Oct. 25, 2021
Most of us don't wake up to perfect beach waves or curly hair, and that's where curling irons and curling irons come into play. But, depending on your hair goals, figuring out the differences between these similar-looking hair tools and how to decide between the two can be a little confusing.
Here's everything you need to know about curling irons and curling wands, including when to use them, the pros and cons of each and, of course, how to use either to curl long hair as well as short to medium hair.
A hair curler has a clip that holds the hair flat against the tool, creating curls that are usually polished, precise, and long-lasting.
Curling irons are best for anyone who wants defined, even curls across all hair lengths, types and textures.
Pros: The resulting curls tend to last longer than stick curls and curling irons are more versatile as they can be used as rods and/or straightening irons.
Curling wands, on the other hand, have no clips, so the hair is manually wound and wrapped around a hot barrel, which is then held in place with fingers. These wands or rods usually produce looser flat curls and beach waves because there is less tension in the curls than with traditional curling irons.
With a curling wand, you can start styling the middle strands of your hair rather than pressing the entire hair shaft into the same shape as you would with a curling tong. This means that hair styled with the wand retains more of its natural texture, especially at the ends, which makes it look effortlessly curly rather than super curly. In addition, because there are no clips, there is no risk of styling dents. This also makes the wand perfect for fine-tuning natural curl styles, as you can curl small sections or parts of your hair.
The Curling Wand is best for: anyone with medium length or longer hair looking for beach waves or anyone who wants to trim the curls for a natural curl.
Pros: Perfect for messy, unfinished waves with many hair textures. Also, as the hair is not caught on a hot barrel, the wand is less likely to damage the hair.
Part your hair into clean 2 inch sections and start styling from the front, holding the tool vertically and "pointing the tip of the wand downwards. Starting at the root, wrap the hair around the barrel, leaving about an inch of space at the end of the section that can be grasped with your fingers.
Hold for a few seconds, then pull the tool upwards to release the hair. For hair that does not hold curls well, allow the curls to set and cool in the palm of your hand before releasing.
Pro tip: "Practise curling with the hot tool off, this helps to reduce the technique before heat setting.
Fine hair: the most important thing is to protect your hair. "Use a curling iron or wand with digital temperature control to customize your look, experts recommend setting the temperature between 180ºF and 370ºF
Thick hair: first make sure your hair is 100% dry before curling to help prevent the curls from falling out. Then work on smaller, manageable sections and hold the section for a few extra seconds to ensure the hair is heated thoroughly and evenly. Experts say you can heat the tool from 400ºF to 420ºF on this hair type.
Short hair: To avoid overcutting it is recommended to use a "smaller tube size and work from the mid-pole to the end of the hair. Otherwise, curling from the ends will result in excessive curls and make the hair appear shorter. You can get a single wave by wrapping your hair around the barrel of the styling bar once (ideal for this length).
Long hair: If you have long hair, you'll want this process to be as quick as possible. To do this, loosen the ponytail and trim the curls where needed. Another pro tip: hold the barrel of the iron vertically. This helps create longer-lasting, bouncy curls!
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