Curling Wand vs Curling Iron – What’s the Difference?

By Leah Williams •  Updated: 01/22/22

What’s the difference between a curling wand vs curling iron? The first thing that you will notice about a curling wand is that it doesn’t have any clasp on it which makes it a good tool for creating natural waves. On the other hand, a curling iron comes with a clasp and is typically used to create more detailed curls or ringlets.

Both these hot styling tools come in handy when creating different kinds of waves and curls but which one is better? Which one will fair better between the iron vs curling wand?

I have used different hair styling tools in my profession as a hair stylist which includes using both a curling iron and a curling wand. I am leaning towards traditional curling with the aid of a curling iron since I am more familiar with it, but with the curling wands getting more attention these days, I thought it would be best to compare the two to see which ones works better.

My research on these hot tools includes determining their pros and cons as well as what features to expect from each one. After all, as a hair stylist, it is part of my job to know how a styling tool works, what features does it have that sets it apart from the other, and whether it is worth investing in.

What can you expect from this article? My goal here is to provide you with useful information when it comes to a curling wand vs curling iron. Here you will learn:

Hopefully, understanding the subtle differences between these two tools will be able to give you the information that you need to make a smart choice if you are in the lookout for the best styling tool to use on your mane.

Curling Wand vs Curling Iron – What’s The Difference?

Like I mentioned before, I have been using both the curling wand and curling iron when styling my clients’ hair. Of course, I have my personal preference, but this doesn’t mean that I don’t like using the other. As a matter of fact, both these tools are great for creating various curls easily. But for those who have encountered the wand version, I am sure you are hesitant to try it out since it is new to you. So, let me explain how these two vary from one another by discussing their features. Let’s get started!

Features of a Curling Iron

The curling iron has been around for quite some time now that people are quite adept in handling it. Among the features that you can enjoy with it are:

Features of a Curling Wand

Benefits of a Curling Iron vs Curling Wand

Transforming your normally straight hair into a celebrity hairstylist approved look will require you to head to the salon for a more detailed handling of your mane. But thanks to the appearance of the curling iron and the contender, curling wand, it won’t be difficult to find the appropriate styling tool for you. But which one will work best for you?

To better understand these styling tools, let us find out the benefits associated with them, as well as their disadvantages, so you can have a much better idea on which one to get:

Curling Iron



Curling Wand



How to Use Your Curling Iron or Curling Wand the Right Way

Switching from a curling iron to a curling wand won’t be easy, especially when you are used to a clamp holding your hair in place. This is why, it would be better if you know how to use these tools the right way so that, when you switch to one equipment to the other, you won’t make any mistakes that will ruin your hair.

How to Use a Curling Iron

If you are aiming for more detailed curls, then the curling iron is your best bet to style your hair with. Fortunately, curling irons do come with a clip that functions just like a clamp so that you will be able to curl each section of your hair from the roots all the way to the tips. Compared to the curling wand, you will need to keep a section of your hair rolled on the barrel for about 10 seconds for them to heat up.

Since curling irons come with clips, you don’t have to worry about using a heat protection glove to test your strands out. The clamp will keep your hair in place as you style it. Your curls may feel a bit flat because of the curling iron and that the area where the the clamp is attached to may have a bit of a line on it. Luckily, this doesn’t take away from the gorgeous curls that it will create for you.

How to Use a Curling Wand

What about curling wands? What is the right way of using them? This is going to be a bit tricky since the design doesn’t include a clamp to it. This means that you will have to hold each section of your mane by your fingertips. Here’s how to use this styling tool correctly.

Which One Should You Get?

Choosing between curling irons and curling wands is easier said than done as both of these tools are efficient in creating a variety of curls for all hair types. That said, let me just reiterate the benefits of using these curling tools.

Just a quick recap here, the curling iron and curling wand may have the same objective, which is curling your hair, but how they get this done is different. For most of us, we grew up with the curling iron, yes, the one with the clip, which is easier to use given that we don’t have to touch our hair when curling it. This is typically used for creating more defined curls and works great even on those who have thick hair. Nowadays, curling irons come in a variety of sizes and styles, including temperature settings, so you will be able to choose the right temperature for the type of hair that you have.

Curling wands, as the name suggests, have a body that resembles that of a wand where one edge is tapered off. This tool is typically used for creating loose or beachy waves. I like that you can curl all the way to the tips but, for firs timers, this will be a bit tricky especially when there is no clamp that will hold your hair against the barrel. Yes, this means that you will be the one hold the strands in place hence the need for gloves.

I hope that, with the information that you have here, you will be able to discern which of the two will be ideal for your use. On my part, both have their pros and cons, and in my profession, they do work well for me.

What are you waiting for? Grab a curling iron or curling wand to add to your styling tools to get those stunning curls you have always wanted and share with us your experience!

Leah Williams

Leah Williams is the founder of Lucky Curl and has been in the hair care and styling industry for the last 15 years. Since then, she has developed incredible expertise and a deep understanding of how to treat and style the most difficult hair types and is passionate about sharing her knowledge with the readers of Lucky Curl.

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