Is a $200 Curling Iron Any Better Than a $20 One? I Test Them Out

Full disclosure: I've never purchased an expensive curling iron in my entire life. Leading up to college, I hung on to the same (affordable) iron for far too long; toward the end of its life, it had burnt-on hair product and needed to be warmed up for a good half hour before it was hot enough to actually produce a decent curl. Finally, I took a look at the sad remains of my drugstore iron and decided it was time for an upgrade. Since then, I've graduated to Hot Tools curling irons. As soon as I got a taste for a better performing tool, I noticed an immediate difference: My curls lasted longer, looked far better, and I could do my entire head of hair in half the time. I was perfectly content with the way my hair looked. Still, I didn't need to offer up a big chunk of change to pay for it (my current iron was on sale for only $20), which led me to question: Are expensive curling irons actually worth it? I decided to put them to the test.

For my hair-curling experiment, I decided to search for two irons beloved by customers at both affordable and high-end price points to compare against each other. After scouring through reviews, it seemed as though the Conair Infiniti Pro Curling Iron ($20) would be a winning choice. For the high-end iron, I went with the Ghd Curve Classic Curl Iron ($200). I also chose these specific irons because they are both one-inch irons with a clamp to cut down on variables. For an immediate visual of how the irons would measure up to one another, I curled the right side of my hair with the Ghd iron and the left side with the Conair curling iron. Here's how it went down.