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Curling wands are accurately named — they essentially are magic wands for your hair. Unlike curling irons, these hot tools don’t have a clamp; rather, you manually twist your hair around the iron, which gives you more control and ultimately creates looser curls or waves. “I love that wands offer versatility in styling,” says Justine Marjan, celebrity hairstylist, and ghd Brand Ambassador. “They are also very user friendly and can come in a variety of shapes and sizes to offer different results.”

To determine which size is best for you, consider the length of your hair and the look you’re going for. “A larger barrel will result in a larger curl while a smaller barrel will result in a tighter curl,” Marjan explains. “The result will also vary depending on how tightly you wrap the hair around the iron. Generally, longer lengths would do best with a larger barrel.”

The best curling wands are impressively versatile, too, allowing you to create a range of styles. You can achieve S-bends by wrapping hair loosely around the wand, beach waves by starting mid-shaft, or bouncy curls by wrapping the entire strand tightly around the wand. One of Marjan’s favorite looks using a curling wand is a sleek old Hollywood-inspired wave. 

To DIY this look, start by parting the hair on the side, spraying with hairspray, and brushing through. “Wrap all the hair in the same direction around the iron, gently twisting the hair once with each wrap around the hair,” she advises. “Keep a loose grip to prevent any creases or kinks, then release. Let hair cool then brush and run oil through the ends for shine.”

Shop the best curling wands to work your waves and curls:

best curling wands

ghd Curve Classic Wave Wand ($199, sephoracom)

A go-to for Marjan, this oval-shaped wand is wide and flat. “This results in more of a wave effect in the hair as opposed to a classic curl,” Marjan explains. “It’s perfect for creating relaxed waves very quickly and can be easier than using a flatiron to create waves.” It only takes 25 seconds to heat up to its safer-for-hair temperature of 365°F and delivers consistent heat across the barrel, plus it automatically shuts off after 30 minutes for safety.

best curling wands t3

T3 SinglePass Wave Professional Tapered Ceramic Styling Wand ($150, sephora.com)

Living up to its name, this curling wand creates lasting waves in just one pass. The heat is constantly monitored to ensure a consistent temperature and avoid heat fluctuations, thanks to a smart microchip. The T3 custom ceramic barrel glides through hair, adding shine and preventing frizz. There are five adjustable heat settings (260 to 410°F), so it works for any hair length or type.

best curling wands drybar

Drybar The Wrap Party Styling Wand ($169, sephora.com)

A no slip barrel and ergonomic handle means you have absolute control over this curling wand that features ionic technology to deliver shiny strands. The reverse-taper promises versatile styling, plus there’s digital temperature control up to 450°F.

best curling wands chi

CHI Tourmaline Ceramic Curling Wand ($55.58, amazon.com)

Get crease-free curls with this 1-inch styling iron that features tourmaline ceramic technology to fight frizz and static electricity. The clamp-free curling wand boasts a smooth glide barrel, ergonomic design, quick heating up to 410°F, a cool tip for safety and a nine-foot swivel cord to make styling a cinch.

kristin ess best curling wands

Kristin Ess Soft Wave Pivoting Wand ($60, target.com)

Whether you want soft waves or bouncy curls, this wand does it all. To save your arms a workout, the clever handle rotates from 180° to 90°, taking the guess work out of styling. The titanium barrel provides fast, even heat and helps styles last longer. You can customize the temp to your hair length and texture with four temperature pre-sets (325°F, 365°F, 400°F or 425°F), which is shown on the digital display. For smooth, shiny hair, negative ions help keep in moisture.

babybliss best curling wands

BaBylissPRO Nano Titanium Curling Wand ($70, amazon.com)

You won’t have to worry about damage since this curling wand minimizes it with even far-infrared heat that heats the hair shaft from within to minimize harm. The slim blue nano titanium barrel offers digital temperature control up to 430°F, leaving locks with high wattage shine and a style that lasts.

bed head best curling wands

Bed Head Rough Volume Clamp Free Digital Curling Wand ($36; amazon.com)

A vibrant color combo makes this curling wand a standout on your vanity—and it’ll make your hair look just as good. The 1 ¼-inch barrel features plated technology for a speedy heat-up up to 430˚F and multiple heat settings so that it works on all hair types, leaving loads of shine. Great for travel, it has a built-in worldwide dual voltage. A cool tip and automatic shut off provide peace of mind.

infinitpro best curling wands

INFINITIPRO BY CONAIR Tourmaline Ceramic Curling Wand ($17, amazon.com)

A tapered barrel sans a clamp ensures there won’t be any creases in your waves. Promising even heat up to 400˚F, the barrel goes from 1.25 inches to 0.75 inches for a natural look. Tourmaline ceramic technology keeps frizz in check for shiny, silky hair.

hot tools best curling wand

Hot Tools Professional Nano Ceramic 1-1/4″ Flipperless Tapered Curling Wand ($50; amazon.com)

A range of heat settings up to 430°F and pulse technology ensure consistent temperatures throughout the styling surface, making this curling wand a standout. Ceramic heat helps with a speedy heat up while the extra-long cool tip keeps your digits safe.

ghd curve best curling wands

ghd curve creative curl wand ($199, ghdhair.com)

Another favorite of Marjan’s, this one has a tapered barrel that is wider at the base and gets skinnier at the bottom. “This offers more customizability to how you wave your hair,” she says. “You can use the entire length of the wand to create more messy waves or voluminous curls, or you can wrap hair only toward the wider or skinnier parts of the barrel for wider or tighter curls.”

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