Back when you were a kid, did you also think that you’d be travelling in a flying car when you grew up? That you’d be able to dress yourself by pressing a button? Or that you’d marry Tom Cruise at 21, and share both a house, five kids, two dogs and a peacock in your backyard with him?
Ummmm, me neither. I have no idea where that just came from. And that’s a lie, because I wrote a small book called «My Life» when I was 11, and it says EXACTLY THAT.
Nowadays, people might call it «positive visualizing» (or alternative facts) and praise me for my clearly-set goals, but hey… at least I had a PLAN. And honestly, a futuristic gadget that automatically curls my hair would have fit in perfectly with my visions for the future. IT’S TOOL TIME, ducklings!
Philips ProCare auto curler ionic, approx. $180.00
WAY FUTURISTIC, right? And, for one, they got the design right! Who decided that all hairstyling tools needed to be either black or pink… or even worse, purple?
Sorry, I’m getting sidetracked. It’s probably Tom Cruise-in-1986’s fault, I can’t get him out of my mind, let alone our peacock. So let’s head straight into the Tool Time review on Hey Pretty, because we want to rock some serious curls today. At the press of a button!
This curling iron, or rather, curling device delivers «automatically perfect curls» and features a titanium coating with ionic properties, has a brushless motor and three different temperature and curling time settings. And yep, even works for very dry and damaged hair like mine!
Okay, we’re ready. Freshly-washed and blow-dried hair that’s been treated with heat protection CUZ YOU NEED TO, and two or three hair clips to section off your hair.
As my hair is relatively fine, I’m fine with dividing my hair into two sections with a long part from ear to ear, leading around my head. Turn on the curler, setting the curling time to 8 seconds and a temperature of 180° C, and after 30 seconds warm-up-time, we can get started.
For gentle waves, choose 180° C and 8 seconds curling time. At 210° C and 10 seconds, you’ll get soft curls, and at 230° C and 12 seconds, they’ll be defined curls.
As I’m totally going by the book for this tutorial, I grab the hair sectioning accessory and determine the amount of hair I can curl at one time by determining a hair strand of about 2-3 cm in width. And honestly, pretty soon, I’m going to discover that it’s totally not worth getting lazy about it later, as thicker strands will be really hard to insert into the appliance!
So we’re clear on how thick a strand should be, right? Now, I grab the appliance vertically, with the front facing my head, and insert the hair into the curling chamber (sounds like something out of Harry Potter!), starting from the back of the curler.
If you have longer hair, you can also wrap the strand around your index finger once for better grip!
Then, all you need to do is press and hold the curling button… and ZEEEEEP, the hair strand is automatically curled into the chamber.
NOT GONNA LIE, THIS STEP IS SCARY.
And now, for the ultimate test of nerves: The hair is IN the chamber… and now, you’ll have to be able to stand the seemingly endless eight seconds, in which you’ll hear four chirpy digital beeps, until the CLICK sound finally indicates that you can let go of the curling button and move the appliance away from your head for… BOOOIIIIINGGGG*!
*You can actually make the BOIIINNGGGG sound on every single curl, but maybe only if you’re alone at home, eh?
Now you know how it’s done, you can simply work your way around your head. The biggest challenge (not gonna lie) is the back of your head: It’s not going to look elegant, but you WILL get it done… and I’m pretty sure it’s easier if you have longer hair than me.
It took me around 20 minutes to curl all my hair. Once finished, I turned off the curler (duh!) and let my hair cool off a bit. Then, just go ahead and style as desired. As you can see, I prefer the «sexily-combing-your-fingers-through-your-hair-and-shake-it-out» method, but that’s just me.
Be glad I didn’t do the sexy face that normally goes with it.
THE HEY PRETTY CONCLUSION:
I’ll be honest here: Styling tools that suck up my hair into their innards (even if it’s only for a couple of seconds) still freak me out, and I’ve reviewed and used similar stylers by other brands. But now that I’ve used the ProCare auto curler at least five times, I have to say that the concept really works! As long as you take care not to attempt to insert thicker strands cuz you’re LAZY… because they do actually get stuck in the curler and have to be carefully extracted (plus it sounds horrible when the gears start crunching!).
Goofs like that are pretty easy to detangle, though… and the whole thing works pretty much perfectly.
What makes this curler different from the others I’ve reviewed – and the reason why I like it so much – is that you switch the rotation direction with a separate button.
Honestly, that’s the number one secret for natural-looking curls! By switching the curling direction from left to right as you work your way around your head, the curls end up looking way more effortless and less perfectly arranged, if you know what I mean.
And here’s the final result: These are the «wavy, loose curls» I was promised:
All in all, this hairstyle took about 25 minutes, which is quite a lot for me in my daily routine. Here comes the kicker, though: Compared to the curls I usually do with my curling wand (which take only about 5 minutes), the Auto Curler version lasted waaaay longer, and still looked great the next day, too. Any other curls simply fall out of my hair after about 8 to 12 hours, so it’s well worth the extra time they take to create!
I hope you were able to handle all of these dramatic Making Of pictures (sorry!), but I still think this is the best way to explain how tools like these work, step-by-step. Just be glad I never blog about stuff like «Kissing techniques, illustrated» or «Upper lip waxing, done right».
And now, you potential curl queen: BOOIIINNNGGGG! your way into a great day! I hope your February is turning out great. And if not, get your hairstyle down pat. It’ll help, I promise!
The Philips ProCare Auto Curler Ionic HPS950/00 ist available in most markets for approx. US$ 180.00