The Ultimate Guide to Hair Crimpers & Wavers

Hair curling has always been a great way to change up one’s look. It’s a highly versatile way to create a new ‘do, letting you add an elegant exclamation point to your formal looks or be as laid back as you can be with a beachy wave. The best hair waver is just one of the many ways how you can create a nice, romantic, and voluminous head of hair.

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Hair Wavers Defined

conair infiniti pro steam waver – Curling Diva
Conair Infiniti Pro Steam Waver / Plush Pink Allure

With so many different hair curling tools available in the market today, it can be a bit overwhelming to choose just one. You can take a pick between curling irons, wands, tongs, crimpers, and, of course, wavers. All these will give you beautiful curls, as long as you use them right.

Hair wavers are a lot like flat irons that come with heated lumps and barrels instead of smooth, flat plates. These give your hair the shape you want without having to wrap your hair around the heated rods or barrels. Although they’re pretty bulky, a lot of people prefer them for their ease of use as you just need to clamp your hair in between their plates. The curls you’ll make with this heat styling tool are more uniform and resemble waves, which is the reason for its name.

Hair Waver vs. Curling Iron

Curling irons are some of the more popular options when it comes to hair curling tools because they’re more widely available and less intimidating. As they’re just basically single heated barrels or rods, they don’t look like they’re very complicated to use. Besides, all you have to do is wrap your hair around the barrel, right?

Wrong. Curling irons may seem like the easiest things to use when styling your hair, but they also require a bit of thought to work properly. Actually having to wrap your hair around the rod or barrel is quite tricky, especially if you want the tips if your locks to point to the same direction. You need to remember to wrap your hair the same way every time, or else your hair will be one poofy mess.

You also have to be careful when wrapping your hair around the wand so the heat will reach the entire length of your hair. Achieving uniform curls can also be quite tricky because it all boils down to how well you wrap your locks around the barrel.

Keeping your hair wrapped around the iron is a challenge as well. While some curling irons have clamps to hold your locks in place, they can cause ugly creasing that can ruin your look. Others don’t have this extra part which means you have to pretty much wrap your hair tightly or pull it down towards the barrel to keep it in place.

The possibility of experiencing hair tangling can be a mess as well. So it’s easy to see why not a lot of people are fans of curling irons.

results from using a jumbo hair waver – Curling Diva
Results from using a 3-barrel hair waver / by Ysis Lorenna

Hair wavers, on the other hand, makes curling your locks a lot simpler. As they employ a design similar to flat irons, the need to wrap your hair around the barrel is eliminated. All you need to do is place your hair in between the heated barrels, press the handle together, and your hair will get a nice set of curls immediately.

Without the need to master the right techniques of wrapping your hair around a barrel, you can create uniformly sized locks with these tools. The only thing you need to watch out for is the positioning of the tool on your hair. Proper spacing is key to having luscious locks, so you have to pay attention where you clamp down for the best results.

Hair Crimper vs. Hair Wavers

Hair wavers are actually a lot more similar to hair crimpers in theory and practice. They can both provide great texture and uniform waves on your hair, for one. As hair crimpers are equipped with tiny curves that create really tight curves, it offers a more jagged texture to your hair.

It’s in the details..

While it is completely possible to use a crimping iron to texturize your hair and create kinky curls, it’s more often used as a detailing tool as of late. This is because most crimpers are small in size, with 2” plates being the widest available in the market. Styling all of your hair with this tool can take some time, so not a lot of people try it out.

Volume, baby, volume..

It’s great for adding volume to your locks, though. ‘Mini crimpers’ are popular among folks with silky, fine, and limp locks as these things can be easily used to lift the hair at the roots. All you need to do is crimp your hair really close to the roots, except for the outer layer of your locks. Then you can instantly say goodbye to the days when your hair clings to your head like they’re hanging on to it for dear life. This technique will let you enjoy the effects of having fuller, more voluminous locks.

Check out this video on how to use a crimper to get a root lift:

Uniform results

The other similarity between hair crimpers and wavers lie on how they are operated. Both need clamping down on one hair portion at a time, creating uniform results every time. This makes them easy to use. But you still have to be careful when positioning the tool so you don’t overdo one section and create wonky waves.

What’s the difference?

The only difference between the two lies in the heated plates that create the waves. For hair crimpers, you’re using textured plates. Due to the small gaps, they look more serrated without the sharp jagged edges. These plates can have textured gaps as small as 15mm, which can create the smallest waves there is.

Hair wavers, on the other hand, offer more pronounced and chunky curls. They use barrels instead of smooth notched plates like the hair crimping irons do. The barrels come in different sizes, so you can easily choose how big your waves can be. With large barrels also comes a lot of bulk, so you can expect hair wavers to be huge and clunky.

Types of Hair Wavers

When searching for hair wavers, you’ll usually find two types of wavers. Each is operated the same way but are differently designed, so they also tend to offer different results. Choosing between the two can define the hairstyles you can create, so it’s important to be able to tell them apart and know what each one is for.

So, what are these two different types of hair wavers? Check them out below:

1. Deep Waver

Deep wavers are hair wavers that make use of a single big lump to create pronounced waves in your hair. This lets it create chunky, uniform curls with just a clench of the handle. It’s great for creating voluminous curls and beachy waves, depending on how sleek you intend to style your hair.

2. Triple Barrel Waver

The triple barrel waver, on the other hand, is one of the clunkiest heat styling tools there is. As the name suggests, it makes use of three barrels to create the curls you want. One of these barrels is found on one side of the tongs, flanked by two concave plates that are designed to fit the thick prongs found on the other side. When clamped together, the curves will create nice, big curls.

This type of hair wavers is often preferred by those who want to create mermaid curls. As this hairstyle requires pronounced, uniform curls, using three barrels to do it is one of the nicest ways to achieve the ‘do.

Some people might think that the double barrel curling irons are also wavers, but this isn’t the case. There are actually no double barrel wavers because you’ll need three barrels to create even, uniform curls. The double barrel curling tools are just curling rods that will still require you to wrap your hair around the wands, which isn’t how wavers work.

Deep Waver vs Triple Barrel: Choosing the Best Hair Waver Type for Your Needs

deep waver vs triple barrel waver – Curling Diva

If you intend to buy just one kind of hair waver, choosing between these two can be pretty tricky. Both has its own style to offer, as noted above, so choosing just one relies entirely on the style you want to create. Deep wavers can be the best hair waver for beach waves, as it offers really large waves. You just need to brush it out to soften the curls, tousle your hair a little, and maybe spray a little salt water texturizer on your locks and you’re good to go.

If you’re not too particular about the definition of the waves you want to have, your hair length and your hair styling skill level should help you make the right choice for you. These two things have a great impact on how you can use the tool, which is also an important thing to consider when buying a heat styling tool. It shouldn’t just be about the results because if you can’t use the tool, there’s no way you can achieve the curls it promises you to have.

How long (or short) is your hair?

Your hair length is a major deciding factor because triple barrel wavers are often clunky with their wide plates. You’ll need at least medium to long hair lengths to have enough hair to feed to these tools. Of course, you can still try using these things on your short hair, but it will put you at risk of burning your fingers. It will also be difficult to place your hair between the barrels as you can’t just slide it in.

Although 3 barrel wavers come in different barrel sizes, they can still be too wide for those with really short hair. If you can find a unit with barrels smaller than 25mm, that might already be considered as a hair crimper as that will offer curls that are too fine to be considered as waves.

If you want the best waver for short hair, the deep waver might be your best bet. A deep waver iron might still be a bit clunkier than your regular curling wands, but as they make creating waves a lot simpler, they can still offer an easier way to style your short locks. As they won’t need to you wrap your short hair around a barrel, they can provide a quick way to curl your tresses, granted that they can, at least, fill the width of the plates so the waves will be defined and won’t look like a major crease instead.

How good are you with styling your own hair?

Your hair styling skill level is another important deciding factor in a 3 barrel waver vs deep waver debate. While wavers are pretty straightforward, it doesn’t mean that they don’t require much thought and maneuvering. You actually need to be quite adept at handling a heat styling tool to handle a triple barrel waver because of its size.

Aside from being a bit clunky, triple barrel wavers also have openings that can catch your hair and cause uneven results. The space between the two barrels can trap your locks if you don’t know how to expertly maneuver the tool around your head. Some experts even shy away from this tool because it’s not always easy to wield.

Deep wavers are a lot simpler to work with, though, thanks to their solid design. However, as these tools create singular deep waves, it’s still up to the user how the results will turn out. You’ll need to position the tool at the right spot every time you move it down the length of your hair so you can really get the nice “S” shapes you want. Paying close attention to what you’re doing is required with this tool, so if you tend to get easily distracted, you have to really step it up if you want to use one of these things.

You will get better with practice, though, but if you think you don’t have the persistence to keep on trying until you get the results you want, it will be better to look for a tool that won’t test your patience. This way, you won’t waste your time and money on something you won’t use.

How to Use a Hair Waver

Learning how to use a hair waver iron is also important to do if you intend on buying one of these heat styling tools in the near future. To help you with that, here’s an easy, step-by-step guide in styling your hair with this tool.

1. Ready everything you need to style your hair.

Grab your comb, hair products, and hair waver. If you need a power strip, grab one now and plug it in. It’s best to have everything you need within reach before you start the process so you don’t have to keep moving around while working on your hair. Also, don’t forget to grab a heat resistant pad so you can have a safe spot to rest your waver on.

2. Make sure your hair is dry before using a heat styling tool.

If you’re planning on styling freshly washed hair with this tool, make sure that it’s completely dry. Using heat on wet hair can be severely damaging, so you should avoid doing so at all costs.

3. Apply heat protectant.

To further ensure that your hair won’t get burnt to a crisp, using a heat protectant is essential. Apply it to your locks to ensure that every strand that will receive some heat will be properly protected.

4. Use a curl enhancer product.

Some people’s hair are too straight or too stubborn to hold a curl, so to make sure that yours will keep its shape, a curl enhancing product can be used. Choose one that won’t weigh your hair down, so you can be sure to get the best results.

5. Ready your hair for the curling process.

Once everything is ready and prepped, it’s time to start focusing in your locks. Begin with brushing it out so there won’t be any kinks and tangles. Once you can already run your fingers through the length of your hair, divide it into sections like how you do it when using other heat styling tools. For best results, lift the hair at the top using clips and pins so you can start with the ones near the top if your neck.

6. Turn the hair waver on and select the heat setting you need.

Grab your hair waver and power it up. Choose the heat setting that suits your hair so it won’t get too hot in case you don’t really need the highest temperature. If you don’t know the ideal temperature for your hair just yet, start with a low setting and work your way up until you’ve found the right amount of heat that will curl your hair effectively.

7. Grab a small portion of hair and decide how you want your look to be like.

Before starting to work on your hair, make up your mind first how you want it to look like. Curls that start near the roots will give you a fuller hair, but if you want a different look, you can also start curling at mid-length or even just curl the tips of your hair. Deciding on the look you want to achieve is essential to do right before you start curling as correcting hair styles can be frustrating, time-consuming, and damaging to your locks.

8. Start making some waves.

Position the hair waver according to how you want to style your hair and start working. Clamp down on your hair for up to 5 seconds, then release the hair. Move the hair waver down the length of your hair while minding where the last wave ends.

The trick to making waves with these tools is to not space out the waves too far apart and not too close together. Use the sides of the deep wave to get the right spacing between the two deep waves even though it means that some parts of your hair will get exposed to heat a little bit more. As for the triple barrel waver, you can opt to start again right on top of where the lowest barrel sat. This overlapping will help you create seamless curls for a more natural and voluminous look.

Make sure not to pull on the hair you’re working with as this might mess up the shape of your waves. To do this, always lift your hair up slightly while moving the waving iron down the length of your hair.

9. Keep on going until you’ve created enough waves for your desired look.

When creating a wavy or curly hairstyle, it’s best to work on the entirety of your hair so it will look more natural.

10. Add some finishing touches.

You can always brush out your curls, touch it up with other tools, or tousle it a bit, depending on the style you want to achieve. You can also use additional hair products to ensure that the waves will hold. Spritz on some hairspray to make sure that the shape will stay in place or use a sea salt spray to add more volume to your locks.

How to use a hair waver on short hair? The right kind of hair waver is the key to achieving this goal. This step-by-step guide still applies but make sure to use deep wavers as they are better suited for short hair lengths.

A Few More Tips to Get the Best Results from a Hair Waver

To always get the best results from your hair waver, always remember that a heat styling tool is just a part of the equation. Your skills, hair health, proper use of the device, and ample finishing touches on your hair also play huge roles in getting the results you want.

So if you want to get the most out of the best hair waver, you will also benefit from doing enough research on good techniques, improving your styling capabilities, and caring for your hair. All of these will guarantee that you’ll always enjoy a good hair day, especially after using a hair waver.

Frequently Asked Questions about Hair Crimpers and Wavers:

1. What is the difference between hair crimpers and wavers?

Hair crimpers create zigzag patterns on the hair, while wavers create soft, beachy waves. The main difference lies in the texture and pattern they produce.

2. Can I use hair crimpers or wavers on any hair type?

Hair crimpers and wavers are generally suitable for all hair types, but the results may vary. Fine hair may benefit from wavers for added volume, while thicker hair can achieve more defined crimps.

3. How do I use a hair crimper or waver?

Start with clean, dry hair and section it off. Clamp small sections of hair between the plates or barrels of the crimper or waver, hold for a few seconds, and release. Continue until you’ve styled all sections.

4. Will using a hair crimper or waver damage my hair?

Proper usage and heat protection are essential to minimize damage. Apply a heat protectant spray before styling, use the tool on low to medium heat settings, and avoid excessive or prolonged exposure to heat.

5. How long do the results of crimped or waved hair last?

The longevity of crimped or waved hair depends on factors such as your hair type, products used, and how well you maintain the style. Generally, the results can last up to a few days with proper care.

6. Can I use a hair crimper or waver on wet hair?

It is not recommended to use a hair crimper or waver on wet hair as it can cause damage. Ensure your hair is completely dry before styling to avoid potential harm.

7. How can I enhance the longevity of crimped or waved hair?

To prolong the results, avoid excessive brushing or touching your hair, use a hairspray or texturizing spray to set the style, and consider sleeping with your hair in a loose braid or bun to preserve the waves or crimps.

8. Are there any specific products I should use with a hair crimper or waver?

Using a heat protectant spray is crucial before styling with a hair crimper or waver. You can also use a texturizing spray or hairspray to add hold and definition to the waves or crimps.

9. Can I create different styles with a hair crimper or waver?

Yes! Hair crimpers and wavers offer versatility in styling. You can create various looks, from subtle waves to bold crimps, by adjusting the section size, direction of the tool, or the length of time you hold the hair.

10. Can I use a hair crimper or waver on short hair?

Yes, hair crimpers and wavers can be used on short hair. Opt for smaller-sized tools and focus on styling smaller sections of hair to achieve the desired look.