Curling wand purchasing advice: how to choose the right product

  • What you need to know
  • A curling wand makes curling easy and quick.
  • Depending on the model, large and small curls or waves are possible.
  • When buying a curling iron, it is important to consider aspects such as the ceramic coating, the length of the wand and the automatic switch-off.
  • Depending on the hair type, different temperature settings are suitable.

From straight hair to curly splendour

Since ancient times, curls have been a sign of beauty and femininity. Even today, they are exciting and fashionable. They add volume. However, only very few people have natural curls, most have straight hair. There are various tools that can help you achieve curly hair without having to visit a hairdresser. The curling wand is a particularly quick and effective option that enjoys great popularity.

What is a curling wand?

A curling wand is an elongated, electronic device that uses heat to curl strands into a curly shape. It usually has a power cable and therefore needs a power socket to operate. However, there are now also cordless appliances that work with a rechargeable battery. Curling wands are larger than curlers, but overall quite handy. They have a long handle from which a coated rod extends. This is heated by electricity from the inside. Some devices are equipped with a lever or a clamp that ensures that the strand does not slip.

curling iron application on blonde hair

An alternative is a straightening iron. Contrary to what you might expect, you can not only straighten your hair, but also curl it.

Curling wands through the ages

The curling wand dates back to Roman antiquity. At that time it was made of metal and was heated in a clay pot in the oven. Today’s curling wand was designed by the Parisian hairdresser Marcel Grateau. His version was heated in the fire. However, as the heat could not be controlled, burns were frequent.

Fancy hairstyles – The advantages of a curling wand

A curling wand is capable of transforming even the smoothest strands into beautiful curls. Not only corkscrew curls are possible, but many other hairstyles. Whether for a wedding, a date or simply a party: with a curling wand you can conjure up the right hairstyle for any occasion. Those who don’t have a lot of time will also benefit, as the process is much faster with a curling wand than with a straightener, curlers or papillotes. If you can’t make it at home in terms of time, you can also style your hair elsewhere, provided there is a power socket there. So a last-minute hairstyle is just as possible in the office as in your own four walls. The curling wand is also suitable for travelling; you can even take it with you in your hand luggage on the plane. However, as many countries have different sockets, you often need to take an adapter plug with you.

Since many curling wands are neither particularly large nor particularly heavy, transporting them is not a problem. Most devices are easy to use thanks to the manual. With time or a little practice, hairdressing becomes easier. A curling wand is not only suitable for women – men now also use the device for their hair.

The right model for every hairstyle

Not all curling wands are the same. Accordingly, not every device is suitable for all hairstyles. In addition to the classic curling wand, there are other variants such as the double curling wand, the pearl curling wand or the automatic version, the curler. For waves, a crepe iron or a wave iron is a good choice.

classic curling wand

The classic curling wand

The most common appliance is the simple curling wand. It has an exposed heating bulb around which the strands can be wrapped. This involves a certain amount of effort and therefore also a time investment for the user, who has to untwist each strand individually, let it warm up and unwind it again. Depending on the device and application, a wide variety of curl types can be achieved.

double curling wand

The double curling wand

This version of the curling wand consists not of one but of two heating pistons side by side, connected by the handle. Such a wand offers multiple possibilities. For particularly graceful curls, users can also use only one of the two pistons. Unlike a normal curling wand, a double one allows the hair to be coiled in the shape of a figure eight, which creates uneven curls. However, since it has two exposed heating rods, the risk of burning is very high.

pearl curling iron

The pearl curling iron

Another special variant is the pearl curling iron or bubble curling iron. It got its name from the shape of the heating plunger, to which soap bubble-like balls are attached at even intervals. This makes it possible to vary the shape and size of the curls in many ways. The strands of hair can be wrapped loosely and tightly around the wand in irregular patterns. This creates a particularly natural look.


The curler

The automatic version of the curler is the so-called curler or auto-curler. Instead of the classic heating plunger, there is a mechanism at the end of the handle that automatically pulls in the strands. They are heated inside, shaped and released as finished curls. Since the hot part of the device is not exposed, the risk of burns is much lower than with manual curling wands.

creping iron

The creping iron

For small waves, there is the so-called crepe iron, which has enjoyed increasing popularity since the 90s. It looks similar to a straightening iron because, unlike a curling wand, it does not have a round heating piston. Instead, the strands of hair are pressed between two wavy heating plates, which creates the crepe look. The small waves are also called the crimping look.

wave iron

The wave iron

The more versatile counterpart to the crepe iron is the wave iron. Not only is it almost identical in appearance and function, but it also has similar wavy heating plates. The crucial difference is that they are larger and more multi-faceted on this tool. This means that a waving iron, unlike a crepe iron, can produce a wide variety of waves, depending on the shape and structure of the heating plates.

Buying the right curling wand – how to make your decision

The fact that there are now so many curling wands on the market makes the purchase decision immensely difficult. The following aspects should be considered when making your choice.


Since curling wands only work with heat, the temperature setting is very important. Too little heat will not hold the curls or waves, but too much heat can damage the hair. Most curling wands offer one or more temperature settings to regulate the heat. Depending on the appliance, you can choose between three levels (easy, medium, high) or precise degrees. More temperature levels give you more versatile options. For a better overview, some appliances have LC display indicators. They allow you to set and monitor the temperature of the heating element individually.


If your hair has split ends, you should not use a curling wand as it will break. The temperature should not exceed 200 degrees Celsius.


Safety should never be neglected with a curling wand – after all, it is an electronic device that gets very hot. An automatic switch-off is practical. It ensures that the appliance switches itself off after 30 to 60 minutes of non-use. This prevents it from getting too hot and starting to burn. The automatic switch-off also saves electricity.

curling iron application on blonde hair

If the tip is made with a cool, heat-resistant material, called a cool-tip, you can touch the appliance while styling without burning yourself. Some curling wand sets also include a heat-resistant glove. This prevents burns because it protects your hand when touching the curling wand. Nevertheless, you should never touch the appliance for more than three seconds. The glove is made of synthetic fibres and is therefore very stretchy. Therefore, not only large and small hands, but also right- and left-handed people can put it on equally.


To ensure that your hair is treated as gently as possible, it is important to have a high-quality coating on the heating element. In the past, the wand was only made of metal, but today it is usually coated with a ceramic coating in combination with tourmaline, Teflon or titanium. These materials ensure that the hair remains supple, has more shine and does not dry out so quickly. Versions with tourmaline are also antistatic; this prevents the hair from being electrified. The coating of most models is at least partly made of ceramic. With ceramic-coated curling wands, the heat is distributed particularly well, making the curls even. Ceramic also has the advantage of being particularly smooth, durable and scratch-resistant.


Curling wands can have between 30 and 500 watts. However, a higher value does not necessarily mean that the appliance can get hotter. In addition, a lower wattage is more energy-saving. So if this criterion is important to you, go for a device with less than 200 watts. However, energy-saving curling wands are usually more expensive than those with high wattages. The most important thing is how quickly the curling wand is ready for use. You should make sure that the heating time does not exceed three minutes, but this is now standard for curling wands. Good devices need between 30 and 60 seconds, professional versions even less than 30 seconds.


A classic curling wand can have different shapes. Besides the bead shape mentioned above, it is either cylindrical or conical. A cylindrical curling wand ensures even curls. In a conical model, the heating element is cone-shaped, i.e. pointed. This shape is popular because it makes spiral curls possible. Such curls look particularly natural.


Curling wands come in different sizes that are suitable for different hair lengths and curl types. The diameter of the wand is particularly relevant. It is between 10 millimetres and 38 millimetres. First of all, you should make the length of the wand dependent on the length of your hair. For short hair, a thin curling wand is more suitable; for medium-length hair, a somewhat thicker wand may be more suitable. For long hair, a long curling wand is usually recommended, as otherwise not all the hair will be captured and the process will take a long time.

various curling wand models

The general rule for creating curls is: the thinner the wand, the smaller the curls. Therefore, you should think about what kind of curls you want and choose a curling wand with the appropriate diameter.

If you want different types of curls, it is advisable to buy a set that contains several curling iron attachments with different diameters. These sets are usually a little more expensive than a single curling wand, but they offer much more variety. Especially with automatic curling wands, the attachment should be interchangeable, otherwise you will only get one type of curl.

Additional features

In addition to important safety functions, some appliances offer other useful features. A time function with an acoustic signal lets you know when to remove the strands from the curling wand. This prevents the hair from overheating or burning. Some models also offer a key lock that prevents the settings from being changed unintentionally or the appliance from being switched off accidentally during the process. This is particularly practical for households with children. If you want to be particularly gentle on your hair, go for a curling wand with a steam function. This prevents the hair from becoming dry and brittle so quickly. However, most appliances with this function are only suitable for one type of curl and are very expensive. Therefore, the purchase is only worthwhile if the gentle process is particularly important to you and you can do without curl variety.


To ensure that the process is not too complicated and strenuous, the cable should not be too short. With a longer cable, you have more freedom of movement. Some devices even have a cable up to three metres long, so the socket can be a little further away. For extra freedom of movement, we recommend curling wands with a cable joint that can be rotated 360 degrees. That way they won’t get caught anywhere. Alternatively, you can use a battery curling wand, which does not need a power cable at all. However, you will have to charge it regularly and it is not yet very widespread on the market.

deposited curling wand


The curling wand should not be too heavy so that you don’t have to put it down all the time during the procedure and your arm doesn’t get a cramp. Ideally, the curling wand should weigh less than 400 grams. However, the weight specification is not on the package for all products. Reviews from the internet will help you here.

How much does a curling wand cost?

Curling wands come in different price ranges. Very inexpensive models are available for as little as ten euros, but their options are much more limited. Medium-priced curling wands usually cost up to about 50 euros, while automatic curlers start at this price and cost up to 150 euros. Professional models, such as those used by hairdressers, cost at least 150 euros. Basically, the more quality and features the device should have, the more money you have to spend.

How to style your hair properly

To avoid damaging your hair permanently and to make your curls last as long as possible, there are a few things you should keep in mind when styling with a curling wand. Preparation, procedure and hair care are important.

preparation-heat spray

The preparation

Before using the curling wand, the hair must be properly prepared. It is important that the hair is not freshly washed, because then it will be too straight and the curls will not hold. Ideally, you should use the curling wand the day after washing your hair. There are special heat sprays so that the heat does not damage the hair too much. These are simply sprayed onto dry hair. However, you should only use the curling wand when your hair is completely dry again.

media element procedure

The procedure

To contain the perfect curls, it is best to divide your hair into five centimetre thick strands. Pin the other strands of hair away with barrettes or hair clips divided into sections. Separate the top hair and pin it to the top of your head so that you can curl the bottom hair well first. If you have a curling wand with a clamp, it will help hold the strand of hair in place while curling. For natural curls, twist the strand towards the back of the head, away from the face.


How to keep your curls in place

After you have curled a strand of hair, you can pin it to your head when it is rolled up and let it dry. Hairspray or hair wax can also be used to give the hair a better hold, as they weigh it down. Spray hairspray on the hair from a distance of at least 20 centimetres. You can gently knead hair wax into the hair with your fingertips. However, do not use too much of either, otherwise the hair will stick together or become greasy. To prevent the curls from becoming too stringy, it is best to run a coarse-toothed comb or spread fingers through the hair.

media element application-by-hair-type

Application according to hair type

Depending on your hair type, you will need to adjust the temperature and application time. Coloured hair and hair extensions are sensitive and should be processed at no more than 170 degrees Celsius. Thin hair needs very little heat for curls, between 130 and 160 degrees. You should not expose all three hair types to heat for more than 15 seconds. Thicker hair is much more resistant, it can withstand temperatures between 170 and 200 degrees Celsius. You can also leave it in the curling wand for up to 30 seconds.

Does a curling wand damage the hair?

Whether the curling wand is harmful to the hair depends primarily on the hair structure. Thick hair generally tolerates the heat better than very thin or coloured hair. They should not come into contact with a curling wand on a daily basis, as the heat will cause the hair to become brittle. The curling wand is most harmful for hair that is already prone to split ends, brittle or dull. Basically, a curling wand is harmful for any type of hair in the long run if it is used too hot. Too close to the hairline, it can burn the scalp.

What the heat does to the hair

Although hair is dry on the outside, it contains moisture on the inside, which makes it malleable. The curling wand extracts the moisture using heat. This causes hydrogen bonds to form in the hair structure, which keep the hair in the curled shape. However, this is only effective as long as the hair is dry.

Can I curl without a curling wand?

While a curling wand is certainly practical, it is not the only option for curls. A heat-free alternative are curlers. These are usually made of plastic and must be twisted into the hair by hand. However, the strands of hair must be damp and the process takes a while. Curlers are available in different sizes and designs, for example, especially for the night. These thin foam pads are to be twisted into wet hair before going to bed and removed again the next morning. Meanwhile, there are even heated curlers.

How to clean your curling wand

Since the curling wand is subjected to a lot of strain, you need to clean it regularly. This is the only way it will last long and serve you well. For cleaning, it is first important that it is no longer connected to the power supply. Only when the wand has cooled down completely can you clean it. Loose hairs can easily be removed by hand. You should wipe the heating element with a cloth and warm water. However, never hold the wand under running water, as this would render it inoperable. You should also avoid aggressive cleaning agents or those containing alcohol, as these will also damage the appliance. It is best to wipe the handle of the curling wand with a dry cloth. Before using the appliance the next time, be sure to check that it is completely dry.

hand cleans curling wand with cloth
Clean your curling wand regularly to achieve lasting good results.

Cleaning a curler is a little more complicated because its heating element is not as easily accessible. Most curlers come with a special cleaning tool that is designed for the inside of the curler and slides into the opening. You can find more information about this in the operating instructions.

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