Do you need to be a contortionist to achieve salon-worthy curls at home? If someone were to assess the lengths I go to in order to reach the back of my head, they’d probably say yes. Requiring another person (or quite possibly another limb?), my solo efforts often fall flat. However, the new CurlBar from Hot Tools Professional has the potential to provide the helping hand I need, thanks to its claims to prevent shoulder, elbow and wrist strain and reduce the time and effort it takes to achieve stress-free curls, volume and movement. It could be a game-changer.
CurlBar claims to prevent achy arms and create faster, longer-lasting curls with less stress. With those credentials, it could be one of this year’s cleverest hair tools...
How does it differ from a traditional tong?
With its barrel positioned at 90 degrees to its long soft touch handle, it’s been ergonomically engineered to ensure greater comfort, ease of use and precision. With mascaras , eyeliners and makeup brushes having all benefitted from approaching tools from different angles in the past, I was interested to see if this could be applied to the world of hair too.
Does it deliver?
Shaped like a hairdryer, its L-shape design and generously sized barrel are attributes that lend themselves very well to achieving an extra degree of accuracy and uniformity - especially for longer and thicker hair types like mine. However, there’s so much more to this tool than how it looks. In particular, its curl timer is a genius addition. Providing a digital countdown for each curl (from 0 to 10 seconds), it gives a gentle vibration when time’s up to avoid curls getting overcooked - extremely valuable if you’re particularly distraction-prone like me. With eight heat settings to choose from, its temperature can be adjusted from 160 degrees to 230 degrees (I dialled up to 180 degrees and used a timer of 10 seconds for each section of my hair), and its gold styling surface produces a more consistent curl from root to tip that slides off silkily. I was definitely impressed.
Available in two sizes - 25mm and 32mm (I tried the former) - it provides a contortion-free way of achieving the type of big, bouncy curls and waves usually reserved for a blowdry bar. Priced at £100, it’s certainly best placed for payday (or birthday - I'd definitely recommend sending out some heavy hints for this one), but in terms of combining a more comfortable user experience with subtle techy extras to make the whole process more seamless, it’s one of the more clever curling tongs I’ve tried.