Curling irons, curling wands, curling cones. So many ways to curl hair! Tapered curling wands like the new CHI LAVA Tapered Curling Wand are among the newest tools in the pro curling arsenal, and it’s important to know what they can and cannot do. CHI Elite Artist, Melissa Reyes shares top tips and techniques for one of her favorite thermal tools.
Use a tapered curling wand for highly-textured, highly-defined curl. “A slim, tapered wand will produce an S-shape curl rather than the ribbon-type curl you get with a curling iron,” says Reyes. “And if you use the CHI LAVA you also get massive shine!”
It will get you thisclose to the root. “I love how close I can get to the regrowth area with a slim tapered wand,” says Reyes.
It’s the solution for highly textured hair. Because the curl is so tightly formed, a slim tapered wand is ideal for matching up relaxed sections of hair with naturally curly hair. This makes it a great tool when someone is transitioning—you can reproduce their natural curl if you work with tiny sections.
It creates awesome finger-waves. To create a finger-wave style, Reyes uses a one-inch wand on ½- or 1-inch vertical sections of hair, wrapping each section identically. Once the hair is curled, she combs through roots to ends with a wide-tooth comb until an S-wave takes shape. She uses her fingers to spread out the waves and backcombs if necessary to even out the shape.
Avoid fishhooks. Always wind every section of hair all the way to the ends to achieve a perfect curl. If the tips don’t get curled, your curls will be plagued by fishhook ends.
Get quickie beach waves. To achieve loose, lazy waves, wrap each section around the wand, omit the last three inches and hold for no more than three seconds or so to avoid a too-tight result.
Alternate section directions for a loose, messy curl. “I like to alternate sections—some forward and some back—to create a lot of texture,” says Reyes. “You can do this with large or small sections. If the client wants perfect curls, wrap the hair around the wand using the same rotation and formation. But alternating directions creates more of a tousled texture.”
Release and hold. Rather than dropping each section after curling, lock in a bouncier curl by releasing the hair into your palm. Open and close your hand to “squeeze” curl memory into the hair. Releasing the hair too soon will cause the curl to stretch.
Teach your client. Help your client get the most out of her tapered wand by showing her how to use the tool at home. “The first thing I do is use the mirror to show them how they should hold and position the wand,” says Reyes. “Some people will drop the tool or burn themselves if they don’t know how to hold it. On the left side, they should place the wand downward with the right hand and wrap with the left hand. On the right side, hold the iron with the left hand, point the tool downward and wrap with the right hand. Direct each section away from the face and always use the heat glove to avoid burnt fingers!”
Spray before you play. “It’s so important to use a heat protective spray like CHI 44 Iron Guard,” says Reyes. “And the great thing about the surface of the CHI LAVA Tapered Wand is how slick it is—spray won’t stick so the hair glides along. It actually makes the hair shinier—even if it’s frizzy when you start, the frizz is gone after you’re finished curling.”