Recently I've heard a lot of buzz about the Babyliss brand and their curling irons. I have a GHD straightener and currently use that to curl, but it takes a fair amount of time and effort to curl using that.
My hair is really long and thick and virtually dead straight, so I was looking for something that would make it easier. Since starting full time work, the maximum amount of time I'm willing to invest in my hair has been a quick 2 minute straighten. But I love the look of curls as they are so pretty and flattering to the face.
The idea behind the conical wand is that there is no clamp, so all one has to do is wrap the hair around the hot wand for a few seconds and voila...curls aplenty!
I pondered for a while over what size conical wand to purchase. The stores in Australia seem to stock two types: the smaller 25mm-13mm one (comes in black and pink), and the larger 32mm-19mm one (comes in black only).
I heard the smaller one was great for shorter hair, and for creating smaller, more ringlet styled curls. The larger, which was the one I decided on, was recommended for those that have a lot of hair (thick and long), and promised to create looser curls.
This is what is included - the wand itself with 25 heat settings and an on/off switch, and a heat mat to protect surfaces:
You can see the smaller end on the left of the picture has a circumference of 19mm for smaller curls towards the ends of your hair, and the larger end on the right has a circumference of 32mm for larger curls closer to your scalp.
So how was my experience using it?
This is my hair before:
And this is my hair after:
I chose to tie up the top section and curl the bottom half first, then let the top section down and curl that after. This took only a slightly shorter amount of time than curling with the GHD, but I think it produced a better curl. I found if you wrapped your hair around the thicker end, or the thinner end only, you could get different size curls. I was really impressed with the curl created if you wrapped your hair around the whole wand, bigger towards the scalp and smaller towards the ends, as a good curl should be!
Yesterday I just had a quick play with it when I bought it, and just curled the top and ends quickly without doing every strand. I found that very quick to achieve a seemingly full head of curls, and I think I will do that in the future. In five minutes it looked like my whole head was curled, as the straight bits were underneath the curls and couldn't be seen anyway! And I have a LOT of hair!
I also used Dove's Heat Defence all over my hair when it was wet before styling to protect it. It smells so lovely and actually complements the shampoo smell! I bought this from Priceline for around $6.
After curling I used RPR hold me forever hairspray to hold the curls. I purchased this from Hairhouse Warehouse for $27.95. It doesn't go crunchy, and smells better than most hairsprays I've used.
If the Babyliss Conical Wand is used on only visible hair, I feel it is the quickest, easiest to use and achieves the best looking curls of any curling device I've tried! And it is pretty cheap compared to some of the devices on the market (i.e. the super expensive GHD!)
My only complaint is that sometimes the hair slips down the ceramic surface of the wand so it's important to hold it tight and use the opposite hand to the side you are doing to hold the device, with the thinnest end pointing down. Also curl away from your head to create the best face framing curls (always wrap your hair over the top rather than under the device when you first place a strand on the wand). You also need to be careful you don't burn yourself as it gets extremely hot!
Hairhouse Warehouse is currently having a sale on Babyliss products. These wands usually sell for $89.95, but are currently 25% off! But I'd recommend calling ahead if you are going purely to purchase one, as they are so popular and I had to visit three stores before finding one!
What do you guys think? Have you tried this wand? Does it live up to the hype? What device do you think creates the best curl quickly?