Curling Wand vs Curling Iron

Hair styling tools have been making women beautiful for many years. There is now a wide range of options available that you can use to create different hair styles. These include the curling wand and the curling iron.

The two tools exist to serve different purposes, but most people tend to confuse the two. It is extremely important to know their differences to determine which of them will best match your styling needs. In this article, you will know how to clearly distinguish the two, and see whether you only need one or both of them for your everyday styling.

Curling Wand vs Curling Iron

Which Does What?

The curling iron and curling wand are two amazing hair styling tools that provide astonishing results. These two work to style your hair and complete your desired look for the day. A curling iron can be easily distinguished by looking at the clasp, which lets you create tight or loose ringlets. A curling wand, on the other hand, does not have a clasp and helps you create natural waves.

Curling wands can produce polished ringlets, meaning the hair spirals gracefully downward. They allow you to create tight curls or voluminous waves. Breaking up the ringlets is easy, as well. All you need to do is to use your fingers to loosen the curls to produce those classic natural waves for a romantic look.

A curling iron serves a different purpose. This styling tool, for one, is held differently. The cord stays on top, while the iron is let down. You can create gorgeous waves that are more polished and bouncy. Basically, the wand is the best option to create the perfect look for casual hangouts, while the iron is great for the workplace or special events.

Curling wands allow you to make curls in different sizes. This is due to their cone-shaped barrel. You are free to use the thick end of the base to create thicker curls. The pointed ends, meanwhile, can be used to produce tighter and smaller curls.

The barrel on curling irons is uniform in size, unlike on the curling wands. If you are somebody who loves experimenting on different curls, then you will have to buy more than one unit in different barrel sizes. This will allow you to achieve your desired curl sizes.

Curling Wand

A curling wand does not have a clamp that will hold your hair down. This hair styling tool is best used for creating natural curls fit for formal occasions, such as weddings. You will notice that the barrel is tapered at the end, which is why it is called a wand.


  • Curling wands come in various barrel sizes to allow for various curl sizes.
  • Most of the wand models do not require pre-heating. It means you can use them whenever you need some quick fix without the waiting time.
  • There are no clamps to hold your hair down to make the curls look more natural.
  • Some models offer adjustable heat settings to help you set the unit to your preferred temperature to achieve your desired look.
  • Curling wands do come with a tapered barrel to help you style your hair from the roots. This will let you add volume to your hair with ease.
  • The curls can last for several hours, depending on the amount of heat that you use on the hair.


  • The wands are typically more expensive than the curling irons.
  • You will want to wear gloves to keep yourself protected as you might accidentally burn your fingers.
  • The absence of a clamp means curling layered or short hair will be more difficult.

How to Use:

Curling wands produce a more naturally wavy look. Models with tapered barrels will allow the waves to be tighter toward the bottom. This is something that curling irons cannot do. The type of curl that you create will depend largely on the way you wrap the barrel with your hair, how long you hold it, and where you start and end. People who love to experiment with different curls will love the wand. For a messier look, grab a few strands and do not curl them.

Curling Iron

A curling iron came in the scene first before the curling wand. It is the more traditional hair styling tool between the two. It is easy to distinguish a curling iron by checking its metal clips, and the uniform-sized barrel.


  • Curling irons come in various features, including rotating and spiraling types.
  • The different barrel sizes will allow you to create various curl sizes.
  • The barrels are normally interchangeable, meaning there are models that will no longer require you to purchase several units of different barrel sizes.
  • Curling irons can help you create gorgeous curls, while making your hair shiny and smooth.
  • They are often more reasonably-priced, including those made of tourmaline and ceramic, than curling wands.


  • Curling irons do require more time to heat up, usually around five to ten minutes.
  • The heat produced can be challenging to control, especially with cheaper or older models that do not come with adjustable temperature settings.
  • The clips can put more pressure on the hair, and can leave some dents.
  • It is almost impossible to create curls close to the roots due to the uniform-sized barrels. This means curling irons lack the ability to produce more volume.

How to Use:

People with medium to long hair length should go for the larger barrels, while those with shorter hairstyles should use smaller ones. Contrary to what some people think, curling irons are easy and quick to use. Simply clamp the iron to the bottom of your hair, and begin curling up your head. Carefully unclamp and release the hair and you will get tight and springy curls.

Bottom Line

These two hair styling tools work great in giving you that gorgeous look. They perform different curls, which is why it is difficult to tell which between the two is the best. If you have the budget, it is ideal to have both, especially if you love trying out various hairstyles. They both have their own set of pros and cons. Carefully study their differences to see which will best match your hair styling needs.

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