Table Of Contents
- 1 Why You Should Trust Our Opinion
- 2 Let's Get To The Products:
- 3 PARWIN PRO 7 In 1 Interchangeable Curling Set
- 4 BaByliss Pro Porcelain Ceramic Curling Iron
- 5 BaBylissPRO Nano Titanium Conicurl Wand
- 6 Chi Air Spin ‘N’ Curl
- 7 Remington Pro Conicurl Curling Wand
- 8 LumaBella Keratin Touch Curling Iron
- 9 Anjou Curling Iron
- 10 The Beachwaver S1
- 11 Models We Did NOT Like...
- 12 Conclusion
- 13 Buyer’s Guide
- 14 Frequently Asked Questions
Whether you are looking to create beautiful ringlets, add bounce to an up-do or just style loose curls to get some volume, curling irons are extremely versatile and a great addition to your hair styling toolkit. No matter what we are born with, women around the world have one thing in common – we like a change every now and again, and curling your hair is an easy fix.
Curling irons come with a range of price tags, but even the top-quality models usually won’t break the bank. Nevertheless, when you are looking to upgrade your curling iron, you want to get it right first time.
Recently, hair styling technology has advanced, and there are many features, such as infrared technology and the development of different combinations of metals which can help you to style your hair while reducing the chance of heat damage associated with using thermal styling tools. So, we decided to explore these developments in curling irons and to determine what the best curling iron models on the market are.
Why You Should Trust Our Opinion
We have spent over 70 hours researching and testing a huge number of curling irons. Our preparation included searching through peer-reviewed articles and professional guidelines to determine the best features a curling iron can have, and the effect they can have on your hair. That is in addition to the many hours spent over the years curling our own hair! We only want to promote the best hair products, so we purchased all the models we discuss in this article ourselves (as well as others that haven’t made it to the line-up) purely for the purpose of testing them for this article.
We also enlisted the help of professional hairstylist Paul, who completed a 3-year Guild of Hairdressers Apprenticeship alongside private tuition, and has over 30 years of experience in the industry. Since then, he has taken an array of courses working with many different professional hair products over the years. He spent time with us in our testing facility working through the different models to determine which ones stood out.
PARWIN PRO 7 In 1 Interchangeable Curling Set
Editor’s choice: With 7 different interchangeable tourmaline ceramic barrels to choose from, this curling wand set stood out as the clear winner for best curling iron when we were testing the different models. It is the most versatile curling set we looked at, and even though it contains everything you could possibly need to style your curls, it won’t break the bank, or take up too much valuable storage space. We loved this curling iron set, and we think you will too.
If you enjoy variety, this is the curling kit for you. You get 7 curling wands in 1 set, and the diversity of the shapes of the high-quality wands means you can create a huge number of styles. It is lightweight, but it feels high-quality, and the wands create beautiful curls and waves. We love how easy it is to use, and that you can take it away with you thanks to it having dual voltage!
7 Interchangeable Barrels
You get a fantastic range of curling wands in this kit, so no matter what the occasion, you are sure to get the perfect style. It feels high-quality and the handle is lightweight and sculpted so that it is comfortable to hold. You also get 2 hair clips to help you control your hair as you style it. The barrels are coated with ceramic tourmaline.
The barrels you get in the kit are:
- 25 Inch barrel for large curls
- 1 Inch Barrel for medium curls
- 75 Inch Barrel for small curls
- 5 Inch Barrel for extra small curls
- Tapered Barrel for classic curls
- Bubble Barrel for natural-looking curls
- 1.25 Inch Oval barrel for big waves
Expert Paul says: “This is a good variety of interchangeable barrels for creating many different hair style looks for every occasion. Varying from tight corkscrew curls to a loose barrel curl.”
None of the barrels have a cool tip, but this isn’t a problem because the kit included a heat resistant glove. The barrels were very easy to attach. To connect, you set the handle to the unlock position, insert the barrel onto the end of the handle and turn the grip to the lock position. It is then ready to turn on. Once you are finished styling, you just turn it off and do the same process in reverse to disconnect the wand from the handle.
It is important to remember that you will have to wait a while to let the wand cool before you can disconnect it. As there is no cool tip or grip area on the barrels themselves, you risk burning yourself if you try to disconnect while they are still hot. While this isn’t ideal, we didn’t think this was a deal-breaker either because you are unlikely to be needing multiple barrels in such quick succession. We do, however, recommend getting a heatproof mat to rest your curling wand on when it is heating up and cooling down.
Fast To Heat Up
This was one of the fastest models to heat up out of all the models we tested. It has a PTC heating element and will automatically shut off after 60 minutes just in case you forget to do it yourself. You can set the temperature to between 170 and 450 degrees Fahrenheit (77 to 232° C) at 10 ° Fahrenheit intervals.
A feature we particularly liked was the LCD digital display on the handle. It is clear and easy to read. When you turn the curling iron on and set the temperature, by using the left and right arrow buttons, it glows blue and counts up until the barrel temperature reaches the temperature you have set. Once it has reached your chosen temperature, it changes to glow green. When you are finished and it is cooling, it flashes blue to remind you it is still warm and plugged in.
Suitable For Travel
We love that this curling wand set is dual voltage, meaning you can take it away with you anywhere in the world. It also comes with a storage bag to keep all of the pieces in together. The bag is quite thin and isn’t as protective as the box that previous versions of the 7-in-1 kit came with, but we like that you can store all the pieces together in it.
BaByliss Pro Porcelain Ceramic Curling Iron
Editor’s choice: With the reputation BaByliss has, it is hardly surprising that their products have made it into our favorites. This curling iron combines simple, intuitive handling with top-quality styling. It feels great to hold and creates beautiful curls quickly, so we are pleased to name it as our second Editor’s Choice curling iron.
If you are looking for a simple curling iron that performs well, look no further than the BaByliss Pro Porcelain Ceramic Curling Iron. It is lightweight and simple to use, but it is also well built, and it produces lovely shiny curls which are perfectly formed, without taking long to set them. With this one-inch curling iron, you get a professional-grade styling tool, without breaking the bank.
The Most Ergonomic Curling Iron We Tested
Out of all the curling irons we looked at, this was by far the most ergonomically-pleasing! The handle is soft and tactile to hold and it has a cool tip to reduce the chances of burning your fingertips as you style. The on/off buttons are clear to read and are well-placed under the lever for the clamp, which itself has a comfortable spring action. The curling iron is well balanced when placed on the foldaway stand and handle, so you can rest your curling iron as it heats up. It has a nice long cable as well – we measured it at 94.5 inches (240 cm), and especially when combined with the swivel cord, it gives you lots of room for movement.
Longer cables are typical of hair styling tools which are designed for professional use. Styling tools which have particularly short cables are generally designed for at-home use, and may not have the versatility or longevity of professional tools.
But what we loved most about the design was the style of the temperature dial. It wraps around the end of the handle, underneath the clamp lever and rotates around the handle. It is clear to read and set, and convenient location means that it is easy to access to adjust your temperature, but you are not likely to accidentally knock it while you are styling.
Very Wide Range Of Temperature Settings
The BaByliss Pro Porcelain Ceramic Curling Iron gives you a fantastic range of temperatures to choose from – making it suitable for just about any hair type. Again, this is hardly surprising for a professional-grade product. It can reach up to 430 degrees F (221° C) and as we mentioned before, we found it heats up very quickly.
The porcelain ceramic barrel distributes the heat extremely evenly. Even heat distribution is an essential feature of any hair styling tool because otherwise, you will find hot spots can singe your hair, while colder areas fail to style the hair shaft enough. With even heat distribution and the right heat settings, you will get the perfect curls every time.
In comparison with regular ceramic, the porcelain ceramic barrel emits more infra-red heat and ions. Infrared heat penetrates the hair shaft, and the result is smooth, shiny and frizz-free hair, and wonderfully crisp curls, which we were particularly impressed with. We also noticed that we didn’t need to hold the hair on the barrel for as long as we did with some other models to be able to set the curls. This meant that we could achieve beautiful curls quicker, and with the hair strands being exposed to the heat for a shorter time, we were reducing the chance of overheating it.
Expert Paul says: “I have always found BaByliss to be a reliable product, remembering the BaByliss crimping days in the 80s to the more recent up-to-the-minutes curling irons and other electrical products.”
It’s hard to glance through a list of hair styling tools without coming across the BaByliss name! BaByliss is synonymous with style and innovation, and they have perfectly mastered the balance between offering professional and home-use products, without compromising their reputation for either. With 55 years of professional expertise in beauty and hair care, BaByliss has revolutionized the industry through its technological innovation, and this recognition gives you the confidence that you are buying a quality product.
BaBylissPRO Nano Titanium Conicurl Wand
As we mentioned before, BaByliss is a world leader in professional beauty products – particularly hair styling tools – and so it is hardly surprising that another one of their tools made it to our line-up. This Conicurl wand is slightly different to the Porcelain Ceramic model because while that had a straight barrel, this one is tapered. We bought the wand with the 1.25 inch to 0.75-inch barrel size to test out, but you can also get it with a 1 inch to 0.5-inch tapered barrel.
We will discuss the benefits of different shapes of curling iron later in our Buyer’s Guide, but to sum it up, tapered barrels create a more natural-looking curl. They start big at the root of your hair and get smaller towards the ends, and you may find that because of this, your hair holds the style for longer.
50 Temperature Settings
No, you are not misreading that, and it isn’t a typo. This BaBylissPRO Curling wand has 50 different heat settings! Out of all the curling irons with preset heat settings, it, therefore, offers you the most control. The temperatures range from 250 to 450 degrees Fahrenheit (121 to 232°C), and they are controlled by a small dial on the side of the handle – which is easy to access, but not easy to accidentally knock while you are concentrating on your styling.
Now, because it is a very small dial (not much bigger than your thumbnail), the heat settings are displayed on it as numbers, rather than the temperature reading, and even then the numbers are small. This therefore means that you have to refer to your instructions to see what temperature you are setting. This isn’t ideal, but it isn’t a deal breaker because it gives you so much control over your hair styling. This is what the instructions that came with our BaBylissPRO Conicurl wand advised:
- Setting 1 to 10 for fragile, very fine hair
- Settings 11 to 20 for thin, easy-to-curl hair
- Settings 21 to 30 for Normal-textured hair
- Settings 31 to 40 for wavy or curly hair
- Settings 41 to 50 for coarse, very thick hair.
As always, we recommend using the lowest possible temperature setting to style your hair. By starting low and increasing only as necessary, you are reducing your risk of causing heat damage.
If 50 different temperature settings weren’t enough, this curling wand also has a “Turbo Boost” button. This immediately boosts the heat setting from the one that you have chosen. To use the turbo boost function, you press and hold the temperature control dial. This can help you to occasionally set stubborn areas of hair, but we don’t recommend using it too often as the higher temperature may damage your hair if overused.
While we do like this function, it was not clear how long the turbo boost lasts, or what temperature it boosts to. Our instructions didn’t specify whether the boost was short-lived or long lasting, and the wand itself did not appear to give an indication either. We therefore advise you to use this function with caution!
A unique feature of this BaBylissPRO curling wand is its SOL-GEL Technology. This is a precise process which is used during the production of the curling wand. It transforms the titanium and ceramic particles from liquid to a solid form, which gives it a higher concentration of these particles in the barrel coating that a conventional process would give. It creates a more resilient and smoother curling surface that is therefore gentler on your hair.
Chi Air Spin ‘N’ Curl
If you are looking for a curling iron with a difference, have a look at the Chi Air Spin ‘N’ Curl. It is a one-inch curling iron where the barrel rotates inside a cup. The design protects your skin and scalp from getting burnt, while helping you to create beautiful curls, effortlessly. It is easy to use, with a wide selection of temperatures which therefore makes it suitable for a wide range of hair types and textures. With the integrated timer, it helps you to ensure that the curls are even.
Does The Curling For You
We were a little cautious of this design because movement and hair are not always a reliable combination! We had concerns about the curler jamming and pulling the hair out. But in reality, we found that this did not happen. It is very easy to release the hair and if you prefer to reverse the curler, it turns in both directions.
It has three different timer settings for you to choose from – 15 seconds, 17 seconds and 19 seconds. You simply lay a small section of your hair over the opening of the chamber and press and hold one of the direction buttons which starts the curl rotation. When the time has passed, it emits beeps and you can release the hair.
Easy To Use
The Chi Air Spin ‘N’ Curl is extremely easy to use, with clear controls, audible alerts and wide range of temperature settings to choose from. It is still worth using it with caution though – don’t get distracted and put too much hair in the opening; otherwise you may increase your risk of getting it tangled. The instructions recommend putting a 0.75 to 1-inch section of hair in.
The Chi doesn’t have a stand, but if you want to rest it down while it is heating up, or when you need two hands to section your hair, you can put it down wherever. We found that the outside of the cup doesn’t get hot at all. Also when you have finished with it and the barrel surface has cooled, you can easily clean it with the included cleaning tool.
We loved the curls that the Chi Air Spin ‘N’ Curl Creates. It gave us perfectly even ringlets. It is worth noting however, that the design of the Chi means that it cannot curl the entire length of the hair shaft. By this, we mean that the way your hair feeds into the chamber and then wraps around the curling barrel, the top ¼ of the strands will not be in contact with the curling surface. The result is still stunning curls, as we mentioned before and you can see this on our picture of our mannequin below, but it won’t be able to curl from the root like you can with conventional curling irons and wands.
This effect is called ‘root drag’ or a ‘baggy root’ by professionals, and while it means the top portion of your hair remains straighter, the curls charmingly frame your face. You can reduce the root drag by draping the hair over the opening of the barrel higher up towards the roots.
Remington Pro Conicurl Curling Wand
If you have finer hair and are looking to create large, bouncy waves then this Remington tapered wand is a great place to start. We tested out the 1.5 to 1-inch size, but you can also get it with a 1 inch to 0.5-inch barrel. It has clear controls with an easy-to-read digital display, and the larger barrel option gives lovely softer curls and beachy waves. It is simple to use but well-built, and it is designed to style salon results, with less damage to your hair than standard Remington coatings.
Infused With Crushed Pearls
A key feature that sets this Remington apart from the other curling wands and irons we have looked at, is that its ceramic barrel is infused with actual crushed pearls. The ceramic coating enables even and consistent heat distribution, while the crushed pearls help to create smooth curls without frizz. The result is an inexpensive curling iron that feels luxurious to use and creates salon-worthy curls.
We really liked the design of the Remington Conicurl wand. It is an attractive pastel pink and black, which looks great on your dressing table. It has a salon-length swivel cord too, the integrated stand and cool tip allow you to easily rest it down between uses and it comes with a what protective glove so that you can style without worrying about catching your fingertips on the hot surface. Ours also came with two hair clips which were very helpful when we were styling.
10 Heat Settings
You get a wide range of temperatures with this curling wand – ten settings up to a maximum of 410 degrees Fahrenheit (210° C). It has a clear digital display and the buttons are flat on the handle of the curling wand, so there isn’t much chance you can accidentally knock them. When you have selected the temperature you want, the digital readout will count up to the temperature as it heats up, so you know how much longer you have to wait before it heats up.
We particularly liked this feature, as many curling irons do not show when they have reached their temperature, or just flash when they are ready. Even though it took a little longer to heat up than some of the other models we tested, we feel this wasn’t a deal breaker as it was still fast and knowing what temperature it has already reached was very useful.
Just in case you are concerned about accidentally forgetting to turn off your curling iron, it has an automatic shut-off function that will switch it off after 60 minutes. So you don’t need to worry about it overheating.
Two Sizes Available
As we mentioned earlier, we tested out the larger of the two sizes that this model is available in. 1.5 to 1-inch barrel sizes will naturally produce larger, bouncier and less-defined waves and curls than a smaller barrel size would. If you have particularly thick or heavy hair, it is probably worth going for the smaller barrel size, because the weight of your hair will likely pull the curls out. Similarly, if you are looking for tighter curls, you will probably find you get the results you are looking from the smaller barrel thickness. The larger size would be better for finer hair though and will give it tremendous body.
Whichever size you go for though, this is a very simple curling iron to get the hang of. It is comfortable to rest the stand on your scalp as you twist your hair around the barrel and we really liked the addition of the protective glove.
LumaBella Keratin Touch Curling Iron
The LumaBella Keratin Touch Curling Iron is an attractive, rose gold and silver-colored curling iron that is designed to condition your hair as it styles. It has a range of five different heat settings up to 410 degrees Fahrenheit (210° C) and it heats up very quickly. It even comes with a stylish travel pouch – which is perfect because thanks to its worldwide voltage, you can take this curling iron away with you when you travel! It forms part of a range of chic hair styling tools by LumaBella – you can also buy separately a matching rose gold hairdryer, flat iron and curling wand.
The barrel of the LumaBella curling iron has a titanium and ceramic coating. It has a particularly fast heat up time of under 30 seconds and although there are only 5 different temperatures you can choose between, it has a good range of 300 to 410 degrees Fahrenheit (149 to 210° C). The infrared heat produced is gentle on your hair and is thought to help set style you are creating.
What sets this apart from other curling irons is the fact that the barrel is infused with keratin and almond oil micro-conditioners. Keratin is a structural protein which is naturally present in human hair, nails and the outer layer of skin. Almond oil, on the other hand, is a nut oil that contains a whole host of ingredients that your hair will love. From Omega-3 fatty acids to vitamin E, almond oil helps to nourish and straighten your hair.
We were a little sceptical about how these micro-conditioners could transfer to your hair from the barrel of a curling iron, but in fact we did find that the curls we achieved from the LumaBella curling iron were soft and silky. It felt gentle on the hair and didn’t stick at all.
5 Temperatures Settings
The LumaBella gives you a choice of 5 temperatures settings to choose from – 300, 345, 365, 385 and 410 degrees Fahrenheit (149 and 210° C). They are clearly labeled on the top of the handle of the curling iron, and you make your selection by pressing the + and – buttons on the side of the handle. Plus, if you hold down the + button for two seconds, it will set the temperature to the optimum temperature of 365 degrees Fahrenheit, which is called the ‘Pro+ setting. The buttons are easily accessible, but you are not likely to accidentally knock and change them as you style.
While we did find that it took a little longer than the expected 30 seconds to reach the higher temperatures, it was useful that the temperature light flashed to let us know it was still heating up. We also didn’t mind that it had fewer temperature settings than other models because the range it covered would be suitable for most hair types and textures.
Suitable For Travel
We especially liked the fact that this curling iron is ready to take away with you – on vacation or for that all-important work trip you need to look your best for. It has worldwide voltage and the pouch it comes with protects it in your suitcase. It also comes with a heat-resistant glove to help you style without burning your fingertips – whether you are at home or away!
Proposition 65 Warning
This curling iron does carry a Proposition 65 warning, but when we contacted LumaBella about this, the reassured us that it is because it contains BPA, and that unless you ingested it, you are not in danger by styling with this curling iron.
Anjou Curling Iron
The Anjou Curling Iron is one of the more simple curling irons we tested, but sometimes simplicity is just what you are looking for. It is easy to use and does exactly what you want it to do – creates beautiful curls, easily.
Black And Gold Design
We tested out the black and gold version, with 1-inch barrel size. You can also get it in 1.25 and 1.5-inch barrel sizes, and the 1.25 sized-model also comes in an attractive ‘gradient’ color option. It is very lightweight and easy to manoeuvre around, so your arms won’t get tired holding it over your head! We also particularly liked the 2.5-meter salon-length swivel cable, which also gave us plenty of movement.
The control buttons are located on the middle of the handle, and while we were concerned that we might accidentally press them while styling, they were actually a little fiddly. We found we almost needed to use our nails to press them – so we needn’t have worried about pressing them accidentally!
The Anjou has a tourmaline ceramic coating along the barrel. This releases negative ions which are intended to cut down static and frizz by neutralizing positive charges in your hair. We found that it created classic-style large curls which were very pretty.
It fell in the middle of the models we tested in terms of how fast it heated up, but what we were liked was that it flashed while it was heating and once it had reached its temperature the light became solid. The cool tip remained completely cool and the stand, which is thermally insulated, was particularly useful when it was heating up and cooling down. We also liked that it came with a heat-resistant glove.
It heats up to a maximum temperature of 410 degrees Fahrenheit (210° C) which is clearly displayed on the LCD screen on the handle. Ours gave us some very specific readings in terms of temperature – such as 266, 284 and 356 degrees Fahrenheit – which we thought was a bit unusual until we converted it to Celsius and found that it increases in increments of 10° C. But regardless of this, the Anjou offers a good range of temperatures so is suitable for a variety of hair types and textures.
The Beachwaver S1
If you want a curling iron that helps you out a little with the hard work, but you’re not quite ready to move onto something like the Chi Air Spin ‘N’ Curl, look no further than the Beachwaver Co S1! It’s a move conventional curling wand, but the barrel rotates in both directions to help you wrap your hair around.
One Of The Largest Curling Irons We Tested
Our first impressions of the Beachwarer Co S1 were “it’s huge!”. We mean that in a number of ways, starting with the box it comes in, which is far bigger than any of the other models we tested. On opening the box the curling iron itself is bigger than most. The barrel is a conventional 1 inch (2.5cm) diameter, and 5.5 inches (14 cm) long, but the handle is much longer and more chunky to hold than the other curling wands and irons, and overall it feels much bigger when in use compared to other models.
Despite the larger size, particularly of the handle, it is very comfortable to hold. The handle is ergonomically shaped so that you hand sculpts around it as you hold it. The buttons are easy to access, but conveniently located so that you won’t knock them accidentally.
Starting from the bottom of the wand, the on/off button is easy to access and depress. To turn it on you press the on/off button once, to turn it off you hold it for three seconds. There are two temperature buttons which you can use to set the barrel temperature to between 290 and 410 degrees Fahrenheit (143° C) at 10° F increments, and we found that it heated up very quickly.
The controls for the barrel rotation are up towards the barrel end of the handle. The barrel rotates in both directions – to the left and to the right, so it is easy to use no matter whether you are right or left-handed, or which side of your hair you are styling. The buttons are large and sit conveniently where your thumb rests for easy access.
In addition to being able to control the direction of the rotation though, you can also control the speed. The switch on the side of the handle sets whether the curler rotates slowly or fast – a feature we particularly loved! Finally, we also loved the fact that it has a ‘home’ button – to return the barrel to its original position so that you can move onto creating the next curl.
3 Different Styles With 1 Device
As its name suggests, the Beachwaver Co S1 produces beautiful beachy waves. But by changing how you use it, you can create three different kinds of curl. For beachy waves, hold the barrel vertically and clamp your hair with the ends out, while for defined curls you hold the barrel diagonally and clamp the ends. If you want to create old Hollywood-style waves, hold the barrel horizontally and clamp the ends, curling your hair under, and allow it to cool, before brushing it together.
We found that even when following the instructions for defined curls that is it didn’t give the crisp, firm curls that other curling iron models gave, but the curls and waves it did produce were a lovely relaxed style, which was very striking and had fantastic volume.
Unlike the other curling irons that have clamps that are almost the full length of the barrel, the Beachwaver S1 has a small clamp that is designed to just hold the ends or a small portion of your hair. It is a little fiddly and you need to take care not to burn your fingertips, but it is very useful for holding your hair in place while it rotates. On a similar note, we found that the cool tip does warm up more than other models, but this wasn’t a deal breaker as it wasn’t enough to actually burn us.
Only Suitable For USA Outlets & Voltage
The Beachwaver Co S1 is specifically designed for use with USA sockets and voltage only, and using it with voltage converters or adaptors will invalidate its warranty. This means that you cannot take it away with you if you go abroad. While this isn’t ideal, we felt that it wasn’t a huge problem because as the Beachwaver is a larger curling iron, you probably wouldn’t want to take it away with you anyway. If you were keen to have a curling iron you could travel with, it might be worth going for one of the worldwide voltage models, or having a second travel-size curling iron alongside this one!
Models We Did NOT Like...
As we mentioned earlier, to write this article, we didn’t just test the products we have listed. We researched and tested a large number of curling irons, and while many didn’t make it to our list just because they didn’t stand out, some were actually underwhelming and even disappointing. Here are a couple of the models that we were less impressed by.
Sultra The Bombshell
This was a little surprising, because Sultra the Bombshell curling irons appeared to have a good reputation. We purchased the 1.5 Inch barrel (7.5 cm) which boasted rapid heat-up and its ability to style any hair type. However sadly, we did not experience this. We tried multiple times to test it, but only managed to get it to switch on once, and it took a very long time to begin to heat up. In fact, for most of the time, we were able to comfortably grip the styling barrel while it was switched on – so it was nowhere near hot enough to actually style and set your hair.
We also found that the lights that are intended to show when it had reached its temperature weren’t reliable. Sometimes it turned on very faintly and you had to cup your hands around it to be able to see it, and other times it simply did not turn on, or at least was extremely faint and difficult to see.
This may have been an unfortunate, one-off of a defective product, but due to our experience with this curling iron, we, unfortunately, do not recommend this curling iron. However, if you would like to look at other peoples’ experiences with it, click here to view it on Amazon.
It is worth noting that large barrel sizes, such as this 1.5-inch one will not create the lasting curls that smaller barrels will. This is because it is harder for the hair to hold its shape, and the weight of your hair is likely to cause the curl to just fall out quicker than it would when curled with a smaller barrel. They are generally more suitable for fine hair, or to give flat, straight hair volume, but the curls may not take on thicker, heavier hair. If you are keen to have big curls in your hair, it may be better to go for a large but tapered barrel, because the tighter curl at the end of the hair shaft will help your style to hold for longer.
Conair Infiniti Pro
In a similar way to the Chi, the Conair Infinitipro is a curling iron with a difference. But instead of a cup with the barrel inside, it is more of a clamp design, that when closed draws your hair in to curl it. It has three timer settings – after which it will beep to let you know to let go of your hair – and it has just two temperature settings. Just like with the Chi, we were concerned about the combination of movement and hair, but it does have anti-tangle features, including the bristle-free design and it reverses so that you can unravel your hair.
We found however, that the curls it created were quite uneven, and they fell out very quickly. We also noticed that the side you are meant to rest against your scalp is the side which states ‘caution hot surface,’ while the other side is the outlet for your hair.
Overall we decided that while it was an interesting concept, we wanted to have more control over the curling iron than this model offered. However, if you want to see what other people think, click to view it here on Amazon.
After thoroughly researching, testing and reviewing a huge number of curling irons, we have decided that the best curling iron is the Parwin Pro 7 in 1 kit. Its versatility is incomparable, and the selection you get in this interchangeable kit gives you endless options for styling your hair. In second place for best curling iron is the BaByliss Pro Porcelain Ceramic Curling Iron. Its tactile design combined with its fast heat up and huge range of heat settings gives you a very reliable curling iron.
If you are still not sure which curling iron to buy, take a look at our buyer’s guide where we have some tips on choosing your new curling iron and frequently asked questions.
To choose the best curling iron for you, you first need to determine what hair type and texture you have as this will determine what needs your hair has when styling. We suggest choosing a model which gives you a wide range of temperature setting. Curling wands and irons also come in different barrel materials, such a ceramic, tourmaline and titanium among others, and they each have their benefits.
Ceramic distributes heat evenly and glides through hair without snagging, while titanium can reach much higher temperatures so is good for thicker, coarser hair and is lightweight but much more durable. Titanium also releases negative ions to reduce static. Tourmaline, on the other hand, also releases negative ions as well as infrared heat, meaning styling is gentler and creates curls without frizz, but Tourmaline is not as durable. This is why it is important to know your hair type.
Types Of Barrel
Next, you need to think about the types of curls you want to style and therefore the shape of the barrel. Here are some examples of different barrel shapes:
- Regular – these traditional-style curling irons are the most common type. They have a long, straight barrel and usually have a clamp to grip your hair into place as you style it. They come in a range of barrel thicknesses. By varying how you hold them, you can create a few different styles of curl. This makes them a great choice for beginners.
- Tapered – tapered curling wands give a beautiful, natural-looking wave. The barrel is thickest at the end near the handle and then it gradually gets slimmer towards the tip. It means the curls are loose at the top and tighter and the ends, and you can create a mixture of different waves by wrapping your hair differently. The tighter curl at the lower end also helps to hold the curl for longer.
- Bubble – perfect for creating natural-looking curls because each curl will be slightly different. Rather than being straight, the curling iron has a series of bulges that look like bubbles that help to style loose and effortless curls. They create a lovely bouncy style and can help to guide your hair if you are new to curling.
- Oval – these barrels help you to create the perfect waves rather than curls. Use this to style flawless beachy waves for when you don’t want to create well-defined curls. This type of curling iron suits both shorter and longer hair.
- Wide – these large curling irons are perfect for creating wide, loose curls – the enviable kind that the Victoria Secret Angels wear. They can help you to style a beautiful blow-out look, without having to spend a fortune at your stylist. They are best suited to longer hair as it is easiest to wrap it around the barrel.
- Spiral – if you are new to curling your hair and find it fiddly, then it is worth trying to style with a spiral curling iron. These have a regularly-shaped barrel but with the addition of a spiral track along the length of the barrel. This helps to guide your hair around the curling iron so that you achieve even curls throughout.
You also need to think about whether you want a regular curling iron/wand, or whether you want one that gives you a little extra. For example, do you want one that does the curling for you like the Chi Air Spin ‘n’ Curl, or one which rotates like the Beachwaver? Or maybe one isn’t enough and you want a kit with interchangeable barrels, like the Parwin Pro! As with all fashion and beauty products, you have many options!
Curling Irons Vs Curling Wands?
It is really down to your personal preference when choosing between curling wands and irons. The idea behind a curling wand and a curling iron are essentially the same, but the devices themselves are slightly different designs and due to this, you therefore use curling wands and irons slightly differently. Curling irons typically have round barrels and a clamp which runs the length of the barrel. Curling wands, on the other hand, don’t have a full-length clamp so to keep your hair in place you need to hold it with your fingertips (preferably while wearing a heat-resistant glove), and come in different barrel shapes.
Expert Paul says: “With a curling iron, you gather the section of hair in the clamp towards the ends of the hair shafts and roll the curling iron down towards the roots of your hair, so that the hair winds around the barrel and the wand points upwards. With a curling wand, you place the wand at the root of your hair, pointing down and wind the hair around the barrel with your fingers.”
Curling wands heat up in about the same time as curling irons, and they also come in a wider variety of shapes such as the bubble design, tapered or oval. Curling wands can be quicker to use and don’t give you the indentation from the clamp, but it is a slightly different technique to use them as there is no clamp to secure your hair in place.
How Big Of A Curling Iron Should I Get?
The size of curling iron or wand you should get depends on the length of your hair and the style of curls you want to create. Shorter hair is more suited to a smaller curling iron barrel, but longer hair can suit both thin and thicker barrels. If you want relaxed curls or waves, go for a larger barrel, but if you want more defined, tighter curls go for a smaller curling iron. If you like variety, go for a set with interchangeable barrels!
Can I Curl Heat-Damaged Hair?
No, you should not curl your hair, or apply any other heat-based styling tools to it if you have got heat damage. This will damage it further and may cause breakage.
Expert Paul says: “If you have damaged hair, then depending on how damaged your hair is, it may be best to schedule a hair cut. If your hair is chemically over-processed, a heating element can make it far worse, and no amount of shampoo or conditioner will be able to help. By trimming off the damaged parts, you will minimize the overall effect of heat damage on your hair.”
Remember that preventing heat damage is far easier than treating it. There are many hair products which promise to fix, nourish or heal heat damage, but in reality, they will likely do no more than prevent further damage Consider instead using regular curlers for hair that is heat damaged. Take care of your hair in between the styling sessions, and remember not to overdo the heat, and ALWAYS ensure your hair is completely dry before using a curling iron!
How High Should I Set My Curling Iron?
To minimize heat damage to your hair, always set your curling iron to the lowest temperature you can still successfully set your hair with, and along use lots of thermal protectant spray. It is important to know your hair type and hair texture because this will have a bearing on the temperature you will need to set. An average of 356 degrees Fahrenheit (180° C) is reasonable styling temperature for ‘normal’ hair, but for damaged or fine hair you will need a lower temperature and for thicker, coarser hair you will need a higher temperature. We suggest you always start with a low temperature and increase it only if you need to follow the manufacturer’s guidance.
Frequently Asked Questions
Many professionals use BaByliss curling irons. BaByliss is a highly-rated brand for both professional and at-home use hair styling tools.
We LOVE the Parwin-Pro 7-in-1 kit because it includes 7 different wand heads that you can use to curl your hair in different ways.
We recommend the Remington Conicurl wand for relaxed, beach waves – especially the model with the larger barrel size.
Fine hair is often suited to a lower heating temperature. We recommend the Parwin Pro 7-in-1 kit which enables you to create endless styles with your fine hair and gives you complete control over the temperature.
A large barrel or tapered wand is best for creating loose curls. We love the large-sized Remington Conicurl Wand.
A 2-inch (5 cm) barrel size is usually the largest curling iron barrel size you can get. This will give you large, loose curls and lots of body and volume. You may find that the curls won’t hold for as long as curls from smaller barrel sizes though.