Curling Iron Vs. Curling Wand: What's The Real Difference?

Getting curly or wavy hair is easier than ever before, particularly with all the recent advances in haircare technology. As Valentina Ingrosso, the creative director at Neil Moore Studio, told Glamour magazine, "In the last 10 years, we've made real progress with embracing the natural texture of our hair, and with this, waves have become fashionable." As a result, she admitted, "I don't think waves will ever be out of style now."  

Since wavy hair is an effortlessly classic style, it's essential to know the best way to achieve it. While many hair tools have come and gone, you definitely need either a curling iron or a wand for this particular look. While they may seem similar, they're actually very different. You can achieve similar hairstyles with these tools but they create different results. Depending on what you want to achieve, the curling iron or wand can be a handy hair tool.

What you need to know about the curling iron

The curling iron is arguably the most well-known tool for wavy and curly hair. A curling iron is typically made of metal and has a clamp you can use to hold your strands in place. This feature is the most obvious difference between the iron and the wand, in fact. T3 Micro explains that those with shorter hair might prefer to use an iron because the clamp helps you to curl your entire hair strand, including the ends. 

One of the other key differences between the two tools is that you can get the same wave along the entire strand. The clamp will also help protect you against burning your fingers while curling your hair. As celebrity hairstylist, Eddie Cook advised The Zoe Report, "[An] Old Hollywood glam style would be the best example of the potential possibilities of a curling iron, as well as touching up natural curls hair with the iron that best matched your curl size." 

Further, "A curling iron over a wand will help add more polish and smoothness as the hair passes through the heat on all sides helping to smooth down the cuticle." With all the possibilities you can create with the curling iron, it is also the most versatile tool you can use to create any hairstyle, including by switching out the size of the barrel to effortlessly experiment. 

What makes a curling wand different?

On the other hand, a curling wand is a hair tool that decreases in size the further up the barrel it goes. LookFantastic explains that the curling wand creates the curl, which is larger in the root and gets smaller towards the ends. The biggest difference between the wand and the iron is that the wand doesn't have a clamp, which means you don't have to worry about it leaving a mark on your hair. 

On the other hand, since you are manually holding the hair strand, there is a bigger chance that you will get burned when using a curling wand. Because of this risk, many come with safety gloves. The shape of the barrel means the curling wand lets you create more curled shapes than the iron, though. Sleek'e Hair adds that a curling wand is one of the best hair tools for creating beachy waves. 

Since you have more control over how tight or relaxed your curls are, the wand is also better for your hair's overall health. However, curling wands are also the tools that require the most skill and experience to master. At the end of the day, it all comes down to preference and ease of use. But regardless of the hair tool you choose, always ensure you use a heat-protectant spray to protect your hair.