How To Turn Your Curling Iron Into A Curling Wand

If you hate denting your hair with the clamp on your curling iron, this is the beauty hack for you!
Publish date:
August 26, 2013
curling irons, beauty hacks, heat styling, tools, curling wands

On the subject of DIY, I hold the featherweight championship. I have been elbow-deep in homemade fabric dyes, and ankle-deep in crap from backfired projects.

This DIY how-to combines three of my favorite things: craftsman tools (of which I have more than the boys in the house), beauty tools (of which I also have more than the boys), and easy-to-do projects.

There are so many pros for using a curling wand/rod over a traditional curling iron. Inexperienced users can create dents, bumps, burns and even what is called "fish hooks" when the hair is incorrectly positioned in a spring-loaded curling iron. Removing the shell/clamp allows us to curl the hair faster and easier.

Before going to the drugstore/big-box store and spending money on a curling wand, consider making this free upgrade instead.

To complete this mission, you will need the following:

  • Dry hair
  • A rod-and-shell curling iron (the kind with the spring lever)
  • A Phillips head screwdriver (or drill bit)

And before you start attacking electronic appliances with a power tool, a few safety pointers:

  • Make sure the appliance is unplugged (derrrrrrp) and preferably COMPLETELY cooled down.
  • Ensure that you are ONLY working with a rod-and-shell style curling iron (no long second handle); some other irons called Marcel irons have electricity in both handles, you don’t want to mess with that. When in doubt, Google!
  • If you permanently remove the metal piece meant to keep the appliance from touching surfaces, place the device on a folded towel and DO NOT leave unattended when in use. You don’t want to cause a fire or melt through a table!

Here goes the easy part, the nitty gritty.

If there is a metal bracket meant to keep the rod off of the table, stretch it away from the body to remove it. You may be able to put this back on later, but it is not 100% crucial.

Unscrew the two screws found horizontally on either side of the shell (outer portion).

Now, simply unscrew the screw that is securing the spring, and BOOM! YOU’RE DONE!

It's so easy that my dog could do it, and she is an unskilled worker.

If you already style your hair without opening the curling iron, as many of us do, you will be happy with the direct heat that a styling rod provides. If you are a newbie, it can be helpful to practice your hand positioning and technique on a cold tool.

Simply wrap the hair around the rod while holding vertically, twirling the hair away from the face. I generally start the first wrap in the front just at the eyebrow or cheekbone to create that '70s flow.

Depending on the thickness, cut and style of your hair, wrapping just three to four vertical sections per half of the head for a medium length, medium density head will provide soft, loose waves if you use a 1” rod. For example, a ½” rod on thick long hair would require more sections and provide definition to a tight curl. I don’t recommend using a rod wider than 1½” unless you have super long hair and plenty of it, but get prepared to use small sections with such a large iron to get more than a slight wave.

Tiny curling irons are perfect for this, on all hair types and lengths. I use these to touch up my beach hair when I have to look presentable but still want to channel my inner Mufasa.

ALL hair types can use these methods; you just have to find the sweet spot for your hair type and desired style!