Curling Wand vs. Curling Iron: How Are They Different?

Hair Wand vs. Curling Iron

Not all of us are born with perfectly curled hair or beach waves, and since the millennials love the trend, we have seen a lot of females confidently embracing their curls.

Thanks to the hair-styling tools, which have helped us style our hair in several ways. The curlers have made it easier to achieve tight coil curls to add drama to the overall styling.

Gone are the days when one has to live with the natural hair type and structure, as straightening and curling tools are available with advanced features and functions to help you achieve any hairstyle of your choice.

We know that visiting a hair stylist constantly for your special events can be costly, and let’s be clear: no one has the time to visit hair stylists to get those perfect curls. The market has a variety of wands or curling irons for beach waves, and you no longer have to spend on your hair styling when such accessible and easy-to-use tools are available.

You might be confused upon choosing the curling iron or curling wand as people still don’t know how they both differ from each other. Since it is easy to pinpoint the difference between the two, there are still some significant differences between curling wand and curling iron for those who have not used either.

Let’s tackle the confusion between these and help you find the one that suits you well.

Curling Wand vs. Curling Iron – The Difference

The females have different preferences regarding curling wands and curling iron. The decision is sometimes based on hair length because people with short hair might feel uncomfortable using the same tool preferred by those with longer hair.

Choosing between a tapered curling wand vs. a curling Iron depends upon the overall hair finishing and the styling one is looking for.

Until now, you must be aware that the curling wand is used to create different types of waves while the curling iron assists in creating bouncy and consistent rolls. We have made the tabular comparison below to let you know more differences.

Curling Iron

Curling Wand


Has a clamp to hold the hairs firmlyThe hairs are wrapped manually with no assistance of a clamp
More pressure is required on the clampNo pressure is required
Spiral-like, bouncy curls are achievedS-shaped, loose curls are achieved
Perfect for defined, uniform curlsPerfect for naturally curly hairs
The resulting curls last longerThe resulting curls might start loosening after sometime
Can be used on all hair types and lengthsCan be challenging for shorter hair length
Since the heat is applied on all sides of the hair, there are high chances of hair damageLess likely to cause hair damage
Anyone can use a curling iron to get the perfect-looking curlsRequire expertise to master the curling technique through a curling wand


Curling Iron

Curling Iron

The curling iron with clamp has been our go-to with the natural-looking and more structured curls, which can be achieved through its barrel that tightly holds the hair section.

For more précised and natural-looking curls, the curling iron is preferred in various sizes. The larger barrels are used to give loose curls, while the smaller barrels can be used more precisely for tight spiral curls.

Girls with shorter hair are more comfortable curling their hair with the curling iron as there is no chance of risking your fingers while allowing the barrel to curl the shorter strands on its own. However, you can try these easy styles for short hair to have a trendy look.

When using a curling iron, ensure that it starts working from the top of the hair and that the entire hair section is wrapped entirely inside the barrel. The curls from this curling tool look more natural and voluminous and add natural sheen and shine to your new curly hair.

Moreover, the curling iron is preferred by those who want to have consistent beach waves throughout their hair, as the uniform size of the barrel ensures a similar volume of curls through each hair section.

Curling Wand

Curling Wand

The minimal design of the curling wand helps you achieve more relaxed curls seamlessly through its wand, which works the same on all types of hair.

  • Hold the wand vertically and wrap the hair away from the face while placing your fingertips on the wand’s non-heated end.
  • Release the pressure after a while to let the hair heat up, then repeat on a one-inch hair partition.
  • With each piece, alternately direct the hair away from and towards the face for extra texture.

The loose S-shaped curls are ready to add fancy vibes to your weakened parties.

With a curling wand, you may choose the types of curls you want and are not limited to only specific curls. The curling wand lacks a clamp, so you must manually twist your hair around it.

You can read this step-by-step guide on how to use a curling wand for loose waves.

Since lesser pressure is applied while using a styling wand, more relaxed and loose S-shaped curls are achieved. The hair’s natural texture is retained with smoother hair ends, making the curling wand a perfect tool for fine-tuning natural curly strands.

Bottom Line

A curling iron and a hair wand are amazing for styling your hair how you want. Looking into the purposes and the differences, it is safe to say that these hair styling tools have added a lot of freedom and drama to hair.

While a curling iron is more versatile, a hair wand, on the other hand, is more on the relaxed curly side. From retro-inspiring pageant-perfect curls to casual and relaxed waves, a hair wand and a curling iron have made it easier to style your hair without visiting a stylist.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Which is a better-curling wand or a curling iron?

A curling iron is used for tighter, spiral-shaped curls, while the curling wand can be used for loose-shaped and more relaxed curls.

Can I use a curling iron as a curling wand?

Yes. A curling iron can be used as a curling wand by wrapping the hair section over the clamp. But it is better to upgrade to a curling wand rather than using a curling iron as a wand since the curls achieved this way have more unwanted ridges.

Are curling wands damaging?

Although a curling wand helps you achieve the desired look, the heat emitted from the wand is enough to damage the hair. The hair’s natural keratin is damaged and becomes dry and brittle.

What is the gentlest way to curl hair?

Any tool or method that does not produce heat to curl hair is the best one. Velcro rollers, for example, help produce effortless and heatless curls while adding volume to the hair.

Also, you can try these methods to add volume to your hair.

Is it OK to use a curling iron every day?

No. It is not recommended to use a curling iron daily; the continuous heat can damage your hair to an unlimited extent.

What type of curling iron is least damaging?

The curling iron with ceramic plates is less damaging to the hair since these plates produce infrared heat that goes into the hair quickly and produces shiny wavy hair.

Do cheap curling irons damage hair?

The cheap curling irons do not have any temperature setting controls, and the user may use them on the hair for longer, producing deeper damage to the hair.

Can I use a curling iron on wet hair?

The use of curling iron is only recommended on completely dry hair. Using a curling iron or wand on damp hair may result in scalp burn.

Do I curl my hair inwards or outwards?

The stylists recommend curling your hair in the direction away from the face to achieve natural-looking perfect curls. It means moving the curling iron on your hair section in a clockwise direction on the right side of the face during an anti-clockwise direction on the left side of the face.

How long should I hold a curling iron in my hair?

You should hold a curling iron on your hair for not more than 6 to 8 seconds.

Why is my curling iron not curling my hair?

There could be many reasons involved, such as any dampness or moisture left in the hair, or maybe there is dust buildup in your head that leads to the curling iron not working properly.

What should I put in my hair before curling it?

Before starting curling your hair, make sure you have put on the heat protectant and hair spray, as these products help your hair from frizzing.

Which pillow should I use to sleep on with my curly hair?

Sleeping on a satin pillowcase that does not absorb the moisture from your hair is recommended to retain your curls for longer.

What is a pineapple hairstyle?

The pineapple hairstyle is a method to protect your curls when you sleep. In this technique, a high-pony tail is raised, covering all of your curls, and later, a scrunchie is used to tie them tightly. The pile of curls achieved this way resembles a pineapple.

How do I keep my curls all day?

To keep your curls fresh the entire day, it is suggested to pin them tightly with a bobby pin or clip. After the curling iron emits heat to produce curls, the hair changes its shape, and to ensure that it stays in its new shape, it is vital to clip them for a while and then unclip them, brush them, and flaunt your new curls.

Why do my curls fall flat after curling?

During washing the hair, the water may leave a mineral buildup on it, making it stretch out after you curl it. Those who do not use heat-protectant spray may also get their curls flattened after curling.

Why do my curls fall flat when I sleep?

While you fall asleep, the hair strands get twisted and mingled together, making it obvious that the curls lose shape and fall flat. Wrapping your hair in a silk or satin head scarf, sleeping on a silk pillowcase, or sleeping with a braid on might help prevent your curls from flattening overnight.

How do you refresh your curls after sleeping?

While you curl your hair, applying the curl-reactivating spray, hair gel, or leave-in conditioner is important if you want your curls to stay overnight. Investing in good-quality curling products may refresh your curls easily after waking up.

Tapered curling wand vs. curling Iron – which is better?

Choosing the better option between the tapered curling wand and the curling iron depends on the curls you want for your hair. You may use a tapered curling wand if you want loose curls with more beach vibes. For tight and spiral-shaped curls, using a curling iron is recommended.

What are some of the best curling wands?

Some of our favorite and top-picked curling wands are BedHead’s Curlipops Ceramic Wand, Bio Ionic Eternity Wand, Dyson Air Wrap Styler, and Conair DOuble Ceramic Curling Wand.

Curling wand vs. curling iron for short hair – Which is better?

Since a curling iron has a clamp to hold your hair strands tightly, you might consider it handy for shorter hair. However, in terms of styling your hair, both tools work great in styling short hairs into the desired curls.

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