If you’ve ever owned a multi-barrel curling wand set, you’re probably familiar with the most uniquely shaped rod that’s included in many of them – the bubble curling wand. Personally, it was always kind of an oddity for me and I was hesitant to try curling my hair with it since I’m more comfortable with the standard cylindrical and conical barrels.
What kind of curls can it make? How do you even use one? Let’s find out.
What Is a Bubble Curling Wand?
A bubble curling wand is a curling iron that has large round “bubbles” running along the length of the barrel. Sometimes called a bead or pearl curling wand, it’s one of the newer shapes around that allows you to create fun, funky curls or well-defined spirals depending on how you use it.
Some people swear by the bubble wand entirely for how well it creates natural-looking waves that last.
Advantages of Using a Bubble Wand
If you’re like me, you might be wondering what benefits a bubble wand has over a straight or tapered wand. There are a few advantages that can make them your curler of choice:
- Versatility: The unique shape gives you the ability to create both uniformly even spiral curls or more irregular, voluminous waves. You can also mix it up for a messy bed-head, boho look.
- Bubbles act like training wheels: If you struggle to wrap strands evenly around a traditional curling iron, the round bumps give you additional guide rails for uniform placement around the rod.
- Increased Contact and Hold: One of the biggest benefits to using a bubble wand is the increased grip and contact your hair will have against the barrel. Your locks will stay where they’re placed without sliding down towards the tip the way they can with a tapered barrel.
- Longer-lasting Curls: Due to the increased surface area, many people find that their curls last longer using a bubble wand vs. a standard cylindrical or conical wand.
- Great volumizer: You can create lots of volume and texture on fine, limp hair with bubble wands.
Bubble Wand Curling Techniques
There are a few different techniques that can be used to make the most of your bubble curling wand. Note: don’t expect great results on your first few attempts – you’ll most likely get some odd-looking curls in the beginning. It takes some practice and trial and error before you find a technique that works for you.
- Hold it so the tip faces downward just like a regular wand. Comb each section individually before placing it on the barrel if you have long hair. Then, wrap hair from the top down towards the ends from the base of the barrel to the tip.
- If this is your first time using a bubble wand, wear a glove on your free hand to protect your fingers. Once you’ve gotten the hang of it, you can do it bare-handed. You’ll thank me later. 🙂
- For tighter, well-defined spirals, twist a small section of hair and then wrap them between the bubbles. Make sure not to grab too much hair at a time (no more than 1”). If your hair is thick or style-resistant, spray a bit of flexible-hold hairspray on the section and comb through before wrapping for more hold. Hold for up to 10 seconds, depending on your hair.
- For natural-looking, messier boho waves, wrap your hair in-between, around, and over the bubbles. (Just be careful not to double wrap hair over a section you’ve already placed on the barrel.) You’ll get a lot of texture and volume doing it this way, especially if you alternate the direction of curl between sections.
- Releasing the curl may require some jiggling or unwinding – your hair won’t slip off the end of the barrel as easily. Gently unwind your locks and let the curl cool before tousling or combing through.
Top 3 Bubble Curling Wand Reviews
You can find bubble curling wands sold singly as well as in interchangeable curling wand sets that come with one. Here are my top 3 picks:
The Bed Head Rock N’ Roller Curling Wand is a really popular bubble wand with a tourmaline ceramic barrel. It gets up to a maximum temperature of 400°F, which you can adjust with a control dial.
The black plastic tip stays cool enough so you can hold onto it while curling, which is nice. A heat resistant glove is included for extra protection if needed. There’s a 6’ swivel cord that provides plenty of freedom and maneuverability, and the little kickstand at the base of the barrel keeps it from burning your countertop while on.
It’s a pretty fantastic curler for not a lot of money – there isn’t too much to complain about with this baby. Just make sure you have some length to work with – it’s not the best on shorter styles.
- Tourmaline ceramic barrel reduces frizz and enhances shine
- Dual-voltage capability
- Comes with a free heat protective glove
- 6’ swivel cord doesn’t tangle up
- Adjustable heat up to 400°F
- Not very effective on short hair
The Revlon Salon High Heat Bubble Wand is another great clipless wand that gives you many of the same features as the Bed Head Rock N’ Roller. Tourmaline ceramic materials combined with adjustable heat settings are de rigueur, of course, but the Revlon gets up to 420°F for those of you who need the extra heat.
Even though it can be set to a high heat, this wand is great for giving fine or thin hair lots of volume and va-va-voom. The plastic tip stays cool enough to hold onto while you curl, and it has a fast 30-second heat up.
I have to admit that I’m partial to the hot pink and black colors of the wand – and yes, it comes with a heat resistant glove too (though it’s a pretty flimsy cheap one).
For those of you with thicker or long hair – this may not be the most effective curler even though it has a pretty high maximum heat. It just seems to work best on normal to fine hair.
- Adjustable heat settings up to 420°F
- Great on normal to fine hair
- Superfast heat up time
- Consistent heat throughout the barrel
- Power cord could be longer
The PARWIN PRO Ceramic 5-in-1 Curling Wand Set is an interchangeable set of curling wands including a bubble wand so you’re never stuck with the same old look day in, day out.
Lots of extras come with the set like a carrying case, a glove, as well as a couple alligator clips to section your hair. In addition to the 19mm (~0.75”) bubble wand, there’s a couple cylindrical wands as well as conical wands in both wider and narrower barrels.
The tourmaline ceramic barrels provide pretty consistent heat all around, and the long, 8’ swivel cord is very handy when your nearest outlet is far away from your mirror.
This set is generally better if you’re already experienced with using curling wands as the entire barrel length gets hot – you won’t have a cool tip to hang onto. I also wish there were adjustable heat settings, but it does get pretty hot.
- 5 different barrel sizes and shapes for lots of curl variety
- Easy to switch between different barrels
- Comes with lots of handy extras (travel case, glove, and clips)
- Dual voltage capability
- On/Off only – no adjustable heat settings
My Favorite Bubble Wand
Any one of these wands are great choices, but if I have to pick one, I’d go with the Bed Head Rock N’ Roller Curling Wand. It’s stood the test of time with it’s user-friendly design, affordable price tag, and ease of use. Bubble curling wands may not be for everyone, but they’re certainly another good tool in many ladies’ arsenal for both springy spiral curls and bouncy beach waves.