Curling Wand vs Curling Iron: Showdown

Curling Wand vs Curling Iron

Hair styling has always been an essential part of the lifestyle since it is the key to looking the best every day. Though bestowed with inborn styles and textures, experimenting with the looks and sprinkling a magical touch to the hair not only gives a vibrant new shade but also adds an inexplicable charm that drops the jaws of the onlookers in awe! However, taming the curls has never been easy.

Count on a windy frizz morning or a heavy humid afternoon, curly hair never misses to disobey. The majestic texture always demands thorough pampering as well as a detailed styling guideline that needs to be strictly followed.

There are two types of styling accessories which are widely used by the masses, naming which would be, curling wands and curling irons. However, owing to the close similarity between the two, people often get confused while choosing amongst them. This is where we come to the rescue. Here is henceforth a precise ground rule to help you understand the purposes served by each of them so that you can specify your requirements accordingly.

What Is A Curling Iron?

Curling irons are metal devices which are facilitated by a clip to fix the lock of hair which has been wound around it. The hair is left clipped to the heated wand for a few seconds or a minute. Once released, you are gifted with a stunning curl that shines your way throughout.

What Is A Curling Wand?

Curling wands are simple rod-shaped metal devices, around which a lock of hair is wound to get a curly or wavy texture. The professional styling irons come with heat adjusting facilities as well.

Curling Wand vs Curling Iron

Having acquired the primary knowledge about both the devices, below is listed a detailed comparative study of the pros and cons of using them:

  • The curling iron requires just a couple of minutes to get heated and be ready to style your hair into bouncy curls after being turned on. Though the time required is a little extra, but glow makes it worthy of the wait. On the other hand, curling wands are usually quicker with the heating process. Henceforth styling can be easily accomplished when in a hurry.
  • The traditional curling irons were previously designed for only switching on and turning off. Later, paving the way for innovations, the irons have been subjected to heat regulating modifications with deca levels of adjustment. Thereafter, similar modifications are being introduced to the wands as well.
  • Styling also depends on the shape and size of the heating barrel. The width of the metal barrel determines the styling of the hair. Usually, narrow curling irons are preferred for getting smaller curls. Whereas, the bigger and bouncier curls are achieved by the use of thick iron curlers. They often come with exchangeable barrel sets. Each barrel is unique in its shape and size and is designed to give a luscious set of curls of desired thickness and volume. Contrary to this, curling wands are usually cylindrical with a tapering end in the end. The design is meant to specifically produce smaller curls at the hair ends yet have a luscious volume in the remaining portion.

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Basic Differences Between A Curling Wand And A Curling Iron

Though the primary motive of using both the styling accessory is to get jaw-dropping curls to flaunt like the proudest queen every time it is stepped out with, checking out the purpose and uses of both will only help in better understanding. Both the devices have been designed to serve a primary cause and knowing the basic differences between the both helps you acknowledge the thin line between the stunning hairstyles. Hence, to assist the divas in a better way, here is a thorough list to help you distinguish between a curling wand and a curling iron, on the basis of:


  • The basic difference that distinguishes a curling iron from a wand is the presence of a clip. Where the former possesses a majestic external clip to hold the hair in place for a tighter and firmer support, the latter prefers to do the needful without any external support.
  • Iron curlers have a uniform body which produces uniform curls. Curlers of different sizes are used to obtain curls of different sizes. However, a single wand possesses thicker upfront and narrower tip which produces relishing waves altogether.


Iron curlers are often heavier than the curling wands. The weight of the electronic devices used plays an important role in the styling procedure. Lightly weighted machines are always easier to use and offer a comfortable styling experience as compared to the heavier devices.

‌Styling Speed

The speed required by both the devices to style the hair is an important factor which is taken into consideration. Since we are always on the go and rarely get enough time for pampering our pretty selves, we are often on the lookout for easy styling that requires lesser time. Noting down such an important necessity, curling wands have (thankfully) come to the rescue! The curling wands are designed to heat up at a quicker rate as compared to the curling irons. As a result, beautiful curls are often achieved at an impressively faster rate with a wand, than it is with irons. Hence, if you have ample time to style in detail then irons are what you need, but a faster pace is always offered by the magic wands.


Hairstyling is always effective if it is able to successfully keep the shine, glamour, and smoothness. Where the shine can be achieved by using specific serums or gels, smoothness falls under the category of the curlers which is being used. The iron curlers have always excelled in the matters of smoothness. Having a tighter grip, in the end, the curling irons offer the perfect finish to the curls when released. However, the curling wands are usually preferred for the gentle beach waves and can always be used when in a hurry. 

Having discussed the basic differences as well as acknowledging the uses of the two, it is also important to note down that getting the perfect flair of curls is just a matter of practice. The key to getting a voluminous bounce that can define the intricate texture is to master the art of styling. Hence, let us understand the ways in which both the curling accessory can be/ should be used in order to get the desired glam!

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How To Use Curling Wands?

Since the curling wands lack the support of any external clip, the hair strands are needed to be held with fingers. This might also turn out to be risky for amateurs and needs an attentive eye to accomplish the same. To avoid the danger, many beginners also prefer using hand gloves to beat off the heat. Here is a list of the steps you should follow:

  1. ‌Get a firm grip on the handle of the curling wand in one hand.
  2. ‌Take a small bunch of hair, to begin with, and make sure the strands are tangle-free.
  3. Hold the wand in a direction diagonally upward from the head and the face and gently wrap the lock of hair from the tip to the roots- a process specifically listed for styling with wands.
  4. ‌Slowly pull out the wand after 5 seconds and feel the newly formed curls.

Purpose Of Use: Curling wands know how to keep natural. Creating the lightest garlands of love, it lets the wavy hair swing in a slight motion. The wavy texture is devoid of any styling impression and creates a more natural look.

what's better a curling wand or iron

How To Use Curling Irons?

Since the iron curlers are facilitated with helpful clips, the process here is slightly different. Having said so, it is worthy of mentioning that styling with irons is comparatively easier because of the support. The clips also keep your fingers safe at a distance as it itself does the needful. Thus, you are also saved from the extra hassle of using gloves. However, there are major points to keep in mind while using the curling irons.

Guiding you through, here is a stepwise guide on how to use the device:

  1. ‌Tightly hold the handle of the iron curlers in one hand at a safe distance from the face.
  2. ‌Take the required amount of hair and hold it straight in front of the iron. Make sure the strands are completely detangled before beginning the process.
  3. Hold the curling iron in a direction downward from the hair and gently start rolling the iron on the taken portion of hair from the roots and move towards the tips. This is the most important step that distinguishes the styling process in both the devices.
  4. ‌Clip the hair quickly which has just been wound around the rod, and wait for approximately 10-15 seconds.
  5. ‌Release the clip and gently pull out the iron from the curls.

Purpose Of Use: Irons are used for getting that perfect set of party rings which shimmers down the entire length. Irons majestically furnish the hair with tighter and more defined curls which can also be broken down into waves.

However, special care should be taken as it can also prove to be harmful due to overheating and negligence.

Henceforth, flatter yourself with the bouncy set of curls which are more defined and noticeable. Curls obtained from irons might appear to be somewhat flatter than that obtained from wands which usually results from the clip used in the former. However, it does not ever compromise with the look or the glamour of the hair.

Our hair is not meant to carry any temporary styling for a prolonged period of time. The longevity of every style is determined by a number of factors such as the material of the curlers used, as well as the quality of the same. However, to let it stay for a desired period of time, you can use stay set gels or hair sprays from reputed brands that would suit the texture of your hair. Learn about the guidelines and procedures for using the product and use it along with the curlers to get a salon-style finish for a prolonged period of time.

Pros And Cons

Having discussed the important aspects of curling with wands and irons, let us now acknowledge the pros and cons of both the devices. Styling tips are always helpful in not only knowing about the machinery but also understanding the performance in a better way. A detailed venture through the efficiency of the device also results in better results altogether.

Owing to the explicitly busy schedule, we often fail to get the necessary time to style ourselves in a better way. Most of us are henceforth always on the lookout for something that can style us even at the very last moment. This is when the curling wands come to the rescue. The faster heating technology and the rapid styling procedure always keep the wands with an upper hand over the irons.

Since there are only seven days a week and weekend is always after the fifth hill, Sundays are mostly packed for parties and night-outs. Besides, frequent occasions during the festive season call for a little touch of glam, which has been mastered by the curling irons. Irons bring out the ultimate luster which is desired by most of the women. Since the hair is pressed for a longer span of time, the curls are better in the formation and are more defined and outlined. The non-stick outer coverage of the irons also blesses the curls with the much-needed shine and glamour. Moreover, the curls also get a flattened appearance due to the clips that clamp the hair during the process.

Curling wands are preferred for the magical touch it bestows the hair with. The shape of the wand is usually tapering towards the end and thicker in the upper region. This creates diversity in the curls formed. The hair strands wrapped in the upper region are usually thicker and decreases in form as it descends down to the tips. Curling irons, on the other hand, have a uniform body that does not have any variation in a single barrel. Hence, the curls are often obtained in the same shape and size throughout the entire length of the hair. Curling irons of varied sizes are however obtained separately which can be fixed and used to obtain the desired flair.

The Right Time To Pull Them Out!!

Choosing among any one of the curlers seems to be a hefty task, as both the curlers happen to excel in their respective fields and outshines the other majorly.

Curling irons are coated with three different types of heating plates which are commonly metal, ceramic, and Tourmaline. Curlers are either coated purely or with a mixture of Ceramic and Tourmaline. The metal curlers are usually cheaper than the other two but it also compromises on providing protection. The latter, however, readily protects the hair strands from getting exposed to undue damage from the heat and are henceforth more expensive.

‌To cope up with the rush yet get a gorgeous bounce with the very new look, curling wands should always be chosen first. The glamorous look bestowed in the form of varying curls or beach waves prepares you for a casual occasion in a much faster time than can be accomplished with the irons. Besides, the quick heating technology will also help to maintain the curls in a better way.

‌If the night is for a party, rich in ethnicities and glamour, iron curlers should be grabbed the first. Invest a little more time in getting the best hair to move and dazzle among the crowd like a queen. Besides, the iron curlers give the hair a salon like finish and the much-needed shine to turn the envious heads in awe!

Curling wands are preferred by many women who wish to stay in style for a longer period of time. In other words, curls done by wands have an extended period of retentivity as it is accomplished with greater strength of heating.

Maintaining The Curls After Styling

So you thought that styling is the heftiest task of all? Well, you might be wrong! Ask any woman with gorgeous curls and you will surely be guided in the right way. It is as easy to get the curls damaged and out of style as it is to get it styled on the first hand. It should, therefore, be subjected to thorough care in order to prevent it from getting frizzy and tangled.

The hair should preferably be oiled before shampooing on the day of the major occasion. Prefer using shampoos which are much gentler to the strands. After thorough rinsing, deep conditioning the hair is mandatorily advised. This necessarily locks in the moisture of the hair and also prevents it from getting easily damaged due to the strong heat of the curling wands and irons.

Choose a suitable serum and apply on the wet hair for a smoother and shinier appearance. This undoubtedly adds an additional luster and gives a salon finish to the hair. Styling with the curlers henceforth also locks the curls for a longer period of time. Apart from this, you can also go for styling gels or sprays. This would effortlessly keep the hair from frizzing because of the weather. However, try opting for the ones with keratin composition. Also, mild hair products are always preferable.

Magda Du Plessis

I am a writer for more than 6 years. A mother of three, and full time writer. I love writing and making sure that everyone has all the beauty tips to be as beautiful as can be.

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