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A curler wand is a type of heated styling tool used to curl hair. It is similar in purpose to a traditional curling iron, but differs in that it does not have a clamp with which to catch and hold the ends of the hair during curling. Sections of hair are wrapped by hand around the heating element to achieve curls.
Unlike typical curling irons, a curler wand lacks the clip, or clamp, that is used to hold hair sections in place during curling. Instead, the entire tool looks much like a regular curling iron would look if the clamp was removed: a long, wand-shaped heating element attached to a plastic handle. The heating element itself can be cylindrical and maintain the same width from handle to tip, or it might come in the shape of a slightly tapered or cone-shaped cylinder whose width decreases from handle to tip. A curler wand is generally powered by electricity and is equipped with a cord to plug the device into a wall outlet.
Theoretically, the benefit of eliminating the clamp is smoother curls that are styled all the way down to the tips of the hair. Sometimes with a tradition curling iron, the last couple inches of hair, which are the inches held in place by the clamp during curling, might emerge from the clamp with a strange dented or crimped look to them that is not contiguous with the rest of the curl. Similarly, curling hair with a traditional curling iron can sometimes make it difficult to curl all the way to the tips, resulting in hair that is mostly curly but straight on the ends.
Using a curler wand is thought to take a little more practice than using a curling iron with a clamp because fingers end up very close to the heating element. To create curls with a curler wand, one must first separate a small section of hair and twist it around the barrel of the wand, holding the tips of the hair in place with the fingers. After holding the hair in place for a few seconds, the tips are released and the curler wand is slipped out of the newly created ringlet. Curling hair this way might make it easier to achieve the desired effect of full curls all the way to the tips, but it is necessary to take care to avoid getting burned by holding fingers too close to the heating element. Some brands of curler wands include a heat-resistant glove to wear as protection from burns until curling prowess is achieved through a little practice.