The Only Hair Tool You'll Need: The Instyler Max 2-Way Rotating Iron

Like so many, I'm not a fan of my natural hair. If I don't blow dry it or style it, I'm left with slight waves with a frizzy and course texture (no, I'm not a horse). It's put straight up and hidden in a pony tail or bun when in this state, and so I almost always have to blow dry it straight. I absolutely love my hair curled (and am jealous of anyone who has naturally curled but easy-to-manage hair) but it usually takes me forever and the curls fall out around 2 hours later, despite the amount of hair spray I spritz on!

I always catch up with my cousin's blog regularly ( and was swooning over how great her hair has been looking. She'd been using this tool called the Instyler Max and mentioned how fab it was; given that we have the same kind of hair, I desperately wanted to try it out. And when I saw that it was half price in Boots (£44.99 down from £90.00!), I put on my 'treat yo'self' hat, fell into Boots and went home with a new hair styling tool that day.

Curling my hair takes a lot of effort; sectioning parts off, wrapping the strands around the wand, awkwardly trying to hold the wand behind your head and do some sort of hair-styling yoga until your arms ache. Although I love the results, I am too lazy to be dealing with this faff on the regular, so never bother to do anything exciting with my hair. Apparently this Instyler tool was a doddle and didn't come with the above faff...too good to be true right?! Wrong!

Before I get into how amazing this tool is, I wanted to say that my first ever go with it left me wanting to cry and return it to the store. It was frustrating, and I spent almost 2 hours trying to get that perfect 'fresh out the salon' look. It just wasn't happening and I couldn't get the hang of it. There is a knack to using this tool which I'll try and explain below (a lot of people have found it difficult to use, but once you get it, it's the best thing ever), but it is definitely worth persevering with. I found watching YouTube videos useful so I could actually see how others were using it, and Hayley's blog/insta video was also very helpful....don't rely on the instructions that come with the tool as they provide very little practical help.

So once you plug that tool in and switch it on, four bars will light up in orange; these are the different heats. The tool heats up within 30 seconds so you can get to work asap. To lower the heat one at a time, just press the 'on' button, although I usually keep it on quite a high heat. The Instyler Max comes with a heat protection mat which is very handy- another great feature is that these turn off automatically after 45 minutes of non-use (although plz don't leave it to chance and try to unplug them after using!!). As you will see in the photos, there are two main parts to this tool; the brush and the ceramic iron (32 mm). You might have guessed from the name (spoiler) that the barrel rotates. This 2-part tool means that the rotating iron does the curling part whilst the brush smooths out hair, leaving you with a sleek and de-frizzed look. The iron starts rotating when the tool is switched on and two parts are pressed together; a big part of using the Instyler Max is the direction the iron is rotating, so to flip-it-and-reverse-it, just tap the brush and iron together twice.

So, now we've gone through the basic mechanics, let's get onto the technique! After hours of experimenting, I found that the best way to get curls was as follows:

  • Section hair off as you usually would (I clip back the top part and curl the lower sections first).
  • Make sure that the iron is rotating away from your face (so for the left side it would be a clockwise direction, for the right side, anti-clockwise). This is key! Again, tap twice to change the direction and minimise faffing and hair-curling-yoga. 
  • Grip a section with the Instyler near-ish the root, making sure the brush part is on top and the iron is behind. 
  • Whilst still gripping the hair, turn the tool away from your face (do a full 180 for proper curls, less so for a more 'blow out' look). 
  • Pull the tool down through the hair...SLOWLY! Don't rush through each section or it won't curl properly! 
  • Wrap the freshly curled sections around your fingers just to define the shape of the curls, then release. 
  • Repeat for the rest of the sections, spritzing on some hair spray as you go just to hold those curls. 

Once you've practised this a few times, it does get easier...I promise! And once you get the hang of the technique, it really does become a doddle and by far the easiest way to style my hair that I've found to date. I absolutely adore the results; this photo is from the second time I used it. And remember how I mentioned my curls only usually last 2 hours (even with strong-hold hair spray)? Well these curls lasted THREE WHOLE DAYS without having to retouch them at all. They may have lasted even longer but I unfortunately I couldn't face going into work with super-greasy hair. 

The Instyler Max is such a nifty little gadget and I am so glad that I persevered with getting the hang of the technique. This tool isn't just for curling; you can create Kate Middleton-esque blow dry results and even straighten your hair using this (which I accidentally discovered during my first try when trying to get curls...oops). It's revolutionised my hair styling 'routine' and made me excited to actually make an effort with my hair for once...and who doesn't love a multi-functional product?!

Have you tried the Instyler Max? Let me know if you have any other tips or tricks for using it! 

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