We may earn money or products from the companies mentioned in this post. For more information, see our disclosure.
So you bought a 5 in 1 curling set, now what?
Don’t let the excess throw you off. Having a 5 in 1, interchangeable curling iron is a good purchase. All the different sizes and shapes can seem overwhelming or even unnecessary, but for anyone who is serious about curling hair, it’s an absolute dream. Believe it or not, all those subtle, or not-so-subtle, differences can give you totally different looks, assuming you know what you’re doing.
Here is a brief guide for what you can expect from each different attachment, as well as some general advice for using heated styling tools.
Types of Attachments
The best place to start is with the different attachments. Typically, interchangeable sets come with different style of cylindrical and tapered curling wands. They may also include a bubble wand, depending on what brand you purchase. Before you begin styling, it’s good to know the benefits and limitations of each of them.
Tapered wands aren’t really that different from the traditional barrel shape, other than the fact that they get thinner towards the top of the device. The main difference is that you can achieve a more natural look with these devices, and they’re also useful for shorter hair. For more information, check out our detailed breakdown here.
Clip-less Irons or Cylindrical Wands
Cylindrical wands aren’t that difference from traditional curling irons, save the fact that they don’t have a clip. This makes them a little easier to use, and you do get more control over your hair. Other than that, they’re not too dissimilar from a traditional curling iron barrel. For more information, check out our detailed breakdown here.
Bubble wands are probably the most unfamiliar of all the attachments. I would consider them to still be a relatively new product, so not a lot of people know what to do with them.
Bubble wands are actually really great for a number of more natural looking styles, particularly waves. Bubble wand beach waves are a popular look, that you can easily achieve with a little help from a tutorial. Of course, you can also use them to get different style curls. The key is to pay attention to how your wrap your hair around each little bubble. You can wrap it in-between the bubbles, on the bubbles, or do a mixture of both. Each method will get you a different look. If you want to know more, check out our guide and product suggestion.
If you want some ideas for how to style all of your wonderful new curl options, I recommend this article from The Beauty Department. They go through a number of options, and include pictures for reference.
Each of their suggestions is for a traditional curling iron, however that doesn’t meant it’s not useful. The main point is the size of the barrel. You’ll have multiple barrel widths with your set, so reading the article can help you determine which width is appropriate for the style you want to achieve. You should still be able to get similar results even if you’re using a wand instead of a iron.
This article from Allure also has styling tips for different widths, although it’s not as detailed as the one from The Beauty Department, but it doesn’t include pictures.
Getting the Most out of Your Device
When you’ve got your 5-in-1 sorted out and know what each barrel is about, the next step is actually using the device.
In order to get the most out of it, you want to make sure that you’re using it in conjunction with a proper hair routine. Keep your hair moisturized, and always use a heat protectant when styling. You should also know that curls hold best in “dirty hair”, which refers to hair that hasn’t been washed, or at least hasn’t been shampooed. To that end, invest in a good dry shampoo since you’re going to have the best results with two-day hair or beyond. If you can’t avoid washing your hair, you can also spray some hair spray on beforehand. This sounds a little out of order, but doing so can give your hair the texture and structure it needs to cling to itself well.
I would also encourage you to check out other styling guides or tutorials like the ones listed above. The worst thing you can do with this type of device is stick to just one of the attachments. There are so many different possible styles you can achieve with this device, regardless of hair type or length. It would be a shame to miss out on that just because you didn’t want to experiment with barrel widths and types.
Remember to Have Fun!
I’d be remiss to close the article without mentioning just how fun these devices can be. You can have a different look every day, or even get a really textured look by using different attachments for the same look. (Although waiting for the device to cool between switching out attachments may not be quite as much fun.) The point is, there’s so much to try and do, that you should definitely play around as much as possible.
The style that looks the best is the one that makes you feel the best, so fully utilize your hair tools, and don’t restrict yourself.