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The best curling wands and tongs for defined curls and bouncy waves

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  • Whether you're after tight curls or tousled waves, we've got you covered with our pick of the best curling wands and tongs to transform your locks

     

    Just as your best hair straighteners are key to that sleek and smooth do, the best curling wands and tongs are your go-tos for beautiful tousled hair. The trouble is there are so many to choose from and it’s tricky to work out exactly which one will do what you want it to.

    The thing you need to know is what you want your hair to look like, so you can know what to look for from your curling wand. Take a look at our round up of curly hairstyles if you’re in need of a little inspiration.

    Best curling wands and tongs: shape of the barrel

    There are typically three different types or shapes of curling tools, each one creates a different shape in your hair.

    Straight

    This is the most common of curlers – it’s the same width along the entire barrel meaning that your curls will also be the same from root to tip. If you’re after a more classic look, then look for a straight barrel.

    Tapered

    If you’re after a more natural and relaxed curl, then the tapered tool is the one for you. Using this means that the curl will be tighter at the root, getting looser as it gets down to the ends.

    Bubble 

    This is the strangest looking curling wand – if we’re honest it looks like something quite different to a curler, which is probably why they’re not as common. A bubble-shaped wand creates super loose waves – something a little more beachy than a done do.

    Barrel size

    The width of the barrel is important, because that will determine the look you’re after.

    < 20mm

    The thinner the wand the tighter the curl. If you’re after a disco, Studio 54 look then keep an eye out for one of these. Think Kate Moss on her 30th birthday.

    20mm – 32mm 

    These widths create your classic, well defined, polished looking curls. If you want your hair too look as close to perfect and as far away from a festival as possible, then look no further.

    32mm >

    Large barrel curlers are the way to go if you’re after gorgeous, super-smooth bouncy waves. Brand-wise, ghd and Cloud Nine are high up there on our wish list and well worth the investment for their long lasting benefits and salon-worthy finish.

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    Is a curling wand or a curling tong better?

    Is it a wand or is it a tong? In all honesty, both do the very same thing. The difference is a tong has a clamp to hold the hair in place, which makes them a bit better for beginners, whilst the wand doesn’t. So it’s really more about personal preference.

    What are the best curling wands and tongs?

    best curling wands – ghd Creative Curl Wand

    ghd Creative Curl Wand – £129 | Lookfantastic

    ghd’s Creative Curl Wand is one of the most versatile curling wands out there. It allows for everything from tight curls to loose bouncing waves, depending on how you use it. Truly creative indeed.

    Shape: Tapered

    Barrel size: 23mm – 28mm

    Tong vs wand: Wand

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    best curling wands – Babyliss Tight Curls Wand

    Babyliss Tight Curls Wand – £24.95 | Beauty Bay

    If it’s lots and lots of skinny curls you’re after, this ultra thin wand from Babyliss does the job (and does it well). Slow and steady wins the race.

    Shape: Straight

    Barrel size: 10mm

    Tong vs wand: Wand

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    best curling wands – Cloud Nine The Waving Wand

    Cloud Nine The Waving Wand – £109 | Very

    Great for loose, tumbling curls, Cloud Nine’s barrel wand is a great choice if you want to add a slight smooth wave to your locks. Its barrel is mineral infused, leaving hair soft, smooth and shiny once you’ve finished styling.

    Shape: Straight

    Barrel size: 38mm

    Tong vs wand: Wand

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    best curling wands – Turbo Tong The Professional Long Tong

    Turbo Tong The Professional Long Tong – £139 | Amazon

    If you have SUPER DUPER long hair, that doesn’t mean you have any less right to fabulous curls and waves. However, it can take hours with your standard curling tong – the Turbo Tong however is longer than normal so perfect for Rapunzel-style locks.

    Shape: Straight

    Barrel size: 26mm

    Tong vs wand: Tong

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    best curling wands – T3 Whirl Trio Interchangeable Styling Wand

    T3 Whirl Trio Interchangeable Styling Wand – £240 | Space NK

    Why on earth should you have to choose one curl style? You shouldn’t have to. And thanks to this T3 interchangeable tool you don’t need to. From loose, flowing waves, to defined spirals and glamorous curls – it does it all.

    Shape: Tapered & Straight

    Barrel size: 25mm – 38 mm

    Tong vs wand: Wand

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    best curling wands – Dyson Airwrap Styler Complete

    Dyson Airwrap Styler Complete – £449.99 | Currys

    The Airwrap caused quite the stir when it launched, which was quite understandable. Since Dyson made their way into haircare, they’re released well-researched and well-designed tools. This is no different. There are all sorts of barrels included to create all types of waves and curls, as well as brushes to control, smooth and volumise.

    What makes the Airwrap different from your typical curler is that it uses suction to wrap the hair around the barrel, rather than you having to do it yourself.

    Shape: Tapered & Straight

    Barrel size: 30mm – 40mm

    Tong vs wand: Wand

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    best curling wands – Babyliss 2112U Curl Luxe Hair Styler

    Babyliss 2112U Curl Luxe Hair Styler – £47.99 | Argos

    Another alternative to your traditional curler. This one is very much like a tong, and yet the clamp is in itself also a heated plate.

    Shape: Straight

    Barrel size: 36mm

    Tong vs wand: Tong (kind of)

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    best curling wands – We Are Paradoxx Supernova 3-in-1 Cordless Hair Tool

    We Are Paradoxx Supernova 3-in-1 Cordless Hair Tool – £195 | Lookfantastic

    The first thing to note about this, is that its cordless. So if you’re forever getting caught in knots or don’t have a plug near to your mirror then that’s something to consider. It’s also a straightener, as well as a wand and tong.

    Shape: Tapered

    Barrel Size: 30mm

    Tong vs wand: Wand & Tong

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