Owning a dual voltage curling iron is a must if you frequently travel overseas. Apart from dual voltage compatibility, these models are also lightweight and compact for the ease of travel.
For somebody who struggles with light packing for overseas business trips, the last thing I want in my luggage is a heavy-duty curling iron that needs a voltage adapter to work outside the US.
Despite the mini stature, dual voltage curling irons work in pretty much the same way as regular irons. These would make great entry-level curling wands for complete beginners due to their light built and ease-of-use. A lot of models also come with a variety of barrel sizes for easily customizable hairstyles.
Another distinct advantage of portable curling wands is rapid heat-up and heat recovery, allowing for a quick and efficient last-minute touch-up. Travel curling irons also come with some sort of heat-resistant carry pouch or case to keep the wand safely tucked inside your travel bag or handbag.
But before we get to that, let’s take a small detour to learn the basics.
Paul Mitchell Pro Ion
What Really Is a Dual Voltage Curling Iron?
A dual voltage curling iron is just like any other multi-voltage compatible electric appliance that’s meant to automatically switch between 110v-220v and 220v-240V. You would regret not having a compact-sized dual voltage curling iron with you if you often travel overseas.
Using a single voltage electrical appliance on higher voltage can instantaneously fry up the internal components, putting your money down the drain.
Of course, you can always use a voltage adapter to run your single voltage unit safely overseas but what if you forget to pack it? What if it’s not easily available in the country you’re traveling to? What’s the point of having this extra headache if you can simply buy a curler with a built-in automatic voltage converter? You get the drift.
With that being said, I should remind you that you will still need a plug adapter to the appliance in other countries as different countries have different electrical outlets. So I’d advise you to research what kind of outlet is common in your destination country to find the right plug adapter.
How to Tell If Your Curling Iron Is Dual Voltage?
If you bought the curler online, you will know whether it is dual voltage or not from the product description itself. However, I’d still strongly advise you to look for a sticker on the product package or engraving on the wand handle which clearly mentions 110v-220v or 120v-240v, or 110v-240v. If it says 110v/120v or 220v/240v, it’s just a single-voltage unit.
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Reviews of Top 5 Dual Voltage Travel Curling Irons for Outstanding Curls
Below I put together a list of 5 best dual voltage curling irons that meet all the criteria of a high-quality and functional heat styling tool. Hope this makes the choice easier for you.
Express Ion is arguably one of the finest curling irons Paul Mitchell has in their collection. This dual voltage curling wand comes with 3 different barrels for waves, tightly weaved, textured curls, and those dreamy loops. Irrespective of the texture, length, or density of your hair, you can shape and style your curls in any way you fancy with these easily interchangeable barrels.
Although it has all the features of a professional-grade curling iron, the design and controls are surprisingly beginner-friendly. If you have never used a heat styling tool before and are sick scared of burning down your hair, Express Ion would be a good place to start.
The iron offers an adjustable temp between 160 degrees to 410 degrees F, which renders it equally perfect for both fragile and extremely thick hair types. Its special ceramic barrel is coated with Express Ion Complex. It is basically a blend of various volcanic minerals.
Together with far infrared technology, it helps to minimize heat damage while styling and heal the existing damage to the outer cuticles of hair shafts. It accomplishes this feat in two ways: far-infrared heat penetrates deep into the hair shaft instead of just heating up the outer layer (which creates a big risk of hair burning).
Gradual and consistent heating allows your hair to easily absorb all the heat and set the curls without losing the essential moisture. This consequently results in shinier hair that’s so soft, you’d want to touch it all day. Secondly, Express Ion ceramic rod releases negative ions to neutralize static and frizz, leaving you with well-defined, soft, and long-lasting curls.
The solid ceramic rod has an impeccably short heat-up and heat-recovery time. It takes just a couple of seconds to reach the highest temperature and holds the heat for long enough to give you a uniform finish.
Once you familiarize yourself with the know-how of this curling wand, it should take you roughly 10-15 minutes to create large and loose beachy waves and less than 30 minutes for ringlet curls. I also loved the fact that you can clip the barrel quite close to the root without worrying about leaving noticeable crease marks on your hair.
My only issue is with the three-fingered gloves that come with the product I’d strongly suggest using a full heat protectant glove to potential burn injuries at bay.
Chi Spin N Curl neither looks nor works like your everyday curling wands. Its futuristic and time-saving design makes it a great choice for people who want to delve deeper into DIY hairstyling game without spending an obscene amount of money right away.
The barrel on this device automatically wraps and twirls the hair around at the touch of a dedicated Curl button. Moreover, the handle has two buttons to let you alternate curling directions to get a well-rounded hairstyle.
Manually creating curls in different directions like this otherwise takes a lot of time and the expertise of a professional, whereas Chi takes roughly 8-15 minutes to complete the look on even the longest and thickest hair.
Due to the peculiar design of the curler, it would be tricky to maneuver it on short hair. The longer your hair is, the better are your chances of getting inch-perfect curls with this iron.
Like all the best curling irons that exist today, this one also offers adjustable temperature (370-410 degrees) for safely and seamlessly curling your locks. You can choose from the temperature presets on the digital readout, which totally rules out the possibility of going overboard with the heat.
The iron heats up to 370 degrees in 30-40 seconds. Plus, it has a timer setting to further lessen the risk of hair burning. Turn on the timer and the machine will beep 3 times as soon as the curls are set and ready to be released. It’s a really nice touch, something I wasn’t expecting in a curler so affordably priced.
This dual voltage curling iron is designed to work on both 110v and 220v without the need of a voltage adapter. It’s a fairly lightweight unit, which should fit into your carry-on bag without gobbling up too much space.
The only thing to keep in mind is that this curler has quite a learning curve to it. It could take you a couple of trials and errors before you perfect the art of positioning your hair between the barrel.
If you are planning on frequently switching between bone-straight hair and gorgeous curls, this 2-in-1 styling tool could save you a lot of money and effort. It’s basically a flat iron with titanium floating plates that not-so-surprisingly works just as fine as a curling iron.
I’d highly recommend it to anyone fighting serious frizz problem or those who always have a hard time keeping their curls to hold shape.
The titanium plates have a glossy finish on them to prevent snagging and yanking while handling tangle-prone, extremely coarse, and thick hair.
It also smooths out the frizz-infested split and rough ends by preventing moisture loss. It has 20 heat settings, ranging from 265-450 degrees F (default setting is 355 degrees), so A+ for flexibility. No matter how fine and sensitive your hair is, with so many heat settings, you can style your hair without worrying about setting your curls on fire.
Even heat conduction and consistent heating from the titanium plates help to quickly set the curls and make them last for an entire day without needing constant touch-ups.
What’s even cooler is that you can change the temperature simply by rotating the bass instead of constantly clicking buttons. I just wish a machine this smart had a built-in memory for remembering the last chosen heat setting. The cord is a little short as well but that’s something I can live with.
The premium-quality 3D titanium plates reach the target temperature in 15-20 seconds and hold the heat incredibly well, resulting in a uniform, glossy finish. Curling with a flat iron can get some time to get used too but once you figure out the basics, you will never look back.
The dual voltage compatible (110v-240v) unit even has a convenient plate lock button on the handle for safe and easy traveling with the tool. And just in case you forget to turn off the device before leaving your hotel room, that’s cool too. It has a 60-minute auto shut-off function to ward off the hazard of thermal overload.
The fourth entry on this list best of the best dual voltage curling irons is a great tool for keeping pesky frizz and dullness out of your way. Head Wave employs industry’s finest tourmaline ceramic technology to set your curls without exposing your locks to dangerous levels of heat.
The barrel on this wand stands out for its sculpted texture, allowing you to effortlessly create inch-perfect beachy waves and tousled curls. Its rapid heat-up and even heat distributions make the curls come out looking all shiny and bouncy, something very hard to achieve without curl enhancer and shine-booster sprays.
You don’t even have to be too invested in the process to get the most out of this wand, thanks to its simple and user-friendly design and controls. It works fine on both super fine as well as thick, resistant, and unruly hair.
If you have ultra-fine and limped down hair that simply refuses to hold the curl for more than an hour or two, Deep Waver could be a welcome addition to your hair care routine. It is essentially a wave iron that’s specifically designed to create a uniform wave with lots of body and texture.
The iron is not heavy at all and comes with a long flexible cord, so it won’t ever let the hand fatigue set in. You can rapidly change the temperatures using the buttons on the handle.
Here’s a small caveat, though: the heat settings on it are specified as low, medium, and high instead of mentioning the degrees which may strike as a little odd to some.
So I would suggest starting off with the lowest setting and gradually work your way to the top, if needed, to keep the hot iron from setting your hair ablaze. I loved how thoroughly it ups every strand in order, thus setting, defining the curls, and adding extra volume to them at the same time.
It even has an auto shut-off and barrel lock switch for the safety and ease of travel, which is quite a rare feature in budget-friendly curling irons. The iron gets smoldering hot in seconds, so if you are a curling wand rookie, heed the warnings on the package about temperature.
The Signature Series by Hot Tools might seem a better bargain for the money due to its slightly smaller price. But if you are serious about upping your curling game, Professional series is what you should be after.
It is available in 7 barrel sizes, starting from 0.375” to 2”, so it’s a viable option for both short and Rapunzel-length hair. You can style and shape your curls with this wand in any way you imagine, be it large-bodied, gentle beach waves or tight and bouncy, highly texturized curls. It uses Pulse technology for instant heat-up and long-lasting heat retention.
Long-lasting heat retention is what mainly separates professional-grade curling wands from regular hot irons. This device also has heat sensors that help the iron hold the target temperature throughout the entire styling process for a dazzling finish and remarkable definition on your curls.
You can swiftly jump back and forth between different temperatures to create a distinct look without risking heat damage, thanks to the Rheostat temp control dial on the handle. The temp range of 280-430 degrees F makes the unit suitable for all hair types.
Apart from making your curls sing and shine, it also replenishes the tresses by sealing moisture into the hair shafts. This keeps your curls frizz-free, long-lasting, and silky smooth for several hours, even on the muggiest days of the year.
Brownie points for including a rotating cool tip that makes wrapping and spiraling the tresses a cakewalk. A foldaway safety stand is also there to keep the hot curler stay put without damaging the counter-top material.
However, I wish it came without the stand as it often comes in the way of the hair and the barrel. If you don’t watch closely, bits of your hair could get easily trapped inside it.
Some Great Benefits of Using a Dual Voltage Curling Wand
If you are still wondering whether a dual voltage curling wand is worth the investment, here’s a list of the top advantages of getting a dual voltage curling wand to help you make up your mind:
- Dual voltage units can work in countries with a higher or lower voltage without affecting the performance or risking appliance damage.
- It eliminates the need to carry a voltage adapter.
- Dual voltage curlers are primarily designed to be highly travel-friendly. Therefore, most such models are small and lightweight enough to fit into cabin bags without cramming up the space.
- Many top-of-the-line dual voltage wands come with a safety lock mechanism for safe storage.
- Multiple temperature settings are another common feature in these tools, allowing the wand to be easily shared by people with different hair types.
- Travel-ready curling wand barrel material reaches target temperature in just a couple of seconds for quick but highly efficient styling.
I hope this post helped you figure out how to choose a dual voltage curling iron that fulfills the unique challenges posed by your hair. The best dual voltage curling irons are meant to keep things simple, which is why they sport a no-frills, user-friendly design.
You should be able to squeeze it in your cabin bag without any hassle and use it for a quick touch-up just about anytime, anywhere. That’s all for now. Good luck finding your hair’s perfect travel companion.