How Ashley Tisdale Achieves Her 'Undone-Done Waves' In Minutes

Plus the two tools she relies on to make her effortlessly cool 'do a reality.

Photo: Getty Images

If you avoid using a curling iron due to fear of the dreaded, done-up "pageant girl curls," Ashley Tisdale has got you covered. Tisdale, 36, just shared the super-easy, lightning-fast technique she uses to get her characteristic "undone-done waves," and even those who might be terrified of piping hot hair tools will be able to master her moves. The end result? "Not-so-perfect" curls, as she describes 'em, which are giving off a casual "I woke up like this" vibe that you can snag yourself in a matter of minutes.

On Monday, the mom of one took to Instagram to share a tutorial for her go-to waves with her 14.3 million followers, revealing that she received a request to show how she scores the middle-part waves she's been sporting all over social media lately. Before getting down to business, however, Tisdale shares the tools she turns to when styling her hair: two curling irons from the celebrity stylist-founded brand, Kristen Ess, which she describes as "the best." While she doesn't provide exact specifications for the appliances, she does mention that she uses "two different sizes" and that "one is smaller and one is a little bit bigger." Given these details plus what the two gadgets look like in the Instagram clip, odds are Tisdale calls upon the Kristen Ess 1" Curling Iron (Buy It, $50, and the slightly larger 1 1/4" Curling Iron (Buy It, $50,

With a head full of straight locks, the High School Musical alum starts with the bigger iron, explaining that she used to do her hair differently and section off areas when curling for a sleeker, more polished look. But these days she prefers, in her words, "grabbing parts...kind of randomly." Tisdale's reason for the styling switch? "I just don't like it being too perfect," she says. (

Working from one side of her head to the other, the star smooths through a portion of her hair with the iron before holding the tool upside down and loosely wrapping the sectioned-off locks around the barrel of the iron. She then holds the ends of her hair rather than sandwiching them between the barrel and clamp, as she does with the other strands. "And then I just kind of like take it out and really like shake it," says Tisdale as she does just that.

Once she seems content with the "undone" vibe of that section of her hair, Tisdale grabs another piece, which she does "a little bit differently." This time around, she wraps the strands around the barrel then lightly releases the clamp, twisting her hair as she continues to curl toward her ends. "I like to hold it and then twist it and kind of go straight on the end," she explains. "It kind of makes like a little funky wave that's different from [the] first one." (

Kristin-Ess-1 CURLING IRON-Product
Kristin Ess Hair

Buy It: Kristen Ess 1" Curling Iron, $50,

Working from back to front, Tisdale switches sides, lamenting how "one side always looks better than the other — it's kind of like your eyebrows. This is my better side that comes out perfect and I'm like 'I wish the left side looks like the right side!'" (Truly relatable!) She continues to section off areas of hair — each of which she styles a bit differently by aiming the iron in various directions and twisting the hair manually as she goes. Finally, she tops it all off by grabbing some hair from the back of her head in sections to give the top layer a wave, and voilà!

If anything needs touching up at the end, Tisdale recommends waiting until the curls cool before going back in with the hot tools. The best part about this is that there's no need to worry about things being perfect — in fact, the entire point is that it's not. And when it comes to hair styling, that's the kind of technique likely anyone can get behind. (No curling iron? No sweat. Here's how to curl your hair with a flat iron.)

Was this page helpful?
Related Articles