Curling irons come in all shapes and sizes, and it might be difficult for you to figure out which one you want to buy – or if you’re going to buy one at all. I know it was difficult for me.
However, now I got most of it figured out, and today I’ll help you by sharing my knowledge with you and helping you get the best curling iron for you. I’ll tell you all I know about the buying process and review some of the best products on the market right now.
Are Curling Irons Safe for Your Hair?
One of the most significant concerns you might have about curling irons is probably related to the heat they use and the damage it could incur to your hair. Can they even damage your hair?
Well, yes, they can. Any heat-based treatment rapidly dries out your hair, and it’s even worse if you have colored hair or naturally dry hair. It causes damage to the strands, and it can also change the texture of the hair permanently. Out of all heat-based hair treatments, curling irons are among the worst.
Does this mean you should use a curling iron? Well, no, you can still use it – you just need to be careful when doing it. You also need to use the right tools – for example, curling irons with a heat setting. The finer your hair, the lower the temperature setting you need to use.
If you already have dry or damaged hair, you should cut it all off before trying to use a curling iron. Using the right hair products along with a curling iron also helps maintain the integrity of your hair, and that’s what’s coming up next.
The Best Hair Products to Pair Up with Your Curling Iron
The right hair products make everything better, don’t they? Even a simple morning combing can be made into something glamorous. It’s no different when it comes to using a curling iron – the right hair products can both enhance the result and save your hair from any damage. Here are some of the products you ought to consider using.
- Thermal protector – this one is almost a must for any type of hair since it will offer the best protection from heat. You need to make your hair damp then spray it on and comb it in from the roots to the ends. Then, blow-dry your hair, and you’re ready to use a curling iron.
- Defrizz serum – if your hair tends to frizz when you curl it, this one’s for you. The only thing you need to do is to put a few drops of the serum on your hands and palm it into your curls straight after using a curling iron.
- Volumizing spray/mousse – in case your hair doesn’t curl well, this is bound to help you out. You need to spray it on the roots at your crown, then blow-dry it and you can apply the curling iron.
- Styling spray – this will help you style your hair before you apply a curling iron. Spray it on your hair after it was towel-dried and then curl it in sections.
With these products, you should be able to curl your hair like a pro and avoid most of the risks associated with it.
What to Look for when Purchasing a Curling Iron
The barrel size of a curling iron is the first thing you should think about when buying a curling iron for yourself. This directly affects the size of the curls you’ll make with it, and you should choose different sizes depending on your hair type. Here are some of the most common ones and when you should pick them.
- 3/8-inch barrel – If you want extremely tight curls, this is the right barrel size for you since it produces springy and tight spirals.
- 5/8-inch barrel – You will still get tighter curls with this barrel size, but they won’t be quite as flexible. This is an excellent tool for those of you with naturally curly hair – it will allow you to smooth them out.
- 3/4-inch barrel – If you want a perfect curl, this is the type of barrel you want. You can make good, structured spirals with it and you can also use it to spruce up natural curls.
- 1-inch barrel – Probably the most popular barrel size. If you buy a cheap curling iron, this will probably be the size you get. With this size, you get well-defined weaves, and it’s a good choice if you have short or medium-length hair.
- 1 ¼-inch barrel – With this size, you can get some looser, medium-sized curls that you can brush out for a fresher look.
- 1 ½-inch barrel – You want some larger, bouncy curls? This is the right size for you. It can be used with both medium-length and long hair.
- 2-inch barrel – If you have long hair and want incredibly voluminous curls, this is what you should get. You can make large, loose waves all over your hair.
This is the second most important thing to consider when purchasing your curling iron and it’s what will help you avoid damaging your hair. It’s also what will determine if you can curl your hair effectively.
If you have thick hair, you need a curling iron that can reach 400 degrees F or more to curl your hair properly.
In case you have fine and thin hair you will need a curling iron that can go below 350 degrees to avoid damaging your hair. Sadly, it is difficult to find curling irons that have such settings.
For professional use, you will want a curling iron that can cover a vast range of temperatures, from as low as 150 degrees up to 450 degrees. That will cover almost any type of hair your clients might have.
Curling irons come in a wide variety of shapes, some of which can look quite odd. All of these shapes have their benefits and purposes, though.
- Straight barrel – Most curling irons have this shape, and it works just fine, giving a uniform shape to the curls it makes.
- Spiral barrel – The raised spiral ridges on this barrel allow it to be used for making helix-like curls and it is considered easier to use than most.
- Pearl barrel – The barrels of these curling irons look like a string of pearls or balls, and they can be used to make wilder natural-looking curls.
- Cone-shape – Curling wands mostly have this shape, with a broad base and a smaller tip, though the reverse is also not uncommon. This shape allows for more precise curl-making, and you can make both small and large curls with just one tool, or even curls that starts off tight but widen at the bottom.
- Double/triple barrels – Usually called ‘wavers’ these curling irons are, like the name implies, meant for creating beautiful waves in your hair instead of curls by using multiple barrels placed next to one another.
- Flat – These are, in other words, hair straighteners. Since they work on the same principle, though, they can also be used to curl both short and long hair. If you don’t want to buy a curling iron but own one of these, use it instead – but only if it’s at least 1 inch wide and has curved edges.
Other shapes exist as well, but they are less frequent.
Another thing you can do to ensure your hair gets the best treatment possible is to consider the materials used to make the curling iron you’re buying. The material of the barrel is the most crucial part and here are a few of the most common options.
- Titanium – For coarse and unmanageable hair, these irons are the best. They can protect hair while also dealing with hair that is hard to heat or doesn’t hold curls well.
- Ceramic/Tourmaline – Because they’re the safest, these curling irons are among the most popular and the best for constant use. They can keep a constant temperature in the entire barrel and eliminate frizz making the hair shiny and smooth.
- Chrome/Gold – These barrels heat up quickly and can reach a high temperature, but they also might make your hair frizz. Chrome ones are cheaper than gold, but they can also get too hot and damage your hair.
- Iron/Steel – Most of these curling irons rely on releasing steam, and they can be quite useful for thinner hair since the steam helps it hold the curl.
Pick the material you think is right for your hair, and you’ll be fine.
The Best Curling Irons You Can Find
| Xtava 5 in 1 Professional Curling Wand and Curling Iron Set
| Conair Instant Heat Curling Iron
| Anjou Curling Iron
| Hot Tool Professional 1110
| Bed Head Rock N’ Roller
| BaBylissPRO Nano Titanium Spring Curling Iron
| Curling Iron,PARWIN PRO 7 in 1
| Revlon Long Lasting Extra Tight Curls Curling Iron
| SwanMyst Curling Iron 1.5 inch Ceramic Hair Curling Wand 1 1 2 inch
| Hot Tools Professional 24K Gold Curlbar
If you’re after versatility, this is what you’re going to get with this set that includes almost everything you might want in a curling iron at a low price.
The barrels included are in sizes from 0.3 all the way up to 1.25 inches in diameter, covering a wide range of needs. Sadly, there is no larger option for those with extremely long hair. The barrels are quite easy to switch out at a moment’s notice.
Unlike most other curling irons, this one doesn’t have a cool touch tip so watch out, or you will get burned. Luckily, a heat-resistant glove is included in the package. The carrying case it comes with is also heat-resistant so you can use it on trips.
It is a bit difficult to use since the hair doesn’t slide through easily. The only other major con is the heat – there’s only one setting, and it’s incredibly high. Still, this is quite an excellent package for the price.
- Versatile with a lot of barrel sizes
- Complete coverage
- Comes with a heat-resistant glove and carrying bag
- Switching out the barrels is easy
- The cord is long and easy to walk around with
- Affordable price
- No extra large options for long hair
- The hair doesn’t slide easily through the barrel
- It has only one heat setting
If you’re looking for an affordable curling iron that will still perform great, this is the product that will solve most of your problems.
It’s durable, made out of high-quality materials – the barrel is a blend of many different metals while the handle is made out of plastic and non-slip rubber. That’s not the only safety feature included – it also has an auto shut-off function.
It has a total of 25 different heat settings so you can scale it to what fits you the best. The end is a cool touch tip so you can grip that for extra control without worrying about getting burned. It can heat up extremely quickly, and it’s instantly ready to use.
The bad part is that the temperature settings are easy to change by accident and if you’re not careful when using it can snag your hair. Other than that, it’s quite a good product.
- Extremely affordable price
- Heats up quickly and has multiple heat settings
- Made out of quality materials
- Has a cool touch tip
- Non-slip grip and auto shut-off for safety
- It’s easy to change the temperature accidentally
- It can snag your hair
This is a high-quality curling iron at a decent price with a ceramic-coated barrel that measures 8.27 inches in length and 1.25 in circumference. It is ideal for slightly longer hair, and it’s just great for making waves without pulling or snagging your hair.
Making curls with it is a bit difficult due to the length and thickness, but it is possible with some practice. It will fit most types of hair due to the wide range of temperature settings, from 200 to 410 F. It heats up quite fast as well, and you can use it anywhere in the house with the long cord.
When you’re using it, just make sure your fingers are nowhere near the on/off button since it’s easy to turn it off by accident and ruin your curls. Other than that, there are no significant downsides to it.
- Long barrel
- Lengthy cord
- Heats up incredibly fast
- Clips are included
- It won’t pull or tug your hair
- Temperature range from 200 to 410 degrees F
- Difficult to make curls with it
- It’s easy to turn off by accident
Overall, this is quite a high-quality curling iron with a great, gold-plated barrel that heats up incredibly quickly and can reach the extreme temperature of 430 degrees F so it can deal with strong hair. You can also use lower temperatures, and it has 30 settings.
It’s easy to use around the house since the cord is 8 feet long. It is durable and even if it breaks it comes with two replacement springs included which is a bargain for this price.
It is a bit difficult to curl short hair with it and, sadly, the curls made with it won’t last too long, the hair will be prone to frizzing so use some hair products with it. Otherwise, it is fine. Just make sure you don’t leave it one since there’s no automatic shut-off mechanic.
- High-quality gold-plated barrel
- Heats up quickly and reaches 430 degrees F
- Huge 8-foot cord
- 30 different temperature settings
- Comes with two replacement springs
- The curls made with it don’t last long
- Not so good for shorter hair
- No automatic shut-off
This is a curling iron shaped like a series of balls which some people might not like, but I think it’s great since it curls your hair like nothing else. The barrel is made of tourmaline and ceramic so it’s incredibly safe for your hair even though it can reach a temperature of 400 F. There are many different temperature settings as well.
If you’re afraid of getting burned, it does have a cold touch tip, and it has a heat-resistant glove as well.
Like most curling irons of similar shape it has a bit of a learning curve, but once you get used to it, you will find it easy to produce a bunch of curls in quick fashion. Unless you have longer or tougher hair – it simply can’t deal too well with those.
- Reaches a heat of up to 400 F
- Made out of tourmaline and ceramic
- Comes with a heat-resistant glove
- You can set the temperature
- Has a swivel cord of 6 feet
- Difficult to use
- Can’t reach extremely hot temperatures
- Bad for longer hair
So, What’s the Final Takeaway?
Everyone has different hair, and the curling iron you choose depends on your hair type and your preferences. No two people will like the same stuff, after all.
So, I can’t speak for you but as far as I’m concerned the best curling iron among all of these is undoubtedly the Conair Instant Heat Curling Iron. It offers almost everything that other curling irons due but at an affordable price and you can buy it in all different sizes. It’s honestly a steal.
If that one doesn’t work for you – well, you have all the info you need to find one that does. So go out there and find the best curling iron for your hair!