11 Best Curling Irons & Curling Wands for Any Type of Hair
If you don’t have naturally curly hair, you may feel envious of beauties who boast smooth, wavy locks or perfect ringlets. Don’t let it put a dent in your self-esteem; you have access to a secret weapon. Curling irons and curling wands are designed to give you the look you desire, and the technology used to make them seems to get better every year.
With help from a the right curling iron or wand, you too can have flirty curls and glamorous waves, but with so many brands and models on the market, it can be difficult to find a starting point. Don’t worry; here’s everything you need to know.
Table of Contents
- 1 11 Best Curling Wands and Curling Irons: Quick Comparison
- 2 Difference between Curling Wands and Curling Irons
- 3 Types of Curling Irons and Curling Wands
- 4 Know more about Curling Iron Barrels – Sizes & Use
- 5 How to curl your hair with a Curling Iron? Step-by-step Instructions
- 6 How to curl your hair with a Curling Wand? Step-by-step Instructions
- 7 Reviews of Top Rated Curling Irons & Curling Wands in 2016
- 7.1 Remington CI9538 T Ceramic Curling Wand
- 7.2 Hot Tools Professional 1110 Curling Iron
- 7.3 Xtava Five-in-One Satin Wave Curler and Wand Set
- 7.4 Infiniti Pro by Conair Tourmaline Ceramic Curling Wand
- 7.5 Bed Head BH318 Curlipops 1″ Curling Wand
- 7.6 Revlon Bold Expressions Flipperless Curling Wand
- 7.7 Infiniti Pro by Conair Nano Tourmaline 1 1/2 Inch Curling Iron
- 7.8 BaBylissPRO Nano Titanium Spring Curling Iron
- 7.9 InStyler Max Two-Way Rotating Iron
- 7.10 Conair Instant Heat Curling Iron
- 7.11 Cortex Four-in-One Pro Ceramic Clipless Curling Iron Set
- 8 A Final Tip: Put Safety First
11 Best Curling Wands and Curling Irons: Quick Comparison
=> Scroll down to read detailed review of each product.
Difference between Curling Wands and Curling Irons
Curling irons and curling wands both use direct heat to create curls and waves, but they work in slightly different ways. A traditional curling iron features a clasp that holds the ends of your hair in place while you wind it around the heated barrel. A curling iron is a better choice if you need more versatility or want to create tight, polished curls or ringlets.
Here are a few common features of curling irons:
- Variable barrel sizes
- Tourmaline, ceramic, titanium or gold heating plate materials
- Easy-release clamps
- Variable heat settings
- Interchangeable barrels
- Automatic shut-off
A curling wand doesn’t have a built-in clasp to hold your hair in place, so you must manually wrap hair along the length of the tapered wand. Curling wands heat very quickly and reach extremely high temperatures, so they work faster but dry out your hair more easily. Wands are better for increasing volume and producing soft, loose waves rather than tight ringlets.
You’ll likely encounter the following features while researching curling wands:
- A tapered or conical barrel to help waves stay in longer
- Heat-resistant styling gloves to help prevent burns
- Technologies to increase glide
- Tourmaline, ceramic or titanium heating plates
- Cool wand tip
- Variable heat settings
Types of Curling Irons and Curling Wands
Before deciding on a type of curling appliance, it’s important to consider how various curling irons and wands will affect your hair type. Everyone’s hair is unique, so sometimes it requires a little trial and error to find the perfect styling tool. However, the following tips can help guide you in the right direction.
- Fine hair curls with less heat than other hair types, so a curling iron or wand with variable heat settings is the best choice. Because it holds curl easily, you can use the barrel size that best corresponds to the type of curls you want to create. A tapered curling wand offers more versatility, but be sure that it doesn’t overheat or burn your hair. Tourmaline and ceramic models provide more even heat distribution and protection from heat damage.
- Thick hair can be more difficult to manage, especially if it’s also long. A curling wand with a large barrel size can help add waves without creating a kinky mess. Choosing a model with wide paddles and higher heat options help ensure that the appliance administers even heat through to the roots.
- If you have long hair, a curling wand that produces loose, soft waves may help you create your best looks. You may even find that it’s easier to wrap your hair along the tapered barrel than to wind it up in a curling iron. If you’re seeking tighter curls or your hair has layers of varying lengths, a curling iron with a medium or large barrel may offer more versatility.
- For short hair, choose a curling iron or wand with a smaller diameter or barrel size, and style your hair in small sections. Using a smaller barrel can help keep curls in proportion and reduce the risk of burns.
- If you have frizzy or naturally curly hair, you may want to opt for a tool that can straighten or smooth hair in addition to curling it. Consider a large-barrel curling wand or a curling iron with a rotating barrel.
- Damaged or colored hair is delicate. Protect your hair from further assault by limiting the amount of heat that it receives from your styling tools. Choose a ceramic curling iron with lower heat settings; keeping the temperature under 200 degrees Fahrenheit will keep damaged and colored hair looking healthy.
Know more about Curling Iron Barrels – Sizes & Use
Unlike a tapered curling wand barrel, a curling iron barrel is usually uniform in diameter. Larger barrels create larger, looser curls while smaller ones create tight curls. Your ideal barrel size depends on the type of curls you desire and the length of your hair. Here is a general guide to using different barrel diameters.
- A three-quarter-inch barrel creates tight, firm curls or ringlets.
- A half-inch barrel is ideal for medium curls or waves and is often considered a universal size.
- One-inch barrels produce full, soft waves and lift roots to increase volume.
- One and one-fourth-inch barrels create large, loose natural waves and beachy looks.
- One-and-one-half-inch barrels are ideal for creating soft waves in longer hair.
- Two and three-inch barrels are used for creating very loose curls and waves in long hair.
How to curl your hair with a Curling Iron? Step-by-step Instructions
Step 1: Start with hair that is dry and straight.
Step 2: Gather your supplies, and apply styling products or heat protectants.
Step 3: Turn on your curling iron, and choose a heat setting if applicable. Allow it to reach its maximum temperature. Be sure that you don’t place your curling iron near water or on any material that could be damaged by extreme heat.
Step 4: Hold your curling iron in one hand, and gather a small section of your hair in your other hand. Place the end of your hair beneath the clasp, and rotate the barrel to wind the hair around it from the bottom of the hair strand to your scalp.
Step 5: Unwind your hair and release the clasp when your curl is complete. The length of time it takes for your hair to curl will depend on the heat setting of your curling iron and your hair’s length and texture.
Step 6: If the curl is too tight, flip your head forward and loosen it with your fingers.
Step 7: Repeat the process with more sections of your hair until you have covered all targeted areas and are satisfied with the amount of curl you have produced.
Step 8: Use hairspray in moderation to set your curls.
How to curl your hair with a Curling Wand? Step-by-step Instructions
Step 1: Prepare your dry hair by brushing out any tangles and applying heat protectant.
Step 2: Plug in your curling wand, and select your heat setting. To minimize heat damage and protect your hair, use the lowest effective setting. Because wands heat quickly and reach high temperatures, be sure to avoid accidentally touching the wand while it’s preheating. Don’t place it near water or on surfaces that are vulnerable to heat damage.
Step 3: If desired, put on your heat-resistant glove to prevent skin burns; it should be worn on the hand that you’ll be using to wrap your hair around the wand.
Step 4: Take a small section of hair and wrap it around the heated wand starting at the base. Curl your hair away from your face.
Step 5: To create relaxed curls, keep the strand flat. For spirals, twist the hair as you wrap.
Step 6: Allow your hair to remain on the wand for about three to five seconds but no longer than 10 seconds.
Step 8: Release the hair, and allow the curl to cool.
Step 9: Repeat the process until you have finished curling all sections of your hair as desired.
Step 10: Set your curls with hairspray, or keep them loose for a natural look.
Reviews of Top Rated Curling Irons & Curling Wands in 2016
To take some of the guesswork out of choosing the best curling irons and wands, here are our top 11 picks based on features, popularity and quality performance.
Remington CI9538 T Ceramic Curling Wand
Popular for its great price and its versatility, the Remington CI9538 T is an excellent curling wand for both experienced users and beginners. It features an advanced ceramic wand infused with genuine pearl; this unusual trait produces an intensely smooth glide that leaves hair lustrous and silky. It also features digital controls, a cone-shaped wand surface and 410-degree Fahrenheit heat capacity.
Safety features include a heat-resistant styling glove and a 60-minute automatic shut-off feature. You can easily create multiple curl types and sizes with its tapered barrel that varies from one to one-and-a-half inches in diameter.
Hot Tools Professional 1110 Curling Iron
Hot Tools Professional 1110 Iron boasts a 24K gold-plated barrel that has an extra-long tip, a soft-grip handle and the ability to memorize your favorite heat settings. While it claims to be appropriate for all hair types, its ability to reach 428-degrees Fahrenheit might be a little too risky for damaged hair. Fortunately, it has multiple settings, and the low one seems to be fairly safe.
In case something goes wrong with the clamp, it comes with extra springs. If you’re looking for a classic design with today’s best technology, this model is worth your consideration.
Xtava Five-in-One Satin Wave Curler and Wand Set
If you can’t decide between a curling iron and a curling wand, the Xtava Five-in-One Curler and Wand set can give you both. The professional-grade salon tool has five interchangeable ceramic tourmaline barrels in a variety of sizes. It has an attachment for every hair type and length, and its rapid heating technology allows you to switch between barrels quickly.
Despite all of its impressive versatility, the Xtava set has one flaw; it only has one temperature setting. If your hair can’t tolerate 410 degrees Fahrenheit, you’re out of luck. However, if high heat settings are your preferred choice, it has everything else that you need.
Infiniti Pro by Conair Tourmaline Ceramic Curling Wand
Conair’s Infiniti Pro Ceramic Curling Wand is a clamp-free tool that makes perfect curls with no kinks or ridges. Tourmaline ceramic heating minimizes hair damage while still providing 400 degrees of heated curling power. The model is part of an as-seen-on-TV campaign, and it appears to have picked up quite a few fans.
With its promises to eliminate heat distribution problems and reduce frizz and its attractive design, it manages to fulfill both performance and ergonomic requirements at a decent price. The model is backed by a five-year warranty.
Bed Head BH318 Curlipops 1″ Curling Wand
Bed Head’s Curlipops has more than just a cute name. The one-inch tapered wand boasts tourmaline ceramic technology to provide even heating and protect hair while it creates frizz-free, voluminous curls that are loose at the top and tight at the bottom. It comes with a heat-resistant glove, a tangle-free cord and even a styling guide.
Its adorable pink design makes it irresistible to younger users. The wand heats up quickly, and while some users aren’t impressed by the safety glove, the wand’s consistent performance and ability to make excellent spirals more than makes up for the slight oversight.
Revlon Bold Expressions Flipperless Curling Wand
Revlon, a longtime player in the hair care field, offers a powerful curling wand that has every feature that you need for successful styling. Its ceramic technology provides even heat while its automatic shut-off feature and heat-resistant glove ensure safety. Multiple heat settings give users total control over their level of curl and their heat damage risk.
The model gains special favor with long-haired users, who claim that it’s relatively easy to wrap long and thick hair around its tapered barrel. Although the tip stays beautifully cool, some warn that this wand can get extremely hot when used at its higher settings.
Infiniti Pro by Conair Nano Tourmaline 1 1/2 Inch Curling Iron
With the Infiniti Pro, hair industry giant Conair uses tourmaline ceramic heating quality and nanotechnology to eliminate uneven heating and reduce static, frizz and heat damage. Users love its five heat settings and its extra-smooth, universally useful one-and-a-half-inch barrel. It heats up in 30 seconds and has LED temperature settings to verify safe use.
The model comes with an auto shut-off feature and a protective heat shield for storage. One small complaint has surfaced among users. The power button is in an unusual spot, and it’s easy to shut the appliance off accidentally.
BaBylissPRO Nano Titanium Spring Curling Iron
BaBylissPro’s Nano Titanium Spring Curling Iron produces impressive, salon-quality results, but new users can expect far more than smooth curls and even heat distribution. This model is known for its impressive ergonomic value. Its lightweight, easy-to-hold design reduces tension and strain in the arms, wrists hands and shoulders even during prolonged use.
If you like to spend lots of time on your hair, this curling iron will make it less painful and provide great curls too. As a bonus, it has a cord that swivels 360 degrees for excellent maneuverability.
InStyler Max Two-Way Rotating Iron
The InStyler brand is another wonder that you may have seen on television. If you’re familiar with the original product, you may know that it only rotated in one direction. The new InStyler Max can also work in reverse, offering increased versatility in a product that already fills the roles of both a hair curler and a straightener.
The black tourmaline barrel smooths and polishes hair for sleek, straight designs. With a simple rotation of your wrist, it becomes a curling iron that produces big, bouncy waves and tons of volume. Many users claim that it’s the only product that they really need in their hair styling arsenal.
Conair Instant Heat Curling Iron
If you’re looking for the ultimate in heat control, the Conair Instant Heat Curling Iron may be your ideal styling tool. It offers 25 temperature settings to accommodate all hair types and curling needs. Although it boasts classic functionality, it also has modern European styling and technological perks like dual voltage and electronic touchpad controls.
With its 60-second heat-up feature, you can style your hair with no waiting, and its non-slip handle and tangle-free swivel cord keep your focus on your curls and not your hands.
Cortex Four-in-One Pro Ceramic Clipless Curling Iron Set
The second multi-attachment curling iron set on our list comes from Cortex. Unlike the Xtava set, this one does have variable temperature control. It also has a programmable shut-off feature, ceramic and tourmaline technology, far-infrared technology and ionic technology.
Fans of the set love its versatility, its advanced design, its consistent heat distribution and its reliable curling power. Although it’s listed as a curling iron set, the clipless design of the heads makes them seem more like curling wands. The set includes a manufacturer’s warranty and a heat-resistant safety glove.
A Final Tip: Put Safety First
Whether you choose a curling iron or a curling wand, remember that it’s an electrical appliance that gets very hot and could be a potential fire or burn hazard. Be sure to keep your hands away from the barrel or use a safety glove.
Always unplug the device when you’re finished using it. Never use a heat styling tool with melted or discolored plastic parts or damaged wires, and keep your tools away from kids and pets.