- High quality ceramic barrels
- Digital display and controls
- Curls can last for days
- 5-in-1 set with beach waver attachment
- Excellent value
- Easy to use
Changing the way you style your hair without spending a lot of money on expensive tools is the dream. In reality, achieving a new style with your old curling iron isn’t likely – unless you’ve got some serious skills (or $$). Who wouldn’t want more options to play with in one tool?
This is why interchangeable curling wands are popular.
A multi-barrel curling wand set makes it possible to switch between different barrel sizes and shapes with one base, allowing you to create multiple styles. The best interchangeable curling wands give you not only different curl and wave options, but different heat options too.
- Best Interchangeable Curling Wands
- Is an Interchangeable Curling Wand For Me?
- What Shapes And Sizes Should I Get?
- How To Use Interchangeable Barrels
- What Features To Look For
- My Favorite Interchangeable Curling Wand
Best Interchangeable Curling Wands
Paul Mitchell’s Unclipped 3-in-1 Curling Wand is a great choice if you’re looking for an effective, high quality multi-barrel set. Personally, I don’t see a huge difference in the curls you get with some of the different barrels in the larger sets (or maybe it’s just my inability to use them effectively).
In any case, you can achieve most of the curls or waves you’d want with the 3 barrels in this set – the standard 1” cylindrical and 2 conicals in skinny (0.5″-0.75”) and wide (1″-1.25”).
The wand heats quickly up to 410°F, which is more than enough for most hair types. Attaching the rods requires you to line up and insert the 3 pins inside the barrel into the base, which holds securely in place once you twist to the lock position.
The wands are clipless, which is great if you don’t want any creases in your hair that clamp irons tend to leave. A small 3-finger glove is included, but it’s not all that effective, so you may want to invest in a proper heat-resistant glove for safety. The barrels do have cool tips so that helps to reduce potential burns.
This set is my pick for those who want some variety but don’t want too many attachments. The dual-voltage compatibility is another benefit, though it would be nice if it came with a carrying case.
- Well-known and trusted hair styling brand
- Digital display and temperature controls up to 410°F
- Superfast heat up
- Cool barrel tips prevent accidental burns
- Curls are long-lasting, even in humidity
- Flimsy 3-finger glove included not that useful
The BESTOPE Beach Waver 5-in-1 set is unique in that it includes a triple barrel iron as one of the interchangeable options. I’m not sure I’ve seen that anywhere else, so if you like 3-barrel curling irons, this one’s for you.
Each rod is long and beautiful in rose gold ceramic, from a super skinny 0.35″ up to a 1.25″-wide large barrel. There’s also a tapered wand, so you can get those gorgeous beachy waves using that OR the 3-barrel crimper.
In terms of heat settings, you can choose from either 1) 300°F or 2) 410°F, which I’d say is best for healthy medium hair types. The high setting (2) does get plenty hot, so it will definitely set a curl even if you’ve got thick or coarse strands.
It’s easy to swap out the attachments, and overall this set is a great value considering all the different barrel shapes and sizes.
Do note that some users experienced a burnt smell on their hair after use, which isn’t common, but something to be aware of. Always use heat protectant before doing any heat styling to avoid burning or damaging your hair.
- Includes a 3-barrel beach waver attachment
- Dual voltage capability for international use
- Easy to use, even for beginners
- Comes with a glove and 2 hair clips
- Only 2 heat settings to choose from
- Can leave a burnt smell on hair
- 13mm (0.5”)
- 19mm (0.75”)
- 25mm (1”)
- 32mm (1.25”)
PARWIN Pro Beauty has a dizzying amount of interchangeable wand sets, making it tough to know which to get. They have multiple 5-in-1 sets, a couple 7-in-1’s and even an 8-in-1. Some sets include barrels with clamps, others only have clipless wands, plus there’s also a choice between solid black or rose gold colors.
If you prefer non-tapered barrels, the 7-in-1 Curling Wand is a good choice. The set comes with 4 cylindrical rods from the super skinny 0.5” to a 1.25” barrel, plus a super-wide 1.5” oval barrel. There’s one conical wand and a bubble barrel too.
Besides that, there’s a handy travel case that fits all 7 barrels, a heat-protective glove, as well as a couple hair clips.
The barrels are infused with tourmaline ceramic, which really help to cut down on frizz and leave your hair shiny and smooth.
Attaching and detaching the barrels are easy – just line up the grooves with the end of the barrel to insert, and then twist to secure it in the lock position.
The long 8’ cord gives you plenty of freedom as well as maneuverability with a 360° swivel too.
- Handy travel/storage case included
- 5 different cylindrical barrels, 1 conical, and 1 bubble
- Backlit, easy to read digital display
- Tourmaline ceramic barrels leave hair looking shiny and controls frizz
- Adjustable temperature settings from 170°F to 450°F
- Hot barrel tips can burn your neck if you’re not careful
- 13mm (0.5”)
- 19mm (0.75”)
- 25mm (1”)
- 32mm (1.25”)
If you really want the whole kit-n-kaboodle, the NuMe Octowand has 8 different barrels to choose from. NuMe uses only 100% tourmaline-infused ceramic in these wands, making them safe and effective for frequent styling. There’s no need to worry about a ceramic-coating coming off, which helps protect your hair from uneven heat exposure and damage.
You can get some seriously tight corkscrew curls with the smallest cone if you twist your strands before wrapping it around the barrel. Alternatively, get pretty ribbon curls by laying hair flat across the surface as you wrap (you’ll want to use a cylindrical barrel for this).
Digital heat settings go from 170°F to 450°F, and you can set the wand to shut off automatically anytime between 10 and 60 minutes. There’s also a rubber heat resistant tip on each barrel to help reduce burns.
There’s literally no size or shape that’s missing from this set. The reverse cone that’s wider at the tip and narrower at the base gives you the opposite effect of the standard conical shape. You get smaller curls near your roots that widens to larger waves near your ends. It does help curls stay in longer since it’s tighter further up.
NuMe’s products are consistently high quality, so if you’re going to invest in a multi-barrel wand, it’s worth getting a set that will protect hair as well as it curls.
- 8 barrels of all shapes and sizes in one set
- Barrels are made of 100% tourmaline-infused ceramic
- Fully adjustable heat settings up to 450°F
- Heats up in under 30 seconds
- Soft zippered carrying bag and heat resistant glove included
- Base has no stand to prop hot barrels off your counter
Is an Interchangeable Curling Wand For Me?
Who doesn’t like a tool that can do more than one thing? If you get bored of the same style day after day, you’re a good candidate for an interchangeable curling wand.
The biggest benefit, of course, is the ability to create different curl types from small ringlets to loose, bouncy beach waves, and everything in between without buying multiple curling irons.
With interchangeable barrels, you’ll have one base that comes with 3, 5, or up to 8 removable barrels to switch between.
It’s also a great option if you share use of a curler with someone else in the same household since it doesn’t limit either of you to the same curl or wave.
However, if you tend to favor one specific look, you’re better off investing in a standard curling wand or iron. There’s no need to buy more attachments than you’ll actually use.
Does Price Make A Difference?
Most interchangeable curling wand barrels are ceramic coated. Not surprising, given ceramic’s ability to conduct heat evenly and reduce the amount of moisture drawn out of your tresses.
However, you’ll see some large price discrepancies between different brands, which begs the question, does price make a difference?
Generally speaking, the cheaper the set, the more likely you’ll have ceramic-coated or glazed barrels versus solid ceramic. This is an important distinction because ceramic-coated barrels may wear off with use over time, exposing your strands to damaging heat from the material underneath (normally metal).
If you plan to use your curler frequently, it’s recommended to get a solid ceramic set so you’re not subjecting your tresses to more heat damage than necessary.
What Shapes And Sizes Should I Get?
Naturally, larger barrels will give you looser waves versus the more defined, tighter curls from thinner wands. Here’s what each size and shape can create:
- 0.35″ to 0.71″ conicals are the smallest and used for tight, corkscrew-like curls. These are best for short to shoulder length thin hair. The size is perfect for small touch-ups or to tame already curly hair.
- 0.71″ to 0.98″ conical is the size to choose for ringlet curls, finger waves, spirals or that retro look. Although they work with long hair, they perform best on shorter styles.
- 0.75″ cylinder barrels are ideal for creating vintage to corkscrew curls. They work excellently in short to medium lengths and are effective at taming thin, hard-to-style hair.
- 1″ to 1.25″ cylinder barrels is the standard most of us use daily. These are suitable for any length and hair type. The curls produced are looser and wavy—perfect for a glam night.
- Bubble barrels (also called pearl or bead barrels) are a little different. Instead of being a straight cylinder, it has hourglass-shape bumps running the length of the rod. They’re good for creating natural-looking, textured curls.
How To Use Interchangeable Barrels
Multi-barrel curling wands are pretty straightforward to use. Each barrel is usually attached by simply inserting it into the base and twisting to the lock position. Once it’s securely attached, plug it in and use it like a standard curling wand.
Of all the barrel types, the bubble wand might be the most complicated or confusing to use. The grooves can work as a guide for wrapping your hair between (this will give you twisty twirly curls). Or, you can simply wrap on and around the bumps for less uniform, natural-looking curls.
The main difference in using it is that you have to unravel the hair since your strands won’t slip off as easily the way they do off a cylindrical or tapered rod.
What Features To Look For
Combination of Barrel Sizes and Shapes
Most 3-in-1 sets come with a couple cylindrical barrels in different widths (usually a 1” and another that’s either wider or narrower) plus one conical-shaped barrel. This might be enough if you’re mainly looking for defined curls on some occasions and looser waves on others.
Once you get to the 5-, 6-, 7- or even 8-in-1 sets, you’ll usually get 2-3 each of the cylindrical and tapered barrels in different sizes, as well as a bubble or pearl wand. You may even get a reverse cone-shape, which has a wider tip and a narrow base.
These multi-barrel sets are best if you really like experimenting with different looks and are able to make use of each wand. Otherwise there’s no need to get additional sizes and shapes that will just sit in your drawer.
Being able to adjust the temperature to the appropriate setting for your hair is a huge plus. Unfortunately, curling irons with interchangeable barrels don’t always offer this capability.
Those without this feature are too hot for some hair types—most reach up to 450°F. If you’ve got thick hair, it’s probably okay—but, for fine, damaged, color-treated or synthetic hair, adjustable heat settings are a must-have.
Clamp or Clipless Wand
While most interchangeable wands are of the clipless variety, some sets include barrels with a clamp like a spring curling iron.
This is beneficial if you prefer using a clamp to hold your hair against the barrel while you twirl and curl.
If handling hot tools isn’t something you’re used to, consider getting a set that comes with a cool tip on each barrel or a heat resistant glove (or both).
It’s also a good idea to get the hang of your curling technique with a cold iron first so you’re not fumbling around burning yourself with a hot appliance. Get comfortable with the hand-eye coordination of twisting sections around the barrel on both sides of your head first.
Then plug the wand in and do it for real.
While we’re on the topic of safety, you may as well get a curling wand that has auto shut-off. Several curlers offer this feature nowadays, so it’s not hard to find. The usual shut-off period is after 60 minutes.
The vast majority of interchangeable curling wands available are made of ceramic or tourmaline ceramic. This is appropriate for most hair types, especially if you’re worried about heat damage.
However, if you have style-resistant or coarse hair, you may need titanium to get the job done.
My Favorite Interchangeable Curling Wand
Creating totally different looks with a single curler isn’t just a pipe dream. Why limit yourself to one curl or wave type when you can rock a springy corkscrew curl one day and change it up to flowy beach waves the next?
In my opinion, 5-in-1 sets give you the best bang for your buck for the variety of looks you can create. More than that is generally unnecessary as you won’t see a huge difference in the results.
That said, I find the Paul Mitchell Unclipped 3-in-1 Curling Wand to be my fave because it’s a high quality set with the barrel sizes and shapes I actually need. I don’t usually end up using half the barrels that come with the larger sets because the difference between a 0.75″ cylindrical and a 0.7″-1″ conical wand, for example, isn’t big enough for me to need a separate rod altogether.
What’s your favorite interchangeable curler?