Are Expensive Curling Wands Worth It? GIVEAWAY! 2 WINNERS

Maybe it's my life-long love affair with styling hair (y'all saw my pageant picture on Monday, right?) but I like to pretend I'm a heat hair tool aficionado.

I have over 20 of them (thanks to blogging)--every kind of curling wand, curling iron, a few flat irons and hair dryers thrown in for good measure. I like to pretend it's like my own salon. My friends and family love it. Plus, one of most popular posts (I get around 2000 views a day on it) is on how to use curling wands and the different types.

And in relation to curling wands, irons, etc, I get asked, 
"Are expensive curling wands worth it? Aren't they all just the same regardless of price?"

Today, I'm going to tackle that question by comparing an expensive wand with an affordable option.

Curling wands can be crazy expensive--I have one that's $230, $199, and the one pictured, that's $149 (nume Magic Wand--I got mine from Hautelook, but look online for deals on this). But is that price really worth it?
  • Expensive wands are going to be found online, ulta, sephora
  • What sets them apart is that a lot of them can be over 400 degrees. If you have thick hair or coarse hair, you'll need something hot. As someone with thick hair, I cannot tell you how many curling irons and wands I've tried, and been dissatisfied with the results, before realizing I needed a hotter wand.
  • The barrel sizes differ too. Less expensive models are starting to get with this change, but expensive wands can be found in all sorts of barrel sizes. Pictured is 1.5 in. 
  • The metals that make up wands vary so much. For my hair, I look for the shiny titanium. It heats up fast, holds heat, heats evenly, and can handle those higher temps. PLUS titanium is a lighter metal, making it a great choice if you have a lot of hair to curl.
But who really wants to spend a lot on curling products? Are the drugstore ones any good?
  • Affordable options can be found easily at drugstores and box stores (Target, Walmart, etc)
  • They usually come in the 1 inch standard, and a lot of them are tapered, but I am seeing more size options and colors popping up. Pictured is Bedhead Curlipops 1 inch. It's around $20.
  • Usually the inexpensive wands top off at 400 degrees, if that. If you have normal or fine hair, you don't need that high of heat, but if you have thicker hair, you definitely will.
  • Tourmaline ceramic is the standard for heat curling tools right now. It helps reduce frizz, delivers shine, and holds heat as well. But just as all chocolate doesn't taste the same, not all tourmaline is the same. Some could have just a coating of it.
What's best for you?
  • Best for:
    • beginners, as many have protective heat gloves, stands
    • occasional users
    • those who don't want to invest a lot
    • fine-normal hair
    • BUT:
      • look for the ability to change temps on the wand
      • look for reviews online, since the quality varies SO much
      • Curlipops
      • Conair
      • Remington
      • Revlon
  • Best for:
    • experienced users
    • normal-coarse hair
    • those who style often with heat tools
    • those who want barrel size options
    • BUT:
      • usually don't have a heat glove, stand, or cool tip
      • Nume
      • Hot Tools--they start at $30 and go up to the professional Marcel irons
      • T3
      • Sarah Potempa Beach Waver
      • Babyliss
In the video below, I go into more detail, plus there's a giveaway:

And now it's time for a giveaway!
  • 1 winner will receive a Bedhead CurliPops 1 inch curling wand (pictured above) AND $25 Walmart giftcard.
  • 1 winner will receive a Revlon 1 inch curling iron PLUS $25 Walmart gift card.
Subscribe to my Youtube and leave a comment there. 
Full instructions on the video above.
US only. Ends 3-27-16.

Do you have any heat tools? What brand is your favorite?

Extra Elle:
  • The internet has been tough on me this week and the meanies are out! Is it a full moon or something? Someone called me a "dumba--" and someone accused me of faking my accent. That cracked me up--go watch the video and judge for yourself. ;)
  • No big plans this weekend. Maybe a marathon of House of Cards? Definitely watching the last ep of Downton Abbey. *tears*


  1. I have a cheaper curling wand that I never use but I've been wanting a more expensive one since those seem to work better with my hair. Happy Friday girl! <3, Pamela Sequins & Sea Breezes

  2. i have an expensive one and a cheaper one and i think i use the cheaper one more! maybe just bc the barrel is bigger. go figure :) the expensive one def works a bit better though :)

    xoxo cheshire kat

  3. Sometimes I feel like it's worth it in the end to spend a little bit more on a higher quality curling wand, that way it will last longer and won't do as much damage to your hair. I have very thick hair so the drugstore ones typically don't cut it, but I'm always willing to give things a try. Great post!

  4. I love my curlipops curling wand which came with a glove, I can't imagine paying hundreds of dollars for the same instrument when this one works great. Sorry the meanies are out! It's amazing how bold people can be when hiding behind a computer screen, sending *hugs* gurlie! And yay for a House of Cards marathong, and Downton Abbey. I can't believe it's the finale!
    Green Fashionista
    Green Fashionista

  5. I love how you distinguished between the metals in cheaper and more expensive wands! I learned this through trial and error with flat irons. I have coarse thick hair too, and I really notice my hair curls so much better with the more expensive irons.

  6. I've had both and honestly sometimes get a good result with the cheaper version and sometimes with the more expensive one...it's the user error that is the problem for me haha! xo, Biana -BlovedBoston

  7. Such a great idea for a post! I have one of each and I really cannot tell much difference between the two one is a bigger barrel so it depends on the look I'm going for but I love that you highlighted the pros and cons of both! Have a fantastic weekend beautiful

  8. This is the greatest post ever! I wonder this so many times! I would rather spend money on an expensive face serum than a curling iron! Sorry that you have had a rough week girlie. Hopefully you will have a good weekend!
    xo, Whitney and Blaire
    Peaches In A Pod

  9. OHHHH - is the last episode of Downton this weekend? I'm like 2 episodes behind so I need to get to it!!!

    These wands scare me. I do good to not kill myself , or burn my hair off, with a straightner

  10. So I'm pretty much an absolute loser when it comes to doing anything style related with my hair, so I had learn to curl my hair on my 101 in 1001 list! I'm going to check out your post about how to use a curling wand, and hopefully I'll be picking one of your suggestions up soon!

  11. I have a NUME wand set and a Remington wand, I love them both, but to be honest, I reach for my Remington wand a bit more. It was only $15 and I LOVE It! I take it with me every time we are out of town. Will be catching the video after work!
    Meanies are horrible...ugh! I hope you have a good weekend!

  12. I bought an inexpensive wand from Ulta and I worked well. I don't have much use for it now since I cut my hair shorter, but I did like. Enjoy your weekend!

  13. I have a Babybliss straightener that I am obsessed with!!! I got it at JCPenney for like $100. As far as curling irons go, I have a Remington Wand that doesn't work for me. Probably my fault LOL! I also have two regular wants...one is hot tools 1 inch and a 1 1/4 inch Ion one from Sally Beauty. Both of those work but I hate how I sometimes get that indention in my hair from the little clamp thingy because I suck at life (hair).

  14. Barrel size is a big deal. I want a curling wand that does the actual curling for you (like the hair wrapping). I think I saw one of those on TV but not sure.

    NEW POST: Baby Goats! http://bit.ly/1WTVGxY

  15. I love Hot Tools that is what I used before I found NUME. I have 3 hot tools wands and got 2 of them from amazon. NUME SEEMS expensive but there are plenty of deals that you can get send spend less than $50 on one of their wands or straighteners.

  16. I don't use a curling iron but I do use a flat iron from Chi to tame the frizzies and sleekify my bob. Sorry to hear about the meanies. Accusing you of faking your accent is just totally ridiculous O_o

  17. This is a great post, Elle! I have thin, fine hair so I'm thankful that I never have to spend a ton of $$$ for hair tools.

    Shireen | Reflection of Sanity

  18. Personally I love Ghd, but I don't really care about expensive tools as long as they do the job! X

    ♥ Carly's Beauty Blog ♥

  19. I've tried both and I definitely prefer more expensive ones but with my thick hair that is the only way I can get curl to stay. I didn't know about the different in metals. I think I need to look for titanium next time I purchase!

  20. Since I have curly hair, I don't us a curling iron but I have always wanted one to do beach waves in my hair. haha

  21. I love how you break down the differences with such detail, although I'm not surprised--you're always so thorough! :) I have an inexpensive flat iron that I like fine and a more expensive curling wand that I got through blogging, which I also like. I would only spend more money if what I was using didn't work.

  22. I bought a $30 or so curling wand for when I do my daughter's cheer hair. Specifically the Revlon Clipless Curling Wand. It's freaking amazing! It's curled her hair better than anything else we've tried. And the curls last (well, her fine hair and a bucket of hairspray help, too).

  23. Sorry the meanies are out this week. :( Haters gonna hate, ignore them!

    I have the Remington Curling Wand in both the 1" and the 1.5". Depending on the look I'm going for, decides which wand I use, but I love them both. They are both tapered and both heat to 410. I crank the heat all the way up and they work great for my hair (it's not super thick, though). :)

  24. Great review! I have inexpensive curling wands that I LOVE! I seriously have not even thought about buying an expensive one because I don't have any issues with the ones I have now. However, my hair is fairly coarse and I do use it often. I'm thinking I should probably just invest in an expensive one just to protect my hair in the long run.

    Connie | Sponsored by Coffee | Etsy

  25. someone accused you of faking your accent?! wtf?! what an ass. seriously. i'll have to watch this video when i get home because i need a new curling iron and i'm super indecisive. i'm not a fan of the ones without a clamp thingy though, where you hold your hair with your finger.. not a fan of those lol.

  26. I am thinking I need a bigger barrel, so this helps! I want bigger curls :) Going over to you tube now!

  27. Oh goodness, people need to back off! I have a horrible time curling my hair. It never seems to stay! I think I need to look for one with a glove though. I tend to burn myself. :)

  28. I have a curling iron, curling wand, hot curlers and don't know how to use any of them!! I just give up easily when it comes to styling my hair so I wish i had your skills!

  29. This is perfect timing I just got the Beachwaver and am still trying to decide if it's worth it! I'd love to see a tutorial and review from you!

    x. Sabrina // Simply Sabrina

  30. I so need a curling iron. I have a babybliss but it doesn't curl my hair well. Have a great weekend.


  31. Such a great review, thank you! :)

    I bought a cheapy drugstore curling iron a while back and although you could adjust the heat settings, it was terrible, it lived in the bathroom cabinet for a while before I realised I was never going to use it and chucked it out. I've been wary to invest in a more expensive one since!

    Away From The Blue Blog

  32. Great information, Elle! I really like the Hot Tools brand too. They seem to have every kind of metal available on their tools. Thanks for breaking it all down!

  33. Most my styling tools area NUME and I love them. BUT I've never spent a ton of money on them. I've bought all of mine for super, super good deals. I got my straightener on cyber Monday for $14 ($25 with shipping, and my curling wand that came with three barrel sizes for $49. It's nice to know I'm getting great quality ones for good deals!! I paid less for them than I did for some of my hot tools ones!

  34. Thank you so much for this post, Elle! I have been contemplating buying a curling wand, but have been confused as to what one to buy. This is such a helpful guide!


  35. What a wonderful comparison! I knew the difference between high & low end blow dryers but never really gave much thought to my curling iron. As somebody with thick coarse hair I think you've inspired me to seek out a deal on a higher end model!

    xx Jesica

  36. Someone actually said you are faking your accent? Oh... wow. That's a good one. #Idiot. I need to look at my curling iron and see exactly what temp, material, etc. it is... I don't even know!! Is that bad? I have a Chi flat iron that I LOVE and it works great. But, I had no idea the higher end curling irons were hotter... I'd be interested in trying one. I have naturally curly hair, but like to curl it pretty often for bigger curls.


  37. This is fantastic information! Now that my hair has grown out, I've been thinking it's time to invest in some new styling tools :)

  38. I'm subscribed to your YouTube as boykrazymommy
    My mom bought me a curling wand, but it's tapered and I don't like how it works. I just use a basic Revlon flat iron.

  39. the curling equipments always make me curious i'm always on the look for new information of all kinds of curling wands i just cant get enough and cant decide hahaha btw amazing post always!

  40. I definitely agree that sometimes you just need the more expensive styling tools. My hair won't curl with anything less than 390 degrees, and 410-420 seems to work best for me. I have a T3 curling iron but never use the clip and it's one of the best purchases I ever made. I think I've had it for 7 years now!

  41. I have a drugstore curling wand which does exactly what I need it to but I got an expensive straightener recently though and it is the best!

    xx Kelly
    Sparkles and Shoes

  42. I have the curlipops wand and a more expensive one. Both do a great job but I have super fine hair. I'm sorry the meanies were out! Both of those comments are just idiotic! Ignore them!

    Doused In Pink

  43. My former hairdresser suggested babyliss a few times. I still haven't got any, just use rollers once in a while, but this is a very helpful post to keep in mind. x

  44. Awesome reviews! I use my flat iron for waves, but a wand would probably be so much easier! I'm a subscriber and I'm entering the giveaway! cdmapes@gmail.com

  45. It seriously almost asked what a "dumba" was! Oh, pregnancy brain! Loved the video and being from the South, there's really no way to fake the accent!

  46. You know I am terrible with hair, especially styling it in waves or curls. I threw away both of my wands because none of them were working right. You just answered my question here. As a beginner I should buy a cheaper wand at first, though I won't buy the cheapest one out there since I need the one with the highest volume because of my thick, coarse hair. Oh and I commented on your YouTube, too.

  47. I use a flat iron once in a while & just got 1 of those straightening brushes. I don't really have a fave.


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