Instagram has a way of popularizing "challenges" these days. These can range from ill-advised beauty practices to actual, sometimes dangerous, dares. For the former, please refer to the Kylie Jenner lip challenge, in which teens were pursing their lips into water bottle openings in order to increase the size of their pouts à la Jenner's lip fillers. As for the latter, please refer to Instagram's most recent trend, the "In My Feelings" challenge, in which people dance alongside a slow-moving car in tune with the now-iconic Drake song.
The newest Instagram challenge is another beauty hack, but this time, it's not about imitating a celebrity's look or showing off a choreographed dance. It's all about curling your hair without the use of a curling iron or flat iron. All you need is a hair dryer and an old plastic water bottle—seriously. Keep scrolling to see what this so-called "water bottle challenge" is all about. Plus, see an expert hairstylist try it out for herself.
Here is a video of celebrity hairstylist Justine Marjan (who is responsible for some of the Kardashians' best hairstyles, BTW) testing out the water bottle challenge. As you can see, all you need is a hair dryer and a plastic water bottle. Marjan is using the GHD Air Dryer ($199), which is a professional ionic hair dryer that eliminates flyaways and promotes smoothness. As for the water bottle, it needs to be open on the top and on one side. That way, you can place your hair into the top and the hair dryer nozzle into the side.
When you turn on the hair dryer, it whips the hair around the circumference of the water bottle in a cylindrical shape (kind of like a tornado). This, in combination with the heat from the dryer, creates slight barrel curls."My hair is super thick and coarse, so it's harder to curl in general, but I love the relaxed wave I got in the end," Marjan wrote in the caption. "I imagine finer hair types could get much more curl. Would I do this every day? Probs not, but it's an epic #hairhack for quick volume and wave."
Marjan is one of many to test this new curling method out. For proof, look to this video, in which one woman shows us how effective the short process actually is when it comes to creating barrel curls. It's a little bit strange, sure, but also kind of genius. It's something to think about if you want to curl your hair but you're short on time or you're traveling and forgot to pack any heat tools in your suitcase. (We've been there.)
If you do try this out, make sure you use some heat protectant first. Even if there's no curling iron or flat iron involved, the heat from the hair dryer can still damage your strands. It's also worth noting that the longer you keep the dryer on and your hair swirling inside the water bottle, the tighter the curl is sure to be. So if you want glamorous barrel curls, use a higher heat setting and keep it in the bottle for a longer period of time. Use less heat (and less time) if you desire relaxed curls like Marjan's.
Will you try this hair hack? If you do, tag us on Instagram @byrdiebeauty. In the meantime, shop some water bottle challenge products below.
Next, check out the five-second trick that makes one editor's ponytails look Instagram-ready.