TL;DR: The BaByliss Wave Secret Air automatically wraps, curls and cools your hair in one hit for gorgeous waves that last all day.
For many women, the quest for effortless ‘cool girl’ curls is never ending, which helps to explain why there’s such an overwhelming array of styling tools on the market all geared to helping you achieve them. And while some prefer to use the best hair straighteners or best curling tongs to do the job, others are increasingly reaching for the new wave of air wrap technology devices - such as the Dyson AirWrap or the Shark FlexStyle - to give them the curls of their dreams.
But now, BaByliss has now stepped up the competition with the release of the BaByliss Wave Secret Air – a new and improved version of the BaByliss Curl Secret that promises to create long-lasting loose waves in minutes and make ‘effortlessly looking hair genuinely effortless’, thanks to their much-loved auto-curl technology.
So, is the Secret Air Wave really as good as BaByliss says it is? I took it for several spins to find out.
BABYLISS WAVE SECRET AIR REVIEW: PRICE & AVAILABILITY
The BaByliss Wave Secret Air is now available for a recommended retail price of £150 from BaByliss UK and selected third party retailers, including John Lewis and Look Fantastic. It's not currently available in the US or Australia.
BABYLISS WAVE SECRET AIR REVIEW: DESIGN
The major selling point of the BaByliss Wave Secret Air is the fact that it can wrap, curl and cool your hair in one effortless action – and in super quick time! This is achieved by popping a section of hair into the ceramic curl chamber and closing the handle to activate the Automatic Curl Technology, which then draws your hair inside to wrap it around the large ceramic barrel.
All you need to do is keep squeezing the handle as five slow beeps count you through the heating process, before a further four quick beeps sound off to indicate you should stop squeezing the handle to automatically deliver the cool shot and set your curl.
Suitable for all hair types and textures, but not recommended for use on synthetic or natural hair extensions, the BaByliss Wave Secret Air provides three heat settings of 180°C, 200°C and 230°C, and in a genius move, the tool also provides ‘curl direction control’, so you can choose from clockwise curls, anti-clockwise curls, or alternate direction curls at the touch of a button for complete style freedom, unlike the BaByliss Curl Secret that only offered alternate direction curls.
Available in a matte black and rose gold metallic finish, it looks and feels sleek, luxurious and robust – which you’d expect for the £150 price tag – but it’s also heavy, weighing in at a fairly hefty 600 grams in comparison to other styling tools. Finally, it comes with a ‘heat ready indicator’ for the impatient, an ‘automatic shut off’ feature for the forgetful, a 2.5m swivel cord and heat protection mat, plus a drawstring storage bag.
BABYLISS WAVE SECRET AIR REVIEW: FEATURES & TECHNOLOGY
The BaByliss Wave Secret Air has several stand out features, including the Auto Curl Technology that makes curling your hair an absolute breeze. This technology is powered by an advanced digital motor that precisely controls the temperature of the curl chamber and keeps it consistent – thanks to four high-power heaters that are monitored by a microprocessor 50 times a second – to regulate and perfectly distribute the heat throughout the length of your hair.
The result is loose curls or waves – depending on the width of the hair section you put into the chamber – that are practically perfect every time and have all-day hold from root to tip.
Another impressive feature is the new Anti-Tangle Technology to protect against knots. Built-in sensors in the handle automatically detect if you haven’t placed your hair into the opening of the chamber correctly, and automatically release your hair to avoid causing tangles if you do. Similarly, if you neglect to brush through every section of your hair before inserting it into the chamber – or place a section of hair into the chamber that’s in bad condition – the sensors will identify this and automatically unwind the hair and release it from the unit to prevent further tangles.
Last but not least, there’s a Cool Air Smart System, which automatically releases a gentle blast of cool air on your curl when you release the handle without disrupting your style, thus ensuring your waves stay in place all day.
BABYLISS WAVE SECRET AIR REVIEW: PERFORMANCE
After several weeks of putting the BaByliss Wave Secret Air to the test, I now believe it to be one of the easiest and most efficacious curling tools on the market. But I certainly didn’t think this when I was first getting to know it!
In short, I didn’t read the instruction manual properly, so I made lots of mistakes and found the curls to be disappointing. However, after re-reading the instructions, watching some instructional videos, and learning how to use it properly (see my ‘dos and don’ts for using the BaByliss Wave Secret Air’ on TikTok), I became seriously impressed with the results it delivers.
I have an incredibly thick head of long hair that usually takes me around 45 to 60 minutes to curl with a wand, but I can honestly say the Wave Secret Air cuts my styling time down to around 15 minutes, which is an absolute miracle. You can also change the type of curl or wave you want depending on the thickness of the section of hair you put in the chamber – smaller sections will deliver lovely, bouncy waves, while larger sections will give you those looser French New Waves that are currently trending. Best of all, the curls last all day, thanks to the cool shot.
The curl direction button is a stroke of genius, because it allows you to change the direction of your curls without the need for you reposition your arms or change the direction you wrap you hair around a tool. And of course, you have the third ‘alternate curl direction’ setting for a more casual, undone look.
I do, however, have a few small gripes that prevent me from giving it the full five stars. For one, I’d argue it lacks versatility for the price, because it only does one thing compared to flat irons that can straighten and curl your hair.
Moreover, I find it problematic that you’re only meant to use the tool on freshly washed hair that has zero styling products. I assume this is the case because hair styling products and dirty hair can encourage knots and tangles, but it’s not great for women like me who like to touch up hair for the evening or restyle it on the second, third, or fourth day.
Finally, it’s an inescapable fact that this tool is heavier than your average curling wand or pair of straighteners. Thankfully, BaByliss Wave Secret Air isn’t the kind of tool that requires you to hold your arms in the air for long periods of time as you might with curling tongs or straighteners, so I didn’t find it to be a major issue, although it might put some off.
BABYLISS WAVE SECRET AIR REVIEW: VERDICT
The BaByliss Wave Secret Air features innovative auto-curl technology that promises to wrap, curl and cool hair in seconds for beautiful waves that last all day – and it absolutely delivers on all counts.
Yes, it’s expensive, can be heavy on the arms, and requires decent grip strength to keep the handle closed, but if your go-to hairstyle involves beachy waves, you won’t worry about the price or the weight because the BaByliss Wave Secret Air nails super-quick cool girl waves every single time.
It’s also extremely easy to use once you’ve mastered it. The loud beeps guide you through the entire curling and cooling process to remove all the guesswork, and this ease-of-use is boosted further by the curl direction control because it removes the need for you to concentrate and remember which way you should wrap your hair around the tool (as with straighteners and wands). All in all, it’s genius!