Curling Wand vs Curling Iron | Head-to-Head Hair Tools Comparison

One of the most common questions that women have is whether a curling wand or curling iron is best. While each one is better for a different use, there are certain themes and trends that you can identify to know which one you should purchase and use regularly. We are going to do a comprehensive analysis of the debate of curling wand vs curling iron and give you the information that you need to know in order to make an informed and educated decision.

Curling Iron vs Curling Wand — Which is Better?

This is the question that we’re going to answer using a comprehensive analysis of each tool and determining both the benefits and drawbacks of each.

If you’re trying to find out which one is better, you’re in the right place.

Curling Iron Features

A curling iron is certainly the most traditional method of curling hair, but what exactly does it still have to offer? We’ll break curling irons down piece by piece to see what they offer for each characteristic.

  • Heating

One of the primary concerns for anyone curling their hair with a curling iron is how fast they can heat up. Generally speaking, a curling iron takes just a couple of minutes for the barrel to heat up to the adequate temperature to start curling hair. Obviously, this will depend on which model you have.

  • Heat Settings

This is going to be another consideration when you decide which curling device to use. Heat settings are important because some people want the flexibility that comes with having multiple heat settings available for use. Some curling irons only have one heating setting while others have up to 10.

  • Barrel Size

The barrel size refers to the size of the barrel that sticks out from the handle of the curling iron. This will determine how big or small the curls that you make are, so it’s an important feature to keep track of when shopping for a curling iron. Take a look at some examples of the best 3 barrel curling iron to see some more flexible options.

  • Heating Plates

When it comes to curling irons, there are a few different materials that can be used for the surface of the heating plate.

Some are better than others for specific tasks while some are better than others overall. Make sure that you know which material the heating plates of your selected curling iron are made of.

  • Interchangeable Barrels

One of the ways that you can increase the flexibility and versatility of your curling iron is by getting one that has interchangeable barrels. While basic curling irons typically won’t offer this, some of the higher-quality and more advanced ones will have it.

Curling Wand Features

Now that we have more information on curling irons, it’s time to take a look at the competition, curling wands. Curling wands have a number of features and characteristics that you should be on the lookout for when deciding which one to get.

  • Heating

While curling irons can take up to a few minutes to heat up to the adequate temperature, curling wands are able to heat up nearly instantly. This is a real feature for those who are in big hurries in the morning and need something to work very fast.

  • Wand Barrel Shape

One of the main benefits of curling wands is the shape of the barrel. It’s tapered in front of the barrel so that the shape of the curls is ideal. It helps to make smaller, tighter curls at the end of the hair, which is ideal for most people.

  • No Holding Clip

Another great thing about wands is that the barrel does not use a holding clip like you would find in a traditional curling iron. This means that it won’t put a crease in your hair where the clip comes down and your hair comes out looking better than if you were to use a curling iron.

  • Durability of Curls

When you decide to curl your hair with a curling wand instead of a curling iron, they do have a tendency to stay in the hair longer and last throughout the day much better. If keeping your hair curled all day is a concern, it’s pretty clear that curling wands are more effective.

Difference Between a Curling Iron and a Curling Wand

There are a lot of key differences between a curling iron and a curling wand and while they function in a lot of the same ways, they also are able to achieve varying levels of success based on these key differences.

Most of the differences between these two pieces of equipment are based in the way that they are built.

For example, a curling wand does not have a holding clip, heats up faster, and gives very smooth curls in contrast with a traditional curling iron. If you are looking for a more luxury experience with better results, it’s undeniable that a curling wand is superior when it comes down to the differences in the way that it’s constructed.

How to Use a Curling Wand

Before you use a curling wand, you need to know how to use a curling wand so that you don’t mess up your hair or burn yourself. To use a curling wand, hold the wand in one hand and a strand of hair in the other hand. You might want to use gloves in order to avoid burning your hands. Wrap the strand of hair around the wand and hold it for 5 seconds. When you’re done, gently remove the hair from the wand.

How to Use a Curling Iron

You should also have a working knowledge of how to use a curling iron, just in case you use a traditional curling iron. With a curling iron, there is a clip on the end of the barrel to hold your hair in place. Roll the iron over the strand of hair that you are trying to curl and hold it for about 10 seconds instead of 5. This will be adequate time.

Advantages and Disadvantages

Curling Iron Curls

The advantage of curling irons is that they are more affordable, somewhat easier to use, and don’t pose much of a threat of burning your hand. The disadvantage is that they do not deliver as quality of a curl as curling wands.

Curling Wand Curls

The advantage of curling wands is that they are much better at creating curls that last without a crease from the holding clip.

They take some getting used to, but afford you much more flexibility with your hair styling when you do know how to use them.

The disadvantage is that they do pose a risk of burning your hand. This is a common complaint of curling wands.


If you are looking for the best curls, then there’s not much doubt that the best choice is going to be a curling wand. They do take some getting used to, but the flexibility and quality that you gain when you use a curling wand is undeniable. If you’re comfortable with a curling wand, you should absolutely be using it as an alternative to a curling iron, which is more traditional and does not produce as quality of a curl on a consistent basis.