It eliminates every single issue that comes with your standard curling iron and produces a better curl every time.

By Hana Hong
September 25, 2020
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It’s true that we always want what we can’t have. Case in point: I was born with stick-straight hair and all I ever wanted since I was a kid was a perm. In retrospect, I’m really glad that my mom didn’t let me go through with it, but that certainly didn’t stop me from curling my hair myself. I cringe thinking about the countless cans of heat-protectant spray I blew through in order to achieve the bouncy Goldilocks curls of my dreams.

But here’s the thing...I hate curling my hair. The evil hot stick burns my fingers and all those anti-heat hairsprays leave my strands feeling like a crunchy pile of leaves. The truth is that no matter what kind of curling iron you use, there's always a big learning curve when it comes to finding out how to hold the barrel, how long to hold your hair in it, and what temperature to set it at.

Plus, I could never figure out how to reach those areas on the back of my head—and even with all the YouTube tutorials out there geared toward helping you get perfect waves, it never comes out exactly the same. Every little mistake and misjudgment will result in a different curl with different tightness levels.

If you can relate, I have some good news that comes in the form of a curling iron that eliminates all these issues. Enter the CHI Lava Spin N Curl ($140; You can already tell the device is different from your standard curler at first glance. It has a ~fancy~ digital screen and an unconventional slit down one end. But don’t be dissuaded—it’s super easy to use. 

For starters, the heating barrel is actually located inside of the chamber so you don’t have to worry about burning yourself. All you have to do is piece out a section of hair, rest it vertically inside the slit, and press a button (it has two options for your desired direction). Once the motion is initiated, your hair is automatically drawn and rotated into the heat isolating curl chamber so you don’t have to do a thing. After it finishes sucking up your strand, the device will stop rotating. 

Another huge problem with curling irons is the element of timing: hold your hair too long and you risk frying your strands, too short and you don’t get a pretty curl. The timed function in the CHI rotating iron eliminates this guessing game entirely. The digital temperature display offers easily adjustable temperature settings and a selection of preset temperatures for different hair textures, so the whole thing is customizable. And here’s the best part: The device will beep three times once the curl is set. At that point, you just slide the tool in a downward motion to gently release your hair. 

This handy timer will already save you from a lot of heat damage that comes from holding your hair for too long, but the material is also made with healthier hair health in mind. That’s because it’s sourced from volcanic lava, which is one of the most effective heat-conducting materials found on earth. This is combined with ceramic plating to give you sleeker results minus the damage. 

To address the main concern you probably have (I know because I had it too), your hair will not get caught or tangled easily inside of the chamber. They recommend that you use nothing thicker than a one-inch section of hair, so as long as you abide by that you should have no issues. I did my entire head without it tangling once. In the case that larger sections are used, the tangle alert will beep so you know to remove your hair before it becomes a mangled disaster.

Not only was this the easiest and most effortless curling iron I’ve ever used, it also produced the best head of curls I’ve ever had. You can select thicker strands if you want a wavy, beachy look, and thinner strands if you want tighter coils (I prefer the latter). And because it’s so easy, an entire session takes me around 15 minutes compared to the average 45. 

If you are a curly girl wannabe like me (and know a thing or two about frying your hair and fingers), I highly recommend you add this curling iron to your hairstyling repertoire. I use the lava-infused version, which retails for $140, but you can also opt for the original ceramic one that curls the same way for $100.

To buy: $140;