I've always been one for straightening my hair. I tried curling it in many different ways when I was younger but I always ended up looking like a deranged, Medusa version of myself. I think that was the point where I accepted that my hair was far too thick to do anything with.
But as I've grown older, I've found different hair cuts and that's really helped with the way I style my hair now. I often get it thinned at the salon, and always have layers put in to give my hair a little extra lift.
Since then I've been playing around with my GHDs - learning how to curl my hair that way. Having said that, I still didn't think it was worth my time and money to invest in a wand when it always ended up so utterly wrong before. But after thinking about it for a while, I realised that if my hair could cope being curled by my straighteners it shouldn't react differently with a wand - if anything it would make the process a lot easier and I could achieve a lot of different looks.
Around this time, I saw Enrapture doing a twitter competition to win one of their Encode Totem Stylers. I went on their website to do some research on the item and knew instantly that it was the perfect styling tool for me. Although I didn't win the competition, I popped the styler on my Christmas list last year and was treated to one of my own by my parents.
What makes this wand so different from other wands is that it's split into 3 sections. The heat from each of these panels can be controlled by the encoder dial on the handle of the wand. There are 3 settings in total for each section. Therefore you can create a lot off different looks just by switching up or down the heat settings in a specific area.
Personally I'm not one for tight ringlets. I like the more beachy, big and voluminous waves/curls which is why this styler appealed to me - I could achieve both if with the one tool if I wanted.
A couple of features that appealed to me on the styler were the long handle which makes it easy to grip and the cable connection at the bottom, which swivels round so that you never get wrapped up in the extra long wire. It has a fold up/fold down stand, which protects whatever surface you chose to rest your styler on.
One of the things I thought I wouldn't like about the styler is the clip at the base of the barrel. Usually these give me a crisp crease mark at the bottom of my hair which doesn't look natural or nice. However, this one doesn't seem to do that. I simply clip the hair as close to the bottom as possible, and as I wind the barrel up my hair and away from my face, I gently release the clip and let my hair slide through so that it ends up at the end of the section and there are no crease marks to be seen.
After testing a few different looks out, my favourite has to be using the settings 1, 1, 2. This means that the curl is tighter at the bottom and more loose and relaxed at the top. This is what helps to give me that beachy, relaxed look I'm after without the uptight ringlets.
Because my hair is so incredibly thick, it does take quite a while to work through each section of hair. I generally use pieces that are around 1/2 inch to an inch thick, depending on the section. Unfortunately the clip can't really cope with anything thicker than this. But honestly, I love the results of the styler so much that I would purposefully make sure I give myself enough time to use the styler properly.
Here's the result I get from the 1, 1, 2 settings (excuse the extremely pouty, posey picture).
I really love the end result, but most of all I love the versatility of the styler and the fact that I can create whatever look I want without having to change the size of the barrel or use a different styler.
I can't recommend it enough, and as styling tools go, I definitely think this is one of the more affordable ones.
What's your favourite styler and how do you like your waves? Let me know in the comments below :)
Enrapture Encode Totem Styler - £28.50 from Amazon