Hair Tips

Curling Iron vs. Curling Wand – Pros and Cons

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Adding curls to your hair is a lot easier than it used to be. There are so many different styling tools that can be used. Two of the most popular of which are the curling iron and curling wand. Although these appear to be similar, they can produce different results. Those new to styling tools such as these may not always know the difference between these two. Here’s the lowdown on the advantages and disadvantages of curling irons and curling wands to help you figure out which is better to use. In any case, you can always visit a salon near you such as Ulta Salon and they can help you select the best tool for curling your hair.

The Curling Iron

The more traditional tool of the two, a curling iron is distinguishable through its uniform sized barrel and metal clip which holds the hair down. Since this styling tool came around many women have relied on it for a good number of reasons.


  1. Variety – While it may seem like all curling irons are the same, there are many different variations available. Rotating irons and spiraling irons are just some examples.
  2. Barrel and Curl Size – There are also a wide variety of barrel sizes available for these. Smaller barrels will give way to tight ringlets, while larger barrels will create large curls or waves.
  3. Interchangeable Barrels – Some curling irons feature interchangeable barrels so there is no need to buy several different irons. This is a good investment for women who want to change the curl size often
  4. Outcome – Curling irons don’t just provide you with curls. It also makes these shiny and smooth. Women with frizzy hair can also help tame their unruly locks with this since hair tends to smooth out.
  5. Price – Even with newer models that are made with tourmaline and ceramic barrels, curling irons are always the more affordable option between the two styling tools.

Of course, there are also disadvantage to using a curling iron.


  1. Heating Time – Both old and new curling iron varieties need ample time to heat up. Once plugged in, this tool can take anywhere from three to ten minutes to heat up before it can be used. Some irons also need time to heat up again in between use.
  2. Heat Control – Depending on the type of curling iron that you have it can be difficult to control the amount of heat that it has. Older types do not normally have any heat control settings and users simply have to figure out when it is ready to use or not. Newer models on the other hand may have settings for various heat levels and an indicator as well.
  3. Kinks – The clip which holds the hair in place can put a lot of pressure on the strands and leave an indentation. This can be very obvious and stays as long as the curls do. What’s more is that there is no way to adjust the tightness of the clip on the barrel.
  4. Flatter Curls – With a uniform sized barrel, it can be hard to create curls that are close to the roots of the hair. As a result of this curls made with an iron tend to be a bit flatter because there is no volume provided by the roots.

The Curling Wand

A newer device, that is similar in nature and appearance to the iron, is the curling wand. This differs from an iron because it does not have a clamp to hold hair down. At the same time, as the name implies, its barrel tapers at the ending making it look like a wand.


  1. Barrel Size – just like irons, curling wands come in different sizes to allow different sized curls.
  2. Heating Time – Most curling wands do not require any pre-heating. These can be used almost immediately after being plugged in making it a quick and effective way to style hair. These also come with various heat settings to help control the temperature.
  3. No Clamps – One of the biggest selling points of this is that it does not clamp down hair. The curls that result do not have any kinks and tend to look more natural because of this.
  4. Volume – Having a tapered barrel, curling wands make it easier to hold the wand closer to the roots of the hair producing more volume.
  5. Longer Setting – Thanks to the amount of heat wands have, these tend to set hair better and make curls last longer.


  1. Price – Curling wands are generally more expensive than irons, although there are some affordable ones.
  2. Hair Length – Without a clamp curling short or layered hair is more difficult with this tool. It is better suited for longer strands that can be easily held.
  3. Burns – if you do not use gloves it can be easy to burn your fingers on the barrel when holding your hair against it.

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