hair and added shine for impossibly glossy locks! With nine digitally controlled temperature settings, from 150 to 230˚C, a digital LED screen and 25mm floating ceramic coated plates, these are straighteners of superior quality minus the heavy price tag. Also features a 30 second heat up function and automatic shut off, so you don’t have to worry about anything but looking fabulous.’
Tried and Tested Results
This is a high-tech straightener that does what it promises. It straightened beautifully and gave me sleek and shiny hair quickly and easily. I like the design as it’s small and easy to use with a clear window that shows you how hot it is and a temperature control to allow you to turn the heat up or down and turn the iron on or off. It has a lock which is handy and the only thing I’d say was an issue for me was that I managed to turn it off by accident as the on/off button is just where you hold it when styling. I like its size – it’s nice and small and so easy to store. You can curl a slight flick up at the ends with this too, but if it’s curls you want you need curling tongs!
This is a good quality, great value straightener that does exactly what it promises.
Top Tip for Straightening
• Straighten your hair in two layers, the underneath first while the top is clipped up out of the way, and then the top.
Enrapture Encode Totem Styler
From Enrapture, £74.99, on offer until mid-August with a 1/3 off!
Image by Enrapture
What it Promises
‘The ultimate next generation curling tool, the Enrapture Encode Totem styler has a patented totem barrel that is the first ever styler to feature three independent heat zones that can be set to different temperatures using encoder dials (1 for loose curls, 3 for tight curls). Encode different heat combinations to create varied looks e.g. 3,1,3. With the highest heat settings forming bouncy, tight curls and the lower, cooler settings forming loose waves and softer spirals, a variety of looks can be created depending on the heat code selected.’
Gift box contains:
• Enrapture Encode Totem styler
• Heat proof mat and travel case
• Style guide
Tried and Tested Results
This is a very clever (very hot!) curling tong with a large variety of settings making it very versatile. It features a ‘mini flipper’ which holds the end of your hair in place and as it’s so small it makes it much easier to wind long hair around the end of the tong. The best feature is the heat control barrel which had me foxed at first I have to admit! The barrel comes with 3 movable sections marked with numbers 1 to 3. You can set the barrel to heat up at different temperatures in different places to create all sorts of types of curls! For instance by setting it to: 1,3,3 with the 1 at the top, the top end of your hair nearest your head will get less heat and will therefore look more realistic being softer at the top and a tighter curl at the bottom. It’s very easy to use (once you get your head round how it works) and it LOVE the heat-resistant mat that doubles as a handy travel case. It also has a built-in stand and the most beautiful packaging that you’ll want to keep.
It’s a brilliant multi-way curler that’s worth buying. The beautiful purple presentation box makes this is a perfect pre-wedding present for any bride-to-be!
My only tiny criticism is that I wish they’d made the handle a different colour to the tongs as I am used to using a curler with a black handle and silver tongs and so picked this up by the hot end by accident. I won’t be doing that again! And I would not want any nervous bride-to-be with her big day on her mind to make the same mistake!
Top Tip for Curling:
• The smaller the piece of hair you curl, the tighter the ringlet-effect curls you can create.
Styling Tips for all
• Do use a heat-protecting spray
• Use hair spray to hold your waves in place once styled
• Don’t hold in place for more than 10 seconds or you risk damaging your hair
• Practice well before your big day to get it just right.
• Fix your tiara or hair accessories in after you have styled your hair
A few safety tips for all hot styling appliances - hold away from your face and neck as they can burn skin. Be careful with anything that heats up – don’t pick it up by the wrong end and don’t leave it for children to find either. Always remember to place on a heat-resistant surface and switch it off after use.
See other great advice on our bridal beauty pages!