Best Curling Iron – A Detailed Buyers’ Guide
Women are very (add another “very”) conscious about their hair. Nothing puts them off like a bad hair day and very few things please them as much as nice, shiny and well-styled hair. May be it’s a psychological fact that most girls blessed with luscious straight hair craves for beautiful curls and those who have them are fascinated by silky straight hair. If belong to the first category, well, this article is exactly what you need to read right now.
Curling hair using wands and curling irons have been in vogue since decades. As long as you have the right tool in that, nothing can go wrong with your hairstyle. But knowing what constitutes the perfect instrument for curling hair can be a bit tricky for women in possession of minimal knowledge about cosmetics and hair styling.
My tryst with curling irons began since I was in high school. It took me almost 5 years to grasp the techniques of accomplishing long lasting curls without causing outrageous damage to my hair. I just thought it would be a great idea to share whatever knowledge I have gathered about these amazing tools with women who are struggling hard to get attractive curls. The article features the detailed review of the most up-to-date curling irons in addition to factors that determine the functionality of these equipments.
Best Curling Iron - Handpicked Choices
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Reviews of the Best Curling Irons of 2016
Babyliss Pro Nano Titanium Curling Iron
The Babyliss professional Titanium Curling Iron combined with sol gel technology delivers a spot-on performance on all types of hair.
The sol gel covering on top of titanium was a logic stance in an effort to block a direct contact between the scalding iron and your hair. This amazing technology also provides a firmer grip on the hair, exerting less stress on the root.
Say goodbye to unmanageable frizz, thanks to the Nano Titanium technology by initializing a counteraction between negative and positive ions. You won’t need the highest heat setting (450 degree F) unless you have a dense forest to deal with. Another great thing I would like to point out is the quick heating of the unit. It heats up within a minute of plugging in, that way, you can ensure you don’t apply surplus heat on a particular portion.
Conair Infiniti Pro Nano Tourlamine
Conair Infiniti Pro is a prototype of the typical old-school curling irons with clamps enhanced with a number of modern features. When you put relentless effort on gorgeous waves and cute ringlets, you certainly want it to last for at least a whole day. Unfortunately, average wavers fail to hold the shape for more than a few hours.
Thankfully enough, that is not the case with Infiniti Pro which has managed to marvel me with its ability to keep my curls bouncy and beautiful for almost an entire day! In addition to that, the heat up time for this unit is amazing low, plus the LED display helps you get an accurate measure of the heat. However, I won’t suggest you to give this model a skip if you have long hair. Unlike most flat irons, the tip of the iron isn’t sufficiently long to control a very long shaft.
Sultra The Bombshell Rod Curling Iron
Looking for a no-frills design that is easy to optimize and take care of? Seems like I have found the model that befits your basic styling needs. Sultra is a perfect unit for regular use at home. Its exclusive ceramic technology helps you produce the much coveted beachy waves you see those supermodels flaunting on the magazines.
The noteworthy utilities include an auto shut-off button, a universal voltage allowing you to turn on the device anywhere at your house or outdoors, provided the availability of electricity. The heating time is quite impressive while the maximum heat output is a whopping 380 degree F. You will also get a pair of cute pink thermal gloves to protect your delicate hands from burns while handling the hot iron.
Bed Head “Curlipops” 1″ Curling Wand
The tourmaline ceramic heating technology in this model packs quite a punch with its rapid heating and great temperature consistency. Women living is despair because of their unsightly frizzy hair are going to love the way this model creates extra negative ions to counteract with frizz-causing positive ions.
Clamp-free curling irons might be a little challenging to handle in the beginning, but with a little practice, you will be able to form perfect curls to give you a complete make-over. And just like the Sultra above, the Bed Head also offers free heat-protective gloves. So make sure you don’t overlook the safety aspect, as twisting the locks around the sizzling hot barrel without wearing gloves is not a feasible option unless you’re Superwoman.
Bed Head Deep Waver Curling Iron
Long, straight hair is more difficult to curl up than lightly curled hair. If you think you have no hope to achieve dream curls without professional help, you should seriously take a glance over this model.
The size of the curling iron is ¾ inches which is an ideal length for shaping natural waves out of voluptuous, velvety-smooth, straight hair. Another major highlight is the application of tourmaline ceramic technology that helps locking the natural oil and moisture inside the shaft to nourish your hair along with styling it.
Types of Curling Irons
There is plenty of variety modern curling irons has to offer. All-purpose curling irons allow you to be creative, you can use them for barrel curls, waves, the basic spirals and a lot more. If you’re very specific about the kind of curls you want, the market is saturated with definitive tools for any style you opt for.
Spiral Curls with Spiral Irons and Wands
Girls who dream for tight, small curls should seek out for a spiral curling iron. You have to work over each ringlet for at least 20 seconds to accomplish perfect results. If you have long hair, choose an iron with a barrel size between ¾ to 3/8 inch, and for short hair, a 3/8 inch iron would be a great choice. It is harder to get classic, small, fluffy ringlets on long hair as there is a lot of hair to deal with. Spiral curling irons with a variable barrel size offer a great flexibility. You need to wrap your hair around the spiral attached to the barrels to create nice and tidy ringlets.
If you wish to experiment with the curl sizes, I would recommend a curling wand. These wands are equipped with large, tapered barrels. Some upscale brands allow you to switch between length settings between the curling sessions.
Waving Curling Irons
Going for a light and lascivious tousled hair instead for retro-style curls is becoming increasingly favourite among regular salon-goers these days. Waving the hair requires adding some extra volume and texture to the hair. Look out for a big iron if you want a light wave just around the face. Maintain your beach-inspired, natural-looking waves using an iron measuring around 1.25 inch. Waving irons have small bumps around which you are to wrap your hair.
Spring Curling Irons
A spring iron is optimized by a clamp that holds it firmly to the barrel surface. This is the ultimate beginner’s tool since the barreling surface can be controlled easily by your thumb. Just wrap your hand around the barrel and hold the hair with the clamp, the rest will be taken care of by the device itself. Talking about the advantages, you don’t even have to hold your hair taut and wait for the iron to do its magic, therefore, there’s no hazard of burning your hand accidentally. Small wonder, spring curling irons are mostly patronized by DIY users who prefer doing their hair styling at their homes.
Rotating Curling Irons
Rotating curling irons are the best if you don’t want to settle at a grey-zone between tight curls and short waves (“corkscrews” is the professional term for it). Like spring curling irons, these curling tools are also pretty fuss-free to operate as it features a clamp to clasp your hair. The rotation can be activated with a simple push of a button and the barrel will automatically start to wrap the hair around itself. Reduce the number of rotations if you don’t want to end up with super tight curls.
Marcel Curling Irons
This one is more suitable for professional hairstylists since the working principle of these devices are a tad complicated. There poses the risk of burning your hands if you are not used to clamping your hair manually.
Cordless Curling Irons
Most curling wands and irons are corded which limits the movement of your hand. Moreover, you have to pause the work if the power goes out and you can’t just use it at any corner of the house, provided you’ll need a power socket to start the machine in the first place. Cordless models are easily portable, provide excellent flexibility and can be used in the bathroom as well. Charge the batteries fully before using and you’re good to go!
Hourglass Curling Irons
As the name implies, hourglass curling irons resemble the structural pattern of an hourglass. It is essentially a 2 in 1 toll which allows for loose waves as well as taut spiral curls. You have to wrap the hair around the stick to activate the functioning. In order to prevent your hand from burning, often these products come with heat gloves.
Clampless Curling Irons
The mechanism of clamp-less irons are somewhat akin to that of hourglass irons. You are required to clasp the stick with your hands and carefully fold the hair around it to get the most natural-looking waves.
Conical Curling Irons
These cone shaped curling irons provide absolute spot-on performance as a versatile curling tool. Being an all-inclusive hair styling gear, buying one eliminates the need of spending outrageously on different tools for different tasks.
Things to Avoid While Using a Curling Iron
Slow Things Down
Yep, I understand you’re in rush and you want to groom your voluptuous hair in minutes. The time required for styling your hand depends on the type of curl you’re trying to achive.usually, long, loose waves are quicker to acquire than short, super-tight curls. If you try to clamp a lot of hair in one go, the heat won’t be distributed evenly throughout the portion. As a result, it will take longer to turn hot enough to curl up. The trick to achieve fine curls without taking forever is to divide the total volume of your mane into small sections, wrap each portion for a small period of time and check out the aftermath yourself. Thank me later.
Be Careful of the Heat
Overheating your hair may actually end up with some nasty results, aka, charred locks. Iron heats up quickly (reaching up to 450 degree Fahrenheit), therefore, if you let the hair strands sit wrapped around the barrel for too long, no one can save you from the apocalypse. Be also careful about how long you allow the wand to heat up before using. There’s a heightened risk of barbequing your hand while trying to roll your locks around that super-hot barrel.
Maneuvering the Barrel
Another basic curling goof-up many non-professionals tend to make is twisting the barrel instead of the hair. The appropriate technique is to wrap small portions of hair around the barrel and twisting it until it soaks the heat and turns into bouncy curls. Try to maintain a singular direction on each side of the face. Say, if you want retro-style curls, roll the locks toward the face, for pretty, fluffy ringlets, twist the strands in a clock-wise and anti-clockwise direction consecutively on either side of the face.
Do Not Curl Damp Hair
Always remember to towel or blow dry your hair before getting started with the curling wand or iron. Wet hair is highly prone to breakage and damage when exposed to tension or heat as the heat gets evaporated quickly into the scalp, loosening the pores. If you try curling damp hair, not only it will produce unsatisfactory results, but it will also take you forever to get anywhere near to even loose waves.
Proper Maintenance of the Machine
As much as I emphasize repeatedly on the vitality of using correct techniques and taking adequate precautions while operating a curling iron, I also strongly advice regular maintenance of the tool in order to reap maximum benefit from it. The hair care products we use paves way to dirt buildup inside the unit just as well as bits of stray hair stuck around the barrel. Make sure to keep special toothbrushes and hair removal tools handy to whisker away the residue after each application.
Use a Comb, Not your Hand
During the curling session, avoid brushing your hair or untangling your hair with bare hands. Why? Because our body produces natural oils which might disrupt the molecular structure of the curls. After finishing the process, let the freshly ironed curls set in for a few minutes.
Set the Right Temperature:
Configure your equipment to the lowest heat range if your hair is somewhat between normal to thin. Putting excess heat on fine strands is an outrageous torture on your soft hair follicles.
This is the most suitable temperature setting for most hair types. You need to the highest heat your curling wand allows for unless you have a copious head. Medium temperature ranges between 350 to 375 degree F. It may take a while to twist tight curls on normal to thick hair but trust me, with a little patience, you can achieve the most natural and gorgeous waves that’ll stay in shape for an extended period.
Maximum Heat Allowance
You will probably need to apply the maximum heat allowed by your curling iron if you are to deal with difficult-to-manage, super long and thick hair. It’s not possible to shape the coarser strands until it absorbs the required amount of heat. It would be smarter to kick-start the curling with medium setting and increment the temperature gradually observing how your hair responds to the increasing heat.
How to Find the Best Curling Iron
Heat Setting According to Your Hair Type
Don’t forget to take into account what type of hair you have before applying any styling product on it. Nobody knows your hair better than you do. Everyone one is blessed with different volume and texture which is why the amount of heat required on each type will vary from person to person. While thicker or coarser mane will demand higher temperature, relatively finer and thinner locks can be handled with lower temperature settings.
Automatic Shut off
Many of the higher end models include an automatic shut-off feature to prevent your hand from getting burns when the temperature reaches to the highest level. Having an indicator light on the iron isn’t a bad idea either. The indicator light helps you stay aware when the unit is switched on and hot. If that wasn’t fascinating enough, how about models packed with digital displays that provide an accurate temperature reading and switch on/off status.
Right Barrel Length
While average barrels measure up to 3/8 inch, a standard length for normal curlers, advanced models are capable of providing a width up to 2 inches. The right barrel size should be determined by your style preference. Girls who sought after, long, wavy locks should have an eye open for long barrels. For bouncy ringlets, get your hands laid on a small to medium iron.
Curling wands and irons often come with heat resilient gloves which can be worn while holding the smoldering barrel. Not that these gloves guarantee full protection against heat, it’s still better than rolling the locks around the stick with naked hands. Once again, let me remind you, iron will catch the heat in minutes. Try to curl away from your face as much as possible, put the tool on a silicon mat or the built-in rest while you’re doing other jobs. Resting a hot iron on a wooden or plastic countertop could be a very stupid move on your part.
Brand reputation plays a pivotal role in determining the quality and longevity of any product. Curling iron is a long-term investment, so, when you purchase one, making sure your money is spent on a branded model has both immediate and long-lasting benefits. First of all, a well-established company would rarely compromise with the quality of their product, fearing losing their reputation. Secondly, most top branded curling irons and wands are backed by at least 5 years of warranty. Furthermore, their dedicated customer support faculty will be glad to provide assistance regarding any queries or issues you have with your purchase.
The Last Words
As it stands evident, discovering the best curling iron for your particular styling needs is not just about looking at a product design. Unless you are fully capable of evaluating the features claimed by the manufacturer, the chances are high that you are going to end up with a machine you won’t be proud of for a long time (unless you’re just plain lucky). Curls look great if done right. The best part about buying a curling iron is some kickass money-saving. You don’t have to hit a fancy salon and splurge hundreds of dollars to resolve your frizz in order to get smooth curly hair. When you ace the correct technique of using a curling iron, your mission to achieve ravishing curls without losing tons of hair won’t be a far-fetch dream.