Is Babyliss' new hair tool the secret to soft, shiny and stress-free waves? I put the follow-up to Curl Secret to the test

Any products in this article have been selected editorially however if you buy something we mention, we may earn commission

As far as hot tools are concerned, Babyliss never fails to impress when it comes to variety and value for money. Its curling tongs and its Sheer Volume Hot Brush  are my go-tos for special occasions or simply when I have a bad hair day, they’re dependable yet innovative. Its ‘Secret’ range is  trailblazing and the latest addition to the dynasty - the Babyliss Smooth and Wave Secret - promises loose beachy waves with minimal effort.

What does it do?

Following in the footsteps of the Curl Secret , it provides two styling choices instead of one, courtesy of its ceramic ‘chamber’ that creates both waves and smooth styles.

It also features three heat settings (180, 200 and 230 degrees), clockwise, alternate and anti-clockwise wave creation settings, automatic shut off, a 2.5 metre swivel cord and heat protection mat. That's a wide selection of options to keep your hair as snag and burn-free as possible.

What's it like to use?

First off, I was struck by its size and whale-like resemblance... (once you see it, it's hard to unsee). From experience, though, bigger is necessarily a bad thing - and in this case, it makes perfect sense, considering its wave-producing tech and dual-functionality.

First the wave side: I placed the styler about three inches from the root of a section of hair (one-and-a-half inches in width). What followed was pretty cool; the chamber automatically drew the hair into it and then sounded a series of beeps while my future waves cooked for around 10 seconds. I then brought the styler down to the end of the section and a loose tousled wave enthusiastically bounced back at me.

It took around 25 minutes to do the whole of my head and transformed my just-washed, naturally wavy (and at times hard to manage) hair into a collection of subtle beachy waves that were shiny and soft and didn’t look too ‘done.’

Impressed, I then gave its smoothing plates a try. It gobbled up sections of my hair and then released them into frizz-free strands. I liked the body and movement it gave to my ends, which prevented my hair from looking too poker straight.

The verdict?

When it comes to creating beachy waves with minimal stress, it delivers. I would have liked larger plates to get through my thicker hair faster though. On that front, a separate pair of straighteners may still have the upper hand.

If you like to wear your hair wavy (as I do), you’ll really like it. The marked absence of any pulling or tugging was welcome and doing the back of my head was much easier too. The results were soft and natural looking - the kind that longer-haired types may take a shine to, because of the subtlety of the wave.

The Babyliss Smooth & Wave Secret is £130 and is available to  buy now here .

Follow Ayesha on  Twitter  and  Instagram .