The 7 Best Curling Irons For Beach Waves

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by Lisa Fogarty
Originally Published: 
Bustle / Amazon

Perfectly imperfect tousled beach waves can make you look (and feel) like you spent the morning with your toes in the sand — even if you’re stuck at the office. But to create them, you’ve got to have the right tools. The best curling irons for beach waves usually consist of a wave plate, multiple barrels, or a rotating wand that leaves you with loose waves that look perfectly casual instead of seriously polished. While it’s true that you’ll benefit most from applying a styling product like mousse or sea salt spray first, there’s no denying that a quality curling iron is the holy grail where beachy waves are concerned.

To get the perfect beach waves, start with damp hair that has been towel-dried, apply the styling product of your choice, and decide if you want to dry your hair with a hair dryer or diffuser or let it dry naturally. Once your hair is dry (and only when it’s dry — never use a curling iron on wet hair or you risk breakage and split ends), use your curling iron or hair waver to curl sections of hair. For the most natural-looking results, you can vary the direction of the curls. When you’re finished, set your hair with a light hairspray — and you’re done.

In a hurry? These are the best curling irons for beach waves.

1. The Best Deep Waver: Bed Head Massive Shine Wave Artist

2. The Best Clampless Wand: The Bed Head Rock N’ Roller Curling Wand

3. The One For Hair That Won’t Hold Curls: REVLON 3-Barrel Ceramic Jumbo Waver

4. The Easiest To Use: Kiss Products Instawave Automatic Ceramic Curling Iron

5. The Best Flat Iron That Can Curl Hair: INFINITIPRO By Conair Rainbow Titanium Flat Iron

6. The Best Basic Iron: The Bed Head Curlipops Curling Wand

7. The Best Mini Waver: Conair Mini Waver

Now that you’re armed with a few key tips, scroll on the shop the best curling irons and wands for easy, beachy waves. From automatic styling tools that do the work for you to tiny, travel-sized wavers that are easy to pack, you’re bound to find a tool that suits your hair type and styling skills, ahead.


The Best Deep Waver

This Bed Head deep waver uses tourmaline and ceramic plates to create glossy, frizz-free waves while minimizing the risk of damage. This tool heats up to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and has multiple temperature settings and a tangle-free cord. And, thanks to its dual voltage, you can take it with you on your travels, worldwide.

One fan wrote: “I bought this hoping it would be easier and quicker than a curling iron, and it is! The waves are gorgeous too! They are perfect beach waves and they lasted all night for me, which is usually not the case when I curl my hair with a curling iron. I am so glad I tried this!”


The Best Clampless Wand

Another styling tool that uses ceramic and tourmaline to reduce damage and frizz, the Bed Head Rock N’ Roller Curling Wand comes at a great price. Create either loose curls or beachy waves using the wand’s innovative, round barrel shape, as opposed to a tricky-to-maneuver clamp, all while enhancing your hair’s natural volume. For loose curls, wrap sections of hair around the balls — slightly tighter and more structured curls can be achieved by placing hair in between each of the balls. This iron also comes with a bonus mitt to keep your hand safe from burns.

One fan wrote: “This has got to be the best curling wand I have ever used. It gets hot super fast. I can curl my entire head oh hair in under 20 mins. These great wavy curls are amazing. The longer you hold hair on iron, the tighter the ringlets. For looser beach waves, hold for a shorter time. Works great on hair that is a few days outta a wash too.”


The One For Hair That Won’t Hold Curls

This three-barrel hair waver boasts a tourmaline ceramic coating to minimize damage and increase shine. It creates slightly tighter-looking waves than a wand, so it might be a better choice if your hair struggles to maintain a curl. More than 14,500 Amazon shoppers have added this hair tool to their beauty arsenals and the 4.2-star overall rating speaks for itself.

One fan wrote: “This hair waiver is easy to use. The results are a nice wave that lasts hours. It is a nice change from barrel curls and straight hair. The price point can’t be beat.”


The Easiest To Use

If you consider yourself seriously challenged when it comes to your hair styling skills, don’t worry: This automatic curling iron literally does the work for you, thanks to its rotating wand. For beach waves, simply hold the curling iron at an angle, section off 1 or 2 inches of hair, and place your hair along the front of the barrel. Push a simple button on the handle, and the wand will begin rotating until it wraps the entire section. Then hold it until you hear a beep and gently pull down, releasing the wave. It couldn’t be easier. More than 7,000 Amazon reviewers have tried out this curling iron for beach waves.

One fan wrote: “I am terrible with doing my own hair. I mean terrible. After reader reviews I decided to try it because I wanted to have beach curls like my style did after cutting my hair and I knew I would NEVER be able to do my hair. This is so stinking easy. Simply read the directions and worked like a charm. So easy. VERY IMPRESSED! I highly recommend!”


The Best Flat Iron That Can Curl Hair

One hair hack according to pro stylists is to invest in a flat iron with rounded tips so you can straighten hair and create loose waves using the same tool. (That's a money-saving tip, too.) That’s where this flat iron from Conair comes in. Using titanium floating plates, it efficiently straightens hair with one pass or creates beachy, natural-looking waves with a slight twisting motion. This multifunctional tool has a 4.5-star overall rating on Amazon after nearly 5,000 reviewers have chimed in.

One fan wrote: “I am not the best at doing my hair & this is the best tool! I can straighten my hair quickly and it makes the best beach waves! I’ve never gotten so many compliments and it only takes a fraction of time!”


The Best Basic Iron

If you’re looking for a classic, no-frills curling wand, you can’t go wrong with the Bed Head Curlipops Curling Wand (especially at such a great price point). The 1-inch wand heats up to 400 degrees Fahrenheit, cuts down on frizz using tourmaline and ceramic plates, and comes with a bonus heat protective glove. Reviewers who say their straight hair never holds a curl rave about how this wand delivers beachy waves that last. In fact, it has more than 14,000 reviews and a 4.5-star rating.

It’s important to note that you can’t adjust the temperature settings on this tool, so make sure your hair type is compatible with the extreme heat this wand provides. It also comes in a variety of other barrel sizes and colors.

One fan wrote: “Ive had the same wand for 7 years and its still my weekly go to! Definitely recommend, love the loose curls/waves it gives, over the years I’ve gotten so many compliments on on my hair.”


The Best Mini Waver

Take your beach waves on the go with this mini waver from Conair. It’s exactly what it sounds like: a tiny, travel-friendly wave-creator that heats up fast and is easy to pack. It heats up to 375 degrees Fahrenheit and provides gentle, even heat using ceramic contoured plates; plus, it comes in a cute, pink color. Reviewers have noted that the waves this tool creates are tighter than one you might get from a full-size tool.

If you’re interested in more travel-friendly hot tools, be sure to check out Conair’s other pint-sized stylers, like its best-selling mini blow dryer and mini flat iron, which can also be used to create loose waves.

One fan wrote: “I wanted to clarify that this product isn’t just compact in size, it actually makes mini waves. I thought it would make regular size waves and just more compact but the waves are actually tight and mini. Which is totally great! They look really cute and I love the product. I just wanted to clarify for others.”

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