Using a curling wand to add some natural-looking waves to your hair can be a great way to change up your look. But with so many barrel types and sizes to choose from, it can be hard to choose the right one for your hair type and style. The different features for these styling tools can also add to the confusion. To take the guesswork out, we’ve come up with an informative guide for choosing the best curling wand. Once you’ve learned what to look for, and know the proper way to use one, you’ll be able to create the look you want in no time. And for the curly-haired ladies, pillow-flattened curls will no longer ruin your day.
Short On Time? Here Is The Bullet List:
- Overall Best Curling Wand: Homitt 5 in 1 Curling Wand Set
- Best Drugstore Curling Wand: Infiniti Pro by Conair Tourmaline Ceramic Curling Wand
- Best Salon Curling Wand: HSI Professional Groover 1” Tapered Curling Wand
- Best Dual-Voltage Curling Wand: Xtava Twirl Curling Wand
- Best Curling Wand for Fine Hair: Jose Eber 25mm Black Curling Wand
- Best Curling Wand for Thick Hair: Remington CI96Z1 Silk Ceramic Elliptical Waving Wand
- Best Curling Wand for Short Hair: Herstyler Baby Curls Mini Curling Wand
- Best Rotating Curling Wand: Kiss Products Instawave Automatic Hair Curler
**Below are our more detailed reviews. Click the links above to see current prices or read customer reviews on Amazon.
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The Difference Between Curling Irons and Wands?
These two styling tools may look alike and achieve similar results. But there are a few differences between them that can change the way you do your hair.
The first difference between these two styling tools is the clasp. When using a curling iron, you place the tip of your hair in the clasp to hold it in place while you roll it. You hold curling irons with the tip up and the cord down. Though there are different sizes of the iron barrels, the finished look is always the same. A polished ringlet is the only type of curl you can make with this type of styling tool.
A curling wand is more versatile than a curling iron. Depending on the barrel size, you can make tight or loose ringlets. But you can also use it to make beachy waves in your hair. There are even tapered barrels for loose waves at the top and smaller ones at the bottom, or vice versa. The way you use the curling wand is the opposite of the iron, with the tip down and the handle up. There is no clasp to hold the tip of your hair, so you must use your fingers to do so. Then you wind your hair around it, with the tip down and the cord on top.
Types of Curling Wands
These have a straight barrel and come in a variety of sizes. Which you choose will depend on the tightness of the curl you want. But they don’t just make curls. Used properly, you can make large or small waves with this type of barrel as well.
There are two types of tapered barrels on these curling wands. The cone-shaped ones are thicker near the handle and thinner at the tip. The reverse cones have the thicker tip and are thinner where they meet the handle. The hair around the thick parts will have larger curls. Smaller curls will come from the thinner areas. This creates varying waves throughout your hair.
The hourglass barrel is shaped as its name suggests. The areas near the barrel and the tip are both wider, while the middle of the barrel is smaller. You can create a wide variety of curls with this barrel. It can also be used to add some volume to limp, flat hair.
These wands may look a little strange when you first see them. The barrel has a few rounded “bubbles” along the length of it, with thinner valleys between each one. They can create natural-looking waves or playful, bouncy curls. Longer hair works best with this type of styler.
Unlike the other curling wands, this one may have a clip or some other way to hold the hair near the handle. With the touch of a button, the barrel rotates, winding the hair around it until you stop it. These are a bit easier to use than the others since they give you complete control with less risk of burns.
With the different barrel, sizes come different curls. Thinner barrels can create tight ringlets or small waves. Thicker barrels make large curls or looser waves. The size of the barrel can also determine which hair type to use them on. Small barrels are good for all hair types. But the larger barrels may not be able to curl short hair properly. These are best suited to those with medium to long hair.
Other Features to Look for in a Curling Wand
Along with the proper barrel, there are also a few other features to keep your eye out for. This will help you choose the best quality curling wand to meet your needs.
You should never have to wait long for your curling wand to heat up. Immediate heat is the best option, but a few minutes of heating time is normal. You also want to make sure it will maintain its temperature throughout your styling. This will ensure even heating and consistent curls.
Heating Plate Materials
Ceramic or tourmaline heating plates are high quality and fast heating. The tourmaline combines ionic and infrared heat, which is great for silky curls. Both ceramic and tourmaline heat quickly without damaging your hair while in use. You can even find a curling wand that combines these two technologies into one amazing tool. These types of curling wands can be a bit expensive. If you are on a budget, there are also metal heating plates that can still give you the style you want.
Some wands come with multiple heat settings. This can be useful when curling different parts of your hair, such as your bangs or ends. Some hair types can benefit from different heat settings as well. For instance, fine or color-treated hair would suffer less damage with lower heat. Thicker hair would need higher heat to maintain a curl. Some wands have two or three heat settings, while others have as many as twenty.
A longer cord is easier to work with than a shorter one. It gives you more room to stretch your arms, so you aren’t bending awkwardly when working on your wand. Swivel cords are also essential since this will eliminate any twisting.
Though not necessary, they can come in handy if you like to switch from tight ringlets to loose beachy waves. Some models come with different barrel sizes, plus tapered and bubble barrels as well.
Some wands include a glove to keep your fingers safe. These can be cover your whole hand or just a few fingers.
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How to Use a Curling Wand
- Step 1: Hold the curling wand in your right hand, with the cord up.
- Step 2: Take a small 1-inch piece of hair in your free hand. Wrap it around the wand, away from your face. Start winding at the top and finish near the tip of your hair. Be careful you don’t touch the wand.
- Step 3: Hold for a few seconds, then release the tip of your hair. Pull the wand up and out of your hair. Repeat these steps on this side of your head.
- Step 4: When the first side is finished, transfer the wand to the other hand. Continue curling on the second side.
- Step 5: Add some flexible hold hairspray. Then style however you want, or leave your curls loose.
Best Curling Wands on the Market
Overall Best Curling Wand: Homitt 5 in 1 Curling Wand Set
You can have a new style every day of the week with this Homitt curling wand set. It comes with 5 interchangeable barrels. These range from the tiny 0.35 – 0.71″ tapered barrel to the largest 1.25″ straight one. They can be easily swapped out when needed and lock in place on the handle. The wands have a durable PTC+ ceramic coating, with a PET handle. There are 2 heat settings to choose from, both of which heat up in under a minute. A LED light tells you when the curler is on, and the cord rotates a full 360 degrees. A heat protective glove is also included to keep your fingers safe.
- It comes with 5 barrels, including straight and tapered of different sizes
- The wand is dual-voltage, which makes it a good travel option
- This wand set is perfect for use on any hair type and length
- It is decently priced at about $30.00
- It heats up quickly, reducing your styling time
- The barrels are easy to change and lock in place
- The included glove is a bit thin and doesn’t offer much heat protection
Best Drugstore Curling Wand: Infiniti Pro by Conair Tourmaline Ceramic Curling Wand
The Conair Infiniti Pro uses tourmaline ceramic technology on the barrel. This allows you to create beautiful curls without the static and frizz. It also protects your hair from any heat damage, even at the highest temperature setting. There are five settings to choose from, meeting the needs of all hair types and thicknesses. The barrel is also tapered, with a 1-inch base and 1/2-inch tip. This gives you a few different curl options, from wider waves to tight spirals. Included with the wand is a small 3-finger glove for extra protection from burns. A LED indicator light comes on when the wand is on, and there is an automatic shutoff for the forgetful type.
- At about $15.00, it is a great option for those on a budget
- The swivel cord is professional length
- It heats up in about 30 seconds, saving you time
- The multiple heat settings make it a good choice for all hair types
- The small glove doesn’t offer much protection and is a bit thin. It also only has padding on one side, so can’t be used by left-handed people
- It is not dual-voltage
Best Salon Curling Wand: HSI Professional Groover 1” Tapered Curling Wand
The HSI Professional Groover ionic ceramic tourmaline coating on the barrel of this wand adds shine to your hair while you style. It uses eight Heat Balance micro-sensors that regulate the temperature for even heating. It heats up in a matter of seconds, so there is no waiting when you’re ready to style. A digital LCD display on the handle shows you which of the 15 heat settings you’re using. These settings range from a low 170 degrees to the highest at 450 degrees. Included with the curling wand is a heat protective glove for safe fingers. As a bonus, a small 5ml bottle of Argan oil leave-in treatment comes with the wand.
- The tapered barrel gives you multiple curl options
- It is dual-voltage, so can be used for traveling
- It heats up quickly, which is great when you’re in a rush
- This wand makes salon-quality curls that last all day, without the need for heavy hair products
- It has a long, swivel cord
- With 15 heat setting, you can use this for any hair type or length, even if it’s color-treated
- This wand is quite expensive at over $65.00
Best Dual-Voltage Curling Wand: Xtava Twirl Curling Wand
When you love to travel, you need a styling wand that will work wherever you are. The Xtava Twirl can meet these needs, thanks to its universal dual-voltage capability. It shifts automatically from 110V to 240V when plugged into a compatible adapter. It also comes with a handy zippered travel case, which also has room for its heat-resistant glove. This wand has a tapered, ceramic tourmaline barrel, which protects from heat damage. An LCD digital display shows which of the 22 temperature settings you’re on. If you want to switch, there are simple controls for scrolling through to the one you want. Other handy features include a swivel cord, automatic shut-off, and a cool tip for more control.
- This digital ceramic curling wand has a budget-friendly price
- It includes a travel case and heat-resistant glove
- It is safe enough to use on dry, damaged hair
- The cord is quite long at 8’10”
- The glove combined with the cool tip keeps your hands free from burns
- The barrel is thin, so can only make tighter curls
- The button placement could make it possible to press them accidentally while styling
Best Curling Wand for Fine Hair: Jose Eber 25mm Black Curling Wand
This Jose Eber lightweight, clipless curling iron has a 25mm tourmaline-ceramic coated barrel. Ceramic heating elements inside heat up quickly and maintain it during use. This will ensure consistent curls over your entire head. The handle is smooth and comfortable, with a swivel cord on the end to reduce tangling. Since fine hair tends to fall flat, this handy wand can also add some much-needed volume and texture. Best of all, it won’t take long to achieve your style, since it only takes seconds for the curl to set. Included with the curling wand it a protective glove, so your fingers will be as safe from the heat as your hair is.
- This wand is easy to use
- It curls fine hair fast and holds the curls throughout the day
- This curler will also work well with other hair types
- The swivel cord keeps it from tangling
- There is only one heat setting
- It is a bit expensive at over $40.00
- There is no stand to lean it on. A pad or other protector will be needed to reduce damage to the surface you place it on
Best Curling Wand for Thick Hair: Remington CI96Z1 Silk Ceramic Elliptical Waving Wand
If you prefer a big, silky wave to a tight curl, try out the elliptical-shaped barrel on this Remington curling wand. It’s coated with protein-infused ceramic that heats evenly while preventing static and frizz. The high 410-degree heat will penetrate your thick hair, creating gorgeous curls. There are also two lower heat settings, just in case you need them. The digital display shows which of the three settings you’re on, as well as the current temperature. There’s no waiting when you’re in a rush because this wand heats up 30 seconds. And if you rush out without turning it off, there is a 60-minute automatic shutoff. A heat-resistant glove keeps your hands and fingers safe from burns.
- This wand is decently priced below $25.00
- It works great for thick hair but can be used for fine or medium hair as well
- It has an auto-shutoff, so there is no risk of electrical fire
- Though the elliptical shape makes great waves, it may not make spiral curls
- Because of the high heat, it may be necessary to use heat protection spray before using it
Best Curling Wand for Short Hair: Herstyler Baby Curls Mini Curling Wand
The Herstyler slim 9/18 mm ceramic barrel can create slim curls or large beachy waves, depending on how you wind your hair. It uses negative ion technology to increase the shine while smoothing out the frizz. The clipless design reduces pulling and damage to your ends. With the touch of a button, this wand heats up fast to 400 degrees. For the lady who loves to travel, this wand is dual-voltage, so it can fly with you anywhere. It is also light, so it won’t add too much weight to your bags. You also won’t have to worry about tangled cords, since this one swivels a full 360 degrees.
- It comes with a heat-resistant glove for safe fingers
- It has a low, budget-friendly price
- The cord is long and swivels to reduce tangling
- It heats up fast and maintains an even temperature
- The thin barrel works well on short hair but can be used on medium or long hair as well
- This wand has only one temperature setting
- There is no auto-shutoff
- The high temperature may be too hot for fine, thin, damaged, or color-treated hair
Best Rotating Curling Wand: Kiss Products Instawave Automatic Hair Curler
A rotating wand can create pretty curls without straining your wrists. The Kiss Products wand even rotates in both directions. This means consistent curls even when you switch hands. The barrel uses diamond-ceramic ionic technology for shiny curls and frizzless waves. With two heat settings, you can use this on low for fine or damaged hair, or high for thicker hair. A maximum temperature of 420 degrees allows you to lock in those curls in a matter of seconds. With one button for the on/off and heat settings and another for the rotation, this styler can be mastered in no time. There is not even a need for a safety glove, though it does have an auto-shutoff for those who need one.
- Though not cheap, it has a decent price of about $37.00
- The rotating barrel makes it a good option for those with arthritis or other joint issues
- It heats up fast
- It has an auto-shutoff
- The barrel has a dual-rotation
- The small tabs may not grab short, fine, or thin hair very well
- It may take some time to learn to use this wand properly
Best Curling Wand Final Thoughts
No matter what type of hair you have, some days you just want to sport a few curls to enhance your natural beauty. Having a decent curling wand can help you achieve this look, with very little effort on your part. Every one of the wands reviewed here is a high-quality styling tool. But the best curling wand on our list is the Homitt 5 in 1 Curling Wand Set. Like many of the others, it has more than one temperature setting, fast heating, and a swivel cord. It also has a heat-resistant glove, like most of the others reviewed. It is made from ceramic materials for even heating and a frizz-free shine. But the main reason it ranks above the others is that it comes with 5 different barrels. This combination of straight and tapered barrels lets you create countless looks. It also means that no matter your hair type or style, there are a few barrels to choose from. Thanks for reading!
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