7 Best Hair Wavers in 2020

After conducting extensive research, we nominated the Modvica 3 Barrel Hair Waver as our Top Pick for the best hair waver because it offered a wide range of benefits. This hair waver can achieve temperatures up to 410 degrees Fahrenheit and heats up in just 30 seconds. The one-inch tourmaline ceramic barrel helps to fight frizz while also producing an even heat for more consistent results.

To create our guide, we looked at the following features: heat settings, hair type compatibility, barrel size, and barrel materials. We know that for hot styling tools, some people prefer precise temperature adjustments for better hair type compatibility while others are okay with one or two simple settings. Likewise, we prioritized tourmaline ceramic barrels because you get the benefits from two of the most popular and reliable materials for hair styling. And finally, we considered the barrel size since it will impact usage based on your hair length. Keep reading to learn more about our criteria and to shop from our recommendations.

Top 7 Best Hair Wavers

 #1  Modvica 3 Barrel Hair Waver

Award: TOP PICK

WHY WE LIKE IT: A hair waver that can heat up to 410 degrees Fahrenheit in just 30 seconds with a one-inch tourmaline ceramic barrel proves this is the best 3 barrel waver.

Pros
  • Heats up in 30 seconds
  • Safe for all hair types
  • 1” barrel creates medium waves
Cons
  • Barrel may be too large for those with very short hair

If you’re in a hurry but still want those coveted relaxed waves, then the Modvica hair waver should be on your radar. We’ve nominated it as our Top Pick and believe it’s the best three-barrel waver because it can reach temperatures as high as 410 degrees Fahrenheit in 30 seconds. This means that it’s safe for all hair types.

This is a one-inch barrel so it’s not ideal for people with shorter hair. But you can create gorgeous medium waves with this pick. The tourmaline ceramic technology means that you get the best of both worlds — even heat and negative ions to reduce frizz and maximize shine. The stay-cool tips make it easier to use this styling tool without the risk of burning your fingertips. But do note that this option only has two settings — 356 and 410 Fahrenheit — so this may not be for you if you prefer to have more specialized adjustment controls. If you want to keep your hair as healthy as possible, you should also read our guide to the best hair clay.

 #2  Revlon Perfect Heat Jumbo 3 Barrel Hair Waver

Award: HONORABLE MENTION

WHY WE LIKE IT: A 1.5-inch barrel for large sexy waves that heats up to 420 degrees with improved customization thanks to the 30 heat settings.

Pros
  • Locking hanging ring for easy storage
  • 1.5” width barrel perfect for longer lengths
  • Heats up to 420F with 30 heat settings
Cons
  • Temperature control uses numbers instead of actual degrees
  • Not ideal for people with short hair

The Revlon hair waver is our Honorable Mention and we think a solid pick from a trusted brand that you can find anywhere, including your local drugstore. This jumbo waver is best reserved for people with longer hair since the barrel measures one and a half inches. Plus, this option heats up to 420 degrees Fahrenheit, making it another great choice for all types of hair.

And if you prefer more precision for temperature control, you’ll like that this waving iron offers 30 heat settings. But do note that instead of an actual temperature display, those settings are just numbers rated from one to 30, so you’ll need to consult with the instruction manual to confirm which of those settings is right for your hair type. Still, we like that this is another tourmaline ceramic hot styling tool which means you’ll get even heat along with the ability to seal in moisture and minimize frizz. And the locking ring in the handle keeps the barrel closed when it’s not in use. For another easy way to do your hair, you should read our guide to the best hair dryer.

 #3  Bed Head Wave Artist Deep Hair Waver

Award: BEST ON A BUDGET

WHY WE LIKE IT: A deep waver that can create seriously sculpted or loose waves with a tourmaline ceramic barrel to keep that coif sleek and enviable.

Pros
  • Tourmaline ceramic barrel for even heat and frizz reduction
  • Deep barrel creates the perfect beachy or sculpted waves
  • Heats up to 400F with 30 heat settings
Cons
  • Somewhat of a steep learning curve to operate

The Bed Head hair waver is a great option for people who want a truly sculpted wave. Keep in mind though, that because of its unique barrel design, you may find that it takes a few test runs before you learn how to properly use this hot tool as compared to more traditional hair wavers. This deep waver also has a tourmaline ceramic barrel which means you get even heat and negative ions to banish frizz.

This pick can heat up to 400 degrees Fahrenheit so it’s also safe for all hair types. Toggle between 30 heat settings, but note that this is also a pick where you don’t get a precise temperature reading but rather a numerical figure. This is also a great travel-friendly option since it supports dual voltage and comes with a barrel locking switch. And for the forgetful types, this model comes with auto shut-off — although this is a fairly standard feature for most modern hot styling tools. Now, you can make sure your hair is perfect for when you’re taking pictures with the best mirrorless camera.

 #4  Alure Three Barrel Hair Waver

Award: BEST DESIGN

WHY WE LIKE IT: A hair waver iron with a digital temperature LCD for precise adjustments and a one-inch tourmaline ceramic barrel for smooth, frizz-free hair.

Pros
  • Digital screen for precise adjustments
  • Heats up to 410F in just 60 seconds with an LCD
  • 1” ceramic tourmaline barrel
Cons
  • Barrel width not ideal for shorter hair lengths

A common issue we noted with our hair waver research is that many brands don’t feature digital displays. And if you’re someone who knows exactly what temperature is best for your hair, you might be hesitant to buy a hair waver because of this drawback. So, we included the Alure Three Barrel Hair Waver because we think it has one of the best designs. Specifically, this hair waver iron comes with an LCD temperature display.

It can reach temperatures as high as 410 degrees Fahrenheit in just 60 seconds. This pick is safe for all hair types and even features stay-cool tips so you can quickly use it without the fear of burning your fingers. This is another pick that’s best for medium to long hair since the barrel is one inch wide. And as is common, this is another tourmaline ceramic barrel for better heat control and improved shine. If you want to make your room the perfect place to get ready, take a look at our guide to the best lighted makeup mirror too.

 #5  Conair Double Ceramic Triple Barrel Hair Waver

Award: BEST FOR SHORT HAIR

WHY WE LIKE IT: A narrower barrel with a double ceramic coating and the ability to reach 375-degrees Fahrenheit in just 30 seconds proves this is the best hair waver for short hair.

Pros
  • Excellent quality
  • Heats up to 375F in just 30 seconds and is safe for all hair types
  • Double ceramic barrel for even shinier hair and more even heat applications
Cons
  • Styling longer hair could take a while
  • Single voltage

Conair is another one of those great heritage brands that have become synonymous with quality in the health and beauty space. We think their Double Ceramic Triple Barrel Waver is the best hair waver for short hair because it has one of the smallest barrel widths that we found in our research. The outer barrels measure ⅝ of an inch while the inner barrel is a half-inch. And this pick features a double ceramic barrel for improved heat delivery and shiny hair.

While it doesn’t have the highest temperature capability, we do like that it reaches up to 375 degrees Fahrenheit with 30 heat settings and the ability to trigger “Turbo Heat”. This lets you add an extra 27 degrees of heat for those difficult to style areas on your head. Still, while this is technically rated as safe for all hair types, the 375-degree maximum limit means that people with very difficult to style coarse or thick hair may struggle to use this tool. If you want your hair curly instead of wavy, you should also read our guide to the best curling iron.

 #6  Ckeyin 3 Barrel Hair Waver

Award: BEST FOR FINE STRANDS

WHY WE LIKE IT: A three-barrel waver with a gentle low setting of 338 degrees Fahrenheit that’s perfect for people with delicate hair, and an included heat resistant glove makes this styling tool easier to use.

Pros
  • 360-degree spinning cord for easier use
  • Comes with heat resistant glove to prevent burning yourself
  • 1” barrel creates soft and beach waves
Cons
  • Only high and low settings with two temperatures

Just like people with thick and coarse hair can struggle to find hot styling tools that can achieve enough heat when you have very fine or thin hair you have the same problem — just in reverse. Many styling tools have low settings that are still too hot for someone with more delicate strands. So, we included this option from Ckeyin because they have a gentler minimum heat setting.

At just 338 degrees, the low setting is perfect for fine and thin hair types. However, this option could be limiting for someone who prefers a styling tool with more precise temperature control. But we also like that this pick comes with a heat resistant glove. And considering how operating a hair waver can be more intensive — almost like using a curling wand — that glove will come in handy just in case your hand gets too close to the barrel.

 #7  Wesopan Hair Waver for Deep Waves

Award: BEST FOR BEGINNERS

WHY WE LIKE IT: A deep hair waver with a covered exterior and a deeper wave design, along with 17 temperature settings for improved precision is a great starter option for first-time hair waver users.

Pros
  • Covered external design protects you from burning fingers
  • 17 temperature settings and heats up to 392F in 60 seconds
  • Ceramic barrel uses negative ions to seal in moisture and improve shine
Cons
  • Location of temperature controls can cause accidental adjustments while in use

For anyone leery of a traditional hair waver, we understand your pain. Those massive barrels can be intimidating, and there’s a great chance you’ll burn yourself. So, we included this deep hair waver from Wesopan because the design features a covered exterior which helps to reduce the risk of injuring yourself.

Beyond safety, we like that this pick has an LCD temperature control display so you can precisely adjust the temperature up to 392 degrees Fahrenheit. And you’ll also like the fast heat that can reach the desired temperature in just 60 seconds. Another great feature is that this pick comes with a styling comb, hair clips, and a travel pouch. This is also a ceramic barrel for better heat control.

How We Decided

Hair wavers are a great way to create relaxed beachy waves or a more sultry style in a short amount of time. To create our guide, we focused on the following features — heat settings, hair type compatibility, barrel size, and barrel materials.

With barrel materials, the most common options are ceramic, tourmaline, or a combination of tourmaline ceramic. You’ll find that our guide is primarily composed of tourmaline ceramic recommendations. This is ideal because with tourmaline you’ll get the negative ions that help to lock in moisture and reduce frizz, and ceramic that provides a nice even heat for consistent styling results.

Heat settings and hair type compatibility — while two separate criteria — actually go hand in hand. If you know your hair type, you can look for a hot styling tool that is compatible with it. The majority of our picks are designed with all hair types in mind, with only two that couldn’t reach 400 degrees Fahrenheit which is ideal for truly coarse or thick hair.

However, with heat settings, you’ll need to check whether you can precisely adjust the temperature or if you’re limited to a simple “high” or “low” setting. There are benefits and drawbacks to both. And in our research, we highlighted two options that featured an LCD temperature display — which is ideal for those who know the right temperature to use on their hair and are loyal to those settings.

And finally, we looked at the barrel size. The majority of our recommendations are designed for people with medium to long hair because the barrels ranged from one to one and a half inches in width. We only highlighted one option that was best for people with short hair thanks to its significantly smaller barrel width.

Best Hair Waver Buyer’s Guide

The Most Important Factors to Consider

  1. Heat Settings
    While some styling tools allow you to adjust the actual temperature in increments of 10 or 20 degrees, some will have a simple set of general settings such as “high” and “low” that are meant to work with a wider range of hair types. As a general rule, a good hot styling tool will have a temperature range between 250 to 400 or 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Hair Type
    Just like with a regular curling iron, you want to ensure that your hair waver allows for temperature adjustments to match your hair type. And like when you curl your hair, people with fine or thin hair should stick to 250 to 320 degrees while those with coarse or thicker hair can use higher temperatures.
  3. Barrel Size
    Consider the length of your hair as well as the width of the waves you’re attempting to create. A large barrel won’t make sense for someone with very short hair as it might be hard for you to effectively create any style or manipulate the hair as you work through it. Longer hair can be used with small, medium, or large barrel hair wavers. Smaller barrels will create more defined waves while larger ones will help you achieve a more gentle or “beach waves” look.
  4. Materials
    You’ll want to match the barrel material to your hair type. The most common materials tend to be tourmaline and ceramic for hot styling tools since they help to reduce frizz and provide even heat. Tourmaline is usually recommended for coarse or frizz-prone hair because of the negative ions it releases when heated that helps to seal in moisture and reduce frizz.

Hair Waver FAQs

Who is the best waver?

Countless options on the market would be ideal for waving your hair. While we’ve included several top-notch brands like the Revlon hair waver, you can also pick a Babyliss hair waver or Amika hair waver.

What is the best hair waver for short hair?

The best hair waver for short hair is going to have a smaller barrel. Ideally, you should look for options that have a ¾ inch barrel since you’ll be able to easily style your hair and create a more defined look. In our research, we nominated the Conair Double Ceramic Triple Barrel Hair Waver as best for short hair because it had barrels that measured ⅝ of an inch and half an inch.

How can I wave my hair without a waver?

Hair wavers are a great way to quickly replicate wavy hair, but not everyone wants to use heat to style their hair. If this sounds familiar, set your hair on braids, using a setting spray, gel, or mousse. For the best results, spray your hair with water so that it’s damp but not dripping wet. Apply your setting product and braid your hair. Remember the smaller your braids, the tighter the wave will be. This is a great overnight styling trick that will give you bouncy waves that will last all day.

How can I get my hair wavy in five minutes?

Hands down, the best option is going to be using a hair waver. For the best results, always start with clean hair. Begin by using a heat protectant and then work with medium sections through your hair with a hair waver.

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Dorian Smith-Garcia

Dorian Smith-Garcia is a bridal and beauty expert/influencer and the creative director behind The Anti Bridezilla. She is a diverse writer across beauty, fashion, travel, consumer goods, and tech. She also writes for Inverse, Glowsly, and The Drive along with a variety of other publications. When Dorian's not writing she's collecting stamps in her passport, learning new languages, or spending time with her husband and daughter.

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