These wand-like gizmos, which are most commonly referred to as a conical curler or tapered curling iron, make over-crimped curls a thing of the past.
The clamp-less style allows you to get in closer to the root, for more volume and body at the top of your head (read: no more flat-tops). Varying barrel styles and widths result in curls that are less "perfect" looking, and seemingly more naturally styled.
If you're doubtful because the tool looks strange, so was Chicago hairstylist Amy Abramite. But, after using it an loving it, Abramite says not to judge a book by its cover.
"I bought a flat iron at a beauty show and the conical curling iron was a freebee with purchase. I thought, 'They must be giving this away because it looks weird,' and I had no idea how to use it," Abramite tells StyleList.
"Later, I pulled it out and gave it a go out of desperation when my regular curling iron bit the dust. I have come to love this conical curling iron, and have gone as far as hoarding them in fear that I will one day be without one!"
So how exactly does one wield one of these tricky-looking curling wands?
First, you'll want to put the heat-resistant glove that come standard with any good conical curler on your working hand.
Then hold the iron with the point aimed at the scalp, and wrap a small section of hair down to the wider end. This technique achieves a tighter curl at the scalp, which solves the all too-common issue of curls that go flat and loose shape at the top, advises Abramite.
If you want a traditional curl, simply hold the barrel the opposite way, with the wider end at the scalp and tip pointing away from you for a curl pattern that looks like it came from a regular curling iron or hot rollers.
Want to try? Check out the top new conical curler launches of the season.
Amika Curling Wands, $179 - $199 each
Amika translates their love for splashy prints into a new line of curling wands, which come in a variety of sizes and shapes for the ultimate in creative styling. The brand also offers sets that come with multiple barrel styles so that you can switch in and out, depending on your preference that day.
Infiniti by Conair You Curl, $44.99
Conair has jumped into the conical curler market with a version that offers tourmaline ceramic technology as well as an adjustable heat level that reaches up to 400 degrees in as little as 30 seconds. With Conair now part of the pack, we predict more bargain brands will join the mix with even more affordable conical curler versions soon.
T Studio Ceramic Pearl Professional Curling Wand by Remington, $29.99
Pastel pink goes high tech in the new line of T Studio tools by Remington. This wand contains real pearl for a smooth styled finish as well as a no-heat safety tip that keeps fingers out of the heat when wrapping locks around the barrel. The width transitions from a one inch base to half inch tip, which makes for multiple size curl options.
José Eber Pro Series Clipless Curling Iron, $79.99
Eponymously named for the Beverly Hills celeb stylist, this iron features a comfy ergonomic grip and ceramic-coated barrel. It's available in three different sizes and has an eight-foot swivel cord that's especially handy for pros or bathrooms that are short on accessible sockets.
Enzo Milano Reverse Conico Curling Iron, $129.99
The shape of this barrel is distinctive, with a base that starts at 9mm and extends to a 25mm tip for beautifully-shaped curls. The temperature is gentler, with a maximum setting of 320 degrees of ceramic-infused heat, and a coated aluminum teflon barrel for lasting durability.
Looking for curls that stick around? Try the modern perm.