The Two Tools That Will Make Your DIY Wedding Hair Easy


Or hell, your day-to-day hair

by Meg Keene, CEO & Editor-In-Chief

apw x nume

Meg-Hair-Flip

If you’re getting married and thinking about DIYing your own hair for the wedding (and by DIYing, I mean probably having a friend help you with your hair), you already know the absurd pressure that your friends and family—and the Internet—will put on you to OMG JUST GET A PROFESSIONAL TO DO IT GOD YOU COULD MESS THE WHOLE THING UP. I know this pressure all too well, because when I got married, I told everyone to go to hell and had my friend Rachel help me with my hair and makeup. This is particularly amazing, given just how unruly my hair really is.melissademataphoto_apw_modcloth-3115

But! Spoiler: It turned out so well that during the wedding, about ten people told me they wished their hair and makeup had looked that good, and damn it, why had they caved to the pressure of having a stylist do it? None of that means hiring a stylist will end with what happened to Marnie from Girls on her wedding day. In fact, if you want to hire a stylist, I’ve done a ton of research on how to hire the right one, both in detail in the APW Planner, and summed up right here. But. But. If you want to (or have to) do your own hair for your wedding, or any pre-wedding events, I will always be the number one girl in your corner.

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But here is the funny thing. For all that I DIYed my wedding hair, I cannot for the life of me do my own hair on the day to day. It’s so bad that every single time we do any kind of photo shoot for work, I have to hire someone to blow out my hair to make it even remotely presentable. And pretty much every day of my life, I wear my hair up in a sloppy bun. Not because it’s stylish, but because on its own, my hair is a frizzy, frizzy mess. My stylist says I have Natasha Lyonne hair, and she’s one hundred percent correct. (I love Natasha Lyonne, but lemme tell you, hair like ours looks amazing styled, and kind of enormous in anything approaching a natural state—aka, I sure as shit did not wake up like this.)

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So when NuMe reached out to us to try their five-in-one curling wand and flat iron, I figured I’d give it a test run—both to see if it would help those of you planning on doing your own wedding or pre-wedding event hair… and also just to straight-up see if it would help me learn how to style my hair every day. Given that I’m thirty-six and haven’t yet figured out day-to-day techniques for my hair—and not for lack of trying—my hopes were low. But… never, never, never give up. Or something, right?

And then… the impossible happened. The products were really, really good. In fact, their argan oil was so game-changing for my hair that I feel awkward writing about it, because I’m afraid my endorsement feels… too enthusiastic to be true? I’m like a junior high school girl trying to play it cool, y’all. But the actual true story is that I threw out the original post we wrote, because the product was so damn good I had to blow a little trumpet for it.

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Why Nume Products are Way Better Than What I Used For My Own Wedding Hair

First up, let’s talk curling irons and flat irons, and why you’ve probably never been totally happy with those stupid things.

After using NuMe’s Lustrum Curling Set and Silhouette Straightening Wand, here is what I figured out. The curling irons and flat irons that I’ve had my whole life (and that I did my wedding hair with), had one simple problem: They didn’t get hot enough. Like, flat out, full stop, that’s it. They took forever to work, they didn’t create the kinds of curls I get at the salon, and the curls didn’t hold properly. All because they weren’t hot enough, and were metal, not ceramic.

Hair-Wrap-Final

NuMe’s hair tools get professional-level hot in about two minutes. By which I mean, “see the steam come up off your hair, make sure you’ve added something for heat protection” kind of hot. Tools that are this hot also are good news for lazy girls, because using them is fast. You want to take a small section of hair and curl it (something I never have patience for, because I have enough hair for four people), but now you’re only holding each curl for four to five seconds—meaning even I can get your whole head of hair done in ten minutes flat.

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All this means that even those of you with thick, difficult hair (and definitely those of you without) can one hundred percent consider styling your own hair for your wedding. And, if like me, you need to get your wedding hair done at 6 a.m., or in a remote location… that might just be a game-changer for you. I was happy with my wedding hair. I would have been a hell of a lot happier with it had I been able to do it fast and professionally with one of NuMe’s curling wands.

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The Magic Formula To Tame Frizzy Hair

But it’s more than just that. NuMe also sent along their really well-reviewed argan oil. There is a photo of me before I put the product in my hair, comparing the ingredient list to a hair oil I used every day. It looked like about the same product, so I didn’t expect much difference. YOU GUYS. It is not the same product. I mean, I think it’s more or less the same ingredients as other hair oils. But it is much more viscous, and that makes all the difference. I literally dabbed it on the ends of my hair and it went from fly-away frizz to… smooth. Here are the real pictures:

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After I’d rubbed the argan oil through my hair and let it sit, I ended up wearing my hair down for an entire weekend. Literally, factually, for the first time in my life, when I didn’t have a professional blowout. No. Joke.

Here is the combo of products I’ve waited my whole life for: I’ve combined argan oil with two other products for literally magical results. First, my hairdresser has introduced me to a brand-new product: R+Co Analog foaming conditioner. She swore it would be a game-changer, and I didn’t really buy it, but HOLY HELL, it is. It’s a shampoo and conditioner in one, and it works as a crazy foam that you rub into your scalp and then down your hair. I still use a conditioner every other time I wash my hair (and I wash my hair about once a week), but suddenly my hair feels like… normal hair? Not fly-away frizz? Then, I use crazy thick Japanese conditioner, SilkyLuxe Hair Treatment. Every two weeks or so I coat the ends of my dry hair with the conditioner and let it soak in for twelve to twenty-four hours. Then I wash and condition it. It sounds absurd, but it has totally changed my hair-feeling-like-straw problem. Aka, by the time the NuMe tools arrived, my one-two punch of shampoo and conditioner was making me feel closer than I’ve ever been to happy with my hair. I was still wearing it up most of the time, but I felt happy running my hands through it. But, argan oil = magic. Adding that third product made the holy trinity, and I think I can finally do my own hair on the day to day.

You know, even when I don’t curl it.

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Pink Line

Plus, the best part? NuMe is offering APW readers $100 (or more) off all NuMe curling wands and silhouette straighteners (which means you get them for $39 instead of $139-$149, plus a free bottle of argan oil and free shipping). Or, if you’re looking for a multi-use tool, you can get any one of NuMe’s sets for $80 (scroll down for details on all three deals). That means for (way) less than you’d pay someone to style your hair, you can get tools and products that you can keep and use daily. And even if you’re not planning on doing your hair for a special occasion, argan oil is legit a game-changer.

I’m seriously considering curling my hair with the 32-mm wand once a week, just to feel good.

Are you thinking of DIYing your wedding hair? What are your concerns?

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Use the code APWCURLS to get any NuMe curling wand for $39 (plus a free bottle of argan oil and free shipping). Or use the code APWIRONS to get the silhouette straightener for $39 (plus a free bottle of argan oil and free shipping). Looking for more options? NuMe is offering any set of tools for just $80 (normally priced up to $300). Click here and use the code APWSETS at checkout. All offers expire on 9/11/16.

This post was sponsored by NuMe Products. NuMe is not the curling iron of your childhood. Their straightening irons and curling wands are made of tourmaline-infused ceramic and pure titanium, which means they heat up fast, and work even faster. If you’re looking to get a leg up on your DIY wedding hair (or just your regular routine), NuMe is offering three deals for APW readers today. Click here to get any NuMe curling wand for $39 when you use the code APWCURLS at checkout. Or click here to use the code APWIRONS to get a NuMe silhouette straightener for $39. Or click here and use the code APWSETS to get any NuMe set for just $80. All offers expire on 9/11/16.

Meg Keene

Meg is the Founder and EIC of APW. She has written two best selling wedding books: A Practical Wedding and A Practical Wedding Planner. Meg has her BFA in Drama from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. She lives in Oakland, CA with her husband and two children. For more than you ever wanted to know about Meg, you can visit MegKeene.com. #NASTY

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  • Sara

    I’m having serious hair envy right now. I have always wanted hair like Meg’s! My hair is stick straight and super thin. I have to wash it daily or it gets greasy, and if I bother to curl it (even professionally), it falls out within a few hours unless its drowning in hair spray. I basically curl to get some body in it.
    That being said – I probably need a new curling iron because the one I have now is wrapped in duct tape (it was suppose to be one of those straighter/curler combos and the clip to hold it close broke)

    • Vanessa

      I have the same hair and I got an American Wave at a salon earlier this year. I freaking loooooooooooooooooove it. It’s sort of a similar process to a perm (not poodle head though) and now, 4 months out, it just gives me a lot more volume & movement. Sort of like what those beach waves sprays are supposed to do to people’s hair.

      • Lisa

        I have a friend who has similar hair and used to get very light perms in her hair just to give it some body. It didn’t quite look like the technique you’re describing, but it sounds like a similar idea!

      • Meg Keene

        Funny, because I’m always looking into chemical straightener ;)

    • Meg Keene

      So I used to have to wash my hair every day or it would get greasy. Turns out that’s because your hair isn’t meant to be washed that often, your scalp is over producing oils because you keep stripping them off. I weaned myself off it, I mean literally like an extra (gross) 6 hours each time. Now I wash it roughly once a week, sometimes slightly more. It’s…. pretty game changing.

      • Jess

        This works really great for girls with thick or coarse hair.

        Girls with super fine, super flat hair? I wash every other day or every 3 days because I’m lazy, but it’s greasy and flat by the start of day two. Just like some hair responds great to dry shampoo and mine still ends up just as greasy looking as if I hadn’t used any.

        All hair is different, is what I’m saying.

        • KA

          Piping in because I have baby fine, pin straight hair and managed to break the shampoo addiction! I mean, yes of course everyone’s hair is different, but it’s not unachievable for fine/thin/limp (<–what I call my) hair.—although I swore it was until I did it. It did take a few months and was incredibly gross, and I honestly don't think I would've pulled it off if I didn't work from home. I would just leave it in a bun for days, getting grosser and grosser, finally cave, wash it, and repeat, until it started looking OK for 2 days, then 3, then 4, and I've been down to shampooing about once a week for four years or so. I mean, by day 5 or 6 it can start looking a bit like K Stew, depending on what products I've used, but that used to happen after twelve hours, and overall it's made life with my hair so much easier.

          • the cupboard under the stairs

            Wow. Nice to know it can be done, but I’m not sure I could endure three months of gross hair with my office job…

          • Meg Keene

            I stretched it by half a day at a time. So like, I’d wash at night not in the morning, and do that a few times, then go another half day. It was and unpleasant 12 hours, but manageable.

          • Maddie Eisenhart

            I also have super fine hair, and I live and die by a small thing of baby powder/corn starch. When my hair starts to get greasy, I rub a bit between my hands and run it through my hair. (Or just shake it on and then shake it out.) I actually much prefer it over dry shampoo, which just seems to make my hair…grosser? Somehow?

          • the cupboard under the stairs

            To the dry shampoo thing: YES TOTALLY. The Bumble and Bumble one works okay for me, but most really do just make my hair grosser. I’ll try a baby powder/corn starch combo!

          • Meg Keene

            Yeah, I like, CANNOT EXPRESS how gross an oily my hair was if I didn’t wash it exactly on a dime every 24 hours. That just had nothing to do with the texture of my hair. It’s just AWFUL breaking the habit.

            It’s less that wavy hair is dry, it’s that to cut frizz, you have to super duper moisturize. But oily hair from a washing addiction is… the kind of moisture that helps tame frizz. It’s just gross and awful.

        • Beth

          I honestly think people like me who have fine straight hair usually have oily skin and scalps. It seems the curlier the hair, the dryer.

          This is why curly hair needs product to add moisture, whereas I don’t use any product and must wash every day. I don’t even worry about curling my hair. Curls change my facial features in a negative way that’s very hard to explain. .

          I think we all have facial features that match our hair texture. My sister has super wavy hair and when she gets it correctly and runs with it, she looks so much better.

          • Beth

            correction “when she gets it correctly cut…”

          • AtHomeInWA

            According to My Hair Guy, curly hair isn’t actually drier, but the curl slows/stops the oil produced by the scalp from moving down the strands and into the hair.

            Because the more you know, right?

        • the cupboard under the stairs

          Can totally second this. I am a complete greaseball–so much so that my hair goes limp after a couple of hours. Asking me to go a day without washing my hair is like asking me to go a day without washing my FACE. The results are disgusting, smelly and volume-less, even when I use dry shampoo. I have tried so hard to wean myself off daily shampooing, but to no avail.

          Can we also talk about how exercise factors into the no-shampoo movement? I don’t know about y’all, but when I work out, my scalp gets sweaty. And lingering sweat is smelly. Ergo, if I don’t wash my hair, I smell.

          • JC

            Definitely yes to your second paragraph. I can manage, barely, to wash only every other day, but my lunch-time workouts definitely do take a toll on how fresh my hair looks and feels.

          • Meg Keene

            I… leave sweat in my hair. I don’t think hair sweat smells too much? But yeah, I work out!

            You can also rinse your hair and condition if if it’s really sweaty.

            I don’t know, my hair doesn’t always feel FRESH, persay, but it feels fine.

      • Vanessa

        I’ve weaned myself down to every other or every third day but it’s really just not the same with fine & thin hair. I use conditioner about once or twice a week, anything more than that and my hair just sticks flat to my head, which is not a good look when you only have like 10 strands of hair. I tried argan oil a couple times (only a drop or two total!) and it was like I had dunked my head in an industrial fryer. My hair is so fine that bobby pins slide out of it, So, yeah, most people probably don’t need to shampoo every day but there’s a spectrum.

        • Beth

          1000% agree. I noticed when I was in my teens that my friends with curly hair didn’t need to wash their hair very often.

          My fine straight hair is wash and go. I can blow it dry in no particular direction and it still looks good. However, since I absolutely must wash it every day or else look revolting, I probably put in the same amount of hair care as someone who doesn’t need to wash often, but needs to spend time with moisturizing and styling.

          Let’s just say I’m going to look worse after a few days of a power outage than someone with dry hair. Ha Ha ha.

    • SLG

      I have thin hair that picks up a very slight wave if it’s really humid out (i.e. just enough wave to look like I didn’t brush my hair that morning #sofetch ), but otherwise pretty straight. I’ve always wanted hair like Meg’s too, but here’s what I’ve found that works for me:

      – Oribe texturizing spray. Changed. My. Life. It’s the only dry shampoo that’s ever worked for me, and boy oh boy does it work. It makes my fine, soft hair just a little sticky so it stays in hair styles, and it totally lets me go 1-2 days longer without washing my hair. A full-size bottle lasts me about 6 months.
      – Making my hair just a tad bit damp before I go to bed, twisting it up around a sock, and tying the sock in a knot. I put the knot on top of my head but you could do whatever you want. In the morning unwrap it, shake it out, spray some hair spray all over it, and presto: a little bit of body in my hair (which is more than I usually have!). I can do this on clean hair for the first 1-2 days.
      – Gradually lengthening the time between hair washes, up to whatever works for you. I used to wash my hair every other day, then tried every 3 days, then every 4, and now I’m up to every 4-6. The key to this is texturizing spray plus embracing the messy-teased-ballerina-bun look for the last 2-3 days. (Make a pony tail, tease the pony tail, wrap it around and put a few bobby pins in it.) I just wear my hear in a bun a lot.

      The best part is that I don’t have to blow dry my hair that much or use a curling iron very often, and that helps keep my thin hair from drying out and breaking. It took until my 30s to find a system that worked but I finally did!

  • Kaitlyn

    I’ve been dying for a curling wand! Just bought it :) I should probably also get the straightener (I’m 95% sure I’ve had mine for 10 years now), but I’ll wait a little bit and see how much I like the wand.

  • Kristi

    Anybody with short (chin length) hair have suggestions on which of their curling wands are best?

    • Maddie Eisenhart

      My hair is a bit shorter than yours, but it depends on how you want to curl it. If you want soft waves, try a 25mm barrel. If you want bouncier, more true curls, go for something smaller. I’m personally planning on getting one of the sets because #options.)

  • Jessica

    I have thick, wavy hair in abundance. Discovering argan oil was like finding manna from heaven.

    Recently I went to Lush to pick up a couple shampoo bars, and they have a new one with argan oil RIGHT IN THE DARN THING! It was so exciting. It makes my hair amazing and I don’t need to use conditioner (or, if I do, I use Oribe dry conditioner, which is dry shampoo for frizzy haired people). I love the bar (except the pungent smell of the bar, it is a bit overwhelming).

    I use the Hot Tools 1″ curling iron for fancy stuff, but have been looking into a flatiron for everyday hair management. I think $39 and the recommendation from APW is enough to sway me.

    • Maddie Eisenhart

      The straightener pics didn’t make it into the post but I was legit amazed at how quickly it worked on Meg’s hair. And that was AFTER we curled it too. Like one pass kind of magic.

      • Jessica

        I’m super excited. My bestie is getting married in 2 weeks and I will post pictures in the following Happy Hour about how my hair looked amazing (if I get the flatiron in time)

      • Meg Keene

        Yeah the straightener is GOOD. It also had a Temp controller. I turned it all the way up to 450, and I think next time I’m going to try a lower temp because it was actually… too straight? Trust me, that is not a problem I have ever had before.

        • Jessica

          The first time I used the Hot Tools curling iron I turned it to medium. The second time I actually burned some of my hair off. I thought it was user error and was super embarrassed, then realized a few uses later that the temp control was broken.

          TL/DR: use lower temps first, don’t burn your hair off.

    • MC

      Shampoo bar?? That sounds so intriguing…

      • Jessica

        Yes! They are great. It’s like a bar of soap for your head. I originally bought one for when I was traveling around Europe for 3 weeks and had everything in one bag, but was flight hopping and needed to limit my liquids. That was 8 years ago and I haven’t found anything I like more (even the super fancy shampoo from the super fancy salon).

    • Meg Keene

      Why is Argon Oil SO GOOD????? I mean, it is so game changing I feel like I can’t talk about it without sounding like I’m lying. It’s… unreal. Where has it been my whole life????

      • Colleen

        Argan oil bonus: you can use it everywhere! I have thick, naturally wavy hair (aka: it frizzes). I have rosacea (aka: my face freaks out). I live in Buffalo and take hotter than hot showers (aka: my winter skin is no joke). I use the same bottle of argan oil on my hair, face, and body (aka: it’s just that good).

  • Danielle

    Hello! I did my own hair for my wedding and it turned out fine. Not awesome, but good enough. And that was fine for me! (We had a pretty simple, small outdoor wedding and the vibe was casual/comfortable, so my style was too.)

    My hair is curly-ish/wavy-ish, and it took me over 30 years to realize that it needed to be treated differently than regular straight hair. Don’t know why it took so long, but it did.

    What helped in general:
    – Going to a salon that specializes in curly hair. They know how to do stuff, and know which products can help.
    – Still, being flexible! Not all curly/wavy hair is the same. I read the Curly Girl Bible (that’s literally a book) and followed it for a few years. But then I moved and a new stylist said I didn’t need to follow ALL the curly rules (for example, my hair isn’t that coarse, so I don’t need to condition it every day). So adapting to what works for me is key.
    – Trying new stylists! If I see a woman with awesome hair that’s a similar texture to mine, I will compliment her and ask where she gets her hair done. Then I’ll try it out! It took me like 5 stylists in my current city to find the right one. But she’s like Goldilocks :)

    Good luck curly girls!

  • Sarah E

    This almost makes me want long hair again, I love playing with hair stuff.

  • Alyssa Andrews

    AH what a lifesaver! I’m doing my own hair for my wedding in Europe next year and had been looking at sets like this on Sephora for like $300 (which I most definitely can’t afford). I have thin hair but ALOT of it, and while I can rock the beachy waves with little help from products, my hair can’t hold a decent-looking curl for more than an hour. Can’t wait to check this out!

    • Lisa

      I’d be cautious of using hair appliances with plug adaptors in Europe. Items that require a high wattage tend to burn out. (I ruined a straightener and portable steamer in high school this way and know several other women who had similar issues.)

      • Alyssa Andrews

        Thanks for the tip! I’ll hunt around to see if I can find something that would work…

        • Lisa

          I think there are dual voltage appliances that might be an option. Or if you’re planning to spend a lot of time in a specific area of Europe, you could purchase an appliance there that has the correct plug. (I bought a hairdryer+diffuser during my second trip to Spain, and it’s come along on many of my and my friends’ vacations since.)

          • Robyn Bloom

            Lisa & Alyssa – all of our products are dual voltage except blow dryers, which we have available in both US and Euro plugs.

        • Eenie

          Seconding Lisa. I watched five people ruin straighteners when I stayed in Peru for a summer. They also took out the whole house’s power at the same time.

        • Vanessa

          Get one that’s dual voltage and you should be ok with a plug adapter

      • NotMarried!

        Ruined a straighter in east Asia traveling after University the same way! Look for dual voltage!

    • Her Lindsayship

      Actually these are all dual voltage! Not a spokesperson, just chiming in because I too am thinking of getting one for my wedding in (hopefully) Europe. These with an adapter will do the trick. :)

      I also have fine hair but a lot of it, hair twins! Best of luck to you!

      • Alyssa Andrews

        Thank you! Yay hair twin and (hopefully) Europe wedding twin! :)

  • Preengaged Chicago

    I wish this was offered a few months ago when I was looking for curling wands! My friend loves her NuMe products – bought on Groupon! I always aim to do my own hair and makeup as a bridesmaid and quality products really seal the deal.

  • “I Don’t Knowww, Margo!”

    This is PERFECT timing for me! I’ve been toying with DIYing my hair, since I just want to have it curly and up. My hair holds a curl really well, but I don’t like the frizziness that comes with using sponge rollers overnight. I don’t use a curling iron because it’s so thick and would take forever to do, but I might try this!

    • idkmybffjill

      Not related to the product featured but if you’re a skilled sponge roller user, might I recommend hot rollers? They’re my favorite thing.

      • “I Don’t Knowww, Margo!”

        I like them too, but the curl holds better with sponge, so it’s a weird tradeoff, prettier curls that don’t last as long vs. frizzier ones that will stay for days!

        • idkmybffjill

          #thestruggle

    • Meg Keene

      OH GOD BUT SLEEPING ON THEM GOD SPONGE ROLLERS.

      Signed, ex teenage Irish Dancer

      • “I Don’t Knowww, Margo!”

        I don’t know how I ever can do it. I need a white noise machine to drown out every possible sound, but I can manage to sleep with giant lumps all over my head.

        Luckily my Laura Ingalls phase where I liked rag curls was very short lived, because those were very uncomfortable lumps.

      • Dess

        YES! Love that just-before-the-feis look

  • Olive

    Anyone have a suggestion for getting a set vs. getting a curling wand by itself? My hair has never really held curls and I see the sets and think “All the curls! So many options for my new curly life!” I think I’m mostly worried about longevity with the interchangeable curlers.

    • Meg Keene

      The multiple wand thing is cool, but I think I’d really use the large barrel the most often.

      The weird bumpy wand in the picture is for “uneven” curls, and it does more of a beachy wave (it’s what I have in the photo up top). I also liked that, but it’s less formal by a lot. So if I were picking one, I’d go large barrel.

  • idkmybffjill

    How did these do on burning your hands? I have a wand that I LOVE but I can’t stand to use a glove while I use it and also apparently can’t use it without burning myself.

    • Meg Keene

      This does come with a glove, but I felt like I wasn’t dexterous enough with it on. So I kind of just… was careful, held my hair out from the want a little at the ends. It worked better for me.

  • Leela

    One: Meg’s hair-shaking dance makes me want us to be friends. Natasha Lyonne is my hair doppelganger too!

    Two: Maybe I’m the only one here with a dirty mind, but when I first scrolled through the article without really reading I thought those were…not curling irons. Heheheheh.

    • Olive

      Re. TWO: SAME. And the response I got from everyone I sent the product page to with the message “I heard these are amazing, I might get one.” haha

    • Meg Keene

      Oh when Maddie first got an email from NuMe she was like “WHAT ARE THEEEEESSEEEEEEEE???” They do the job though. Whatever the job is ;)

    • MC

      Definitely ALSO THOUGHT THAT. Maybe a multipurpose tool ;)

  • Allison

    All right, I’m convinced. I’m terrible at flat-iron waves, so I’m going to try this!

  • Victoria Weston

    Okay, I didn’t think I could love APW more. $100 off?! Thank you endlessly! For the discount, for the reviews, for the inspiration, for the books … this is the greatest site & resource ever & I am eternally grateful for it!!