How To Really Use A Curling Iron

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Clean hair doesn't interest me much. The other day, before sitting for a blowout (one of my three favorite things—right after getting a haircut first and that massage you get when they make you wash your hair), the hairdresser asked me how often I shampoo'd. I snorted. “Never!” Which is true—I tend to stick to conditioner, a technique I've been loyal to for about a decade. She either didn't believe me or saw that as a reason to use a clarifying shampoo. My resulting hair was so clean, I could almost hear it squeak when I brushed it. For days after the fact. I was miserable.

To be fair, I'm dissatisfied with most blowouts these days. Not that anyone's doing it wrong, they just lack the ability to give me what I really want: dirty, truly-wavy-from-sleeping-on-it, messed up hair. I find it more relatable than the bombshell volume I end up with. Like the Stars Are Just Like Us section, as opposed to red carpet shots. So I usually run home from the salon, march the bathroom, and start raking product after product through my hair until it's appropriately greased up (always start with Fekkai Brilliant Glossing Creme—it's the best).

But the real weapon of bedhead creation is GHD's Curve Classic Wave Wand. Released in October and promising “curls that last as long as you do!” I set out to test the theory by curling my hair at night, just before heading to bed. Right after you curl with the wand—in one-inch sections, only going about halfway up your hair, and always away from your face—everything's a little too perfect. We're not aiming for anything award-winning here. So, spritz with a little holding spray (currently favoring Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray, but Bumble and bumble Cityswept Finish's waxiness is really, really good for this sort of thing), brush your teeth, watch some Netflix, and call it a night.

You'll still see curl by morning—that's the wonder of GHD hot tools (and the curling iron in particular). They work. But everything will be a little more moldable, a little more custom. None of that “obviously curled' nonsense. You're much too casual for that. And then you, if you're anything like me, can proceed to not wash your hair for as long as you can stand it.

—Emily Ferber

Photographed by Tom Newton.