Heat styling appliances come in many forms, shapes, and sizes, but how do you know which one to choose? Naturally, your hair styling professional is a perfect source for this type of research, so I recommend beginning your search there. Hair salons also and use and sell professional products like shampoo, conditioner, protective sprays and gel styling products, so getting advice about these is a good idea as well. It is advised to always use protection when using heat styling appliances.
Choices, Choices, Choices
Along with what is already out there, new types are constantly coming to a store near you. There are traditional wands with the well used and loved with the clip, but there are also wands without clips, bubble wands, tapering wands, and everything in between. Again, hair professionals are on the cutting edge of the newly minted tools and testing, which means you don’t have to, you just have to ask around.
Obviously, the internet is a source of all knowledge if you if you know how to ask the right question or insert the right keywords. Fortunately, we have done the research for you and now you can just sit back and see what we found. Each wand will yield results, but it may not be the one you (or anyone) want. The pros recommend an iron with either ceramic (not ceramic coated) or tourmaline and chose the right size barrel for your desired style.
Structure Spiraled Curls
The time-honored straight barrel with a clip to hold the entire strand from the bottom to the roots is a good choice for sophisticated styles and ensures a curl that goes all the way to your hair’s end. Some of the larger barreled irons can even be used to straighten sections as well.
The Gold Standard
Gold tool’s heat is a cut above other wands; they reach temperatures much higher than traditional wands, meaning it is amazing for making and holding curls, but can easily burn hair, leave crease marks in the middle of the curl, and tails at the bottom. Some of these irons come without springs which mean it requires a lot of precise movements to get to the desired result and beginning at the roots and working through to the ends. If you are not a pro this might be one to avoid unless you have a lot of experience.
Bubbles and Doubles
Bubble wands consist of a series of round shapes with valleys between and make wonderful beachy waves. Practice with winding layers between the rounds and valleys are required. And it requires longer hair to have enough to create waves. For a more sophisticated look try a double-barreled wand. This allows you to weave a figure eight between the wands (also requires longer hair) to create a loose wave pattern with touchable softness.
A Longing For
The length of your hair has a lot to do with what type and size of the iron that is best for you. A pixie cut probably won’t do well with a curling iron with no clip since there is not much to grab and wrap, but short locks can still benefit from a crimping iron for texture. Shoulder length tresses can work well with almost any type of iron, but if you want spiral curls, choose a ½ barrel or less in a traditional curling iron, but you can select a one inch tapered iron with a ½ inch barrel or less for ringlets. A larger iron will add waves and somebody. Longer lengths give you a lot to work with but using a small barrel for tight curls will definitely burn a lot of time, but using a tapered barrel to add somebody is a good choice.
The Tapered Barrel
How the tapered hair styling wand varies from the standard curling wands is as simple as the name. The standard iron comes in many different size barrels and the tapered combines many sizes in one, in that it starts with one size at the bottom and tapers off to a rather small size. The versatility in a tapered barrel makes it a very handy for all kinds of curls.
A tapered wand is clipless so it needs to be wrapped by hand. Many come with a glove to use to protect your hand from burns, but some find it cumbersome to use. You can also use a regular pot holder if you wish. Just as with anything in life, mastering the tapered wand requires practice as did the regular wand when you first used it. The lack of a clip the clip marks in your hair obsolete.
The tapered wand works well for the wavy been-to-the-beach look but may not be as defined as with the old fashioned wand. The major advantage to a slandered iron is the fact that the clip holds the hair in place which allows for a better more even curl. This wand can also be hand wrapped without the use of the clip should you desire. As with any purchase, it is wise to ask your stylist for a recommendation, as well reading online reviews from actual users.
While reading reviews, keep in mind that there is always one or two detractors in the review process, but if the product has garnered more negative than positive, buyer beware and leave that one on the shelf.