Price paid: $50
Equipment: 24 carat gold styling surface
Barrel length: 4 inches
Multiple temperature settings: Yes, adjustable
Rope length: 8 feet
Dual Voltage: No
Automatic shutdown: No
Guarantee: 7 year limited
Security certificate: ETL List (Electrical Testing Laboratories)
The Hot Tools 24K Gold Professional Curling Iron is coated with 24-karat gold, which, according to the Hot Tools website, is designed “for even heat distribution and consistent results.” Only two out of five of us received a manual in our box. Hot Tools didn’t have the manual available for download on their website, but I found a copy online. They are electronic devices that emit a lot of heat, so not including a complete user manual with instructions and safety instructions is not very aesthetic. The iron did, however, come with replacement springs for the clamp and instructions on how to install them.
How it works: After plugging it in, you need to turn it on to start heating the barrel. A red light on the side comes on to let you know it’s on and hot. You can set the curling iron to temperatures between 280°F and 430°F using a dial on the side of the handle. The instructions Perry received said to wait at least 1 minute for the iron to fully heat up, but she estimated it had reached the desired temperature long before that. There is no indication that the iron has fully heated. After turning it off, it takes about 10 minutes for the barrel to cool enough to touch.
Our biggest complaint: The styling experience for this iron wasn’t the best. Many of our reviewers struggled with the hinged kickstand that bothered them. It also snagged our hair a bit, although the clip frees the curls easily. The handle of the pliers sits a bit far from the grip, which makes it cumbersome for those of us with small hands. And the barrel is only 4 inches long, which means you have to curl smaller sections of hair at a time – reviewers with shorter hair liked this, but those with longer hair didn’t.
What we liked: We’ve all seen looser curls with this iron. It’s a style that Perry and I preferred, but it meant the curls fell much faster. The iron seemed to work better for those of us with thinner hair than for those with thick hair.
“So far, it’s the only iron with a low enough temperature that I’d be comfortable using regularly,” Perry observed.
Although the Hot Tools iron didn’t have the lowest heat setting of the bunch — Lunata’s Belisa has heat settings as low as 200°F — it seemed to be gentler on the hair than other irons. We wondered if these results were due to the gold plating. But this material comes with a few caveats; Ginger noted that she had used a gold-plated iron before, but over time the gold coating faded and the metal underneath burned her hair.