As I’m sure many of you know, the Babyliss Curl Secret is a super-duper magical curling device, which basically sucks your hair into its mystical curling chamber, performs some jiggery-pokery upon it, then spits it back out again, curly. It’s like magic! And also like an incredibly expensive hair curling… device. (Um, yeah, I think I’m just going to go with “device”. It’s not a tong, you see, or a curling iron, or any of the more usual tools used to curl. So it’s a device. Yes.)
I’ve wanted a Curl Secret ever since I found out it existed, which just so happened to be on Boxing Day last year. In fact, I seem to remember forcing my entire family to watch endless You Tube videos demonstrating the thing. They thought they were gathered together to celebrate the joys of the festive season: instead, they watched some random vloggers attempt to curl their hair. Ain’t modern life grand?
Anyway! Being somewhat challenged in the hair curling department, I really, really wanted one of these, but it took me almost a year to bring Terry up to speed, and convince him that we just could not go on living without a better way to curl our hair. Finally, my sister-in-law came to the rescue: she’d succumbed to the lure of the Curl Secret herself, and let me borrow it, so I could decide for myself whether I really, genuinely needed one. My own Curl Secret arrived three days later: so that answered THAT question, didn’t it?
As I said, this is unlike most other curling devices you might have used. First, you take a strand of hair, about this size:
Then you feed it into the barrel of your gun – I mean your Babyliss Curl Secret – placing the device about halfway up the shaft of hair. As soon as you close the jaws of the beast – I mean the Babyliss Curl Secret – it will start to suck in the rest of the lock of hair:
It will make a slightly ominous-sounding mechanical sound while it does this. Do not be alarmed…
I might be alarmed in this photo, OR I might just be drunk. You will never know.*
(*Do not attempt to operate hair tools while drunk, kids! Never drink and curl!)
No, seriously: don’t be alarmed. When I was reading reviews of this before buying it, I noticed that a lot of people mentioned being scared to use it in case something went wrong, and their hair got stuck in it, or it just continued all the way up the shaft of hair and ate their head or something. Now, as regular readers know, I’m fairly accident-prone, so Id be lying if I said I was completely unconcerned about any of this. Actually, though, the thing is fairy foolproof (And I speak as a ‘fool’, so I should know…): it’s specifically designed NOT to eat your head (Phew!), so if you happen to put too much hair in it, or if the hair becomes tangled, or otherwise “compromised” (I’ve been watching Homeland again, can you tell?), the device emits a frantic-sounding “BEEPBEEPBEEP!” to warm you, and releases its hold on your hair.
This has happened to me a few times, but the hair has always just come straight out – I’ve never had to yank at it, or cut it, or anything like that. I’m not saying that CAN’T happen, obviously – I guess accidents of the “hair tangling” sort can happen at any time – but this isn’t quite as “scary” as it looks/sounds, so I don’t think there’s a particular cause for concern, is what I’m saying.
Once the hair has been pulled into the device, all you have to do is wait a few seconds for it to perform its curling magic. There are three different heat and time settings which you can select, depending on your type of hair, but you’re all big girls and boys, so I’m sure you can read the instructions for yourself if you do decide to buy one of these (Definitely do that, by the way. I mean, don’t just do what some blogger showed you, without reading the instructions first…), so I won’t go into a long explanation of them all, but suffice to say, my hair is long, and resists curl with all its might, so I use the maximum setting for both.
When the device is finished curling, it emits a series of beeps, to let you know its done. You then simply release the hair, and…
Ta da! OK, so I obviously skipped ahead a bit and did my full head, but as you can see, what you end up with is loose, ringlet-style curls. I’ve combed through mine very gently with a wide-toothed comb, just to separate them out a bit, and get away from the ‘Shirley Temple’ look, but this is the basic look the Curl Secret creates.
So, is it worth it? Well, it really depends on what you’re after, but here are my thoughts, after using it for a couple of weeks…
BABYLISS CURL SECRET: THE GOOD STUFF
- It’s foolproof. No, really: if I can use it, anyone can. I’ve never been particularly skilled at curling my hair, and can mess up the simplest of styles, but this is really easy to use, and basically guarantees you perfect curls, even if you’re not great at styling your hair.
- It’s reliable. I have a ton of different hair-curling tools, and while I can use all of them, the results are often a bit hit-and-miss. Sometimes it’ll work out great, other times it’ll be a hot mess, and I’ve really no clue why. With this, however, the curls will ALWAYS work – or they always have so far, anyway.
- It’s quick. It took me about five minutes to create the curls shown above. With any other method, it would take much, much longer than that (and my arms would be aching by the time I was done), and the speed of this is one of the main things that attracted me to it.
- The curls are long-lasting. As I mentioned, my hair resists curl, and a lot of the time I’ll curl it, only for it to be poker-straight again an hour later. These curls, however, last all day. I normally put my hair into a topknot to sleep in, and there’ll still be some curl left when I take it down in the morning, which is another big plus-point for me.
BABYLISS CURL SECRET: THE NOT-SO-GOOD STUFF
- It’s expensive. Like, really, really expensive: hence the reason I waited a year, and then tried someone else’s before taking the plunge. If it’s at all possible (and I realise it might not be), I’d recommend you do that before you buy it, just to be sure it’s going to work for you.
- It’s not designed for very long hair. The instructions say that it shouldn’t be used on hair longer than “bust length”. As you can see, my hair is pretty much at the maximum length you can use it at, and because of that, it hasn’t curled all the way to the root, so only the bottom of my hair is curly/wavy. If you have shorter hair, you’ll get much more of a curl: if your hair is longer than mine, though, you’ll have even more of a “root”, which might look a bit odd.
- It only creates one kind of curl. With most of the curling tools I use, you can create various different styles and curls. With the Babyliss Curl Secret, however… well, I hope you like loose waves/ringlets, because that’s all you’ll be getting. The curler DOES alternate the direction of the curl (so the first one you do will curl towards the face, the next one away from the face, and so on), but it’s still basically the same style of curl, every time. The good news is that if that’s what you’re after, you probably won’t find an easier way to achieve the look. If you’re looking for more of a multi-purpose tool, however, this isn’t it.
I think the bottom line with this is that if you’re the type of person who likes to experiment with your hair, and who’s already quite good at creating various different types of curls, this probably won’t give you anything you can’t do already, with tongs/flat irons or whatever. If, however, you’re like me, and are just looking for a quick and easy way to get no-fuss waves, every time, then I think you might just like it: just don’t expect it to be cheap…
OMG, A VIDEO!
Because this is very much an “I could tell you, but it would be easier to show you,” kinda contraption, after writing 1,500 words about it, I decided I should just have made a video demonstrating it instead. So I did! I don’t speak in this (I don’t DO speaking: think of me as the Charlie Chaplin of the Internet. Or… actually, maybe don’t.), and I also filmed it while chock full of the lurgy last week, so I look even rougher than usual, and will doubtless regret this the second I hit “publish”, but here’s a quick video of me using the Babyliss Curl Secret: if you like it, please thumb it up, or subscribe to the channel, or do whatever it is people do on You Tube videos…