A Basic Guide To Curling Irons

With so many different curling irons and wands on the market, it can be hard to know exactly what each of them do. There’s nothing more disappointing than going for relaxed beachy waves and ending up looking like Shirley Temple. So, we’re giving you the low-down on what different curling irons are designed to do.

Clamp Iron – Voluminous, Bouncy Curls

If you’ve ever wanted to recreate the big, bouncy curls you get from a salon blow-out, you should invest in a 2-inch clamp iron. The 2-inch barrel will create the volume and bounce you’re looking for. Opting for a curling iron with a clamp is faster, easier to use and safer – no more burnt fingertips! For best results, be sure to section your hair no wider than the curling iron’s width to ensure even heat distribution.

Curling Wand – Natural, Loose Curls

Have you ever wondered how celebrities get gorgeous, natural loose curls? Just like magic, they use a wand! Curling wands are perfect for achieving relaxed, beachy waves. They have no clamp, offering a wider range of motion. To create a truly effortless look, hold the wand straight up and down and wrap your hair around it in evenly divided sections, alternating the direction in which you’re wrapping. A mid-size barrel (1 to 1.5 inches) is perfect for creating a loose, wavy look.

Big Barrel Irons Or Wands – Glamorous Curls

The key to getting glamorous curls lies in the barrel size you use. You can use either an wand or an iron with a clamp, all that you need to know is that the larger the barrel, the softer, more voluminous the curl. A 1.5 inch barrel should do the trick. If you’ve curled a section and it seems too tight, simply grab the end of the curl and pull it straight down, holding for 5-7 seconds. This will loosen up the curl, giving you the gorgeous, glamorous curls you want.

Small Barrel Irons or Wands – Ringlet Curls

Ringlets are those tight, coil-like curls generally seen at formal events like high school prom. An iron with a thin barrel – an inch or less – will give you tight, springy curls that bounce back into their spiral shape when you tug on them. It’s important to divide the hair into small, equal sections that are about a half an inch thick. Once you’ve held the hair on the iron for 10-15 seconds, release the curl and be careful not to disrupt it. Once you’ve curled your whole head, use your fingers to gently separate the curls.

Now that we’ve covered the size aspect of curling irons, it’s time to discuss the curling iron material. The material of a curling iron tends to determine it’s price. The various materials conduct heat differently, so it’s important to know what works the best for your hair.

Titanium – $

Titanium curling tools are lightweight and absorb heat quickly. Because they heat up at extremely high rates, titanium tools are perfect for thick hair – the thicker the hair, the more heat needed to curl it. It’s important to note that titanium does not have any protective qualities for your hair, so heat protecting products are an absolute must.

Ceramic – $$

Ceramic is the most common material for curling irons and wands. They usually have multiple heat settings, allowing you to adjust the temperature so it’s suitable for all types of hair. Minimizing heat damage is crucial, especially if you’re working with chemically treated or damaged locks. The ceramic material actually emits negatively charged ions which help maintain the natural oils and moisture in your hair, protecting you from split ends and decreasing frizz.

Tourmaline – $$$

The third, and most expensive, material is tourmaline. It’s the newest material on the market and, like ceramic, it emits negatively charged ions as well. The difference between the two materials is that tourmaline emits around 6 times more negative ions than ceramic. The interaction between the negatively charged ions from the tourmaline and the positively charged ions in your hair create a neutral charge, making your as glossy as ever.


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