While hair trends come and go quickly, effortless, beachy waves have always been stylish (whether you actually scored them on the beach or with a heat tool and some salt spray at home). That said, beach waves—now dubbed by TikTok as “mermaid hair”—are trendier than ever as a part of the beauty and fashion world’s current obsession with bringing back the ’90s.
In case you missed out on experiencing the decade first-hand, the ’90s beauty scene was all about having fun and being playful (a.k.a. being extra AF—basically the opposite of minimalism). So, before you start thinking about how you’re “supposed” to do the mermaid hair trend, you must know the most important rule: there are none!
Mermaid hair is all about a natural, I-woke-up-like-this look, so don’t stress too much about making it look perfect. The beauty with this style is that it’ll highlight your natural texture, and it looks different on everyone.
I didn’t even get to the best part—most hair wavers are larger than the average hot tool, ranging from about three to five inches for larger waves. That means that you can get a lot of hair in the tool at once. My waist-length hair usually takes about 20 to 30 minutes to curl, but it takes under five minutes(!) to style when I’m using a hair waver.
See below for some of the best hair wavers, from some of my personal favorites to the ones TikTok is obsessed with. Whether you want tight, crimp-like waves or large, voluptuous ones, get ready to bring out your inner mermaid with the seven best hair wavers for every hair type, style, and budget.
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Three-Barrel Curling Wand
Not interested in any frills or specifics, but know you want to try the trend out? This one’s got all the essentials.
As Amazon’s bestselling hair waver, it has over 10,000 five-star reviews, is budget-friendly, and features one-inch barrels for a perfect, medium-sized wave.
Best Affordable Hair Waver
Double Ceramic Triple-Barrel Waver
It can be hard to know if you’re really going to end up liking how you’re hair will look with some mermaid vibes in it. If you’re still a bit unsure, opt for this affordable option from Conair.
The smaller barrels will give you a slightly tighter wave, so it’s great for shorter hair, too. With 4.5 stars on Amazon, you can’t go wrong.
Best Influencer-Loved Waver
Hair Waver Iron
Anyone who’s spent at least a few minutes scrolling through the TikTok beauty community probably already recognizes this (gorgeous) hair waver that influencers are obsessed with. I have one myself, and it transforms my limp waves in to a shiny, uniform style in just a few minutes.
Bonus: If you’re looking to go all out, the brand sells a set that includes matching extensions you can easily clip in for a quick, glam style.
Easiest Hair Waver
Deep Waver Crimping Iron
As a mom to six children with diverse hair needs and textures, Mindy McKnight founded Hairitage to cater to a wide range of hair types and to busy moms.
Another personal favorite of mine, this hair waver will get you a tighter crimp style. It functions like an iron, so it’s super easy to use—a great option if the larger three-barrel format seems a bit daunting to you.
Best For Frizzy Hair
CHI is always a quality standby when it comes to reliable heat tools, and this waver is the ultimate example.
It features an adjustable, rotating barrel size, so you’re not stuck with just one type of wave, is coated with CHI’s ceramic technology for frizz-free hair, and is even dual-voltage to make international travel as easy (and stylish) as possible.
Best Accident-Free Hair Waver
Waver With Mit, Safety Stand, And Heat Mat
Haven’t all of us burned our hand or a surface on a heat tool at least once in our lives? This medium-sized waver comes complete with a safety stand attached to it, a silicone heat mat, and heat-resistant glove.
They even throw in some adorable pink clips—all for just $50. This one makes a great gift, too.
Best Hair Waver With Options
Hair Waver/Curling Wand 5-in-1 Set
Consider this the FWB of hot tools. Sure, you could commit to one hair waver or curling iron, but with this one, you won’t have to. In this set, you’ll get five different wand inserts—one large waver and four curling wands. It’s a great option if you like to change up your style often.
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