Anh Co Tran has been referred to as the “godfather” of cool hair. He is known as Aimee Song’s friend and traveling stylist. His signature sharp bob has been a fashion staple at Fashion Weeks in New York and Paris.

Tran’s point-cutting skills are not the only thing that make him a legend. He is also known for his style, especially his ability to take straight hair, thin hair, and create a “lived in” texture that’s not patterned or obviously-curled. This tells you that Tran just got out of the salon. It’s softly bent and imperfect, just like a Parisian bedhead.

woman wearing black spaghetti strap V-neck top near wall

Tran alternates between two wave patterns, the soft-bend “nuwave”, and the more common “lived in” wave. Tran explained that the “nuwave” is an undulating type of wave, by waving his hands in an S-wave motion. You use the curling iron to make bends. You combine this with the ‘lived in’ wave by wrapping your hair around the barrel, sliding it out, and then you mix them together and shake it all out to create this natural texture.

It takes practice to achieve the effortless, fluid look of the Tran wave. His top tips include starting with the front and top sections. If you feel tired by the time you reach the back, you may be able to less precisely section the hair while still looking great. If you desire more natural-looking hair, don’t forget to comb the waves with your fingers. The most important thing is to invest in a good curling iron.

Tran, who styles 25 clients in one day, needed a quick-moving curling iron. There was no perfect tool. Tran is a twenty-year veteran stylist, artist, and innovator. He decided to design his own. Sultra haircare brand was his partner. They started from scratch and sketched and developed Tran’s dream irons. There were two professional Marcel options and two thumb-clamp irons. Each iron is available in 1.5″ and 1.25″ barrels.

Tran’s tools are distinguished by their thoughtful design and heat technology. He says that efficiency was his number one priority. The ceramic barrel heats quickly, the clamp opens wide to allow it to grip more hair, and it glides so well. Tran suggests that I use the 1.25″ iron to straighten my naturally-wavy hair. He recommends skipping the blow drying (music to my ears). He explains that you can quickly and easily do your hair at home with a few techniques and a good iron. It also looks great. “But I also like the French style. It looks like you didn’t really put in any effort.”

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