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Here’s what you need to know to choose between a ceramic vs titanium curling wand. If you want to choose the one that’s right for your hair, check out our guide.
It may not seem like picking the right material is a big deal, but these two materials are actually very different. They also work better for specific hair types, so it’s important to understand what each material has to offer.
Ceramic vs Titanium Curling Iron Comparison
Here’s a brief overview of the pros and cons for each curling wand material:
- Even heating
- Adds shine
- Good for hair health
- Can chip or crack
- Lower temperature range
- Effective heat transfer
- High temperature range
- Good for coarse hair
- Inconsistent heating
For more information about each point, check out our full comparison of these curling iron materials below.
Advantages of Ceramic
The biggest benefit of ceramic is that it provides even heating. This material, whether it’s being used in the heaters or on the barrel, maintains its temperature more consistently than metal.
That means you won’t have spots along the barrel that are hotter or colder than what you set it at.
That’s beneficial for a number of different reasons, but the most important one is hair health.
Consistent heating is important to hair health because certain hair types require different temperatures. Fine hair, in particular, really shouldn’t be heated to anything above 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
If you have hot spots, you may be exposing your hair to higher temperatures than you anticipated. This can lead to damage, even if you were careful about using a safer temperature. That’s why the even heating of this material is a better choice for more delicate hair.
Apart from that, ceramic also has good styling benefits.
The even heating also leads to consistent styling. And this material helps to create a smooth, shiny finish to any style.
However, there is one small issue with all of these benefits.
Most options for this type of device aren’t actually made of this material. Instead, they have a ceramic coating over a metal barrel. Obviously, this isn’t as effective as a true ceramic barrel.
If you’re intent on using a fully ceramic device, a better option would be a flat iron. If you’re willing to pay the steeper price, you can easily find a device with real ceramic plates. You can still do curls with these devices as well. In fact, for some people, flat iron curls are actually easier.
If not, the coating will still have some beneficial effects. It is going to help with even heating, even if the barrel is still metal. It also creates a smooth surface for your hair to glide over.
So overall, even if it’s just in a coating, this material is a good choice.
There are two major downsides to this material.
What’s the maximum temperature?
The first is that it doesn’t run as hot as metal options. Whether it’s the manufacturers, or the material itself, it’s difficult to find options that get above 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
In most cases, this isn’t a problem. Afterall, styling above 400 degrees isn’t really recommended, and certainly not if you’re styling regularly.
However the reality is that coarser hair types require a greater heat. This hair type has more layers, and is therefore much more stubborn to style.
So while this material is good for fine or medium hair, coarse hair may not style as effectively.
The other downside is that it’s not as durable as metal.
Is it as good as metal?
This material, whether in solid or coating form, has been known to chip or crack. As stoneware, it’s naturally going to be more delicate than metal.
To combat this, you need to be careful when handling your device. Set it down gently, and don’t just throw it into a drawer when you’re done styling.
For extra protection, you can purchase a bag or case, or purchase an option that comes with its own case. And if you don’t want to make the extra purchase, just remember to use caution.
These options can last and withstand a lot of styling, so long as you care for them properly.
Advantages of Titanium
(It’s important to note that the benefits listed here are specific to titanium. Other metal options, like gold or copper, have their own specific benefits and downsides.)
The main benefit to this metal, in particular, is the heat transfer rate. Heat transfer refers to the material’s ability to transfer heat to another object, in this case your hair.
This can make a substantial difference in styling.
Doing curls requires you to hold your hair against the barrel for a few seconds, in order for the style to hold well. Since the heat will penetrate your hair more effectively with metal devices, this process is easier.
You don’t have to hold each section for as long, since they’ll heat quickly. You’re also more likely to get a good hold, since the high temperatures can penetrate your hair easier.
How well does it work?
Overall, it’s much more effective for styling.
In addition, this material can also reach high temperatures. The temperature ranges for metal devices can reach up to 450 degrees Fahrenheit, and even hotter.
These temperatures may not be suitable for fine hair, but they’re great for coarse or stubborn hair. This hair type usually requires temperatures between 400 to 425 degrees, in order to style well.
Lastly, metal is a very durable material. These devices can withstand rough handling, so you don’t have to worry about traveling with them, etc.
The main downside to metal is something that was actually pointed out when talking about ceramic: the uneven heating.
Although metal transfer heat well, it doesn’t maintain heat as consistently. This can lead to parts of the device being hotter than others, which can, in turn, lead to hair damage.
For coarser hair types, the thicker hair shafts means that you can generally get away with this. As long as you’re using a safe temperature, you shouldn’t have any problems.
For fine or delicate hair, it’s more of an issue. You need to make sure you’re using a low temperature, and taking precautions, like using heat protectant spray.
Best Ceramic Curling Wand
If you’ve decided that this material is right for you, here are some great options:
Conair Double Ceramic Curling Wand, 1 Inch Curling Wand, White / Rose GoldKIPOZI Pro Conical Curling Wand, 3/4-1 1/4 Inch Curling Wand Ceramic Hair Curling Wand with Digital Control, Dual Voltage Curling Wand Include Heat Resistant GloveCHI Tourmaline Ceramic Curling Wand With Thermal Glove Included
And best of all, a lot of them are budget friendly. With this material, a lot of high-end options cost upwards of one hundred dollars.
These options are more affordable, but they still have good quality. Trusted brands like CHI, for example, are a good choice.
Best Titanium Curling Wand
If you’re looking for a metal option, these devices are a good choice:
These options are a bit pricier than the previous ones, but they’re from well trusted brands.
Babyliss, in particular, provides a quality option. They’re well known for using this material, and have a lot of devoted users.
The other fun thing about options like these, is that they come in different colors as well. Although aesthetics isn’t the main thing to look for in a styling tool, it’s still nice to have something pretty.
You may still be wondering which material is better. Unfortunately, there’s no way to definitively say which one will work better for you.
The reality is that both devices can curl hair. Which one is better for you comes down to your specific priorities.
Here are some common priorities that can help you narrow down your decision. Choose the one, or multiple ones, that are most important to you, and make your decision based on that.
If you’re going to be styling weekly or even daily, a ceramic device is the better choice. The consistent heating can help preserve your hair health. And the fact that they tend to have lower temperature ranges is also helpful.
Long term, less exposure to high heat is going to help save your hair. That’s why this material is better if you style your hair frequently.
Keep in mind though, a good hair routine is also important if you’re exposing your hair to heat. This will help keep your hair conditioned and protected.
Ceramic is the better choice for more delicate hair types. Again, the way it heats, and its lower temperatures, are both perfect for fine hair.
For coarse hair, metal is the way to go.
The better heat transfer of this material can penetrate thicker hair shafts easily. That means that even stubborn hair will hold a curl.
The good news for medium hair is that either device will work fine. Choose a device according to your other priorities.
Titanium is a better choice if you just need something solid. Metal is durable, and this metal in particular, is known for its sturdiness.
With these devices, you don’t have to worry as much when storing them or traveling with them.
Since both materials have such different styling benefits, choosing based on this quality can be difficult.
Due to better heat transfer rate, titanium is the more practical choice. It’s going to get you a good hold on your curls, without as much fuss.
Ceramic, on the other hand, can give hair a silky, shiny finish. This is obviously helpful if you want that salon styled look. (However, it is true that you can also get shiny hair by using the right products.)
For hair health, ceramic is the better material. Again, it’s even heating and temperature range can both help ensure that hair doesn’t overheat and sustain damage.
For both materials, the cheapest ones are around twenty dollars. Mid-range prices usually run around forty to fifty dollars, and high end can be anywhere from eighty to one hundred.
Luckily, while more expensive options are of higher quality, any device will work. And since both materials have comparable price ranges, you can focus on your other priorities.
Other Notable Features
Apart from materials, there are some other features that will impact your styling. These features, in particular, are important because you’ll encounter them when shopping for both materials. As such, they can impact your decision as to which specific device you want.
Here is an overview of two other features to be aware of:
Width and Shape
The width and shape of the barrel you use can make a drastic difference in styling.
In terms of shape, you’re choosing between a tapered wand and a straight barrel. (Tapered barrels are the ones that are thick on the bottom, and narrow at the top.)
Both barrels create curls. However, there are a few key differences between the two. Here’s an overview of the strengths of both shapes.
Tapered Wands are better for:
- Natural looking curls
- Short hair or Bangs
Straight Barrels are better for:
- Thicker Hair
- Perfect Coils
For more information, you can check out our detailed guide.
Width is the other important factor.
The width of the barrel determines the width of your curls, so choose accordingly. (The average size is around one inch, so that’s a good starting point.)
Apart from that, the other notable styling difference is that wider barrels make it easier to do waves. A 2-inch barrel is a good choice for really loose curls or waves.
When looking at devices, you may come across options that list tourmaline as a material. There’s one key difference between ceramic, titanium and tourmaline curling irons.
What is Tourmaline?
That difference would be the fact that tourmaline is most often used as part of a coating on the barrel. It’s not a material that you really see on its own, even if something is listed as a tourmaline curling iron.
Tourmaline is actually a gemstone, so it’s not easy to turn it into a barrel or plate for styling tools. Instead, it’s usually ground up and added into whatever coating is going onto the device. Hence why it’s often paired with ceramic.
So if you’re interested in protecting your hair, a ceramic tourmaline curling wand is a good choice.
Making Your Decision
In the end, the best styling tool is the one that fits your priorities. Whether your focus is your hair type, styling needs, or wallet, the device should align with that.
The great thing about heated styling tools is that there’s so many options. With all the materials and features available, you should be able to find something that can perfectly suit you. You just have to have the right background knowledge about what to look for.
With that, deciding between a ceramic vs titanium curling wand is easy.