Curling Wand Waves



It’s driving me absolutely crazy that I didn’t take one extra second to smooth out the top of my hair before I shot these photos. Everything I do these days seems to be in haste!

And my tripod is a really bad creative director.

Anyway, I filmed a new curling wand tutorial for you! Yes! The last one I filmed was many moons ago and things have changed a bit since those dark ages so it was time for a refresh.

Oftentimes I get asked which is better, a curling wand or a traditional spring curling iron. My answer is both. Both are fine, one isn’t better than the other they are just different.

In general, if your hair is layered you’ll likely have an easier time with a spring curling iron. If you don’t have many layers or have very short or very long hair, a curling wand may be perfect for you.

I used the Amika 5P Interchangeable Barrel Curler for this tutorial. I LOVE that you can adjust the heat settings on this iron. I think that should be an element added to every single hot tool used for styling.

If you are looking for one a little more budget friendly, try the Hot Tools brand.




Leave a Comment

Comments (65)

  1. Lynn says
    Posted May 26, 2015

    Would an aerosol dry shampoo work as well as a texture spray for this look? TIA!

  2. MrsG says
    Posted May 26, 2015

    Can’t wait for my hair to get long enough to curl! Growing out a pixie over here (it’s to my chin now!)

    In other news, the Amika interchangeable wand is $187 on Amazon!

  3. Sarah says
    Posted May 26, 2015

    Love the curls! They look perfect.

  4. Posted May 26, 2015

    Great tips! My hair is wavy and I sleep on it wet. When I wake up it needs a little lift and I love using my wand. But I never have tried wrapping toward my face, so I need to try that today.

  5. kristin says
    Posted May 26, 2015

    Kate, I found Amika Un Done Texture Spray ON MAJOR SALE for $8.13 for the 5.3 oz size and bought a few! ( Thanks for the suggestion as I was running out of my texture spray. I am excited to try it and give this tutorial a try!

    • Mandy says
      Posted May 26, 2015

      Just got a couple!! Thanks for sharing the link!

  6. Laura says
    Posted May 26, 2015

    Love this look on you!!


  7. Posted May 26, 2015

    BEAUTIFUL! You look fabulous! Xo, Stephanie

  8. amanda june says
    Posted May 26, 2015

    I have found that a curling wand works MUCH better to hold curl in my fine hair — even with a great curling iron they never last more than a day and sometimes not even that long, but with a curling wand I can keep curls/waves for more than 2 days (with touchups sometimes). I was so happy to discover it last year! There’s definitely a learning curve and I’m still figuring out how to get the waves I want, but I was super excited to find something that would keep curls in my hair (layers or not).

    • Faith says
      Posted May 26, 2015

      Out of curiosity…what wand do you use?

    • Stacie says
      Posted November 17, 2015

      I completely agree!!! I have a few different curling irons (Hot Tools, Babyliss, Conair, etc.), and while I prefer using a curling iron for the method and simplicity of it, the curls don’t always last long which is frustrating when you put the effort in to curl it!! The curls last WAY LONGER with a curling wand!! I have the Hot Tools tapered curling wand (has adjustable heat).

  9. Posted May 26, 2015

    Thanks for this post…. I now want everything on the Amika website…. the pretty product patterns get me every time.

  10. Joana Fuchs says
    Posted May 26, 2015

    Loved the tutorial! Your hair looks so healthy and shiny!

  11. Sara W says
    Posted May 26, 2015

    i liked the unsmoothed top-it’s supposed to be ‘undone’ right? Thanks for continuing to provide video tutorials, lord knows you’re busy!

  12. Posted May 26, 2015

    Kate, my hair is growing out. I have long layers and it is past my shoulders by a couple of inches. I have a barrel curling iron. I also bought an Insta-wave. However the Insta-wave makes much tighter curls. I haven’t tried it on a cooler setting however. My question is do you think that I need a curling wand?? I had one ordered and had an issue with people taking packages off of my front porch. I just have never reordered one. Also the one I ordered would have been much smaller. I just love this look!! Thank you for the demonstration. And to answer your question I have fine hair. It used to be really thick. But due to autoimmune disease diagnoses I have been losing some of my hair. But not so much that anyone else would notice.

    With kind regards


  13. Posted May 26, 2015

    Great tutorial (as always!)
    I told my husband I wanted a curling wand for my birthday next month.. hopefully he remembers!

    Kristi |

  14. KC says
    Posted May 26, 2015

    I noticed in the Amkia 5P wand kit there is a wand called a “root lifter”. I can’t for the life of me find an explanation on how its used. Would you even suggest using it since it seems like a forgotten about add-on?

  15. Posted May 26, 2015

    Beautiful! You always have the best hair tutorials!

    Christine |

  16. Posted May 26, 2015

    your hairdos are such a success for me. my last ‘do’ at a wedding was aces! thanks for sharing these tutorials.

  17. Posted May 26, 2015

    I just recently got a 32mm curling wand from Nume, and I also have one from conair which is kind of cone shaped, and I love them both! The conair creates tighter curls while the nume creates looser waves, which I’m really loving! your hair looks great!

  18. Rebecca says
    Posted May 26, 2015

    Love this!! Thanks so much Kate – I’ve always enjoyed your hair tutorials and really appreciate the update on an older one. You look amazing – and thanks for always keeping things ‘real’. I’ve been following your blog for a few years and really like how you it’s evolved now that you had two littles. Best!! xx

  19. Posted May 26, 2015

    Great post! Im also very inspired by Elizabeth Olsen. Her style is super cute. Thanks for the tutorial.

    Ps- I just started a new blog. It’s called Mildly Moody and its aimed towards female entrepreneurs and career IT girls. Perhaps you can take a look when you get a chance?
    Now following you!
    Xoxo, Cori

  20. Roxanne says
    Posted May 26, 2015

    You look absolutely stunning Kate.

  21. Nilda says
    Posted May 26, 2015

    Love your curls!! I have to try to curl my hair that way. And the color of the nail polish you are using is beautiful!! Xoxo.

  22. Amanda says
    Posted May 26, 2015

    Kate, Great tutorial but I have great issues curling my own hair be it with curling iron, wand, or straightener. The girl who cuts my hair can do it but I never have been able to on my own no matter how hard I try or what products I use. My hair is thick and fine and if it does curl you have to start out with tighter curls to begin with or the waves fall straight. My hair is also long. The one tool that works is the Miracurl but I don’t get soft loose waves or curls with that in the same way. Any ideas?

    • Stacie says
      Posted November 17, 2015

      That sounds exactly like me!! I can’t get a curl to hold for the life of me but my hairdresser does no problem. A curling wand definitely makes the difference for me. Try it out!

  23. Kara says
    Posted May 26, 2015

    Thanks so much for making this tutorial, Kate!

    May I ask if you’ve ever heard of the Tyme curling iron? If so, what are your thoughts on this brand and product?

  24. Jenny says
    Posted May 26, 2015

    You always have THE best hair tutorials. I’ve learned so much about my own hair from you. I curl my hair with a straightener now, but it seems I need a wand!
    Jenny // Mish Mosh Makeup

  25. Brittney says
    Posted May 26, 2015

    Hey Kate! Love the hair!!! I have never heard of a hot tool where the barrels were
    Interchangable! What a space saver!! Also….what color of nail polish are you wearing in the video?? I have been looking for a color exactly like that and have come up short!

  26. Kristina says
    Posted May 26, 2015

    I was wondering if you’re ever going to do another post about your hair color? I’d like the have a lighter color around my face and ends, but I don’t know the hairdresser lingo.

  27. Summer says
    Posted May 26, 2015

    Great tutorial–thanks, Kate! I’ve used a curling wand several times and my hair tends to frizz from it. Not sure why, as I don’t normally struggle with frizz. Any tips? Thanks again!!!

  28. Posted May 26, 2015

    Loved the tutorial!!

  29. Erin says
    Posted May 26, 2015

    Loved this tutorial as I have been growing out my hair for my wedding and it is fairly thin without any volume.. However this looks great on my hair and will last me all day in the office and some days even stays in after I’ve been in surgery all day!!

    Curious though… What lipstick are you wearing! Its adorable, subtle with with the perfect pop of color! I’ve been looking to add something like this to my daily routine!

    Let me know! Thanks!

    • Angie says
      Posted May 27, 2015

      I’d also love to know your lip color! 🙂 beautiful!

  30. Kelli says
    Posted May 26, 2015

    Kate would love to know the lipstick color you’re wearing? Thanks so much!

  31. Ash says
    Posted May 26, 2015

    i love the look of this, but I have a question. Why did you alternate curling towards and away from the face on the bottom layer, but only curl away from the face on the top layer?

  32. Posted May 27, 2015

    My hair is so so so so thick.. I often feel like I have to straighten my hair before curling it! Do you think it is tame-able if I just blow dry it into a puff ball and curl it from there?

  33. Posted May 27, 2015

    Love this, you are so pretty

    check out my newest post

  34. Cindi says
    Posted May 27, 2015

    Hi Kate!! Love your blog! Question: I have thin straight hair and the ONLY way for me to get any curl is to use the conair U-curl. I really wanted to try looser waves and I’m searching for a wider non-tapered curling wand. Any suggestions?

    Thank you!!

  35. Posted May 27, 2015

    Thank you so much for this tutorial. For the longest time I have like I am in a ‘hair’ slump..especially when it comes to being able to curl my hair. I’m going to give this a whirl and see if I can’t liven up my locks!

  36. Posted May 28, 2015

    Oh my goodness I LOVE it! I can NOT get my hair to hold a loose wave to save my soul! Maybe I’ll give a curling wand a shot! Great tutorial video!

  37. Posted May 28, 2015

    Love your videos! Thanks for the tips! 🙂

  38. Terri says
    Posted May 28, 2015

    Hey Kate, I’m coming to the U.S. (Only for my second time, too excited!) in July, in NZ it’s impossible to get so many of the brands you use and I’d love to try. Where in the U.S. Can I find amika products? thanks!! x

  39. Stefanoe says
    Posted May 28, 2015

    Your hair is so smooth before you use the curling wand, do you straighten it, just blow dry it or is your hair naturally that straight? I enjoy having waves with curl, but my hair is a bit coarse and frizzy so it would help if it was straightened but I’m always thinking that then it wouldn’t curl any advice? PS I love your blog as well as the stuff you put on Google+ thank you

  40. Posted May 28, 2015

    Love this tutorial. I recently lost a lot of my hair due to a medical problem so I’ve spent the last six months growing it back out, and I cannot wait until it’s as long and pretty as yours.

    If your readers are interested I posted a blog with all the vitamins and products I used to grow my hair SUPER FAST. xx

    Day & Knight Blog:

  41. Posted June 15, 2015

    I want to know your lipstick color toooooo!

  42. Kayla says
    Posted June 22, 2015

    I’ve heard a couple of times in your tutorials that you put a ponytail on top of your head to sleep in to add volume. Seems simple enough but when I try this I seem to get way too much of a kink in it and I’m not sure if I’m putting it in the right spot. It would be awesome to see exactly what this looks like.

  43. Rita says
    Posted July 24, 2015

    I loved the curls that you’ve made! 🙂

    If the readers are interested, I left a site, that always inspires me whith its posts! Thank you!

  44. Rita says
    Posted July 24, 2015
  45. rednaxelaarabrab says
    Posted September 2, 2015

    Karmin is my preference 🙂

  46. Jill says
    Posted September 6, 2015

    Great tutorial! I just discovered your blog and I love it! Can you let us know what lipstick you’re wearing in this tutorial?

  47. ashley says
    Posted October 3, 2015

    I noticed in this tutorial you only alternated direction on the bottom layer….do you always keep the top layer going away from your face? I love all your newer instagram pics with your hair long and curled. so cute!

  48. tennieharris says
    Posted February 4, 2016

    ♥ ♥ ♥ I personally love my Karmin ♥ ♥ ♥

  49. Richard says
    Posted February 13, 2016

    I really appreciate this post where the writer used the Amika for her tutorial. But she missed the issues where to buy curling iron which will be best for us?

  50. Paige Duren says
    Posted March 26, 2016

    I use my curling wand all the time and I love it. The one you are using with different sized barrels is really cool! My hair is naturally wavy, so I usually just end up using a curling wand to touch up some of my curls. Thanks for sharing!

  51. Brittney says
    Posted April 8, 2016

    What nail polish are you wearing in this video?!

  52. Lucy says
    Posted July 3, 2016

    Thanks for sharing, it’s really helpful for me!

  53. Katy says
    Posted November 22, 2016

    I really like this tutorial. thank you!

  54. Penny says
    Posted December 5, 2016

    This is just amazing, wow thanks a lot

  55. ammonite says
    Posted May 12, 2017


  56. Anaya says
    Posted January 31, 2018

    This Video really help me to how can I make curl with my curling wand

  57. Posted May 23, 2018

    Thanks for sharing beautiful information with us about hair-curler for more….
    Keep share

  58. Posted June 5, 2018

    Last night i buy curling iron for my hairs and your article and video help me how can i use my curling iron and how can i make proper curls. Keep it up

  59. Addyson says
    Posted July 25, 2018

    Best I have ever used is the Karmin.