Review: Sarah Potempa BeachWaver Curling Iron

You’re probably going to think I’m nuts (if you don’t already) when I tell you that I’m a former hairstylist and colorist who absolutely loathes styling her own hair. Sad, but true! I’m always on the lookout for things that will make styling as close to effortless as possible, and Sarah Potempa’s new styling tool, the BeachWaver seemed like a good candidate to make my morning routine a little less frustrating.

I LOVE it when I’m able to get beach waves, like those on Sarah and her model below. The only problem is, my hair is incredibly fine, and sometimes it’s so soft that it won’t even hold the curl. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve taken the time to curl my hair, only to end up going limp before I even make it to my car. It’s gotten easier in the past year, as I finally found a decent curling iron—but I’m still experiencing dexterity issues when using it. Plus, it seems like it takes forever! So when someone says they have a way to get easy beach waves, I’m all over it.

See more photos and details…  

Sarah’s innovation is a motorized curling iron, that you can control at the press of a button. It’s nothing like the InStyler, as this one is strictly for creating larger S-pattern waves. At first I thought, NO WAY. This has to be a gimmick—but the first time I tried it, I was impressed! I didn’t get my hair perfect the first time out, because I was just getting used to it. But by the third day, I was whipping through those curls and had a finished style in about 10 minutes. 10 minutes is usually the point where I’m over it and just give up on my hair and put it in a ponytail. But with the BeachWaver, I was able to complete the style before I had a bathroom meltdown.

How to use…

If you’re styling the left side of your hair, press the L, put your hair in the clip (clip should always be facing you), and press GO. If you’re doing the right side, you do the same thing, only you press R instead. Total no-brainer, right?

My hair is on the shorter side right now, but I was still able to get that wave-bend in it. Before using, I always apply a heat protectant spray, and I let the curls cool down completely before touching them. Once they’ve cooled, I like using a product called Redken Tousle Whip to give the curls some separation and to define the texture. This combo has been working pretty well for me so far, and each day that I use the BeachWaver, I get better with it.

Bottom Line…

I LOVE this thing. For some reason, it tends to hold the curl better for me throughout the day. The waves do slightly relax, but you can still tell they’re waves, unlike what happens when I use an inferior heat appliance. If there was one thing I could change, I would try to move the Left, Right, and GO buttons to a better position as there have been times I’ve accidentally pressed GO before I’m ready. The price is a little hefty too, so that could be a deal-breaker for some. The BeachWaver would have scored higher with a better location for the control buttons, and a little bit lower of a price point—but I still really like using it.

Price & Availability…

$189;, will soon be available on

An editorial sample was provided by the company and evaluated to determine our opinion of the product in this post. Please see the Disclosures page for further information regarding our policies for using editorial samples.
  • Liz Newme

    That is very cool! I need one of those! Thanks for the review.

  • Chris Taddei

    How awesome is this tool…this will be my solution to lazyness 😀

  • Lindsay

    I broke down and ordered one. So glad I did after seeing this review! Is it hard to get your hair curled up the rod rather than on top of itself?

  • Amber

    Hey Lindsay! Nope! Easy as can be :) Let me know how you like it! It will work even better for you since your hair is longer 😉

  • Melissa

    I used it for the first time this morning and I absolutely love it too! I thought it was fun and super easy to use on my long, thick hair.

  • vonnie123

    When will this be available in UK, so want one!? :-((

  • Amber

    Hi Vonnie, I’m so sorry I have no idea if they have UK distribution yet. These just launched in the US and they sell on QVC here. So maybe they’ll be on QVC UK soon? *fingers crossed*

  • Cake

    Which do you prefer–this one, or the Spring/Marcel from White Sands?

  • Amber

    Hi! It has been a really, really long time since I’ve used the marcel from White Sands. Technically, you can achieve the same thing with both of them, but I find the BeachWaver to be pretty user friendly and fast. Hope that helps!

  • Reese’smommy

    Oh my goodness! Dying to try this and to blog about it!