Do you have to buy a pricy curling iron? I tried a $30 model and found out

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Bed Head Curlipops Spiral Curling Wand Creates Spiral Curls, 1-Inch (Photo: Walmart)

During high school and well into college, I curled my naturally pin-straight strands nearly every day. I didn't know how to do much else with my hair, so it became my go-to style that not only boosted my confidence but involved minimal time and effort. Plot twist: It didn’t last. After graduating, getting my first real job and experiencing unexpected hair loss spurred by an avalanche of stressors, I slowly stopped caring about what my hair looked like and left my beloved curling iron to collect dust under my bathroom sink.

It’s been nearly three years of constantly nurturing my brittle locks back to life, but I’m happy to report that my hair is finally in better shape. As it began to grow in and look healthier and healthier, I started to experiment with styling it again and was surprised to realize just how much I missed it. I became engrossed with trying out all different types of wands and irons, and through my job, was able to test-drive some of the most expensive options on the market.

Recently, though, I started to wonder if they were worth the money. Could a wand from the drugstore be just as effective as a $200 one from Sephora? I decided to find out. After reading countless reviews, I landed on Bed Head’s Curlipop’s 1-inch Spiral Styling Iron, which stood out to me because it’s less than $30, comes with its own heat protective glove, and has rave reviews from folks who say it made their curls last all day. (My curls sometimes fell flat after just a few hours, so it seemed like a sign.)

Even before using it for the first time, I had a good feeling about it — and it wasn’t because it happens to look like a high-end wand, either. What I wasn’t expecting, however, was just how easy it was to use or how smooth and shiny my strands would look when I was done. It took me a cool 10 minutes to do my whole head (granted I do have fine hair, but still) and I was left with seamless, model-off-duty-waves that did, in fact, end up lasting all day. What’s more: Its tourmaline ceramic technology made it so that my hair looked way less frizzy than usual. That, and it even added some extra shine I wasn’t used to seeing after heat styling.

Writer Kaleigh Fasanella achieves natural-looking loose waves after testing the Bed Head Curlipops Spiral Curling Wand. (Photos: Courtesy of Kaleigh Fasanella)

As far as important details go, I used a few healthy spritzes of Ouai’s Memory Mist Heat Protectant on completely dry, freshly-washed tresses to prep and make sure there was a layer of protection between my hair and the intense heat from the iron. Speaking of which, this baby gets hot — as in up to 400 degrees — and it does so lightning-fast. Because of its high level of heat, it took mere seconds to get the subtly tousled waves I was going for. Seconds! Lastly, a pro tip: Always leave the ends out if you’re hoping to achieve that I-just-rolled-out-of-bed-like-this effect. It makes the style look more natural, and it cuts down on breakage.

The verdict here, my friends, is that you do not have to drop a head-spinning amount of money on a curling iron. Turns out, you just have to spend $30.

Shop Bed Head’s Curlipop’s 1-Inch Spiral Styling Iron at Walmart stores and

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