Hot Tools Curling Irons Review

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Ah, a beautiful head of silky, shiny curls. So few naturally possess it and so many lust after it. These days, there is no need to spend hours at a salon in order to achieve professional-looking bouncy coils or relaxed waves. Instead, all you need is a Hot Tools curling iron, perhaps a few online tutorial videos, and a little practice to achieve your desired look.

An industry leader in professional salon styling products, the Hot Tools brand has been winning awards for over 25 years. The company prides itself on innovation in the beauty market and employs industry professionals to design its products because they know what stylists (professional and amateur) demand. 

Below we have reviewed ten Hot Tools products that are available for purchase on Amazon to help you choose the best curling iron for your hair type, lifestyle, and budget.

Product Reviews

1. Black Gold Curling Iron/Wand

Despite its mild resemblance to Darth Vader, this iron is out to do good. Good curls, that is. Its surface is designed with a combination of 24k gold, titanium, and patented Micro-Shine finish to keep things smooth and shiny as it works its hair magic.

Editors Rating:

Overview:

  • Boasts the proprietary BLACK GOLD styling surface
  • Special PULSE TECHNOLOGY maintains an even temperature across the barrel for stable heat stylin
  • Universal dual voltage means it is travel-ready
  • Comes with a fold-away safety stand to keep your counter safe from heat
  • Two-year warranty

The Good

  • Special MicroShine surface coating minimizes friction and reduces hair damage
  • Its affordable price point makes this a great option for customers new to the Hot Tools brand
  • The Nine-foot swivel cord, extra-long cool tip at the end of the iron, and a special thumb grip make using this device a breeze.

The Bad

  • Some users took issue with the lack of a clip on this iron. For those who prefer a more traditional clip iron instead of a wand, this product might take some adjustment.

2. Signature Series Salon Gold Curling Iron + Wand

This iron´s gold technology quickly seals in the style to keep your curls in place for longer without wasting your precious time in the styling process.

Editors Rating:

Overview:

  • Pulse Technology heats and consistently maintains the iron´s temperature to give you gorgeous, even results
  • Offers temperatures up to 430 degrees
  • Available in the following barrel sizes: 1”, 1.25”, and 1.5.”

The Good

  • Classic clip iron design that most people are familiar with
  • Six-foot swivel cord and a special comfort grip to prevent tangles and discomfort while styling
  • Users with both fine and thick hair report success and satisfaction using this tool

The Bad

  • High heat has the potential to cause burns if not used properly

3. Titanium Salon Curling Iron/Wand

If you battle against frizz and dullness, give this iron/wand combo a whirl. Its titanium styling surface has been enhanced with a special Micro-Shine coating to tame and brighten locks for a glamorous look morning, noon, and night.

Editors Rating:

Overview:

  • Rheostat control dial offers temperatures up to 450 degrees
  • Titanium works to seal in the heat for precision style
  • Available in the following barrel sizes: 3/4”, 1.”, and 1.25.”
  • One-year warranty

The Good

  • Separate “On” and “Off” switches
  • Comes in blue and pink colors
  • Includes a foldaway safety stand to protect your countertop
  • Eight-foot swivel cord, extra-long cool tip at the end of the iron, and a special thumb grip make using this device a breeze

The Bad

  • Some users took issue with the lack of a clip on this iron. For those who prefer a more traditional clip iron instead of a wand, this product might take some adjustment.

4. Black Gold Marcel Iron

All curling irons get hot, but this one takes things to another level. Plus, its 24k gold surface produces consistently beautiful results. It is no wonder then that this is Hot Tools´ best in class styling surface. 

Editors Rating:

Overview:

  • 24k gold, titanium, and Micro-Shine combine to make this styling surface powerful, durable, and gorgeous
  • Maximum heat setting of 455 degrees to tackle even the thickest of manes
  • Pulse technology to heat quickly and maintain consistency
  • Available in the following barrel sizes: 3/4”, 1.”, and 1.25.”

The Good

  • Professional stylists swear by the Marcel design for precise and consistent curls
  • The main handle locks and rotates for precision manipulation
  • Auto shut off triggers after two hours
  • The Nine-foot swivel cord, extra-long cool tip at the end of the iron, and a special thumb grip make using this device a breeze

The Bad

  • The Marcel design can require a bit of a learning curve to achieve desired results. For customers who are new to curling or out of practice, this product might take some adjustment.
  • The high heat of this iron has the potential to damage hair (and fingers) if not operated properly.

5. Curlbar Set -24k Gold

While technically not an “iron,” this stylish and ergonomic offering from Hot Tools provides a different approach to curling hair that we couldn't pass up reviewing.

Editors Rating:

Overview:

  • Brand-exclusive storage stand keeps things organized and easily accessible
  • Temperature dial rotates for easy manipulation
  • Four interchangeable barrels of different sizes (3/4”, 1”, 1 ¼” and 1 ½”)
  • The Nine-foot tangle-free swivel cord
  • Limited three-year warranty

The Good

  • Offers four different options for curl sizes with a simple barrel release button to easily switch things up
  • Its comfortable Soft Touch handle means you won't tire out your hands
  • Comes with a built-in timer, viibrating notification, and a glowing light ring that tells you when it is ready for use to eliminate guessing
  • Includes a mat and glove to protect you from the heat
  • Offers universal dual voltage, making it a travel-savvy accessory

The Bad

  • Weighing in at 6.8 lbs means that it will take up a fair amount of space on the countertop and the suitcase
  • The Heat-resistant glove is right-hand only
  • Cost-prohibitive for people on a budget or casual users

6. Curlbar – 24k Gold

If you are ready to graduate to the next level of curling, The Curlbar is your tool. The traditional iron has been redesigned into a tool that is easier, faster, and gentler on the joints. What´s not to love about that?

Editors Rating:

Overview:

  • All the benefits of the 24k gold barrel with traditional irons
  • A rotating temperature dial makes adjusting heat simple
  • Heats up to 450 degrees
  • Includes a built-in timer that vibrates when time is up
  • Available in the following barrel sizes: 1” and 1.25.”
  • Three-year warranty

The Good

  • Designed to prevent strain on shoulders, wrists, and elbows
  • Auto shut off triggers after two hours
  • Includes a heat-resistant glove
  • Universal dual voltage makes it travel-ready
  • The Nine-foot swivel cord, extra-long cool tip at the end of the iron, and a special thumb grip make using this device a breeze

The Bad

  • A little pricier than traditional curling irons
  • The Heat-resistant glove is only for right-handed people

7. 24k Gold Extra Long Barrel Curling Iron/Wand

Hot Tools’ iconic 24k Gold series gets an extra boost with an extra-long barrel.

Editors Rating:

Overview:

  • The barrel is 2 inches longer than traditional irons
  • Its cool tip rotates for easier use
  • Rheostat control dial offers temperatures up to 430 degrees
  • Available in the following barrel sizes: 1”, 1.25”, and 1.5.”
  • One-year warranty

The Good

  • All the benefits of the standard 24k Gold irons
  • Ideal for extra-long hair to create curls along the entire length of the strands
  • Includes a foldaway safety stand to protect your countertop
  • Includes a The Heat-resistant mat
  • Eight-foot swivel cord

The Bad

  • The extra-long barrel is unnecessary for those with short- or medium-length hair
  • The gold coating’s high heat is not well-suited to fine or damaged hair

8. Ceramic Tourmaline Marcel Iron/Wand

Ceramic and tourmaline combine in this wand to create an incredibly smooth surface that does not pull or break your hair as it moves across the tool. Tourmaline additionally helps keep hair smooth by sealing in moisture and emitting negative ions that prevent frizz. Now, that's some powerful hair technology! Plus, the fun purple color adds a pop of brightness to your styling routine.

Editors Rating:

Overview:

  • Traditional Marcel handle plus a locking and rotating main handle
  • Touch Guard protector to enable usage in closer proximity to skin
  • Pulse Technology and Rheostat control dial for easy temperature adjustment up to 430 degrees
  • Eight-foot swivel cord and Soft Touch handle facilitates usage
  • One-year warranty

The Good

  • Rapid heating lets you get to work quickly
  • Ceramic, Tourmaline, and Titanium provide excellence and consistent heat conduction
  • Includes a foldaway safety stand to protect your countertop
  • Available in the following barrel sizes: 3/4”, 1”, and 1.5.”

The Bad

  • Tourmaline makes this wand´s surface so smooth that it might prove slippery for some types of hair, especially since there is no clip to hold the hair in place
  • The Marcel design takes practice to learn how to manipulate properly since there is no spring action to open and close the clip. This can be challenging for some users.

9. Nano Ceramic Flipperless Curling Wand

This wand is the gentlest of Hot Tools´offerings. It emits soothing, far infrared heat the protects your strands as it heats them. Ceramic nanoparticles, combined with the Micro-Shine surface virtually eliminate frizz while enhancing shine and your hair glides across its smooth surface in pursuit of the perfect curl.

Editors Rating:

Overview:

  • Rheostat temperature dial offers temperatures up to 450 degrees
  • Pulse Technology heats things up quickly and keeps them that way
  • One-year warranty

The Good

  • Great for people with fine or thin hair because it won’t overheat the strands
  • Comes with a fold-away safety stand to keep your counter safe from heat
  • Eight-foot swivel cord and extra-long cool tip at the end of the iron facilitate usage
  • Includes a heat-resistant glove

The Bad

  • The glove is only for right-handed people
  • The lack of a clip makes it harder to achieve consistent tight curls and is instead better suited for more relaxed, beachy waves.

10. Nano Ceramic Tapered Curling Iron

The same gentle, nano ceramic technology as above protect the hair as it heats to reduce damage. The tapered design ensures that you´ll achieve enviable waves from root to tip.

Editors Rating:

Overview:

  • Rheostat temperature dial offers temperatures up to 450 degrees
  • Pulse Technology heats things up quickly and keeps them that way
  • Available in the following barrel sizes: medium (½”-1”), large (¾”-1.25”), and extra large (1”-1.5”)
  • One-year warranty

The Good 

  • Also comes in an “extra long” barrel size for people with longer hair
  • Great for people with fine or thin hair because it won’t overheat the strands
  • Comes with a fold-away safety stand to keep your counter safe from heat
  • Eight-foot swivel cord and extra-long cool tip at the end of the iron facilitate usage
  • Includes a heat-resistant glove

The Bad

  • The glove is only for right-handed people

Buying Guide

With so many different types of curling tools to choose from, it can be hard to make a decision about which one to purchase. Sure, professional stylists and hair savants will have their go-to products, but what about all the regular gals?

All of the mere mortals out there need to consider the following things when choosing their ideal curl creator: barrel size, material type, tool design, and temperature settings.

Barrel Size

As with many things in life, size does matter. In this case, though, bigger is not always better. Your hair type, length, and preferred curl type will all help indicate which barrel size will give you your desired results.

In general, ladies with finer hair will want to stick with smaller barrels in the hopes of achieving curls that will stay throughout the day. If the barrel is too wide – normally this counts as anything larger than one inch – the curls are more likely to lose their shape as the day progresses. Those with shorter hair – anything above the shoulder – will find more success with smaller barrels, as well, because they simply do not have enough hair to wrap around a larger barrel adequately.

Lastly, think about the look you want. If you desire tight, more traditional-looking ringlets, stick with that thinner barrel. Conversely, ladies with thick hair, long hair, or who prefer looser waves should lean more toward the larger barrels – anything above one inch. These larger sizes provide enough surface area to curl the entire length of hair all the way through and keep hair bouncy and flowing.

Material Type

We've all seen the intimidating variety of options for different types of curling tools that tout the miracle benefits of their particular materials, but what does all of that stuff that they add to the barrels actually do? Here is a convenient breakdown to help you understand:

Gold

  • The Hot Tools brand signature metal, gold is king when it comes to heat conduction. You won't find many irons hotter and more ready to work hard to get you that desired curl.
  • It is ideally suited for those blessed with thick, coarse, and generally difficult hair.
  • Gold heats up quickly and evenly.

Titanium 

  • It is lightweight and holds up well against heavy use.
  • Also great for thick and coarse hair types. 
  • This material heats up quickly and reaches the highest temperatures uniformly across the barrel.
  • Professional stylists prefer this material for its effectiveness and reliability.

Tourmaline

  • The ultimate frizz warrior, this material releases negative ions as it works to smooth the cuticles on the surface of your hair, preventing breakage and lending a healthy shine to your locks. 
  • It gets the job done at lower temperatures, making it ideal for fine hair.

Ceramic

  • The golden average, ceramic heats up quickly and evenly to produce an easy curling experience.
  • Its smooth surface makes curling swift and basically damage-free.
  • It works reliably on all hair types.

There are also many styling tools available that use chrome for their barrel material, but those should be avoided at all costs. Chrome has a tendency to heat unevenly and burn hair, among other undesirable qualities. This material can be found in many drugstore offerings, but professional, reputable brands such as Hot Tools never use it.

Tool Design

Another common source of indecision stems from which kind of curling tool to choose; clamp, Marcel, or wand. Here is the basic breakdown of differences between these three types:

Clip Iron

  • Recognized as the “traditional” curling iron, this tool has a spring-loaded clip that grabs hair and holds it into place while it heats it
  • It creates uniform curls throughout the entire strand
  • Curls are smoother and shiny than with a wand
  • The clip can leave indentions at the end of the strands, but they are generally not very noticeable

Marcel Iron

  • The preferred tool for professional stylists across the board, these irons are more customizable than the standard spring-loaded clip tool.
  • They also have two pieces of metal that come together to hold the stand, but the clip is not spring-loaded and must be manipulated manually. 
  • The Hot Tools Marcel irons also have rotating bases to increase customization of use.
  • This type of iron takes a fair amount of practice to master and can be challenging to use on yourself. It is best suited for styling another person's hair.

Wand 

  • The lack of a clamp on these tools requires you to manually wrap your hair around the barrel and hold it there. 
  • This method eliminates that potential indention at the end of the strand but increases your chance of burning your hand on the tip because you have to hold the strand in place.
  • This type does not curl the ends of your hair, resulting in looser, beachy-looking waves instead of rigid curls.
  • Wands heat up super quickly and set curls rapidly to get you styled and out the door faster.

Temperature Settings

This is one of the easier choices you'll make when it comes to choosing a curling iron. The most important thing to understand is what amount of heat your specific type of hair can handle. All heat styling damages hair in some way over time, so the lower the temperature setting you can use while still achieving long-lasting curls, the better.

In general, fine- and color-treated hair will require lower temperature settings, often in the 300-400 degree range. Normal hair (if there really is such a thing) will benefit from temperatures around 400 degrees, and thick/coarse manes will want that high heat. Keep in mind, though, that temperatures above 450 degrees will very likely damage even the thickest of hair and should be avoided.

Additionally, how temperature is displayed and adjusted on these tools matters. Any decent product will offer a range of heat settings, so never choose a product with only an on/off switch. Some brands design their products to have digital, button-adjustable displays, but the best and most customizable design is a dial, such as with Hot Tools' Rheostat dials.

Conclusion

We have given you a lot of information about curling irons, but we are not done just yet. While everything we have discussed above is important, you are unlikely to find success as a curl maven unless you do a few extra things aside from physically curling your hair.

Prep Work

  • Make sure that your hair is completely dry before initiating a curling session. Water weakens the bonds present in your hair and can split the cuticle, causing the dreaded split ends.
  • Prepare your hair with an appropriate styling product. The most obvious is a heat protectant, which creates a barrier between your locks and the high heat, as well as seals in moisture. You can also use other products, such as gels, mousses, and curl-enhancing creams to promote curl retention. There are even specifically designed curl-setting sprays that you apply before you begin styling that help set the style.

Post-Curling Care

  • Once you've got those curls in place, you need to baby them for a few minutes. Cup them in your hand, let them cool, and pin them in place on your head as you work the rest of your hair to ensure the longest-lasting style possible. 
  • Use hairspray to set your style. Trust us; you don't want to skip this step. You'll thank us in the evening when your curls are still going strong.
  • Clean your tool! While all Hot Tools instruments are designed to last, you still need to take daily maintenance steps to ensure longevity. A simple wipe-down with a damp cloth after the device has completely cooled will remove any residual styling product that could gunk up the barrel or joints over time. Plus, you don't want any of that old stuff accidentally transferring to your hair the next time you use it.

The last piece of advice we want to impart is that practice really does make perfect. No one comes into this world already possessed of the skills to curl a flawless head of hair. You will make mistakes at first and you might even get a little frustrated. Luckily, Hot Tools has created a series of videos to help mitigate these issues.

Their “Hot Tools University” explains how to use their various products to achieve optimal results with the least amount of effort and time. So head to their website and get started.

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