Does anyone use curling irons anymore? Unless you are aiming for pageant curls or want to rock an throwback look from the 80s, curling irons are pretty obsolete these days. The styling tool has pretty much been replaced by curling wands. And it’s no surprise why: curling wands give you light, bouncy waves while curling irons make you look like Shirley Temple. Not to mention, the clamps on a curling iron make unsightly kinks in your hair. The only problem with curling wands? They can be dangerous if you don’t know how to use them properly.
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I’m not exaggerating when I say I have multiple battle scars from my first few attempts to use a curling wand. I also had a lot of questions: How do you wrap your hair around the wand without getting burnt? How long do I have to hold the curl for it to set? Do you need to use that stupid little glove that the curling wand came with? It took some trial and error, but I finally mastered the art of the curling wand. If you want to avoid getting burnt and skip right to flawless curls, follow these steps:
Start on the lowest heat: In general, you want to use the lowest heat setting on a styling tool because you don’t want to fry your hair. Start low and turn up the heat as needed. Remember than thin hair needs less heat then thick hair.
Use the glove: Although it might seem weird, the glove will prevent you from burning your finger tips. It will also help remind you that the tool you are handling is very hot. Once your used to using a curling wand, you can ditch the glove.
Start small: Pick a small section of hair (about 1 inch) and separate it from the rest of your hair. Hold the section of hair at the end and wrap it around the barrel, starting at the base.
Go upside-down: Hold the wand upside down as you wrap your hair around it. Turning the wand upside-down allows you to start curling your roots at the base of the wand (if you are using a cone shaped wand, this is larger end of the wand).
Don’t hold too long: Once your hair is wrapped around the wand, hold for about 5 seconds. Never hold your hair around the wand for more than 10 seconds. This will fry your hair. You also run the risk of burning your finger tips.
Turn away: Always curl away from your face. This is how you avoid pageant curls. Also, hold the wand behind you head to avoid burning your head or face.
Remember: Don’t try to curl too much hair at once. The heat won’t apply to all the strands and your curls will fall flat.
And don’t be afraid to accept defeat. No matter how hard I tried, I always managed to poke myself with the tip of the curling wand. After about my 20th burn, I realized I need a curling wand with a “cap” at the end. I found the Eva NYC Tourmaline Clip-Free Curling Iron ($60) and my skin was saved. This clip-free curling iron that will gives my beachy, bouncy waves and the end cap prevents me from burning myself. Win-win.
[Photo: The Stripe]