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How To | Hollywood Waves with ghd Curve

Posted on 5 min read

how to create Hollywood Waves - tutorial
In my head, I basically look like a cross between Lana del Rey and Scarlett O’Hara.

It’s honestly a bit of a bummer every morning when I wake up, look in the mirror, and realise I actually look nothing like either of them. The perils of a vivid imagination, huh?

Anyway, there’s not much I can do about the Scarlett O’Hara thing (I mean, I’d give it my best shot, but those hoop skirts are a real pain, seriously…), but I can at least try to achieve Lana’s hair, can’t I? You know that super-glam, Hollywood wave thing she sometimes does? I LOVE that look: and now, thanks to the nice people at ghd, I can attempt to replicate it. (Please note the word “attempt” in that sentence: it’s an important one…) They very kindly sent me one of their Curve Wave stylers to try out, and whaddya know: the photo on the box is pure Lana (Note: not actually Lana). Hollywood waves, here I come! First, though, and just so you can see how totally delusional I am about this, here’s a ‘before’ shot, featuring my naturally straight, unstyled, uncombed, badly-in-need-of-a trim hair:

straight hair before using GHD wave styler

I literally called my stylist friend right after taking this photo, I swear. She came round yesterday and cut a chunk of hair off the bottom: phew!

Here, meanwhile, is what I’ll be using to try and transform this into glamorous waves:

This is the ghd Curve Classic Wave Wand, and it’s all kinds of awesome. The main thing to note here is the oval barrel, which is what creates those big, deep waves, but this also has some other pretty cool features, like the extra long swivel cord (Which means that whatever angle you hold it at, you’re not going to risk wrapping the cord around your neck…), and the cool tip, which lets you wrap the hair around the barrel and then grab on to the end of the styler, without burning your fingers. (I obviously DID burn my fingers, but that’s because I’m clumsy, and didn’t use the cool tip, not because of the styler…) Crucially, this also uses what ghd describe as tri-zone technology to make sure that the entire length of the wand remains at the optimum heat for curling, the whole time you’re using it. It heats up in just a few seconds, and I know this is superficial of me, but I really like the sounds it makes when you turn it on and off, so there’s that, too.

But on with the waves! This wand is, as I said, designed to create big waves, just like Lana’s. If you’re looking for ringlets, or other, tighter curls, this one probably isn’t for you (There are curl stylers in the ghd Curve range too, though, and I now want to try them ALL…)

First things first, you’re going to want to section your hair into two layers, and pin the top layer up, out of the way:

tutorial: how to create Hollywood waves
pin the hair on top of the head

Just for fun, try taking photos of yourself while you do this: it won’t make your hair look any better, but it WILL turn it into a fun challenge!

Next, take your styler (which will have heated up in the time it took me to write this sentence), and start wrapping your first section of hair around the barrel, holding it diagonally, like so:


Note how I’m holding the styler at the tip, which is totally cool to the touch. I’m doing this because I’d already learned my lesson the hard way, and touched the actual barrel of it – don’t be like me, people!

(Also note that that’s not my bra you can see in this photo, it’s a cami top, worn because that top always gapes at the neckline. Note to self: wear a brooch next time, self…)

One of the best things about this wand is that you only need to hold each lock of hair in place for around 10 seconds or so, so it’s pretty fast to use. When you release the hair, it should look something like this:

waves created with GHD Curve Classic Wave Wand

Aaand, there’s that cami again!

I could basically just end this tutorial here, having passed on all of my wisdom on this subject, but I’ve started now, so I may as well go ahead and curl the rest of the bottom layer of hair, which ends up looking like this:

waves created with GHD Curve Classic Wave Wand
waves created with GHD Curve Classic Wave Wand

So, loose waves rather than tight curls, basically: and once you’ve released the top layer of hair and repeated the process with it, you’ll end up with something like this:

tutorial: loose waves
How to use the GHD Classic Wave Wand to create loose waves

You could, of course, just leave it at that, if you’re looking to create a style with more of a curl to it. If you’re after that so-called “Hollywood” wave, however, there’s one more step to go, and that’s to carefully brush through the curls, to smooth them out and create this kind of look:

tutorial: how to create Hollywood waves
how to create loose waves with the GHD Classic Wave Styler

As you can see, my result is messier and less coiffed than Lana’s (And at last the mystery is solved! Finally we know why she’s a world-famous star, and I’m taking photos of my own head, while flashing my camisole at the internet!), but that does make it more of an “everyday” kind look, albeit with a touch of glam to it. I’ve found that although the curls will loosen slightly (especially if it’s a windy day, which it always is…), they’ll still be more or less in place by bedtime, and if I put my hair in a bun before going to bed, I’ll still have some waves the next day. ghd stylers are one of the few hair tools I’ve used which will actually keep the curl in my hair (I do actually have the Curl Hold Spray, which I totally forgot to mention in this post, but I find the waves will last even without it. Oh, and I ALSO forget to mention the Heat Protect Spray, which I’ve also been using: my hair is horrendously dry right now, so I’ve been using this to stop it getting even more damaged. I’m not sure how much of a difference it makes, but it smells DIVINE, so it’s worth it for the scent alone…), which is why I really wasn’t joking when I said I want to try all of the curlers in this range: you can never have too many, right?

Before and after: GHD classic wave wand


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  • Anna nuttall
    July 27, 2016

    Hi Amber, I was thinking the other day about buying some new curling wand as my hair is now quite long. I might look into these as I like the idea of a cooling tip to the wand, as I (and I’m sure many other) hate burning my fingers on them.

  • Tanya
    July 27, 2016

    Great post, Amber. Just wondering where your top is from? Looks like Collectif…

    • Amber
      July 27, 2016

      Yes, it was from Collectif a couple of years ago!

  • The Other Emma
    July 27, 2016

    I normally manage to burn both my fingers and my face when curling my hair – it’s a special skill……………….

  • CiCi Marie
    July 27, 2016

    I’d like to add that the Babyliss Diamond Waves styler is one of the few I’ve used that’s achieved a look like this for me and actually held in place all day – great bit of kit that. Would be good if you’re looking for waves a bit tighter than this, but I like the look of this product for those big-ass ones!

  • Sophie Cliff
    July 27, 2016

    Ohhhh this looks so pretty! Perfect natural looking waves! x
    Sophie Cliff

  • Myra
    July 27, 2016

    Looks great

  • Cora
    July 28, 2016

    You are stunning! When you dream, dream big!

  • Jane Elizabeth
    August 15, 2016

    Great post! The final hair results look beautiful. The curls created were very stunning, full-bodied and look glamourous. It’s great to find the right products and tools to master such looks, and to be able to use it with such ease is even better!

Good news! We took Max to hospital this morning, and saw two different surgeons, who agreed there was no need to go ahead with the surgery as his lip is healing really well on its own 😅  He’ll definitely have a scar, unfortunately, but that would’ve been the case whether he’d had the surgery or not, and if it turns out to be worse than anticipated, we’ll have the option to have it corrected under local anaesthetic when he’s older. 
I’m still really upset that this happened in the first place, obviously, but so relieved that we don’t have to put him through a general anaesthetic, and just incredibly grateful that it wasn’t anything worse. I know some parents have to deal with much more serious stuff than this, and my heart goes out to you all: it’s been a rough couple of days, and I’m really grateful to everyone who took the time to comment on yesterday’s post - your stories were so comforting when I was panicking yesterday ❤️ (Old photo, obviously: every time Max sees the selfie camera, he thinks it’s going to be one of those filters where you open your mouth and something happens 😂) #pbloggers #mummybloggers #mummybloggersuk #ukmumblog #mumblogsuk #mumblogs #mamablog #ukparentbloggers #parentbloggersuk #ukparentingblog #parentingbloggers #motherhoodblogger #motherhoodblog #ukblogger #ukofficialblogger #happyblogger #mummyblog #bloggerclubuk #instamum

Good news! We took Max...

Totally unrelated photo, but we’ve just spent the morning in Accident & Emergency with Max, who fell on the path outside the house and split his lip open 😥 They tried to stitch it up at A&E, but it was totally impossible with him awake, so they’ve booked him in to have it done under general anaesthetic tomorrow ... Max is absolutely fine: the bleeding stopped quickly, he doesn’t seem to be in pain, and is just his normal, happy little self. I, on the other hand, am a complete wreck: the plastic surgeon he saw today reckons if we don’t have it fixed, his lip will be crooked when it heals, but I’m absolutely *terrified* of the thought of my baby having to have a GA. If you’re a long-time follower, you might know that I have a full-blown phobia of general anaesthetic (I literally had an elective c-section in order to eliminate the possibility of an emergency one, which might have had to be done under GA), so I just can’t get my head to accept that it’s safe and he’ll be fine 😥 Positive stories and advice very welcome: I’m just so terrified, I can’t even imagine how to get through the next 24 hours 😥😥😥

Totally unrelated photo, but we’ve...

#throwbackthursday to last week, when I needed a sunhat and SPF 50 to leave the house, rather than the current raincoat and wellies situation. Can you tell the post-holiday blues are still in full swing over here? 🌧 .
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#throwbackthursday to last week, when...

I posted this on Stories over the weekend, but he looked so cute in it I figured it deserved a spot on the grid, too! This is Max all ready for his friend Eleah’s 1st birthday party on Saturday: despite the jetlag and his continuing obsession with doors of all kinds (He had an entire soft play at his disposal, but he mostly just wanted to open and close the gate into it...) he had an absolute ball, and spent the whole drive home shouting, “HAPPY! HAPPY!” Thanks to @thestirlingstyle for a great party 🥳 🎈 🎉 . (Oh, and that’s his hairbrush in his hand - boy likes to look his best 😉)
#littlepiecesofchildhood #cameramama #chikdhoodeveryday #childofig #celebrate_childhood #babieswithstyle #ootdkids #fashionbaby #trendykids

I posted this on Stories...

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We’re back home in not-so-sunny...

James Bond as a toddler... .
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James Bond as a toddler......

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How To | Hollywood Waves with ghd Curve