By Anum Ahmed
There have been so many automatic curlers popping up lately, and the InStyler’s Tulip is the latest to join the arsenal. I was invited to the Cutler SoHo salon to get a firsthand look.
The first thing I noticed was the design – it looks and feels very different from a traditional curling iron (most of the ceramic barrel is covered so it looks like a short rod and the design gives it the shape of its namesake). There were a few of them sitting on a table to use yourself, and another counter with stylists who were ready to help us figure out the best styles for us. It looked a little intimidating so I asked the stylist Dottie for assistance as I figured out how to use it.
She obliged, sectioning off my hair and started curling by taking ½” sections and placing it in a small opening by the barrel. When you click the button, the rod rotates and curls the hair itself. All you’re doing is placing the hair in the right spot for it to do so. The same perfect curl is formed every time.
One of the things that set this apart from other curlers are that there are a few different settings to help you customize your style including heat level, rotation, and timer (which helps figure out how tight you want your curls to be). I usually opt for undone beachy waves but here, we aimed for something a little different — spirals. Dottie set up the iron on medium heat, with alternating rotation and an 8-second timer and set my hair in a pretty arrangement of spiral curls.
When it was finally time for me to try, I had a little trouble using the product while looking in the mirror because I already have difficulty telling my left from my right, and this was on another level, depth perception and all that jazz. Anyway, with help from Dottie, I figured it out and after the third try. So maybe it isn’t the most incredibly intuitive upon first use, but I got the hang of it. Plus it was nice not having to worry about burning myself – or really anything around me because when when I set the iron down, the heated iron stays off the table (don’t even ask how many things I’ve burned by leaving my curling iron out).
Dottie mentioned – and I agreed – that this would be a great starter product for girls who hadn’t really started curling their hair. I was even contemplating getting one for my niece because it was so safe to use. Just be cognizant of using thinner sections in case a larger ones would end up in a tangled mess. It takes me about the same amount of time that it would a normal curling iron to do my whole head, but at least with this, I know all the curls would be perfect.
So to wrap up:
Pros: Innovative design; multiple settings on heat and control; less chances of burning yourself; easy rotating in both directions; better option for beginners or those who don’t feel as comfortable with regular curlers; comparable in price to other curlers in the same category;
Cons: For those used to clipless or regular curling irons, it might feel like less control on the curl; not as intuitive when you first use it (though with practice this becomes less of an issue)
InStyler Tulip costs $120, and is available at trytulip.com.