Product Type: Argos Hair Styler
Newest Review: ... well and dropped straight away. I had planned to plait my hair while damp, then when it had dried it would be wavy and then I would cur... more
Lets Do The Twist!
Argos Curling Tong
Member Name: blackrose_
Argos Curling Tong
Advantages: Price, durability, curl lasts a pretty long time, ease of use
Disadvantages: No "heat protection" claims, short cable
My sister purchased these at the request of my 12 year old daughter instead of buying her a chocolate easter egg! Given the price of many easter eggs, it seemed a fair "swap"! I have naturally curly hair, but my daughter takes more after her dad, and whilst her hair is very thick like mine, it is medium waved rather than curly, although it is long like mine, reaching approximately to her waist.
At 12 she is coming to the age now where she likes to experiment a little bit with her hair and clothes and makeup, and in all honesty I don't see the harm in it for the odd occasion. Although she did make the effort to get up extra early to curl her hair about 4 times the first week she owned these, the allure of curly hair did (as I suspected it might), lose out to the temptation of an extra half an hour in bed instead over time, and now she only really uses these on weekends or if she has a "special occasion" to go to such as a party or a disco!
At a price of £3.74 (only available in Argos stores), I honestly think that these are a fantastic first curling tong set, or even backup set for emergency tong failure situations or travelling! They are, as would be expected for something this price, not the most feature-packed and highly innovated tongs; one major difference between this set and other pricier sets I have seen is their maximum temperature setting, which is 170C. This setting (the highest of 2 on this particular tong set), has worked really well on my daughter's hair, but I do feel that if you have slightly coarser or more stubborn hair then this set may not be totally ideal for you. Whilst my daughter's hair is long and thick, it is made up of loads and loads of fairly fine hair (according to my hairdresser!), rather than coarser hair, so whilst these work for her it is something worth bearing in mind if you are considering purchasing these tongs.
I was quite surprised about the lasting power of the curls given by this set given their relatively low temperature setting; a few times my daughter did her hair before school between 6.30am and 7am, and when she arrived home at 4pm her hair was still pretty much as curly as when she had left in the morning. This was without any mousse or other "holding agents" on her hair too, so if you added this to the styling routine I am confident the curls would last all day, althought this is obviously weather dependent!
Using these tongs is very easy, so much so that my daughter is able to use them to style her hair herself, and has yet to have any minor burn related incidents when using them, either to herself or furniture/furnishings! This is aided by a small metal "leg" which props the tongs up when you want to put them down, so that they are not in direct contact with the surface you sit them on, rather held a few cms above it by the metal leg. When you first plug the tongs in, a small red light comes on to indicate that the tongs are heating up. This goes out when the set temperature is achieved. I have noticed that these do take a little longer to heat up than some fancier models, about 5-10minutes, but in all honesty those few minutes extra waiting time don't really worry me too much.
Another nice feature of this set is the swivel cord, which means that the cord moves with you rather than you having to be aware of which way you are twisting the cord as you try to reach different areas of your hair. The one minor complaint I would have about the design of these tongs is that the cable which connects the tongs to the plug is pretty short, around 1.5m, so you do have to stand very close to a socket or get an extension cable out when you want to use these! In all honesty I think many adults would find the cable a bit short to do their hair comfortably unless they were sitting down. This is a shame really as it really lets the functionality of this set down, and I am sure another metre or so of cable wouldn't have added a huge amount to the production costs!
There is a traditional style "clip" to the barrel of the tongs, which enables you by pressing a lever on the handle to raise the clip, to secure the end of your hair between the clip and barrel before twirling the rest of the selected strand of hair around the tongs. There is a "cool touch" tip on the end of the tong, made from black slightly rubbery plastic, which enables you to aid the "twirling" process with your free hand without fear of burning! This is a great feature in my opinion, as I remember all too well my younger days of hair straighteners and the like where the cheaper models didn't always have this, and the temptation was always there to help the process along with your free hand forgetting the end of the straightener/tong would be hot! >.<
The barrel on these tongs is among the medium to large widths of those I have seen available, and as such gives a fairly loose curl of the style you would get by using large rollers, rather than a tight spiral curl, although you could if you wanted to wind your hair around the clip section rather than the barrel itself to create a different look. The barrel is plenty long enough to accommodate my daughter's long hair so I think would suit just about anyone on that front!
Unlike some expensive curling tongs, these don't make any claims about any kind of ionic/bionic/magical properties to stop hair drying out from heat styling, but to get around this minor thing we have just purchased a "heat protect" product for my daughter to use before using these. She is only using them fairly infrequently to be fair, but I haven't noticed any damange to her hair so am not at all concerned that the tongs are detrimental to her hair when used in conjunction with a protective product, although we haven't used these without such so I can't comment on what they are like if you choose to use them on untreated/protected hair. To be quite honest though, I have owned fairly expensive straighteners in the past (similar to me, after all its all heat styling!) which claimed to protect hair but always found they still dried my hair out, so I don't honestly have a lot of faith in any claims which state that a heat styling tool won't dry your hair to some extent; I always think it best to use a protective product as well, regardless of what the tool manufacturers may say!
Overall, for the money these tongs are a fantastic buy. They don't really compete with the very expensive sets out there, but they do hold their own against many middle priced sets I have seen. They have been reliable even with a relatively clumsy "tween" (dumping them on the floor to be stepped on and the like) caring for them, so I can't really fault their durability! It is just a shame about the short cord as it is for this reason alone really I am deducting one star to give this product 4 stars.
Thanks for reading :)
Summary: A fantastic product for the price.
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