Friday, March 9, 2012

Cheap Thrills: Crazy for Curls

It never seems to fail, people with masses of curly hair always want a magic straightener and us folks with stick straight locks want a head full of wild curls. My latest obsession is trying to get my stubborn hair to cooperate with my desire for curly hair. I don't want 24/7 curls, just an day or two once in a while. Our very own Heather wrote a great article about rag curls, which inspired the latest experiment on my blog, Verbal Switchblade. That brings us to this week's edition of Cheap Thrills, where I explore what other tools could I find to fulfill my corkscrew fantasy. 

Styling Wand

The styling wand is my latest gadget of choice, it's essentially a heated stick you wrap your hair around to get soft, natural looking curls. It's kind of like a curling iron, but there's no clip to hold your hair - you have to hold it yourself. I have the Conair Infiniti You Curl, $23.99 at Amazon for the original and $29.97 for the extra large size (I want it!). Drugstore.Com has the Remington Pearl Ceramic wand, in 1/2" to 1", for $22.49. Like Amazon, they offer free shipping for orders over $25, so just pick up another little something and enjoy free standard shipping. If you can't decide between the 1/2" or the 1", Corioliss has an 18mm styling wand  - that's a little less than 3/4" (I did the math, don't worry). The Helen of Troy Wand heats up to 430 degrees and comes with a 1" barrel made of 24 karat gold... so fancy! Want a wand that will give you spiral curls? No problem! Conair's Infiniti You Spiral Styler is on sale for $39.99 on Folica. Most of the style wands come with a glove to protect your fingers from the heat, but in case you lose yours (like I did) or want a replacement, you can find some like these from Sally Hansen.

Curling Iron

The good old fashioned curling iron, the Conair Double Ceramic 1 1/2" model pictured above is the one I own. It's one of Conair's "instant heat" line, while it's not literally instantly hot - it only takes a minute to get there. Folica carries another Conair instant heat iron, the Infiniti Nano, for $21.99. Overstock has a pricier 1" curling iron in five different colors, it's the CHI Air Texture Ceramic Curling Iron. CHI is big name in hair styling tools, so if you're interested in getting a big brand name, Overstock is a great place to look. If you want something more basic, Conair makes a 1 1/2" Instant Heat Curling Iron for under $20. The difference is that this model is chrome, not ceramic. If you want majorly big curls, go for something like the Hot Tools 2" Ceramic Curling Iron from Fasham Beauty Center. What's the big difference between the curling iron and styling wand? Personally, I find that the curling iron gives more uniform, princess-like curls - think Taylor Swift hair. Styling wands will give you softer looking curls, which I think look much more natural. The difference in the tools themselves  is the clip (which can sometimes put an odd crimp in your hair) - curling irons have them, styling wands don't.


Don't panic, it's not going to hurt you. This is the hair waver, specifically, this is the Hot Tools Blue Ice Titanium Waver from Folica. It's kind of like if a hair crimper and curling iron had a baby. This isn't going to give you natural looking curls, but who cares? Sometimes you wanna throw caution to the wind and work a more extreme look. Watch this tutorial to get an idea of how to use the waver and what it'll look like - she's using this Hot Tools Ceramic Deep Waver. If you want to keep your waver budget more in the neighborhood of $20, check out the Revlon 3-Barrel Jumbo Waver. Remington has this Wrap to Waves Styler available at Target, instead of using the clamp style barrels, this has a two-pronged heated end that you wrap your hair around. You won't get the deeper, dramatic wave, but it'll look more like day-after-the-beach hair.


The old school classic roller, I can't see these without thinking of my aunt getting ready for a big night out and watching one of her novelas. Just like with the curling iron barrels, they come in different sizes for all kinds of curls. The hot rollers have gotten modern makeovers, and now come with ionic technology, like these Reming ton Solutions Ionic Conditioning set. If you want a variety of shapes and sizes, check out the Babyliss Pro sets on Amazon, these suckers come in 5, 12, 20 and 30 piece sets... take your pick! Conair makes these Candy Stick Jelly Rollers that allow you to choose how tight you want your curls to be. They also have color-change technology, so you'll know exactly when they're ready to use and remove. If you'd rather do regular rollers that aren't heated up, check out beauty supply stores or drugstores. You can find these Velcro Classic Stylers at Sally's Beauty Supply in all sizes, shapes and combinations. For the best value, look for a big multi pack like this one from Scunci at CVS, 24 different rollers for less than $14! These Conair Foam Rollers will take you back in time, I remember playing with my mom's set when I was a kid - I'm convinced everyone had a set of these back in the day. 

There you go, baby dolls! Another wild, crazy, curly-whirly edition of Cheap Thrills has come to a close. We're going to be switching things around in the next coming weeks... From now on, Cheap Thrills will be coming to you every other week. We're cooking up a new feature for the time in between, so I'll still be with you every Friday with something fabulous to get you ready for the weekend. If there are any kinds of Cheap Thrills you want to see, let me hear it!  Leave a comment or email me directly at vanessa [at] verbalswitchblade [dot] com. Have a great weekend, everyone!

*Header photo by Watkins Wright
**Hot rollers photo by incurlers 


  1. Hey, how do you use the wand, is it easy? I always think it would be hard because you have to hold your own hair and not burn yourself, but I am in love with how your hair came out!

  2. It took me a few tries to get the technique down, but it's pretty easy. It comes with a glove to protect your fingers, because that sucker gets HOT!

  3. P.S. Watch the tutorial on the Hairpin! You'll get a good idea of how to hold it, that's the technique I used.

  4. Loved this post! I use heated rollers but really want to try a styling wand now.

    1. It was pretty easy to use, now I want one of those crazy wavers! I don't know how well my hair would do with rollers, there's too much of it and it tries to escape styling tools. I think I just have to practice, practice, practice.

    2. I actually have a crazy waver and for some reason, the waves don't hold at all for me. They look awesome at first though - kinda dready and romantic but then again, also a little reminiscent of 80's riffic crimped hair. It's a risky thing that waver! If you want mine (it's pretty new) I'd be happy to send it (in heather's package soonish) and maybe we can do a trade! Just an idear.

    3. Also: mine is the type in the photo.

    4. Oooh, I'd fancy a trade! I was thinking of getting a wand with a bigger barrel (size matters), so my Conair might need a new home.

  5. Hi! I would like to open beauty salon. Does anybody have an experience in this business? There are too many options in different salon equipment. Could anybody give me an advise? What store is more reliable to buy Barber razor and Barber straight razor. I'm choosing between Advance-Esthetic.Com and Spa&Equipment websites.