When you begin your search for a new curling iron, there are several different aspects to take into consideration: heat levels, barrel size, ease of use, quality, efficiency, and perhaps most importantly, price. As you peruse the wide selection of available irons, making the decision can feel a little overwhelming. You want voluptuous, long-lasting curls, but how do you select the product that’s right for your hair and your budget?
Well, here is a round-up of some the most beloved curling irons on the market, as well as a few tips you can refer back to when you begin your hunt.
Table of Contents
- The Best Curling Irons for Your Needs
- 1. The Overall Winner If You’re Willing to Spend a Little More: Sedu Icon Interchangeable Curling Iron ($195)
- 2. Second Best But Still Pretty Pricey: Beachwaver Co. S1 Curling Iron ($129)
- 3. The Quality Curling Iron That Works on Every Type of Hair: Hot Tools 1” Professional Spring Curling Iron ($39.99)
- 4. The Best Option for People With Stubbornly Straight Hair: Sultra The Bombshell 1.5” Curling Rod ($130)
- 5. The Curling Iron for People With Thick, Hard-to-Manage Locks: Paul Mitchell Express Gold Curl 1” ($59.99)
- 6. The Recommended Curling Iron for People With Damaged or Colored Hair: Remington T Studio Thermaluxe Curling Wand ($34.99)
- 7. The Curling Iron to Buy If You Want Several Options: xtava Satin Wave 5-in-1 Curling Iron and Wand Set ($40.00)
- The Cheapest Products That Can Get the Job Done Well
- Some Things to Pay Attention to Before You Make Your Purchase:
- Most Reliable Brands to Shop
- Best Products to Pair With Your New Curling Iron to Make Results Last
The Best Curling Irons for Your Needs
1. The Overall Winner If You’re Willing to Spend a Little More:
Sedu Icon Interchangeable Curling Iron ($195)
If you’ve got the funds and are looking for the best curling iron out there, the Sedu Icon Interchangeable Curling Iron is hands-down one of the best products you can purchase for multiple reasons. First of all, it comes with three different sized wands (1″ – 1¼”, 1¼” and 1″). Ever wonder how the pros make celebrities’ curls look so ridiculously natural? It’s because they rarely stick to just one size of barrel. Not only will the curling iron allow you to experiment with different sizes of curls, but it will also give your hair a perfectly tousled look. That means no more hard, fried spirals or frizzy waves.
Some other additional features: the wand has an automatic shut-off feature, so after you’re finished crafting the perfect hairstyle, you never have to worry if you turned the curling iron off before you dashed out the door. You can also control the heat settings, which isn’t always a common feature. Many curling irons heat to a certain temperature and don’t allow you to adjust it, but this one lets you have a little more control. Plus, the smooth wand can heat up almost instantly, so your morning beauty routine just got even quicker.
The best part? Your curls will probably stay for the promised two to three days. That means less work on your part, as well as less damage to your hair. Although the price isn’t exactly the lowest option, you’ll love the product you pay for, so many reviewers think it’s a worthwhile purchase.
2. Second Best But Still Pretty Pricey:
Beachwaver Co. S1 Curling Iron ($129)
This product is perfect for girls who don’t like spending hours on their curls. Reviewers consistently say it is one of the fastest curling irons you can buy, and the finished results are equally as impressive. Within minutes, you can curl every lock of hair on your head and shave precious minutes off of your getting-ready routine while looking fabulous.
The S1 allows you to create three different styles of curls by rotating the 1” barrel through your hair. Now that might sound a little intense, but the creators assure worried consumers that it’s easy to use. Simply adjust the speed of your rotation, set the curling iron’s clamp accordingly, and voila! The iron will spin out whatever type of curl you desire, from loose beachy waves to a more defined, glamorous look. As with many other curling irons, the S1 comes with an automatic shut-off, so don’t worry about accidentally burning things after you’re finished.
At $130, this product still isn’t a cheap investment. However, the adjustable speeds and temperatures, evenly-heated ceramic barrels, and one-year warranty guarantee can help ease the pain of spending so much. Plenty of hair experts recommend the product, and you probably won’t find a more efficient curling iron out there.
3. The Quality Curling Iron That Works on Every Type of Hair:
Hot Tools 1” Professional Spring Curling Iron ($39.99)
This curling iron is attached to a much more reasonable price tag, and it’ll probably give you the most bang for your buck when it comes to beautiful curls. Hot Tools prides itself on creating curling irons that evenly distribute heat in an effort to create long-lasting curls that look smooth and glossy, not fried and wiry. Happy reviewers praise the product on several levels. It can handle thick and thin hair, as well as damaged or colored locks. Buyers also love that the bottom twists as you rotate to curl your hair because it prevents nasty tangles.
If you’re looking to add some big curls and volume to your look, then search no further: this one can give you what you’re looking for. Your curls will last at least a solid day and potentially longer if you use the right setting products. Simply turn the iron on, wait about a minute, then work your way through your hair. It’s simple to use, and the quality of the results is instantly apparent. Reviewers frequently comment on how nicely made the iron is, so don’t expect this fairly inexpensive iron to feel cheapy.
The one thing some people don’t like about this curling iron is that it doesn’t work very well if you have fairly long hair. It’s a great product for people with hair down to their shoulders or shorter, but if you take pride in your lengthy tresses, it might not be the best product for you.
At $39.99, this curling iron really is a smart purchase. It’ll last a long time, give you curls that don’t wilt quickly, and requires minimal effort as you create a glossy, polished look.
4. The Best Option for People With Stubbornly Straight Hair:
Sultra The Bombshell 1.5” Curling Rod ($130)
Now, this might not be a cheap option, but for people who are constantly battling their wilting curls, the Sultra Bombshell can be a game changer. It might take a little while to get used to this style of curling, but once you do, you can quickly attain curls that will last all day, even if your hair tends to lose curls quickly. You’ll need to use the protective gear that comes with the product, but don’t worry, you’ll get the hang of the system after just a few tries.
To use this curling iron, simply wrap a ribbon of hair around the wand, hold it for about eight seconds, release, and watch your hair twirl around in a perfectly crafted wave. For girls with pin-straight hair, the difference will be enormous, and many reviewers claim that the curls will last up to two full days. Additionally, don’t worry if you have long hair because this curling iron can handle any length. The wand will heat up quite quickly, and depending on how difficult your hair is to curl, you should be done styling within a relatively short amount of time.
The one complaint some buyers voice is that the curling iron can be easy to burn yourself with. However, if you watch a few tutorial videos and pay close attention to how you’re holding the wand, you should be able to curl your hair without suffering any injuries.
Although this curling rod is pretty pricey, you won’t regret investing in it, especially if you’ve constantly struggled to make curls work on your hair in the past. The Dual-Heater system will evenly heat every lock, and before you know it, you’ll be rocking smooth curls for days at a time.
5. The Curling Iron for People With Thick, Hard-to-Manage Locks:
Paul Mitchell Express Gold Curl 1” ($59.99)
Does your hair constantly feel like it’s knotted? Does curling your hair takes forever because you practically have to curl each strand individually? If so, then Paul Mitchell is here to save your life (and your curls). With an adjustable temperature of up to 430 degrees Fahrenheit, this iron will help you craft smooth, hydrated curls, even if your hair typically won’t hold them. Many curling irons can leave your hair drier than it was before, but with Paul Mitchell’s tool, you might make your hair look even shinier than it did before.
The gold-plated barrel comes with several benefits. Firstly, it will ensure that your style lasts as long as you need it to, and you can decide how tight or loose your curls are. Go for a glamorous, tighter look for formal events or keep it more casual with brushed out waves. Secondly, the barrel distributes heat evenly across your hair, which prevents “cool spots” from forming.
Additionally, the curling iron has an extra-long cool tip and insulated thumb grip, so you can work without fearing accidental burns. The iron should last a long time by itself, but should something happen to it; you can replace the spring easily. Also, there’s a one year warranty, so you’re covered for several months of worry-free curling.
Although $59.99 might not seem like the best price, you’re getting a reliable product that can fight even the toughest of hair types. Think of it as an investment in your hair care that you can appreciate for years and years.
6. The Recommended Curling Iron for People With Damaged or Colored Hair:
Remington T Studio Thermaluxe Curling Wand ($34.99)
This curling wand rings up at a price that’s easy on the eyes, and the results are also appealing. If your hair has been affected by chemicals and dyes, then chances are, you could benefit from giving it a little TLC. Although avoiding heat is typically the best way to heal damaged hair, you don’t always want to sacrifice your curls. Thankfully, this wand can give you guilt-free curls without wreaking havoc on your strands. The product’s innovative heat sensors optimize temperatures to curl hair quickly and efficiently, which prevents unnecessary damage from occurring. The non-slip, ceramic-coated barrel also helps prevent any accidental frying.
When it comes to creating curls that last all day, the most important aspect is heat. Without high temperatures, your curls will fall in no time. However, high heat also frequently results in damage, so women are often forced to choose between the duration of their curls stay and how much they negatively impact their hair in the long term. With this Remington wand, you can rest a little easier because the thermal technology optimizes heat levels to reduce damage levels while still giving you big curls that last for a day or more. Obviously, some of the more expensive options on this list can give you curls that last longer, but the Remington leaves less split ends, so it’s probably a better option for people with unhealthy hair.
At $34.99, this winner is a real steal. You get curls that look fabulous while minimizing frizz and fried ends, all for a really reasonable price. It’s a win-win all around.
7. The Curling Iron to Buy If You Want Several Options:
xtava Satin Wave 5-in-1 Curling Iron and Wand Set ($40.00)
Sometimes you want tight curls a la Taylor Swift circa 2006. Other times, you want huge curls that fall glamorously down your back. A girl shouldn’t have to choose, right? That’s why this curling iron/wand duo gives you several different options when it’s time to style. It comes with not one but five interchangeable barrels, so you can switch up your curls whenever you feel like it. The barrel sizes range from 0.3” to 1.25”, so pick your size and have fun crafting your perfect look.
Within a few seconds, this iron’s barrel can heat up to a scorching 410 degrees Fahrenheit, so as always, use caution when curling your hair. There isn’t a cool tip, which some people don’t like, but as long as you’re comfortable using irons and wands carefully, you shouldn’t have to worry too much. If you’re looking for a lower temp, you can go down to 250 degrees for looser, less damaging curls. There is an auto-shut off function, but it doesn’t kick in until after an hour, so make sure to turn the product off after you’re finished using it.
The xtava Satin Wave wants you to have it all. It’s great for short and long haircuts, as well as thick or thin hair. The ten different settings allow you to work with your hair regardless of its texture or thickness, and the iron’s various smart features make sure you’re using the proper voltage no matter where you are. The swivel cord also prevents you from getting tangled up and helps you finish your styling without annoying delays.
Not looking to fork over a hefty wad of cash for your next curling tool? Luckily there are a few options that won’t hurt your wallet too badly.
The T-Studio Ceramic Pearl Professional Curling Wand is definitely a product to consider. At $30, it’s not expensive, but it still gets pretty hot. Since temperature levels are such an important part of your evaluation of a curling iron, it’s nice to know that such a cost-effective option can still reach 410 degrees Fahrenheit. The ceramic barrel might not be the most luxurious option on the market, but it’s tapered design, and digital heat settings will still give you beautiful curls.
Stop by Target and snag a Conair Infiniti You Curl Wand if you really want a cheap but effective curling tool. For $21.99, you can use this wand to create several various, voluptuous looks. The five heat settings make it easy to work with different hair textures and levels of damage. The tourmaline-coated barrel helps minimize any frizz while the tapered barrel helps you create fast, shiny curls. Sure, it might not be the most awesome curler on this list, but for such a low price, the results are totally worth the purchase.
The Conair Instant Heat 1-1/2 Inch Curling Iron is another budget-friendly option with impressive results. There are a staggering 25 different heat settings you can choose from, which makes it easy to style your hair no matter how healthy it is. Plus, the barrel isn’t just made from ceramic: it contains chromium, nickel, copper, and steel. The sleek metal gives your curls a professional, polished look that many other curlers can’t achieve. The best part about this Conair product? It’s only $10! It’s a total bargain, and even if you plan on investing in a more expensive curling iron later, it wouldn’t hurt to have this one laying around as a backup.
Curling irons are not a one-size-fits-all product. In fact, knowing your hair type before you commit to a product is extremely important. Delicate or fine hair often requires a lower temperature (probably from 250-300 degrees Fahrenheit). If you buy a one-temp curling iron, the chances are that you’ll fry your delicate locks without evening meaning to. Normal hair usually curls well at 300 to 375 degrees, and thick or coarse hair often requires 375 degrees or higher. If you don’t research the temperature settings on your wand or iron, you could end up with a product that doesn’t suit the hair you have.
Barrel size also plays a huge role in your curling experience. If you’ve got short hair, you’ll probably want a small, old-fashioned curling iron to add some volume to your waves. Medium to shoulder length hair does well with a ⅜” to 1 inch tapered iron, depending on the look you’re aiming for. If you’ve got fairly long hair, you’ll want to purchase a wand that is at least half an inch to cut down on styling time.
Curling irons and wands can also be made of different materials, and some are certainly better than others. Cheapy irons are typically made of chrome or metal irons, and they can often cause the most damage to your locks. Gold, titanium, and Teflon coated barrels are all the better for your hair’s appearance and health.
You’ll also want to notice the clamps (or lack thereof) on the product. Professionals tend to use curling irons that have a clamp that is not spring loaded, but typical curling irons have spring-loaded iron clamps that are easier to use. Curling wands or sticks don’t have any clamps, which can take some getting used to if you’re used to wielding a normal curling iron.
Another thing people often forget to research is the shape of your curling iron or wand’s barrel. Different shapes mean different styling results, so make sure you know what kind of look you want your product to give you. For instance, if you pick a wand with a small end and wide base (also referred to as cone-shaped), you can get anything from big, romantic curls to beachy waves. If you choose a straight barrel, which is what most products have, your curls will all look fairly similar. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, especially if you’re going for a bit of a coiled appearance. Pearl barrels look pretty bizarre at first glance, but they’ll give you the most effortless, natural look. If you don’t want people to know you’re using a curling iron to achieve your wild locks, then that’s the shape you’ll want to track down.
You can also curl your hair with a flat iron if you’re not willing to invest in a curling iron. However, the use of a straightener does make the process of curling a bit more difficult, and it’s harder to control how your ringlets turn out. If you’re really looking to produce some quality curls, most professionals would probably recommend that you invest in a tool made specifically for crafting classic curls.
As you can see, there are many different brands to peruse while you’re selecting your newest curling accessory. Some charge hundreds of dollars while others keep their prices much lower. So, which brands should you be shopping to ensure that you’re sticking to your price range and purchasing something that will hold up over many curling sessions?
If you’re looking to keep your budget as low as humanly possible, start out with a Conair product. They usually range from about $10 to $30, as you can see by the few that are recommended in this article. Sure, most professional stylists wouldn’t dream of picking up a Conair product, but they’re actually very reliable for their small price tag and no one else will know you’re using a less expensive curler.
Hot Tools is another brand that offers curling irons for less than many others, and reviewers will tell you that their curls are as magnificent as ever because of their products. Their irons usually have gold-plated barrels, which are always a step up from the usual ceramic ones. You can probably budget between $30 and $50 for one of their quality curling irons, and you’ll enjoy your purchase for many years to come.
If you’re looking to spend $100 or more, Sultra is probably the way to go. The company produces luxury hair products and tools, and they’re so fantastic that once you try them, you’ll probably never go back to your old, cheapy curling iron. With one of their fancy styling tools, you can feel at peace knowing you are treating your hair with a product that won’t risk excessive heat damage. Plus, their tools usually give you many options when it comes to styling, so you can use one of their curling irons for any and every occasion.
You can never go wrong with a CHI product. Ask any hairstylist and they’ll recommend the company’s various wares, from heat protectant sprays to straighteners and wands. The might be a little pricey (ranging from roughly $130 to $170), but they hold up for ages, no matter how much you use them. Many reviewers claim that CHI tools add a certain shine to their hair that other brands just can’t replicate, so you can rest assured that your money is well spent on one of their heated tools.
You can spend hundreds on an amazing curling iron, but if you don’t use it in conjunction with the proper serums and sprays, you’ll never achieve the best curls.
The most important additional product to invest in is a heat protectant. These can come in serum or spray forms, and they’ll make sure that you don’t accidentally fry your luscious locks. When your hair is dry and before you start using a hot tool, apply some of the product throughout your hair. Your healthy hair will thank you later as you apply blistering heat in the name of beauty.
If you really want your hair to take to your new curling iron, try using a texturizing spray. Add some to each layer of your hair to really take your curling experience to the next level. It’ll make sure your curls form nicely and help you finish the process a little more quickly.
Every girl needs to have a reliable can of hairspray on hand when tackling a curling job. Although nice curling irons promise that your curls will last for at least a day, maybe two or three, you need to do your part in helping the curls maintain their form. Use a flexible hairspray to keep ringlets locked and loaded without making them crunchy or wet-looking.
You never knew there were so many things to consider when it comes to curling iron shopping, did you? Well, now you’re ready to hit the stores and find the best curling iron that suits your hair’s specific needs. Remember to keep the big things in mind as you peruse the selection: heat time, heat settings, barrel size, barrel material, and barrel shape. Combine those aspects with your ideal price, and you’ll be on your way to effortless curls in no time.