During my time as a beauty journalist, I've been lucky enough to try out lots of hair tools. Having worked on a specialist hair magazine for two years, I've sat in the chair of many a hairdresser who've talked me through their favourite hair wands, hair tongs and hair dryers to achieve that salon magic they create. From Cloud Nine to GHD and Dyson, there are always new innovations launching. But despite having tried a lot of professional hair tools (which often come with a big price tag), there is one hair tool that I always come back to for loose waves. And it's only £35.
Using the Mark Hill Pick 'n' Mix styler with the small barrel attachment.
My hair has always been long and is relatively thick, so getting a curl to stay is a challenge. Most hair tongs will give me that initial loose wave that I want, but after a couple of hours—or the slightest gust of wind—they tend to drop out. It's gutting when you've just spent 45 minutes curling your hair. So when I was sent Mark Hill's Pick 'n' Mix styler, I didn't expect much, but when I tried it, I instantly knew it would be my go-to. Then people started asking me what I used to add waves into my hair, so I knew it was worth writing a review.
Second-day hair after using the Mark Hill Pick 'n' Mix styler.
The Mark Hill Pick 'n' Mix styler has a handle base that you buy on its own, and you can buy nearly 20 different styling attachment wands and tongs in different sizes and shapes. I'm a big fan of this, as it ultimately saves you from having to buy an entirely new hair tool every time you want to switch up your hairstyle. I use the small barrel on my hair, and there is something about this styling barrel that really gets my waves to stay in place, even on the second day.
What I love about this wand and what sets it apart from others that I've tried is that it gives a really long-lasting curl to the hair. When I curl my hair with this, it gives me a tight curl (which initially gives prom-2007 vibes, I'll admit). But once I've let the curls cool down—this bit is really important to make your style last for longer—I brush them out with a paddle brush or wide-tooth comb, which I'll spritz with hair spray, to soften the curls into loose waves. This process really helps to give the waves longevity, shine and that salon-worthy bounce. And for £35 for the handle and the wand, it's seriously worth shouting about.