Choosing a curling iron is a decision that comes with three important factors: Your hair type, your curl preference, and your lifestyle. You might be someone who loves to curl your hair often, but find that your locks don’t match the looks you’ve prowled the YouTube tutorials for. Hair curling technique can be tricky at times, but it’s pretty likely that you aren’t using the right curling iron for you or your desired look. And, when it comes to curlers, there are a lot of options out there.
All in all, you just want to come out of your bathroom in the morning feeling fresh, styled, and beautiful. Or, maybe you just want the perfect bouncy curls to last through an awesome night out. Either way, the right curling iron is going to make a world of difference.
First things first, let’s talk about the curling irons that won’t deliver you that professional glow. Irons that are not professional-grade styling tools are going to truly damage your hair. Investing in a professional tool means avoiding adding unnecessary heat to your hair via unhealthy materials. At the end of the day, it’s just not worth the breakage, split ends, and loss of hair. And, speaking of healthy hair, you must always, always use a heat protectant. This is especially true if you are someone who uses a curling iron frequently. Another type of iron that we recommend against is one without a clamp. Wand-style irons make it difficult to curl the ends of your hair, curl shorter pieces, and refrain from burns. While in some scenarios, wand irons are helpful, the fact that they make it a huge challenge to curl the ends of your hair is what often leads to strange, sloppy looking curls. When you curl the ends, you style any splits which makes your entire head of hair look altogether healthier.
You know titanium is awesome because it’s the go-to for professionals, and here’s why: As the most durable material, titanium is a safe and reliable option for thicker and coarser hair types. It’s also great for every-day use as the material itself lasts the longest, making it ideal for the ample amount of use that professionals get out of it.
All that glitters really is gold, at least for thicker hair types! Gold is an awesome material because it can handle high heat settings for extended periods of time. While finer hair types don’t need this feature, thick and coarse hair benefits from it tremendously. It’s great for the thicker-haired gal who doesn’t style daily.
This is the most protective of the materials, making it ideal for delicate or fine-to-medium hair types. If your hair is susceptible to more damage than other people’s, go with ceramic. Ceramic smooths hair with even heat which protects against damage, and the tourmaline smooths frizz by emitting negative ions.
1½- 2” for Waves: It should be noted that this barrel size is not ideal for shorter hair. It’s simply too thick in diameter to get enough hair to curl. With that said, we know it’s awesome for medium-length or longer hair types who love giant barrel curls or beachy waves.
Example: 1 1/2" Curling Iron
1-1¼” for Voluminous Curl: When you think of ‘curly hair,’ you probably think of what you can achieve with a curling iron of this size. This creates a beautiful voluminous curl on some shorter hairstyles and all medium-length or longer ones.
Example: 1" Curling Iron
¾” for Ringlets: Shirley Temple, but make it fashion. That’s what you are going to get with an iron with this barrel size. There are also a variety of things people with short hair can do with an iron that is thin in diameter.
Example: 3/4" Curling Iron
So often, people have no idea how important the heat settings on your curling iron are. If you are shopping for one, you are going to want to make sure that it can hit the temperature that is safest for your hair type. See below for the heat setting you should be using based on your luscious locks! And remember, always use heat protectant, and never go above 450 degrees!
Up to 300 Degrees: Ideal for chemically-treated hair or finer strands. Your hair is slightly more fragile, so it requires you to stay in the lower heat setting range to avoid damage.
300-350 Degrees: Ideal for virgin medium-thick hair or chemically-treated thick hair. This is the range in which most people should stay when styling with a curler to get the best results.
350-450 Degrees: Ideal for thick or curly hair. If you’ve been blessed with thick or curly hair, you know that it comes with one caveat: it’s hard to style! That’s why you need a little more heat than the average Jane.
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With so many hair tools available on the market, it’s hard to decide which ones are actually pro-approved. What are the celebrity stylists using to create those looks that make our jaws drop? Which tools are worth spending money on?
Stylists have their hands on the best tools on a daily basis, so we took the time to ask some of our favorite award-winning stylists and hair experts which tools they can’t live without.