If computer printers can generate 3D toys and cars are close to driving themselves, then surely we can have a hair power tool that creates the perfect curl with little to no manual labor, right? Turns out such a tool already exists. Conair recently debuted the Infiniti Pro Curl Secret, which is not so much a curling iron as an ingenious device that effortlessly and automatically curls locks by way of a barrel in a hidden chamber. Even better, the built-in barrel made of tourmaline ceramic makes precise curls (you simply insert a small section into the tool, clamp the handles, and it does the work for you—more on that in a minute), but also prevents those slip-of-the-wrist burns and protects locks from heat damage. Considering all of that, it might just be the unicorn of beauty tools, so naturally we had to try it and see if—at a $99 price tag—it is actually a product you should curl up with.
Right out of the box, the Pro Curl Secret seems a little daunting, since it looks like a medieval torture device, or something you might find in your gyno’s office (same thing). There’s a long double-pronged arm and circular end that you clamp down, and it comes with several warnings on how to use it correctly, but Conair also reminds us that it’s “safe and easy” if you do it right. Basically, there’s only one “right side up”—hold the tool the wrong way and your locks could get tangled. And although there have been negative reviews of products like this out there, including some who claim they’ve had to cut their hair out of the tool, I found no such issue after repeated use. Honestly, it’s not rocket science, especially with all the directions and reminders. A few times using the Pro Curl Secret, and it becomes second nature, like using a flat iron or blow dryer. And if you do forget and go in upside down, there’s a built-in, anti-tangle feature which is designed to immediately stop drawing hair in, and “reverse to a neutral position” so you can your strands out of the chamber if they get stuck.
You start with either freshly washed or second-day hair but make sure to comb your hair all the way through to avoid tangles before using the device. There are two heat settings (hi and lo) and three timed levels (8, 10 or 12 seconds) to achieve tighter curls or less defined waves. After choosing your desired setting (longer for more definition), you wait for the indicator light to stop blinking, which tells you the tool is heated up and ready to use.
You then hold the Pro Curl Secret at a 90-degree angle to your head and guide a 1/2- to 1-inch section of hair into the opening of the curler; you start at least 1 inch away from your scalp, or can go further away if you want the curl to start lower. Then you just close the handles and let go of your hair—and the device automatically draws it into the chamber. If you hear successive beeping at the beginning, it means your hair didn’t load properly, probably because you attempted too much hair at once, and you’ll need to redo it. You keep it in place until you hear a rapid beep, your cue that the curl is ready—and then you open the handles and let the hair fall out.
So, does it work? Yes, definitively. With a regular iron, I get hair in all sorts of directions and without a uniform look. The pro tool is the first product I’ve used that actually gives me a full head of curls that looks like I had it done professionally at the salon. The curls also come out really smooth, since the tourmaline helps prevent frizz.
Though, I can’t imagine this product working on hair shorter than shoulder length, since the chamber draws in a sizeable chunk. The other con is if you are hard-pressed for time, this isn’t going to be your friend. Since the curler can only take in 1/2 -inch to 1-inch sections at a time, and takes 8 to 12 seconds for each one, it will require a good 20 minutes or so to do your whole head. But when you do have the time, are getting ready for a special occasion—or if you’re completely clumsy with traditional styling tools—it’d be worth it to break this out.