How to Use a Curlbar and WHAT THE HECK IS IT?


I saw this curl thing in a magazine a month or so ago and decided that I would try it as soon as I could get my hands on it. It looked weird, but also potentially great.

In case you are new, there is a difference between a traditional clamp/spring curling iron and a curling wand. A clamp curling iron has a clamp on it that you open and close with the use of your thumb in order to hold the hair against the barrel. It’s much easier to use than a wand, and gives you uniform, even curls.

A curling wand does not have a clamp, therefore you must use your opposite hand to wrap and hold the hair around the tool. Curling wands give you undone waves, require a bit more practice, but can be very fast to use once you master it! You can watch a tutorial of me using a curling iron with a clamp here, and using a curling wand here!

Personally, I always default to using a curling iron with a clamp because it’s much easier for my heavily layered hair. The clamp holds everything in place, and I know exactly the look I’m going get when I’m finished using the iron.

My biggest complaint with the curling wand was how hard it was to work on the right side of my head. It was a little awkward to hold and I would burn my forearm or fingers from time to time.

As soon as I saw the Curlbar by Hot Tools, I knew this would help solve the problem. It allows you to hold the iron at a much more natural angle, so you can get curling wand waves without the wrist pain!

The results speak for themselves:

Watch this tutorial to learn all about this crazy new tool, how it works for me, and learn a few tips along the way! I’m using the 1 1/4 inch Curlbar, but they also have a 1 inch if you prefer a smaller iron.

My tank can be found here and I would recommend sizing up!

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Comments (53)

  1. Posted June 19, 2017

    I’ve never heard of or seen the curlbar. Looks like an interesting product!

    Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog

  2. Lisa says
    Posted June 19, 2017

    Does your hair have layers??

    • Kate says
      Posted June 19, 2017

      Yes it does

  3. Allie says
    Posted June 19, 2017

    Genius! That solves all my curling wand woes! Thanks for sharing! xxAllie

  4. Alyssa says
    Posted June 19, 2017

    Thank you for this post! I think they featured this iron in a recent Good Housekeeping and my mom recently sent me a text being curious about it. I just sent her this post!

    • Kate says
      Posted June 19, 2017

      I think that is where I saw it!

  5. Jenny says
    Posted June 19, 2017

    Would the smaller barrel work for hair that’s short?

    • Kate says
      Posted June 19, 2017

      for sure

  6. Kady Millard says
    Posted June 19, 2017

    Not sure if you ever respond on twitter lol but why is it so expensive?!

    • Kate says
      Posted June 19, 2017

      I’m not sure!

  7. Lisa Tedesco says
    Posted June 19, 2017

    Loved this post. I especially liked the tutorial and how it wasn’t with the voice-over effect that have been in the last tutorial videos (which I’m sure is much easier for you). I think this one was much more personal and fun to watch! I also liked how the length was on the longer side, rather than 2-3 minutes. Great post! Thanks, Kate!

    • Shelly says
      Posted June 19, 2017

      Agreed! I’ve missed these types of tutorials. It’s not just her talent, but her personality as well that makes me keep coming back to this blog! Loved it!

    • AA says
      Posted June 19, 2017

      Agreed 🙂

      • Lisa Tedesco says
        Posted June 20, 2017

        I know, right?! I’m glad I’m not the only one who felt this way! I miss that “connection” from these types of posts, if that makes any sense. I really liked her Cubicle Convos which were so funny and you could really see more of her silly side.

  8. Sophie says
    Posted June 19, 2017

    I have never seen one of these before but it looks great actually! Those curls are beautiful, I love how gentle and relaxed they are.
    Sophie xxx | Sophar So Good

  9. Jenn says
    Posted June 19, 2017

    Love the blog, love the tutorials! What helps me with the wand is I just switch which hand is holding the wand when I do the alternate side of my head so the wand is always facing down. On my left side I hold with the right hand and on the right side, I hold with the left! Works pretty well but never as cute as yours 🙂

  10. Louise says
    Posted June 19, 2017

    Enjoyed watching this AFTER the boopers one you posted. As we say here in the U.K, grinning like a Cheshire Cat ! Made me smile

  11. Charlotte says
    Posted June 19, 2017

    I’ve been wondering about these wands! I think i’ll give it a try now. Thanks for the tutorial!

  12. Posted June 19, 2017

    That is definitely unique! I was never able to use the wand without the clamp! I felt like my hands and the wand were getting tangled up! I would definitely give this one a try!

  13. Kim says
    Posted June 19, 2017

    I love the way the curls turned out! I was super curious about this tool.

    Kim .. Iceland Travel Tips!

  14. Ashley says
    Posted June 19, 2017

    Oh. My. Gosh.
    I am in LOVE with this idea. I’ve always had the issue with my arms getting tangled up (sad, I know) when I use a regular curling wand, so this is brilliant!

  15. HJM says
    Posted June 19, 2017

    Looks like it produces the same exact curls as a curling iron, wand, flat iron, etc. Your hair looks like it is curled the same with each tool you use. I think I’d save my money.

    • Kate says
      Posted June 19, 2017

      Curls are curls are curls, but the point here is the shape and angle of this tool.

      • HJM says
        Posted June 19, 2017

        Yeah, the angle doesn’t make a single bit of difference to me in your photos. Looks the exact same as your other curling tutorials.

        • Tracy says
          Posted June 22, 2017

          The purpose of the angle isn’t to change the look of the curls, it’s to make it easier on your wrists to use.

  16. AA says
    Posted June 19, 2017

    I noticed that this wand is the same width all around whereas some wands are tapered…which do you recommend?

    • Kate says
      Posted June 19, 2017

      I like when they are the same width all the way around.

  17. Paige says
    Posted June 19, 2017

    I love the curls you got! They’re so pretty!


  18. Posted June 19, 2017

    I LOVE the curls this gave. I’ve never been able to figure out a wand and love the clamp.

  19. Danon says
    Posted June 19, 2017

    Can you test the Sleep Styler from Shark Tank? I’m curious about them! Their videos look promising but I trust you on all hair matters.

  20. Michele says
    Posted June 19, 2017

    That face in the opening picture….fantastic! I’m a teacher, so that’s pretty much my face ALL THE TIME!

    I know you ended your bang run, but how would you suggest styling bangs when curling the rest of your hair? I always feel like it looks like I have 2 different styles going on.

  21. Posted June 19, 2017

    Weird. But genius at the same time. Thanks for tutorial.

  22. Beth says
    Posted June 19, 2017

    Love this! Thanks for sharing!

  23. Posted June 20, 2017

    Wow love the look

  24. Brittney says
    Posted June 20, 2017

    Hey kate! Do you have a tutorial done for your make-up you are wearing in this post? It looks very natural! Thanks, Brittney

  25. Shannon says
    Posted June 20, 2017


  26. Devon says
    Posted June 20, 2017

    Yay! Love this type of tutorial so much more! I hope you’ll continue with this format.


  27. Angela says
    Posted June 20, 2017

    What was the Living Proof spray you used for volume and texture ? I am wand challenged and still use the clamp curling iron as well so I’m excited to give this a try!

    • Kate says
      Posted June 21, 2017

      The Living Proof Full Dry Volume Blast!

  28. Leslie says
    Posted June 20, 2017

    I’m very thankful to have found your blog. I’ve never been terribly confident about myself but since finding your tutorials, I’ve been doing my hair and makeup consistently and I feel loads better. Not just because I look better, but I actually have to will and “energy”, so to speak, to put effort into my looks. I truly believe this has lead to a domino effect including losing weight, eating and cooking healthier and going back to school this fall, all because “one small thing” (tee hee play on words) gave me the confidence I didn’t have before. So thank you for all you do! I have just one request, perhaps you could do an eyebrow tutorial? I have what I call “invisi-brows”, the are so blonde, no one can see them! Thanks again!

  29. Olivia says
    Posted June 22, 2017

    It’s fantastic result! Hair look so natural and good! I want it immediately!!!!

  30. Kayla says
    Posted June 24, 2017

    This looks amazing I think I want to give this try!

    Sheer Beauty Blog

  31. Amy says
    Posted July 24, 2017

    Very cute, but if you struggle using a wand on the side opposite your dominant hand, why wouldn’t you just switch hands? No danger of burning yourself, no struggle to keep the wand pointing down … I think I’ll keep my curling wand. Straight tools store much more easily. 😉

    • Kate says
      Posted July 24, 2017

      because I would’d be using my dominate hand, I think that would make it a bit more complicated for me. This isn’t for everyone, I’ve just found it to be easier for me!

  32. Lauren says
    Posted July 24, 2017

    Where is a list of all the products you use for texture!? I have virgin hair (never color treated) and it’s very thick but straightens out and can hold a curl. I just want volume and body like you have…what was hair spray and texture spray you mention? Thanks!!

  33. Melissa says
    Posted July 25, 2017

    I have shorter hair, about shoulder length, would this work for loose waves like yours? What size barrel would you suggest?

  34. Kaitlyn T says
    Posted August 4, 2017

    I have suuuper baby fine hair that doesn’t hold curls well. Normally by the time I’m finished curling my hair, the side I started on has already completely melted. It’s a bummer. What does seem to hold is if I do overnight/no heat curls. Have you ever tried comparing some of the products available for no heat curls? I’ve done many of the methods that don’t require a specific product, but would be interested in buying something to make it easier if it would work well!

  35. April says
    Posted August 29, 2017

    That really does look like an awesome tool!

    I recently purchased a straightening brush with 2 interchangeable curling wand and I’m absolutely loving it! I haven’t owned a curling wand before but this was affordable and multifunctional, so I decided to go for it and I’m loving having curly hairstyles for a change! This is my new tool

  36. Erin says
    Posted October 5, 2017

    Are you using the 1 inch or 1 1/4 inch curl bar in this video. I can’t use a curling iron to save my life but I think I might be able to use this thing! 🙂

    I love your videos and your hair is always so gorgeous! Thanks for teaching those of us that are hair challenged!

    • Kate says
      Posted October 5, 2017

      I’m using 1 1/4 inch!

  37. Rebecca Stepter says
    Posted January 11, 2018

    What temperature do you set your curl bar at? Just got one. Thanks for the tutorial!

  38. Tonya says
    Posted March 6, 2018

    Never seen such a device! It looks very functional and helpful in situations when you need a beautiful hairstyle in a matter of minutes:)

  39. Posted July 3, 2018

    One of the best ways to secure your hair and head is through buying those trending and stylish headband hats for yourself.