It’s a paradox: Women who have curly hair want straight hair; women who have straight hair want curly hair.
My hair doesn’t hold a curl very well, but sometimes, if the humidity is low and the wind isn’t kicking up, I can indulge in a wavy style. The trouble is, it takes so much time to curl my hair the way I like it, and there is always one section that requires three or four passes before it will curl. And multiple passes mean heat damage.
I spotted the Conair Curl Secret ($99) in a magazine. The company promises that the machine will give you perfect curls with minimal effort thanks to its automatic curling system. The notion that a gadget could curly my hair without twisting and turning my locks into a burned-up mess was intriguing, so I ordered one to try. But part of me wondered if this device was The Air Curler’s high-tech cousin.
To use the Curl Secret, you place a one-inch section of hair into the chamber. The device then twists it around the heating element and begins to curl the hair. When the device beeps multiple times, you release your grip on the handle and out comes a perfectly curled piece of hair. At least in theory. (You can watch a video demo, here.)
In reality, it takes quite a bit of practice to use the Curl Secret. If you put in too much hair, the device admonishes you with an angry beep. And if you don’t pay attention to how you’re holding the device and how much hair you’re curling at a time, you could wind up getting your hair stuck in the device. A situation that would likely result in a burned off chunk of hair. Awesome.
Once I got the hang of using Curl Secret, it took me about 15 minutes to curl all of my below-the-shoulder hair. The device has a size selector that allows you to choose tight, medium or loose waves, but since you can only use one-inch sections, the look isn’t as loose and modern as I would like.
That being said, Curl Secret does curl your hair as promised with minimal heat damage and less time than it would take twisting a curling iron manually. As for staying power, the curls softened during the day, but my hair was still wavy by the evening.
Bottom line, if you like the look of curly hair but you want to make the process easier on yourself, try Curl Secret. The device does what it promises, creating a bevy of perfectly formed curls with minimal effort and heat damage. However, the curls are of the tighter spiral variety and the size limitations make it difficult to create larger waves. But given the time it saved me, the fact that every piece of hair curled on the first try (after some practice) and the absence of any burnt ends, I was happy with my purchase.
My advice? If you want to try Curl Secret, buy it from a retailer who will let you return it if you’re dissatisfied, like Ulta.