There’s something magical about the transformation that a curling iron can create. It’s not just a heat-styling tool; it’s a wand that can turn your everyday tresses into a cascade of elegant waves or a tapestry of tumbling curls. Just as a sculptor molds clay, a curling iron shapes and molds hair, using heat to create a work of art that is as unique as you are.
When you’re selecting the right curling iron, the barrel size is crucial. It’s the equivalent of an artist choosing a brush size; the smaller the diameter, the tighter and more defined your curls will be, while a larger barrel will give you looser waves or large, voluminous curls. Whether you want to achieve soft, flowing beach waves or tight, spiraled ringlets, there’s a curling iron that can make your hair goals a reality.
But it’s not just about the size of the curling iron barrel. The material it’s made from is also key, much like the material of an artist’s canvas. Ceramic curling irons, for instance, distribute heat evenly and efficiently, reducing the risk of hotspots that can lead to damaged hair. On the other hand, titanium curling irons heat up quickly and can withstand high temperatures, making them a good choice for thick or coarse hair types.
Then, there’s the question of heat settings. This is akin to the painter choosing the right palette; you need the correct heat level to craft your perfect style. Too much heat and you risk damaging your hair; too little, and you may not get the results you’re looking for. Most curling irons have a range of temperature settings to suit various hair types and textures, from fragile, fine strands to resilient, coarse locks.
While there’s no one-size-fits-all answer, we’ve sifted through the vast array of curling irons to find those that stand out for their design, ease of use, and the stunning results they produce. From versatile curling irons that offer a range of barrel sizes to those made from high-quality materials like ceramic and titanium, our guide will help you navigate the options and select the curling iron that’s right for your individual needs.
Continue reading for the best curling irons suitable for your hair type and styling preferences.
Hot Tools’ Pro Artist Black Gold Digital Curling Iron is a professional-grade curling iron that’s created with endless styling possibilities in mind.
The 1″ barrel size gives you the versatility to create a variety of different looks, from tight curls to soft waves. Meanwhile, the temperature settings reach up to a professional-grade 455 degrees, which means that you can get the perfect curl every time.
And if you need to step away from your styling station for a bit, this iron also comes with an auto shut-off feature that protects your investment and the health of your hair. Plus, the ergonomic design makes it easy to handle and comfortable to hold, even during long styling sessions. \\
Changing up your look is as easy as swapping your barrel with T3’s Whril Trio. This curling iron has three interchangeable straight and tapered ceramic wands that allow you to create waves, curls, and everything in between.
The straight wand creates loose waves and a soft curl. The tapered wand creates tight, spiraled curls and flips. The smaller-sized tapered wand creates soft ringlets around the face for a voluminous look.
Its five heat settings allow you to choose the right temperature based on your specific needs. Furthermore, this also prevents damage while providing consistent results every time!
The 1-hour auto shut-off feature prevents overheating or overuse of the product, so you can use it safely without worrying about damaging your hair or burning yourself while styling!
Amika’s High Tide Deep Waver is a dream come true.
Not only does it give you gorgeous beachy waves, but it also seals in your cuticle, so your hair stays smooth and frizz-free. With the 30-minute auto shut-off option, you know that you’ll be able to use this curling iron without worrying about burning yourself or leaving it on for too long.
The digital adjustable temperature makes it easy to find the perfect setting for any style, whether you’re looking for loose waves or tight curls. Its cool tip makes this curling iron even easier to use—it’s designed with a no-slip handle and cool tip that allows for easy control and safety, even if your hands are wet or sweaty.
With all these features combined into one product, we think this iron is definitely worth the investment!
Bio Ionic’s Long Barrel Curling Iron doesn’t just get the job done, it gets the job done right.
The unique barrel design makes it easier to style long hair, and its award-winning technology helps to ensure your curls last longer than you ever thought possible. It’s 2″ longer than an average curling iron, and its innovative design makes it easier to create loose, modern curls and waves in no time at all.
The ionic technology locks in moisture and seals the cuticle to keep your hair healthy while ensuring your curls last longer than ever before. If you’re looking for a simple way to get gorgeous curls without having to spend hours on your hair, this is a great contender.
Drybar’s curling iron is the perfect tool for a variety of hairstyles, no matter what your hair type is.
Like several others mentioned on this list, features three interchangeable attachments that snap easily into the handle to create a variety of styles. The one-inch wand makes defined waves, while the 1.25-inch wand creates classic curls.
Completing the design, its ionic technology reduces frizz and adds tons of shine while styling, and its digital temperature control allows for custom styling. The ergonomic handle also provides comfort and control as you work, and this styler also features a 60-minute automatic safety shut-off.
One tester shared, “Having the multiple options that are so easy to attach is a game changer! It’s so convenient to only have to pack one curling iron than multiple for different sizes.”
This is the curling iron you’ve been looking for. Chi Lava Ceramic Curling Iron is one of the best, particuarly for its price point.
It’s made with volcanic lava, so it’s got all the benefits of that material, but it’s not too heavy or bulky. The 1” ceramic barrel delivers smooth results without damaging heat levels, and it reduces frizz while locking in shine.
Plus, it has dual voltage and an illuminated temperature display so you can be sure you’re getting the right level of heat for your hair type and texture. The lightweight design makes this curling iron easy to handle, even when you’re styling longer hair—and since it has a 1-hour auto shut-off feature, it’ll help save energy too!
Curling your hair has never been easier with the GHD’s 0.5′ Curling Wand. This wand is the ideal tool to create long-lasting curls that are free from extreme heat.
It’s great for all hair types, but especially those with fine and thin hair, as it makes it easy to create tight, long-lasting curls in just three seconds.
The thinner barrel on this wand is longer than many other curling wands, which means it’s ideal for creating long-lasting curls without sacrificing volume or definition. Moreover, the 365° F temperature ensures that you can get optimal styling results every time you use your GHD Curling Wand.
It even comes with a protective glove that helps keep fingers safe while you’re using this device, making it easy to create gorgeous curls in only three seconds!
We all know how much a girl can spend on her hair tools, but sometimes you just need a good curling iron that won’t break the bank. Enter Conair’s Infiniti Pro 1.25-inch Curling Iron!
This budget-friendly pick has everything you need to make your hair look great without breaking the bank. It’s got a 1.25-inch barrel, so it’ll take less time to get all of your strands curled, and its 400° high heat means that you can go right in with no worries about damaging your hair or burning yourself. Plus, it heats up in 30 seconds—so you’re not waiting around!
And even though the tool is affordable, it doesn’t sacrifice quality: the Infiniti Pro features five heat settings and is designed for less frizz and more shine (without making your hair crunchy).
If you’re looking for a curling iron that’s going to do more than just get the job done, you might want to check out the Dyson Airwrap Multi-Styler Complete.
This award-winning set is a splurge pick that won’t let you down—it’s re-engineered attachments are faster and easier to use. Not to mention, the tool is created for shorter hair types, and its barrels curl and wave in both directions, brushes control and shape your hair, and the multi-functional coanda smoothing dryer dries it all in one swoop.
So if you’re looking for something that’ll get your hair looking fantastic in no time flat? Look no further than this fantastic set from Dyson!
Harry Josh’s 3-in-1 Ceramic Curling Iron is a device that can create a variety of salon-worthy looks with just one tool.
It comes with both a detachable marcel clamp and a detachable spring clamp, so you can use the barrel flexibly as you wish. The 1.25-inch barrel also emits negative ions that maintain smooth hair, so you don’t have to worry about frizz or flyaways when you use this device on your hair.
It’s even designed with nano-ceramic and tourmaline technology for fast heat-up times and for maintaining the integrity of your hair’s natural shine.
What to Look for in Curling Irons
Barrel Size and Material
The first thing to look for in a curling iron is the barrel size and material. The barrel size will determine the size of your curls – a smaller barrel will create tighter curls, while a larger one will give you loose waves. The material can range from ceramic and tourmaline to titanium, each with its unique benefits. Ceramic and tourmaline barrels distribute heat evenly, reducing the risk of heat damage and leaving your hair smooth and shiny. Titanium barrels heat up faster and are typically more durable.
Adjustable Temperature Control
An adjustable temperature setting is crucial for a curling iron. Different hair types require different heat settings to effectively shape the hair without causing damage. Fine hair requires a lower temperature to avoid burning or damaging the hair cuticle, while thick, coarse hair needs a higher temperature to hold a curl. Look for a curling iron with a wide range of temperature settings to ensure it’s suitable for your hair type and condition.
A curling iron with a swivel cord makes the tool easier to maneuver, offering a seamless styling experience. With a swivel cord, the iron can rotate as you curl your hair, preventing the cord from tangling and allowing you to move more freely. This feature may seem trivial, but it makes a substantial difference when styling, especially for longer hair types.
Auto Shut-Off Feature
Safety features, like an auto shut-off, can provide peace of mind. This means the curling iron will automatically turn off after a certain amount of time unattended, preventing any potential fire hazard. This is especially beneficial if you often find yourself rushing out the door, forgetting to turn off your hair tools.
Comfort and Ease of Use
Lastly, the curling iron should be comfortable and easy to use. A lightweight design will prevent arm fatigue during styling, and an easy-to-grip handle will make the process smoother. A good curling iron should also have a stand to protect surfaces from the hot barrel and a cool tip to protect your fingers from burns while you’re styling your hair.