Friday, 17 June 2016

Battle of the Curling Wands (Part 3): GHD Curve Soft Curl Tong (32mm)

hair, curling wands, GHD

Missed Parts 1 and 2? You can catch up on them here and here.

Hi everyone & welcome to the final instalment of my 3 part series featuring the curling wands I own. As promised, this post features links to the other 2 parts and all posts in this series will or have been updated with links to the other parts, so that you can follow along easily.

As previously mentioned, for each of these posts, I'll be prepping my (freshly-washed, partly air-dried) hair using TRESemmé's Perfectly (Un)Done Wave Creating Foam before blow-drying & curling and will attempt to use the same curling method (either over or under & towards my face) throughout. I've also decided that in order to save time & perhaps prevent any personal confusion with my curling method, I'm going to use a hair styling hack I recently re-discovered - I'll scoop all my hair into a high ponytail & tie it with an elastic before curling. I've done this in the past & it works quite well.
ghd curve, hair, curling wands

Today's post features a device that came into my hair arsenal unexpectedly - the GHD Curve Soft Curl Tong. I say unexpectedly because I won it in a Beautyheaven competition earlier in the year and given how many members there are, I definitely didn't expect to win at all. Despite having the 2 other wands already in my collection, I was quite happy & grateful to receive it as I've only ever had GHD products used on me in salons & was (naturally) curious to see just how it stacked up against the other 2 wands I own. Thank you once again BH!

ghd curve, curling wands, hair

Before we get into battle mode, here are the features/claims of this wand (according to the box it came in):
  • Soft curl tong large 32mm barrel with spring activated lever creates gorgeous volume and soft waves on mid-to-long hair.
  • Right heat patented tri-zone™ breakthrough ceramic technology guarantees the right curling temperature of 185°C (365°F) to create lasting curls, whilst respecting the health of your hair.
  • Even heat six quick-thinking sensors in the tri-zone™ barrel heat to 185°C and maintain this temperature constant and even all along the barrel. Heat transfer to the hair is so efficient that curls are formed fast and stay locked-in.
  • The result? gorgeous, strong, shiny curls that last around the clock* (*tested statically at standard room temperature and humidity).
  • Advanced ceramic coating specially designed for smoother curling.
  • On-off switch and indicator press and hold design avoids accidental use during styling. Light and sound indicate on-off and ready to use.
  • Sleep mode - automatically turns off if left unattended for 30 minutes.
  • Universal voltage and professional length swivel cable 
Here's what went down + my thoughts & extra bits about my GHD tong:
  • Yet again I sprayed heat protectant (along with using the mousse) before blow-drying & curling. I have a strong feeling that using it was to my'll see why below.
  • Aside from the instruction manual in several languages, this wand also came with a "mini masterclass" book (also in several languages), which shows you how to use your tong or wand in a couple of different ways, as well as some "top tips" about using your wand. I've also had a look at the GHD website for more looks & there's a couple on there that I'd like to try one day.
  • Out of the 3 wands I own, this is the best at letting me know when it's ready for styling. At least this one flashes and plays a couple of different sounds to let you know where your tong is at in the heating process - one for start-up, one for "at temperature" and one when you turn off your appliance. No guesswork here.
  • Speaking of heat, this wand heats up super duper ultra fast. We're talking within 10 seconds here! Not only does it heat up fast, but it is hot when it's finished. Do be careful not to burn yourself because you can't turn the temperature down if you do. The lack of adjustable temperature is one of 2 negatives I have about this wand, the other being that my tong didn't come with a heat-protection mat (unlike any of the sets, including the Arctic gold set). The heat mat is available for $40AUD on GHD's Australian website, so I might look at getting one down the track. I have been wearing the glove I got with the BaByliss Pro wand mentioned in part 2 when using this, but I didn't bother this time. I should've ignored my inner voice because guess who burnt herself ever so slightly?
  • The manual says to hold your hair in place for 5-8 seconds (depending on hair type) and I did follow that for some of the curls, but for others it was more like 10-12 seconds. I also curled larger pieces this time because I found my hair fell out of the wand a couple of times (although that could've been due to the point I'm about to make below) + I felt I could get away with it, since the barrel is fairly large. 
  • Speaking of which, the barrel itself is very smooth and definitely the smoothest of the 3 wands I own. I can definitely tell that this wand is a quality product, just by that feature and the steam it produces when you unwind your hair from the barrel. No scraping plates sound here! That said, I did find it a bit difficult to hold my hair tight around the barrel, which may have to do with the barrel itself and/or the point I'm about to make....
  • What's worse than having to re-do bits that have dropped out? Having to re-do your entire fucking head because your hair was too soft to begin with! Sadly, it happened to me with this wand & my lord it was a pain in the arse. Even though I used what I thought was a fair amount of mousse, clearly it wasn't enough because the curls began dropping out again even after I re-curled them.
  • Post-curling, I noticed some of the ends of my mane felt like they did when I used the Jilbère de Paris wand from part 1 - crispy duck - but again, nothing that my hair oil of choice couldn't fix. 2 applications of oil post-curling + a night's sleep was all my hair needed to feel nice again.
Here's the end result which, as mentioned previously, may not be visible enough since my hair is that dark to the point of looking black. Sorry for all the light getting in the way - I was near my bathroom window, shooting this about an hour later than I have done for the previous parts:

I didn't bother brushing out the curls. I just tried to smooth down my roots & mid-lengths as much as possible, so my mane didn't resemble a bird's nest. I can't tell you how long they lasted because several hours later I combed them out of my hair entirely. The final result was not as I'd hoped and I'm really disappointed with how my hair looks in the photos; but again, I blame that on how soft my hair was to begin with. I shouldn't be too hard on myself here - it's only the 2nd time I've used this wand - but I have thought of a few ways to improve for next time:
  1. I won't put my hair in a ponytail to begin with - I'll leave my hair down, curl it, then set the curls with duck bill clips to cool. I normally do this when I curl my hair, but I figured using the hair hack specified above would help with my lack of co-ordination.
  2. Maybe wait a day before curling my hair, so that it's not so soft. 
  3. Re-think my styling product of choice. It's hard to get a curl using a product specifically designed to help create waves, derp. I'd still use a mousse/foam, just a different one. I would use GHD's curl spray, but I'm allergic to one of the ingredients in it (alcohol denat, aka SD alcohol-40 for my overseas readers).
  4. Finally buy myself the matching volumising conditioner to go with the volumising shampoo I have from bhave, which I've been washing my hair with throughout this series.
So is it worth splashing out on a GHD Curve? I think if you want to invest in a wand and you heat style your hair a lot, then this is worth it. Even though parts of my ends felt a bit crispy post-curl, my hair still felt smooth going through the barrel. If there's anything I've learnt from this series, it's that the way your hair feels when being curled/waved is important and it's something I've really tried to pay attention to throughout this series. Would I have bought one myself if I hadn't won it? No, although I was nearly tempted to buy one when the Curve range first came out and I had my eye on the Classic Wave Wand. However, as I've said all throughout this series, you do get what you pay for & with this you are paying for quality; so by all means, splash the cash....or if you're a bargain hunter like me, wait for a good sale before splashing the cash. GHD's Aussie website currently has these wands on their own for $180 which, if you know GHD's prices, you'd know this is a bargain.

You can purchase GHD Curve wands at a variety of salons, Hairhouse Warehouse or on GHD's website. If you're reading from overseas, just change the country first.

P.S. Skip on over to my wrap-up post to see all 3 looks side by side + which wand I chose as the winner!
P.P.S. Have joined the party yet again with the Monday Makeup Madness linky link-up.

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Would you be disappointed if your hair turned out like my "after" shot?


    1. It's quite a large barrel isn't it? I personally would be disappointed if I only ended up with a slight wave, considering the effort and time involved in a curling session lol

      Jackie (Lipstick, Lattes & Louboutins)

      1. It is fairly big - makes my BaByliss wand look smaller by comparison, even though that one's slightly bigger than the GHD. I'll have to experiment with it a bit more to achieve the look I'm after methinks.

    2. Hmmm, I think you're very brave Shell - it all seems pretty complicated and I admire your dedication to finding the right combination of products and technique. I'm sticking with my short hair lol ♥♥♥

      1. Don't know about brave Kats, but I'll take the compliment anyway. :o) I guess I just want to get better at styling my mid-long hair and considering that I have 3 wands, I have no excuse not to!

    3. My hair doesn't hold a curl well at all. At home I mainly straighten my hair rather than curl it. That way I know it will last the entire night.

      1. I'd be hopeless at straightening my hair! At least I know I can curl it. My hair does hold a curl usually, it just didn't hold this one sadly.

    4. I don't have enough hair to curl my hair! and like Ingrid my hair doesn't hold curls too well either :(

      Lily not Louise

      1. I guess having shorter hair means less styling time right?

    5. I love the after! You have so much hair, so lucky!! I wonder if using a texturizing product would give you what you're after...

      1. Thanks! A texturising product might do the trick, who knows...not sure what I should use tbh.


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