I have a confession to make. Even though I'm a beauty editor, and sometimes styling my hair is quite literally part of my job, I dread it. The most I ever do is accentuate my natural waves by way of a flat iron (the same one I've had since I was 13 years old). I loop sections of my hair through, twisting my wrist as I pull down, and out pop some freshly waved strands. If I really want volume, I'll use hot rollers. (They're my secret weapon for adding '90s-inspired height to my naturally limp roots.) Other than that, though, I don't really use heat tools all that often.
That changed exactly one week ago when I saw two other Who What Wear beauty editors messaging back and forth about a specific hair waver. They were waxing poetic about how it gives such a nice shape to their hair and how they always get compliments when they use it. I hadn't used a hair waver since I was in middle school, so I was instantly intrigued. It couldn't be that good, right? When I got the chance to test it out for myself, I realized it could be that good. It was that good. Instead of being the fussy, clunky hair waver of yesteryear, it was functional and grown-up. Instead of the finely crimped hair I imagined it would give me, I got a super pretty, fresh-from-the-beach texture. Keep scrolling to see for yourself.
Here's the hair waver in question. The three-pronged tool is designed to clamp down on a section of hair and leave a beachy wave behind. All you have to do to use it is plug it in, let it heat up, and then place a section of hair in between the barrels and the clamp. Press and hold for a few seconds, and that's it. It literally couldn't be easier, and I say that as a beauty editor who can't handle anything other than low-maintenance hairstyling.
This hair waver comes in two sizes. There's the original, which features three tourmaline ceramic barrels that are 0.7 inches, and there's the jumbo, which features three 1.25-inch barrels. The former creates a tighter wave, whereas the latter creates a longer, looser wave. Both work great; it all comes down to how you prefer your hair to look. For me and my fine hair, I was happy to use the original.
My long, fine hair tends to wave ever so slightly on its own. I don't mind its tousled texture. In fact, I kind of love it. It gives me an effortless, lived-in look, which is why I've historically avoided other hair wavers. I don't like when my hair looks too, well, done.
Here's the result. The Amika High Tide Deep Waver doesn't make my hair look too done. Instead, it maintains my tousled, lived-in texture yet adds a flattering shape to my strands. Think of an "I just went for a swim at the beach, and I didn't have time to do my hair afterward" sort of vibe (my favorite vibe).
As mentioned before, other members of the Who What Wear team love this hair waver. The two beauty editors in question? Senior Beauty Director Erin Jahns and associate beauty editor Shawna Hudson. Even though we all have different hair types and textures, the hair waver gives us the same beachy result.
"The Amika Deep Hair Waver is definitely a fun tool to have around that can create a lighter wave. It is a little bit tough to use on thicker hair, but I love that it gives my hair a tousled, lived-in look without looking overly crimped. I also love that I can bust it out both for special occasions and just a day at the office—either way, my strands look polished and not like I tried too hard." — Shawna
"Amika's deep wavers (I have and love both sizes) are my absolute secret weapon when it comes to low-effort styling. There's zero skill level involved, but the results look like they took time. I know there are other ways to achieve waves with flat irons and wands, but nothing delivers the mermaid-y (long-lasting) bends I love like these wavers." — Erin
Shop for More Effective and Foolproof Hair Wavers
This hair waver from Drybar features three 3/4-inch barrels for a similar result to the Amika High Tide Deep Waver. (It's just slightly bigger than the original version.)
This hair waver is slim and heats up in 30 seconds, which makes it a good fit for traveling.
This hair waver features three interchangeable barrels—two curling irons and one hair waver.
Shop Must-Have Hair Products to Pair With Any Heat Tool
This hair mask helps seal split ends (and it's budget friendly).
This shine spray doubles as a hair spray to keep your style locked in place.
Heat protectant is a must to keep your strands safe from breakage and split ends.
If I really want to up the ante, I'll add texture spray throughout my mid-lengths and ends.
A shampoo that removes oil and buildup without stripping moisture is essential.
Kaitlyn McLintock is an Associate Beauty Editor at Who What Wear. Although she covers a wide range of topics across a variety of categories, she specializes in celebrity interviews and skincare and wellness content. Having lived in Los Angeles and Austin, Texas, she recently relocated back to her home state of Michigan where she works remotely. Prior to Who What Wear, she freelanced for a variety of industry-leading digital publications, including InStyle, The Zoe Report, Bustle, Hello Giggles, and Coveteur. Before that, she held a long-term internship and subsequent contributor position at Byrdie. When she's not writing, researching, or testing the latest and greatest beauty products, she's working her way through an ever-growing book collection, swimming in the Great Lakes, or spending time with family.