* Prices may differ from that shown
I have very thick dark hair, so when it's messy you can really tell. It's impossible to plait nicely or anything like that before it has been straightened or curled. I bought Nicky Clarke's Hair Therapy Curling Tong after a few recommendations from friends, because I fancied having curly hair for a while, and because I saw it on sale in a hair salon for £18.
The tong is fairly basic looking, as it's just a long rod that doesn't weigh too much. This makes is great for taking away on holiday though. It has 3 buttons on it, a temperature control function, and the base is black while the heating tong bit is silver and shiny. This tong is not meant to get too hot to damage the hair, which is the problem with some cheap hair tongs, and in my experience of using the tong for the last 8 months or so my hair has not suffered at all, however it does get hot enough to burn you if you're not careful, so this product is not for clumsy people.
I have sensitive skin so I never use the tong on the highest temperature setting, although I have tried it before and it works well. It is easy enough to use, you just plug it in and switch it on. It heats up quickly and has a long cord so that you can trail it around the room with you if you need to, as well as a stand so you can put it down safely while waiting for the hot end to cool. The tong also has a safety feature of turning off if you leave it on for too long by mistake, although I have never tested this myself.
This hair styler looks like any other curling tong. It is really basic but that doesn't bother me as it works well. The tong heats up quickly and a light flashes when it is ready to use. The curls form quickly and easily, even with my thick hair, and my hair is still nice and shiny after I'm done. It takes a lot of patience to use this tong, though, and you do have to be careful not to touch the actual hot tong.
As I said, my hair is quite thick and unmanageable, so I actually straighten it using this tong before curling it. Altogether it takes me about an hour and half to get it straight and then curled, so I usually take a break after doing one side of my hair. However, the curls don't stay in for more than a few hours of partying, which is why I am giving this product 3 stars instead of 5, and the burning thing really might be an issue for some people. I still thnk it's a great buy for £18 or less but if you need properly curly hair for a day or more I recommend getting a more upmarket hair styler.
My hair is frizzy and so I am always straightening it but sometimes on a night out, I will wear it in loose curls as it is really quite long. I have owned many 'curling devices' over the years but my absolute favourite is the Hair Therapy Curling Tong by Nicky Clark.
The aim of the Hair Therapy range is to help you to style your hair the way that you want to while keeping it healthy. This product actually protects the hair from heat damage as you use it and also locks moisture into the hair to stop it from drying out. The barrel is coated in ceramic to give your hair a lovely shine.
About the product
The product has is 19mm wide along the barrel and it has a top temperature of 220 degrees. If this temperature is too hot for your hair then you can choose from seven others which would best suit you. It has a two metres long cord so it will reach the socket by my mirror and gives me room to work with the product which getting myself into strange posistions. It has a little stand which allows you to put the curling tong on the carpet without burning the surface and it will also switch itself off after 60 minutes just incase you've forgotten to do it yourself so you'll never have to panic about whether you've left it on.
The product looks like the average curling tong. It has a black body with a bronze/gold digital display on the front. There are three different buttons. One to turn the temperature up, one to turn the temperature down and an on/off button. Nicky Clarke is written in fancy writing underneath. The actual barrel is silver ceramic and it has a crocodile mouth which can be opened by pushing the black trigger. It looks classy and of good quality.
The price will vary greatly but I got mine from Argos for £20.99. It will also be available from a variety of electrical shops and also from online websites.
Application and Performance
These curling tongs heat up really fast. The box suggests that it takes 15 seconds and I would say that this was about right. A flashing light indicates when the product is ready to use and has reached your chosen temperature. The barrel does get really hot and even the lower temperatures are hot so you have to be really careful not to touch the ceramic part. The product is light so your arm won't get too tired after holding it for long periods of time. It easy to wrap your hair around the barrel and the crocodile mouth holds it securely.
You don't need to leave your hair wrapped around the barrel for long and it release easily, falling off the tong into a beautiful curl. You can tell that this is a good quality product because of the condition of the hair. The curls don't feel dry at all. They are bouncy, hydrated and they even have a lovely shine to them. Once I have finished, I usually spritz my hair with hairspray to hold the curls in place. They will generally stay in all night although by the time I get home, they will have dropped quite a bit. I think this will depend on your hair type though.
All in all, I think these curling tongs are fantastic. It make beautiful long lasting curls which shine and bounce with health. The product is easy to use and you can make it suit your needs by changing the temperature. I can't see myself ever changing from this product and it comes at a reasonable price too!