7 Best Curling Irons & Wands

7 Best Curling Irons & Wands

Best Curling Iron Overall
#1
BaBylissPRO Nano Titanium Spring Curling Iron
  • Very easy to use
  • Creates medium size, defined curls
  • Salon-quality style in minutes
Best Rotating Curling Iron
#2
Kiss InstaWave Automatic Hair Curler

• Creates natural looking curls in minutes

• Features a patented curl direction control and allows you to choose the temperature based on hair type

• Results in shiny, frizz-free curls with each use


Best Bargain Curling Iron
#3
Hot Tools Professional Jumbo 1 Inch Curling Iron with Multi-Heat Control

• Reasonably priced and easy to use

• Creates defined, medium size curls

• Works well on any hair type

Best Curling Iron over $100
#4
The Beachwaver Co. S1 Curling Iron

• Quick and easy styling that will last all day

• As the name suggest, create the perfect beach waves with very minimal effort

• Features a ceramic, rotating barrel

After 19 hours of research evaluating 106 products, we picked BaBylissPRO Nano Titanium Spring Curling Iron as our top choice.

It’s pretty safe to say that just about every woman in America is envious of those gorgeous Victoria’s Secret Angel beach waves that some women are lucky enough to be born with.

While that simply is not a reality for most of us, it is possible for women with just about any hair type to achieve runway worthy curls with minimal time and effort—thanks to the help of salon quality curling tools.

The best curling iron available can give you salon-style hair at home. And the best curling wand will shape your hair with precision and style.

Here's the deal:

Today there are a number of heated styling tools that can help you achieve perfect curls at home. Now, that doesn’t mean a good curling iron is all you need. The right hair products coupled with the right tools can literally be life changing, so be sure not to neglect your choices of conditionerdry shampoo, and leave-in conditioner. (And fear not, because we’ve got you covered there too.)

But if you’re in search of the best curling wand avaiable and just not sure where to start, we promise our list has something for everyone.

What's the bottom line?

From curling irons to wands, we at Faveable have searched high and low for the ideal styling tools to help you attain perfect salon-quality curls day after day.

Coming in at number one our list is the BaByliss Pro Nano Titanium Spring Curling Iron. We especially love that this salon-quality product is easy to use and works on every hair type. But don't just take our word for it, the Beauty Collection highly recommends the BaByLiss Pro Nano Titanium Spring Curling Iron and loves the perfect, long-lasting curls it creates in minutes.

But even if that’s not quite what you’re looking for, we guarantee our list has something for everyone. Happy styling!

 


Editorial staff

Quick Look: 7 Best Curling Irons & Wands
Infiniti Pro Conair Curl Secret

• Multiple settings allow you to create loose, medium, or tight curls

• Perfect for all hair types and lengths

• Voluminous, flawless curls that won't fall

 

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Sultra Bombshell Cone Curling Rod

• Safety glove included

• 380-degree F heat smooths and locks in curls

• Loose, natural waves that transition to tight curls


Check on Amazon
Remington CI9538 T|Studio Salon Collection Pearl Digital Ceramic Curling Wand, 1-1 ½ Inch

• Includes heat protective glove for easy styling  

• Price is a steal

• Creates sexy, tapered beach waves in seconds


Check on Amazon
The Beachwaver Co. S1 Curling Iron

• Quick and easy styling that will last all day

• As the name suggest, create the perfect beach waves with very minimal effort

• Features a ceramic, rotating barrel

Check on Amazon
Hot Tools Professional Jumbo 1 Inch Curling Iron with Multi-Heat Control

• Reasonably priced and easy to use

• Creates defined, medium size curls

• Works well on any hair type

Check on Amazon
Kiss InstaWave Automatic Hair Curler

• Creates natural looking curls in minutes

• Features a patented curl direction control and allows you to choose the temperature based on hair type

• Results in shiny, frizz-free curls with each use


Check on Amazon
BaBylissPRO Nano Titanium Spring Curling Iron
  • Very easy to use
  • Creates medium size, defined curls
  • Salon-quality style in minutes
Check on Amazon
7 Best Curling Irons & Wands

7 Best Curling Irons & Wands

Read Video Infographic Tips

After 19 hours of research evaluating 106 products, we picked BaBylissPRO Nano Titanium Spring Curling Iron as our top choice.

It’s pretty safe to say that just about every woman in America is envious of those gorgeous Victoria’s Secret Angel beach waves that some women are lucky enough to be born with.

While that simply is not a reality for most of us, it is possible for women with just about any hair type to achieve runway worthy curls with minimal time and effort—thanks to the help of salon quality curling tools.

The best curling iron available can give you salon-style hair at home. And the best curling wand will shape your hair with precision and style.

Here's the deal:

Today there are a number of heated styling tools that can help you achieve perfect curls at home. Now, that doesn’t mean a good curling iron is all you need. The right hair products coupled with the right tools can literally be life changing, so be sure not to neglect your choices of conditionerdry shampoo, and leave-in conditioner. (And fear not, because we’ve got you covered there too.)

But if you’re in search of the best curling wand avaiable and just not sure where to start, we promise our list has something for everyone.

What's the bottom line?

From curling irons to wands, we at Faveable have searched high and low for the ideal styling tools to help you attain perfect salon-quality curls day after day.

Coming in at number one our list is the BaByliss Pro Nano Titanium Spring Curling Iron. We especially love that this salon-quality product is easy to use and works on every hair type. But don't just take our word for it, the Beauty Collection highly recommends the BaByLiss Pro Nano Titanium Spring Curling Iron and loves the perfect, long-lasting curls it creates in minutes.

But even if that’s not quite what you’re looking for, we guarantee our list has something for everyone. Happy styling!

 


Editorial staff

Quick Look: 7 Best Curling Irons & Wands
Infiniti Pro Conair Curl Secret

• Multiple settings allow you to create loose, medium, or tight curls

• Perfect for all hair types and lengths

• Voluminous, flawless curls that won't fall

 

Check on Amazon
Sultra Bombshell Cone Curling Rod

• Safety glove included

• 380-degree F heat smooths and locks in curls

• Loose, natural waves that transition to tight curls


Check on Amazon
Remington CI9538 T|Studio Salon Collection Pearl Digital Ceramic Curling Wand, 1-1 ½ Inch

• Includes heat protective glove for easy styling  

• Price is a steal

• Creates sexy, tapered beach waves in seconds


Check on Amazon
The Beachwaver Co. S1 Curling Iron

• Quick and easy styling that will last all day

• As the name suggest, create the perfect beach waves with very minimal effort

• Features a ceramic, rotating barrel

Check on Amazon
Hot Tools Professional Jumbo 1 Inch Curling Iron with Multi-Heat Control

• Reasonably priced and easy to use

• Creates defined, medium size curls

• Works well on any hair type

Check on Amazon
Kiss InstaWave Automatic Hair Curler

• Creates natural looking curls in minutes

• Features a patented curl direction control and allows you to choose the temperature based on hair type

• Results in shiny, frizz-free curls with each use


Check on Amazon
BaBylissPRO Nano Titanium Spring Curling Iron
  • Very easy to use
  • Creates medium size, defined curls
  • Salon-quality style in minutes
Check on Amazon

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Best Automatic Curling Iron

75
Score 75
$78
39 Bought | Save: $42 (35% OFF)

Why People Love it

• Multiple settings allow you to create loose, medium, or tight curls

• Perfect for all hair types and lengths

• Voluminous, flawless curls that won't fall

 

The innovative, ergonomic design of the Infiniti Pro by Conair Curl Secret is the revolutionary new way to create beautiful, shiny curls that last and last! Hair is automatically drawn into the tourmaline ceramic curl chamber where it is gently held, timed, and heated from all directions, allowing you to effortlessly create perfect curls.

Some reviewers with longer hair report their hair getting stuck in the chamber. Ouch! For that reason, we recommend this product for short to medium hair only.

Details

Performance: The tourmaline ceramic technology eliminates static, reduces frizz, and protects hair from heat damage while creating shiny natural curls with every use. Hair goes in, curl comes out – easy as that!

Features: The Infiniti Pro by Conair Curl Secret features 2 heat levels and 3 timer settings which allow you to create either loose, medium, or tight curls. This styling tool also includes a safety sensor, for tangle free curls, and a high performance heater, that heats up to 400 degrees instantly to create long-lasting curls and waves.

Price: Ummm, less than $80 for salon-quality curls with very little effort? We think that is a serious bargain. We also love that you can add a 2 or 3-year warranty for as little as $5 to $8, respectively. Now we think that is a very reasonable price to pay for added peace of mind.

 

Best Curling Rod over $100

75
Score 75

Why People Love it

• Safety glove included

• 380-degree F heat smooths and locks in curls

• Loose, natural waves that transition to tight curls


Not only does this curling rod create gorgeous, sexy waves that will last all day, but reviewers also report a noticeable difference in the health of their hair with continued use of the Sultra Bombshell Rod Curling Iron.

The price. Ouch. Also, some reviewers report experiencing quality control issues. However, if you register your wand as soon as you receive it you will be covered by a 2-year warranty. That's a no brainer!

Details

Performance: Praised by Allure, Harper's Bazar, and Total Beauty, the patented Advanced Care Ceramic Technology of the Sultra Bombshell heats up to 380-degrees F and will protect and repair hair while creating gorgeous, smooth curls that last all day.

And if tapered curls just aren’t your thing, Sultra also sells several other sizes of curling rods: a 3/4” barrel that creates tight, ringlet curls from root to tip; 1" and 1½” rods that create loose, full bodied waves; and an oval rod that creates modern, messy curls.

Features: What we love most about the Sultra Bombshell is the rapid heat up feature that will allow you to create consistent, long lasting looks in half the time of traditional curling irons. The Sultra Bombshell also features a thermagrip, no slip, tapered barrel that holds hair in place, and an automatic shut off feature that will automatically turn the rod off after being on for 30 minutes. The Sultra Bombshell curling rod is also compatible with both 110-120V and 220-240V so you can even take it with you overseas!

Price: $130 for a styling tool is expensive, there’s just no getting around that. However, if you register your product for the 2-year warranty, we think the $130 price tag seems much more reasonable.


Best Bargain Curling Wand

79
Score 79

Why People Love it

• Includes heat protective glove for easy styling  

• Price is a steal

• Creates sexy, tapered beach waves in seconds


As the number one best selling curling tool on Amazon, you know this curling wand is truly something special. The Remington T|Studio 1-1 ½ inch wand is amazingly priced, easy to use, and creates perfect beach waves fast. Seriously, what more could you ask for?

Some reviewers thought the wand was pointless, as they felt they could achieve similar results with a regular, spring clip curling iron.

Details

Performance: The Remington T|Studio wand features a 1-1 ½ inch tapered, ceramic barrel infused with real pearl, which creates the smoothest, most amazing waves ever. Also, if you’re looking for tighter, more defined curls, check out Remington's ½ - 1 inch barrel wand.

Features: This curling wand heats up to 410 degrees F in 30 seconds, beeping when it reaches your optimal temperature, and includes automatic shutoff for added piece of mind. The Remington T|Studio wand also features intuitive buttons that control the power and temperature, and a back-lit LCD screen which displays heat levels. Finally, as an added bonus, this wand features a swivel cord to make curling a breeze!

Price: Priced under $25, you really cannot go wrong with this styling tool. If you’re looking for salon quality at a bargain price you must give this curling wand a try.


Best Curling Iron over $100

83
Score 83

Why People Love it

• Quick and easy styling that will last all day

• As the name suggest, create the perfect beach waves with very minimal effort

• Features a ceramic, rotating barrel

The Beachwaver brand is known for its quality products that create runway worthy waves, and the Beachwaver S1 is no exception. Recommended by Harper's  Bazaar and Total Beauty,  you really can’t go wrong with this product.

Unfortunately this curling iron is compatible with U.S. voltage only and cannot be used with a converter or adapter.

Details

Performance: The Beachwaver S1 allows you to create three different styles including defined curls, loose beachy waves, and glam waves. Not only that, but the Beachwaver S1 ceramic, rotating curling iron provides easy, quality waves in minutes! Does it get any better than that?

Features: The arrow button and fast/slow speed switch make curling a breeze, and the new home button gives the you the ability to reset the clamp at the start position for easy styling. Simply hold the iron horizontally and press the left/right arrow, open the clamp when the barrel reaches the root of your hair and slide hair out. It’s really that easy!

Price: Priced at $130, this curling iron is not cheap. The good news? You can often find this bad boy on Amazon for around $112. While that’s still not cheap, if you’re looking for a salon quality tool that will last for years to come, the Beachwaver S1 is well worth the investment.


Best Bargain Curling Iron

88
Score 88

Why People Love it

• Reasonably priced and easy to use

• Creates defined, medium size curls

• Works well on any hair type

This is a basic, yet heavy duty, styling tool that will create beautiful, salon-quality curls for years to come. Available in a variety of sizes, though the 1 inch is definitely a reviewer favorite on Amazon. Overall, this is a quality tool praised by a number of beauty brands, including Elle.

Some reviewers report quality control issues, and others complain that the clamp leaves behind crease marks at the tip of each curl.

Details

Performance: The Hot Tools Professional Jumbo 1 inch Curling Iron heats up to 430-degrees F and features a 24K gold-plated barrel with extra long cool tip, which creates beautiful, long lasting curls. Additionally, the heavy-duty, long-lasting heating element, paired with the heat control feature, senses heat loss and regenerates heat instantly for nonstop curling with consistent quality.

Features: This curling iron doesn't come with a lot of extra features, but it does include a powerful spring clamp and a foldaway safety stand for easy use. Additionally, it features a soft grip handle for a more comfortable, secure grip. 

Price: You can get this curling iron from Amazon for less than $30. Seriously, you will not find a better quality styling product for less. Guaranteed.

Best Rotating Curling Iron

92
Score 92
$44
75 Bought | Save: $6 (12% OFF)

Why People Love it

• Creates natural looking curls in minutes

• Features a patented curl direction control and allows you to choose the temperature based on hair type

• Results in shiny, frizz-free curls with each use


If it’s natural, tousled curls you’re after, look no further. The Kiss InstaWave is a patent pending fully automatic styling tool that creates beautiful curls that last all day. This product claims to truly change the way people do their hair at home, resulting in perfect curls, less frizz, and healthier hair with every single use.

Not a viable option for anyone with short, thin, or fine hair.

Details

Performance: The ceramic, ionic technology of the Kiss InstaWave results in healthier, shinier hair in minutes. This innovative styling tool takes the hassle out of curling and results in gorgeous frizz-free curls at the touch of a button. That plus a few turns of the patented spinner, and voila! Gorgeous, tangle-free locks.


Features: Something we really love about this curling is the curl direction control, which allows you to create left or right facing curls. The Kiss InstaWave heats up to 420 degrees, features a power control switch with both high and low temperature settings, and also includes an auto shutoff feature which turns off the curling iron after 90 minutes.


Price: Priced at just under $50, the Kiss InstaWave is seriously a steel. If it's salon quality curls you're after, and at an affordable price at that, the Kiss InstaWave is well worth the investment. 

Best Curling Iron Overall

96
Score 96

Why People Love it

  • Very easy to use
  • Creates medium size, defined curls
  • Salon-quality style in minutes

As a Best Seller on Amazon, you really can’t go wrong with the BaByLissPRO curling iron. Reviewers love how user friendly this curling iron is and just cannot get enough the natural look it creates.

While some reviewers do report quality control issues, the majority reviews for this curling iron are positive. 

Details

Performance: BaBylissPRO is a world leader in hair care and professional styling tools, known for helping everyday women achieve gorgeous, salon-quality results at home. The BaByLissPRO is a Nano titanium curling iron that combines Sol Gel technology with a ceramic barrel to deliver smoothing/shining negative ions to hair, which truly do create waves of the future. This iron is also engineered with far-infrared technology to penetrate the hair shaft and create textured, frizz-free curls and waves in minutes.

Features: The ceramic heaters in this curling iron provide 50 heat settings up to 450 degrees, including a "Turbo Heat" button which instantly boosts heat. Additionally, an 8 foot tangle-free cord insures ease of use. But our favorite feature is the advanced surround heat which creates perfect, long-lasting curls.

Price: At just under $50, the BaByliss PRO falls right in the middle of the road in terms of price for a styling tool. While it isn't the cheapest on our list, we think $49.99 is an incredibly reasonable price to pay for such a high quality styling tool.


Types of curling tools

With the wide variety of curling tools available, navigating the market can be a bit overwhelming if you don't know what you're looking for. Each tool produces a different type of curl, so the product you want will totally depend on the look you're going for. That being said, you'll likely need to invest in a variety of styling tools to suite your many moods and occasions. To make your search easier we've created a list of the most popular curling tools on the market and have provided some tips on how to use each.

Curling Iron:

  • What type of curl do curling irons create? The standard curling iron has been the go to curling tool for years and can be trusted to create perfect curls with staying power and shine. So if it's structured, spiral, ringlets you're after, a basic curling iron is the tool you need. The clasp feature of a curling iron is created to hold hair in place and provide heat from both sides, ultimately resulting in curls with definition and shine. 
  • Are different styles of curling irons available? There are two major types of curling irons: spring-loaded curling irons and Marcel curling irons. Spring-loaded curling irons are the most common and easy to use, as they feature a spring-loaded clamp that holds hair in place.  While Marcel curling irons also feature a clamp, the clamp is not spring-loaded and needs to be held in place. These curling irons are used primarily by professionals as they are a bit more difficult to use. Although they're harder to master, the upside to the Marcel curling iron is that it is less likely to leaves creases in curls, but for home use we would recommend going for the spring-loaded curling iron. 

  • Do curling irons come in various sizes and materials? Curling irons come in a variety of sizes from 3/8" or smaller all the way up to 2" or larger, allowing you to create loose or tight ringlets. Not sure what size barrel you need? Well that totally depends on the length of your hair and the size of the curl you're trying to achieve. The longer the hair and looser the curl you're going for, the larger you'll want the barrel to be. Curling irons are also available in several materials, including: chrome or metal; gold, titanium, or Teflon; and ceramic or tourmaline. Chrome or metal curling irons are the least expensive, but release positive ions which open hair cuticles and can severely damage hair. Gold, titanium, and Teflon irons are preferable to chrome or metal as they provide a layer of protection between the metal curling iron and the hair. Though, be aware that Teflon coatings will eventually wear off, so be sure to replace your Teflon iron regularly. Finally, ceramic and tourmaline irons are the best materials available, but they, of course, also happen to be the most expensive. However, it's definitely worth the splurge if you're looking for a curling iron that will not only protect your hair, but also add smoothness and shine.
  • What features are included in most curling irons? Most curling irons come with a variety of heat settings, as well as automatic shut-off which comes in handy if you have a tendency to be forgetful. Other than that, curling irons are pretty basic. But really, what more do you need?
  • Are there any downsides to using a curling iron? The one downside to the curling iron is that the clamp can sometimes leave creases in the hair. One way to avoid that is by opening and closing the clamp rapidly while pulling the curling iron downward to release the curl.

Curling Wand:

  • What type of curl do curling wands create? Curling wands have been around for awhile now and are very similar to traditional curling irons. The difference between a curling iron and curling wand is that wands lack a clamp or clip to hold hair in place. As a result, wands create loose, natural curls that often lack uniformity and definition. 
  • Are different styles of curling wands available? Curling wands come in a variety of shapes and styles, including: bubble wands, double barrel wands, tapered barrel wands, and textured barrel wands. Bubble wands, as you may expect, feature a bubble texture which serves as a template for creating perfect beach waves. Simply wind each layer of hair through the skinny section between each bubble, let the hair set, and voila. Beach waves for beginners! Double barrel wands, again, as the name suggests, feature two barrels between which you can wrap strands of hair in a figure-8 pattern to create soft, touchable waves. Top it off with a flower crown or headband and you're all set for your next music fest! Tapered barrel wands are extremely popular and will help you achieve those gorgeous Victoria's Secret Angel waves all women envy. The tapered barrel creates voluminous curls that transition from loose waves to tight ringlets as you move from root to tip. Finally textured wands feature ridges that will grip the hair, making these wands perfect for beginners or anyone that struggles with keeping hair in place when using curling wands.
  • Do curling wands come in various sizes and materials? Much like curling irons, curling wands are available in a variety of sizes. The most popular being the 1/2" to 1" barrel, which is good for shorter hair and tighter waves, or the 1 1/2 to 2" barrel, which is great for longer hair and looser waves. In terms of materials, curling wands are also come in chrome or metal; gold, titanium, or Teflon; and ceramic or tourmaline. Although a bit more expensive, we highly recommend opting for something gold, titanium, Teflon, ceramic, or tourmaline in the interest of keeping hair healthy.
  • What features are included in most curling wands? Again, like curling irons, most curling wands feature a variety of heat settings as well as an automatic shut-off feature. However, curling wands also typically come with a heat protective glove to prevent burns while curling. Additionally, you can also purchase sets with interchangeable attachments, allowing you to switch out the size and shape of the curling barrel with ease.
  • Are there any downsides to using a curling wand? The one concern users have about curling wands is struggling to keep hair in place, but we promise, with a little practice we guarantee you'll get the hang of it.

Hot Rollers:

  • What type of curl do hot rollers create? Hot rollers are great if you're looking to create curls with a lot of body that will last from day to night. The biggest plus about hot rollers is that you can set it and forget! Get dressed, do your make-up, or even unload the dishwasher while your curls set. Once the rollers are completely curls, simply let down your curls, tousle, spray, and you're good to go!
  • Are different styles of hot rollers available? Of course! While you can always opt for simple Velcro, foam, or wand rollers that don't require heat, we strongly (we repeat, strongly) advise against that. When it comes to hot rollers you can choose between steam rollers or electric rollers. The major difference between the two is that steam rollers are heated by steam, so they take a bit longer to heat up, whereas electric rollers heat up almost instantly. If you have the time, we would definitely recommend giving steam rollers a try. They create curls with soft, natural volume, and they're also very gentle on hair. What's not to love about that? 
  • Do hot rollers come in various sizes and materials? Yes and yes. Like curling irons and curling wands, hot rollers are available in multiple sizes. In fact, most sets include multiple sizes to enhance volume and body by creating a variety of curls. Again, the size you'll want really depends on the length of your hair and the size of curl you're going for. Smaller sized rollers will result in more defined ringlet curls, while larger rollers will create loose, beachy waves. Hot rollers are mainly made of hard plastic, ceramic, titanium, tourmaline, and ion. Much like chrome or metal curling irons and wands, plastic hot rollers are not nearly as good for your hair as some of the more expensive materials like ceramic, titanium, or tourmaline. We highly recommend a combination of tourmaline and ceramic as these materials heat hair from the inside, so hair stays health and shiny on the outside. 

  • What features are included in most hot rollers? Like most curling irons and wands, hot rollers typically feature a variety of heat settings and an automatic shut off off. Additionally, some hot roller sets may also come equipped with an instant heat up function to significantly cut down on styling time.
  • Are there any downsides to using hot rollers? Yes, if you're sort on time you should definitely opt for another styling tool. The biggest mistake most people make when using hot rollers is taking them out too soon. The directions may instruct you to leave them in for 10-20 minutes, but in order to create a long-lasting style you'll need to leave the rollers in until they are completely cool, which in take case of some rollers can take several hours.

Curling Tongs:

  • What type of curl do curling tongs create? Curling tong are one of the newest curling tools to hit the scene, but are also one of the most difficult to learn to use. However, if you have the time and patience to get the hang of it, you will seriously fall in love with the variety of looks you are able to create. Curling tongs look like a cross between a flat iron and a curling iron and create perfect, bouncy curls that will last all day. The shape and size of the curl depends on the angle at which you position and pull the hair through the tongs, so you can change up your style anytime you want.
  • Are different styles of curling tongs available? Since curling tongs are still relatively new to the styling world the market is rather small, so there are very few sets of curling tongs that appear to be the exact same. That being said, the top brands we would recommend for anyone interested are Tyme, Babyliss, Carteret, and Ion. Although they all appear to be slightly different, they serve the same purpose and reviewers cannot stop raving about how much they love these products. 
  • Do curling tongs come in various sizes and materials? Again, curling tongs are a relatively new concept, but like curling irons and wands the sizes of tongs seem to vary slightly. The wider the tongs the looser the curl, so just keep that in mind when determining which product to try. When it comes to materials, most curling tongs are created using gold, titanium, ceramic, or tourmaline, all of which will protect hair from damage. Just remember to avoid chrome or basic metal at all costs.
  • What features are included in curling tongs? What really sets curling tongs apart from other styling tools is the  added side heating panels featured in addition to the center heating plates. That being said, most curling tongs can be used to either curl or straighten, which is our favorite feature by far. Additionally, like curling irons and wands, curling tongs typically feature a variety of heat settings and automatic shut off.
  • Are there any downsides to using curling tongs? As we mentioned before, curling tongs can be hard to master. However, the unique styles created by curling tongs are well worth the time and patience spent learning the art.

Best Curling Tool for each Hair Type

Obviously not everyone's hair type is the same, so the optimal styling tool will vary from person to person as well. Below we've created a list of recommendations based on hair type to further assist in your search for the perfect curling tool.


  • Long Hair: For anyone with hair below the shoulders, we don't recommend using a curling iron or wand smaller than 3/4", instead we would suggest opting for something between 1" and 2". Additionally, hot rollers or curling tongs are great for a natural, beachy look.
  • Medium Hair: If you fall into the medium or shoulder length hair category you're in luck, just about anything goes. If you're looking for more defined curls, we recommend a good old fashioned curling iron with a barrel size between 1/2" to 1". However, if you're just going for waves and body, a curling wand with a 1" barrel or larger should do the trick. And if you're looking for a style with volume and staying power, hot rollers are a great option as well!
  • Short Hair: If you've got short or very short hair you are slightly limited in the curling tools that will work for you. Nevertheless, any tapered barrel wand ranging from 3/8" to 1/2" will definitely get the job done. 
  • Thin Hair: For anyone with locks that lack volume, a ceramic iron or wand may be your best bet to create smooth, long-lasting curls. Additionally, keep in mind that thin hair reacts best to low temperatures, so make sure to look for something with a variety of heat settings so you can keep the temp as low as possible.
  • Thick Hair: If you've got a thick coarse mane it doesn't really matter which styling tool you opt for - iron, wand, rollers, tongs - anything will do, what you really need to look for in a product is moisture locking HEAT. Above all, go for something with a variety of heat settings so you can crank that baby up. Additionally, anything made of titanium will help lock in moisture, creating a look that will last all day.

Styling Products to Enhance Curls

Finding the perfect styling tool just isn't enough, in order to protect your hair and create long-lasting curls you must also invest in a variety of products to add to your beauty regimen. Depending on your hair type and how frequently you use styling tools, we highly recommend some sort of heat protection, texturizer, and hair spray.


How to achieve the perfect curl:

If you've already got your curling tool but are a looking for tips on how to achieve the perfect style, look no further. We've addressed several of the best insider tips for each of the above styling tools below.

  • Curling Iron: First section off a piece of hair. Then, rather than clipping your iron to the end of the section and spinning the iron up, clip it closer to the roots and twirl your hair through the clamp. Hold the iron in place (cord down) for several seconds until the hair is warm to the touch (keep in mind to hold your iron vertically for looser curls, and horizontally for bouncier, tighter curls), then open and close the clamp rapidly while pulling the iron downward to release the curl. These techniques together will help to prevent creases and create perfectly, gorgeous curls. Additionally, remember to curl your hair away from your face on both sides to create a natural, voluptuous look. Finally, if you're trying to create a look that will last an extended period of time, slide your hair out of the clip into your hand to allow the curl to cool before dropping, or take it a step further and pin coils to your head until full cooled. (Note: this tip works for curling wands as well).
  • Curling Wand: First, remember that you will hold your curling wand differently than you would hold a curling iron. With a curling wand, the cord should be up and the hair should be wrapped around the wand from base to tip. Like with a curling iron, remember to always curl the framing section away from your face. However, for a natural look, consider alternating the direction of each curl as you move around the back of your head. Also remember that pulling the hair on the crown of your head forward with the wand will give you extra volume. Finally, if you have already curly hair, let your hair air dry and then rather than curling your whole head, strategically select large (flat) sections to curl. This will create a natural, beachy look.
  • Hot Rollers: To use hot rollers, first portion off the central Mohawk area of your hair. Divide it into sections and then wrap each section around a medium or large roller, winding away from your face. Finally,secure hair with a clip. After the Mohawk section is complete, set the sides and back of your hair by wrapping the rollers under from the ends up. Only use the smallest rollers where your hair is the longest to keep the curls from getting too tight. Once set, wait about 20 minutes for the rollers to cool COMPLETELY, then unravel and rake through your hair to get soft bouncy curls.
  • Curling Tongs: As you would do with a curling iron or wand, section off hair (starting on the bottom layer) and place the tongs close to your scalp on the first section. Clamp the section as if you were going to straighten. Then, pull the hair away from your scalp (rather than straight down), rolling the tongs in a downward direction as you go. Keep rolling until you have wrapped the entire section of hair around the tongs. Once hair is entirely wrapped, gently pull / slide the tongs down the length of the hair. Position your curl however you'd like and you're done! Keep in mind that you always want to keep the "tail" of the strand in front of the tongs in order to keep the curl uniform. It sounds confusing, but we promise, once you get the hang of it this is an amazing curling technique! 

Do you have a pro-tip, favorite product or styling tool? Please share it with us in the comments below. We would love to hear from you!

Editor

Jenna is a Chicago girl, originally from Iowa, who just can’t get enough of the Windy City. From Lincoln Park to the Gold Coast she loves everything the city has to offer. She has a BS in Political Science from the University of Iowa, as well a JD from Chicago-Kent College of Law.

Jenna has a passion for running, brunching, rustic decor and, of course, her beloved Iowa Hawkeyes. When she isn’t writing, Jenna loves to read just about anything she can get her hands on.

Jenna covers everything from health and beauty to home and lifestyle, you name the product, she’s likely tried it. So if you’re looking for ways to beef up your beauty regimen or enhance your humble abode, Jenna is your go to girl.

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