Curling tongs are an absolute must for any hair obsessive. As for the best curling tongs? Walk this way. According to a recent report, demand for hair curlers, waving wands, curling tongs, whatever you fancy calling them, has increased by a whopping 600% since over the last year. It seems heat styled curls and waves are well and truly in.
And luckily for you, the virtual beauty shelves are packed with curling tong choices; especially during sale season. It can be hard to decipher which curling tongs are worth an investment (especially when you consider any discounts in the mix).
If you're in the market for a curling tong, we break down which one is right for you.
How do I know which curling tool is right for me?
There's a lot to be said for opting for the best curling tong. Often, careful attention has been paid to the heat settings available, meaning you're far less likely to risk damaging your hair during a curling session.
If the tong mechanism is made with ceramic plates, the curling process tends to be much kinder to hair. Choose a decent tong, and your curls will last you a good few days, too, from the glossy just-done look, to the looser, beachy waves that normally arrive on day three. (Find out how to get three different styles of curl with just one tong in this quick video).
Remember though, beautiful pro-level curls weren't always this easy to achieve. The tong options we were faced with back in the 90s and early noughties invariably saw us working through our hair laboriously, tiny section, by tiny section (because the heat levels weren't high enough to tackle anything bigger), and afforded us a style that lasted a matter of hours.
New-gen curling tongs, however, have a heck of a lot to offer. From large barrelled gems aimed at helping you cheat that perfect post-blow-dry look at home, to wands with tapered ends ensuring your style looks modern, it's all there for the taking. From a pro-favourite (ghd Curve Classic Curl Tong), to a 3-in-1 (We Are Paradoxx Supernova) and to the refurbished Dyson Airwrap Styler. Behold our tried-and-tested pick of the bunch.
SHOP: The Best Curling Tongs To Buy Now
Shop: The Best Curling Tongs
Summary: The latest offering from styling staple GHD is an ultra thin, ultra light, tight curls wand. Product details: The smallest barrel from GHD means smaller, bouncy, ringlet curls as opposed to soft waves. Topping at 185°c to protect hair from undue heat damage, the ceramic wand is finished with a high-gloss coating for sleek, smooth results. Pros/Cons: The automatic sleep mode switches off after 30 minutes without use so no more scary 'did I leave the straighteners on moments?', but the small barrel limits you to tight curls of a certain size.
Summary: With a relatively chunky barrel, expect loose, wide and 'undone' waves. Product details: There are 6 different heat settings here that reach up to 210°C. We've found this one to heat up quickly too.Pros/Cons: Longer hair types will enjoy this curling tong; the length of the barrel is generous. The various heat settings mean that you can be precise with your heat distribution. Have one piece of stubborn hair, that just won't curl? Whack the heat up high, and take it down a notch when you're done.
Summary: Available in three different sizes, choose your tong based on the curl type you're after. If it's big, loose curls - opt for the large barrel, and if it's tight, springy curls - opt for the small barrel. Again, this one is clip-free and super easy to use. Product details: There are heat settings ranging from 125-175C which means no unnecessary heat damage to your hair. This product includes a heat resistant case, an LED mirror and a paddle brush.Pros/Cons: The barrel is 25mm which means it can be used to create different types of curls and works for all hair types.
Summary: This skinny styler is great for achieving mega-ringlets, no matter your hair type or length.Product details: Designed with a slim, rectangular titanium barrel on which you wrap sections of hair around to create gorgeous mermaid ringlets, this ultra-skinny curling tong is great for creating ultra-tight curls.Pros/Cons: With five digital temperature settings ranging from 120-210°C, the wand boasts a heat-up time of under 10 speedy seconds. Plus it has a stay-cool tip which makes it easier to curl your hair without getting accidental curling tong burns. (We've all been there.)
Summary: T3 does smart tech; this wand cares for your hair whilst styling it. Unlike any other curling tongs in our roundup, this tong decides the heat level for you, based on your hair type. Product details: Featuring interactive digital buttons, you select which hair type is most like yours. There's an option for chemically treated hair, textured hair and coloured hair. The wand generates heat (there are 9 types) bespoke to your hair needs. The wand is 32mm, so on the larger side for wide waves. Pros/Cons: If you choose the right option on the wand, it'll deliver the right heat for your hair type (read: no unnecessary heat damage).
Summary: Create flawless long-lasting curls with simplified controls and an automatic curling action that will make your life easier.
Summary: The Hair Therapy Touch Control Curling Tong. Advanced ceramic & tourmaline technology locks in moisture as you style. With a 28MM barrel you can create big beautiful curls and loose waves with ease.
Summary: Beauty editor Annie Vischer uses this every week. 'It's clip-free which makes it super easy to use. It makes working through my long hair a breeze. You can take smaller sections to create tighter curls and larger sections for looser waves, the possibilities are endless.'Product details: One of the most versatile curling wands, controlling the size of the curl - the wand ranges from 23mm-28mm along the barrel. Pros/Cons: It heats up in seconds for quick styling, and even has a sleep mode which turns the wand off after 30 minutes of non-use
Summary: Yes it's spenny, but the unique technology associated with this high tech gem allows you to avoid using extreme levels of heat on your hair. It also has every base covered, from drying to curling, to brush styling your do. Consider that more bang for your buck.Product details: This product contains everything you need - 30mm barrels, soft smoothing brush, round volumising brush, pre-styling brush, filter cleaning brush and even a storage bag.Pros/Cons: The curling wand styles predominantly with air rather than heat, which causes less damage to the hair. There are three options for airflow and four heat settings, including a cold shot to set your hairstyle with cooler air.
Summary: Here we have a game-changer. There are relatively few effective cordless tong options out there, but this is one. Whether, once lockdown is over, you're likely to find yourself on the move and keen to keep your curls looking fresh, or it would simply suit you better to be able to sit wherever you like in the house whilst you curl your hair, this is the one to make a grab for. The tong section even splits in two to act as straighteners.Product details: It is a sleek and lightweight product that reaches the optimum styling temperature of 180C. As it says in the name, it is 3-in-1, straightener, curling wand and tong.Pros/Cons: It is a cordless tool which is a major perk, but it also has human touch control which is ideal when carrying it in your bag - it ensures you won't accidentally turn it on.
Summary: This one's a pro favourite and for good reason. If you're after that classic glossy curl effect that lasts, this is the buy for you. If you're not great at using tongs with the clip, keep it down and wrap hair around the length of the tong as you would a curling wand. Product details: It has a medium 26mm barrel which creates smaller to medium sized curls. It has a cold tip for ease of styling, with a place to put your fingertips, and a sleep mode after 30 minutes.Pros/Cons: Heats up within 25 seconds, and takes five to eight seconds to style each curl, giving you the perfect locks in no time at all.
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