In general, our testers were not overly impressed with the Hot Tools 24K Gold Curling Iron, but it has a few unique design features that add convenience, and the curls it creates are relatively long-lasting. The barrel is noticeably longer than those of its competitors, and the clip is relatively short. Both these features make it one of the better curling irons for long hair because it can fit a lot of hair easily without much overlap. More of the hair sits right next to the heat of the barrel with so much open, clip-free real estate.
The tip on this curling iron is cool to the touch, so you can hold it as you roll your hair. In addition, it isn’t fixed in place, so you don’t have to move your grip on the tip as you turn the iron. It seems like a minor convenience, but it is nice not to have to keep re-grasping the end while rolling the barrel toward your head.
During our testing, this hair curler was quite slow to heat up, and the temperature was not accurate. The dial is tiny and hard to read, but even so, it was easy to see that the temperature readout on our infrared thermometer was very far off from the temperature on the dial every time we checked. You should set your curling iron on the lowest temperature that still effectively curls your hair to prevent damage, so knowing the correct temperature is important, especially if you have fine hair. It seems a little silly to bother having a temperature dial that is so inaccurate – this curling iron might as well just have low and high settings. The temperature range between the highest and lowest settings is pretty narrow, too. Units that have wide ranges allow you to find and use the ideal amount of heat for your hair type. For a curling iron that heats up much more quickly, consider the Conair Infiniti Pro Nano Tourmaline.
The curling iron’s 24K gold covering looks cool and created shiny curls for us, but most beauty experts recommend ceramic barrels to protect the hair shaft over time. We tested quite a few curling irons that have ceramic barrels, even in the same low price range as the Hot Tools 24K Gold Curling Iron.
Some of our testers found this curling iron and its long barrel easy to use but others struggled. Barrel length is mostly a matter of personal preference, but one tester said her arms weren’t long enough and another said her fingers weren't long enough to use this curling iron effectively. Most were happy with the curls it created, though.
The Hot Tools 24K Gold Curling Iron’s long barrel and short clip have advantages, especially for people with long hair, and our testers loved the cool, loose tip that allows you to roll hair without repositioning your hand. Its design flaws include a small temperature dial that is hard to read, a narrow temperature range and inaccurate temperature settings. The curls it created looked good and lasted a long time, though, which may outweigh its flaws, especially considering the curling iron's relatively low price.