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Curling Wand vs Curling Iron: Pros and Cons Revealed


Most people end up getting confused on the difference between a curling wand and a curling iron. These are two different styling tools and each serves a different purpose. When looking for the right hair styling tool, it is important to know their differences to see which one will best suit your needs. This article will show you how to distinguish curling irons from curling wands, and which between the two you should purchase.

Curling Wand Vs Curling Iron

curling iron vs curling wand

Knowing their differences

The two curling tools work to style your hair to improve your overall look. A curling iron has a clasp to create loose or tight ringlets. A curling wand, meanwhile, has no clasp and works to produce natural waves.

Curling wands produce polished ringlets, where the hair spirals downward. You can choose to create voluminous waves or tight curls. It is easy to break up the ringlets using your fingers to produce natural-looking waves and a classic look.

A curling iron is held differently. The curling wand’s cord is up, while the curling iron’s is let down. The waves created by the curling iron look more bouncy and polished. The wand is perfect for casual hangouts, while the iron is perfect for events or the workplace.

Curling wands let you create curls in various sizes, thanks to their cone barrel shape. If you want thicker curls, you can use the thick end of the base. You can create smaller and tighter curls using the pointed end. For curling irons, the barrel is normally uniform in size. This means you will need to purchase more than one unit with different barrel sizes to create different sized curls.

Curling Wand Pros and Cons

A curling wand, as mentioned earlier, does not have a clamp to hold your hair down. The barrel is tapered at the end to make it look like a wand. This type of curling tool is used to create more natural curls for formal events or occasions.

Here are some curling wand options:

Bed Head “Curlipops” 1″ Curling Wand, BH313

Bed Head Curlipops Curling Wand for Loose Curls, 1"
List Price: $19.99
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  • Creates loose curls & frizz-free waves
  • Wrap and go with rapid heat recovery
  • Lesser heat-up times

Infiniti Pro by Conair Tourmaline Ceramic Curling Wand, Original (RED)

  • No clamp needed to style hair with auto shut-off feature
  • Fast and easy styling – leaves no kinks
  • Tourmaline ceramic wand heats up to 400˚F


  • Wands come in different barrel sizes to allow for different sized curls;
  • Most wands do not need pre-heating, so you can use them almost immediately for a quick fix;
  • Some models feature various heat settings to help you adjust the temperature;
  • No clamps to hold the hair down, so the curls look more natural;
  • Wands have a tapered barrel to help you reach the roots easier and produce more volume;
  • Long lasting curls are caused by the amount of heat produced by the wand.


  • Wands are usually more expensive than curling irons;
  • The absence of a clamp makes curling short or layered hair more difficult;
  • Gloves should be worn to avoid accidentally burning your fingers.

Curling Iron Pros and Cons

The curling iron is the more traditional styling tool between the two. You can easily distinguish it by looking through its metal clips and uniform-sized barrel. A lot of women have relied heavily on this because of numerous reasons.

Here are some curling iron options:

Hot Tools Professional Jumbo 1 Inch Curling Iron with Multi-Heat Control Model No. 1181

  • With pulse auto heat control sensor & soft grip handle
  • Extra long cool tip + 24K gold-plated heavy-duty barrel
  • Long-life heating element

Infiniti Pro by Conair Nano Tourmaline Ceramic 1-1/2-Inch Curling Iron

  • Uses Nano technology for frizz-free & healthy-looking hair
  • Tourmaline ceramic surface allows superior performance
  • 24-hr curl control heats up to 400°F with 5 settings


  • Curling irons may seem the same, but there are variations available, such as the spiraling and rotating irons;
  • The wide range of barrel sizes available allow you to create different sizes of curls;
  • The barrels are often interchangeable, so there is no need to purchase several units of different sizes;
  • Irons do not just produce curls, but they also can make your hair smooth and shiny;
  • They are reasonably-priced, even those made of ceramic and tourmaline, making them more affordable than curling wands.


  • Curling irons need more time to heat up, unlike the curling wands, taking up around five to ten minutes before usage.
  • The amount of heat produced is difficult to control, particularly with the older or cheaper models that do not have any temperature settings.
  • The clips could place more pressure on the hair strands, and leave some dents;
  • Curls close to the roots can be difficult to create because of the uniform-sized barrels, so the results tend to look flat due to lack of volume.

Bottom Line

You can always buy both styling tools to easily achieve different looks, when desired. The curling wand is perfect for people who only want some natural curls. Those who want to try different curl sizes can check out the curling iron. These two have their own pros and cons, so study their differences carefully to see which best suits your styling needs.