The Best Curling Iron for All Your Hair Issues

Eunice Lucero | 11 May 2016

For them girls who love curls, choose the ideal iron for you.

Confession time: We, too, struggle with this contraption you call a curling iron. There’s a certain level of skill involved when handling a pair of hot tongs (or a pair of hot anything, for that matter) whether or not it’s the best curling iron out there.

Suffice to say it hasn’t always been an easy road. We’ve seen our share of burnt strands, scalded cheeks and irritated scalps, which is why finding the tool best tailored to our needs and skill level (or lack thereof) is paramount. And whether you shell out major greenbacks for the best curling iron money can buy or go the budget-friendly route, most of it is still, as they say, all in the wrist.

That’s not to say that all these latest bells and whistles are for naught, of course. The newest innovations in curling irons and wands do everything from optimize heat distribution, to make for an easier rotation, to address a specific hair need (As for one that solves world peace, we’re getting there.).

And what does this mean for us? Well, we’ve deconstructed some of the different hair types to determine which curling iron is ideal for your specific texture. Read on to see which kind will give you the most bang for your buck:

Best Curling Iron for Your Hair Type

1. Straight, normal or wavy: Clamped

Best in show: A regular curling iron with a barrel and a clamp. This popular version works best with hair that doesn’t run the risk of getting caught in the clamp’s hinge, like straight or medium-thick hair with not many frayed or split ends. If you have extra cash, choose a model that comes with different-sized barrels—usually increasing in diameter starting at under 1”—for a variety of curl options. Otherwise, a barrel that has a thickness of 1 ¼” is versatile enough to help you score the trendiest curly hairstyles out there. A heat protectant, like TRESemmé Thermal Creations Heat Spray, also helps you safely style your hair with a hot tool.

best curling iron for all of your hair issues
Want bigger curls but only have one size barrel? Curl hair around a closed clamp instead.

2. Thick, damaged or unruly: Wand

A hot curling wand is ideal for hair that’s been put through the wringer; since it’s clip-free, there’s less risk of sandwiching in more heat than necessary. The absence of a hinged clamp also means that thicker, wilder hair has more freedom to move around the barrel without snagging. It does take a bit of practice to master this new-ish device, especially if you’re used to old-school clamps, but once you’ve got it, you will #NeverForget its ease of use. Not to mention the gorgeous, glossy spirals it provides, which is what a gal sometimes really needs. A ping-pong ball-sized dollop of curl-specific mousse, like Dove Style+Care Curls Defining Mousse, can help provide more structure for curls to form.

3. Fine, thin, limp or wavy: Oval-shaped

It might be harder to find than most, but if you can, try and be on the lookout for an oval-shaped wand or barrel. There are some wavers out there with this particular shape, and the reason we’re hard-selling it as the best curling iron for this hair type is that no amount of hair hacking with a flat iron can come close to the loose, sexy waves this gives on fine hair. Thin, limp strands can coil up too tightly or look crispy when worn with a traditional curl, and sometimes a true waver is all you need for enviable, uniform-sized, how-the-heck-did-she-get-those waves. A wave-enhancing cream, such as TRESemmé Make Waves Shaping Gel Cream, can help reinforce those bends too.

4. Curly or coarse: Rotating

Or lazy, let’s not forget lazy! Joking aside, a rotating curling iron is one of the most beloved iterations of the tool because of its apparent foolproof properties (after the initial learning curve, that is). All it takes is a simple clamping of hair under the clip and a press of the button. Ideal for hair that’s best curled in gentle increments—such as curly, frizzy, brittle hair—a self-spinning iron can help you achieve an even curl with less of the dangerous guesswork. Careful to not curl a lot of hair at once, as some strands have been known to get caught at the base of the cylinder while spinning. But once you ace the technique, it’s easy-peasy, lemon squeezey, we promise.

Which of the best curling irons out there are you looking to buy?

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