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Patience is a virtue. Growing up, I heard this proverbial phrase countless times — usually directly from my very patient mother. Whether whining for lunch to be served, stubbornly waiting for my turn to play with a sibling's toy, or loudly interrupting conversations to share my two cents, she was always there to keep my overeagerness in check.
Thanks to her constant reminders, though, now I'm able to tolerate many things in my life with patience and an even temper — all things except for when it comes to doing my hair. Even as a 30-something adult, I quickly revert to acting like a child when faced with the task of curling, waving, straightening or drying my hair. My locks are long and a lot thicker than what meets they eye, so any style that requires a hot hair tool takes me no less than 30 minutes to complete. Not to mention the exhausting arm lifting to boot.
However, there's one tool that's managed to stop my complaining. Over the last couple of weeks, I've seen countless videos of long-haired women simply wrapping their hair in the Robecurls Original Curling Headband and ending up with perfectly curly hair. More importantly, they barely had to do any of the work. With that in mind, I got my hands on one to see if it could handle my uncooperative locks. (Spoiler alert: My lazy ponytail days might forever be behind me.)
Is it a headband or a hair tool?
It's a little bit of both. The idea behind the innovative tool was inspired by yet another viral TikTok trend, where women and men would use a bathrobe belt to create a curly hairstyle. Robecurl inventor Emily Kenison saw the hair hack and decided to perfect the idea with her own version — one that creates even better curls and that can be worn out in public.
The product is made from a smooth satin charmeuse and lined with microfiber fleece, so you can't feel the built-in wire while it's wrapped around your head. You might be asking where the batteries go or where they're hiding the two-prong plug. Well, you won't get an answer because no heat is required for this "tool" to work. All you need are the two included scrunchies and 90 seconds of your time.
How does it work?
When I received my Robecurls headband, a QR code was conveniently printed on the packaging to lead me straight to a how-to video tutorial. Let me tell you, this was a game-changer. As easy as this invention turned out to be, seeing it done rather than reading how to do it was a massive plus. It took the guesswork out of the minute details: how far up to place the headband on my head; how thick each wrapped strand should be; how to secure the hair into place behind the head.
The entire process is simple. First, prep your head. You can keep your hair dry or lightly dampen it if you have thinner hair or hair that can easily dry into a shape. I used my water bottle to spritz my locks from mid-length to tip. Also, make sure to part your hair the way you like it before you start wrapping.
The directions say to start with placing the headband evenly across your head, but I just put it in a spot that was most comfortable. Next, pick a side to start with, take a 1-2-inch section of hair from the front and wrap it tightly over and under the headband. Make sure to keep it flat and smooth to avoid crinkles. Keep grabbing small sections of hair and adding them to the first. Continue this wrapping and adding motion until all of your hair is coiled around the headband. Then secure your ends with one of the two scrunchies. Repeat this on the other side, and you're done!
From here, you can go about your day as normal — this thing isn't budging. You can even go out in public or take a work Zoom call. The headband was created to look like, well, a headband. Just give both ends a twist, curl them behind your head and fold them over each other — you're left with a fun updo that will definitely have heads turning (in a good way).
Was I able to accomplish this in just 90 seconds, like the brand says I should? Eventually, but not at first. My first time around, I took my time to make sure I was following the model in the video as closely as possible. I didn't time my second or third tries, but I would guess 90 seconds wouldn't be too far off.
Does it work?
If you were to ask me pre-Robecurl if a heatless contraption could get my unruly hair to successfully curl, I would have doubted it completely. But after unwrapping my hair from the headband — I left it in for about three hours, but the instructions say it only requires 1-2 hours — I was left with a full head of bouncy, voluminous curls. To keep the curl, I recommend using some hairspray. I happened to run out recently, so my curls fell to a nice wave after a few hours, which also looked pretty good.
I also tried wearing the Robecurl overnight with slightly damp, post-shower hair. Normally, I shower at night and if I don't use a blow dryer to style my hair, I can forget about going out in public the next day. So, you can guess how nervous I was to try this. The headband wasn’t the most comfortable thing to sleep in; it took a few tosses and turns until I landed on a comfortable sleeping position, but it was worth it. By morning, my curls looked more defined and lasted the entire day. I didn’t even need hairspray.
Because of the way the headband is designed, it’s a little more difficult to get a curl above the midpoint of your hair, especially on the back of your head. If I’m looking for a little more volume in those areas, and I have the time, I’ll use a curling iron on the pieces I think need more styling. This only takes a few minutes, which is still more favorable than a half hour or more of curling and inevitably burning the tips of my fingers when I try to rush. (I can practically hear my mother’s tsk.)
Overall, for something that requires so little effort, the results are impressive. I’ve always wished I could roll out of bed with perfect hair, without a strand out of place. And while that dream will most likely stay that way, this inventive headband brings me a little closer to making it come true.
For more hair tools we're loving, check out:
- This easy-to-use hair tool gives me long-lasting, voluminous beach waves
- I never thought hair curlers worked — until I tried these ceramic hot rollers
- I tried the $40 straightening brush from Drew Barrymore's beauty brand, and I'm obsessed
This article was originally published on Dec. 16, 2021.