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Though we all dream of having long hair, we have no idea what to do with it once we have it! Do we straighten it? It depends on your hair’s texture, of course, but there’s so much potential when it comes to curling your hair.
When considering what curling iron to buy, you need to think of ease of use, temperature settings, barrel size, and budget, of course. In today’s list, we’ve compiled a few curling irons that can help you achieve the perfect look plus some critical considerations before buying the right curling iron.
7 Best Curling Irons for Long Hair Reviews
1. The Beachwaver Co. Dual Voltage, S1
This baby may be a little pricey, but it’s worth it. It’s excellent for our jet-setting curly girls because of its dual voltage settings, though you will still need an adapter for the plug. You can create three different styles: defined curls, loose, beachy waves, and glam waves.
The Beachwaver comes with a ceramic, rotating barrel that you control. Just clamp your hair into the barrel and press the button to direct the barrel’s rotation. The curling iron temperature can be controlled from 290 degrees F to 410 degrees F in just 30 seconds so that you can get ready in a pinch. The cord is a swivel cord, so you’ll never worry about getting tangled up in it. The barrel is an inch in diameter, so your curls will be beautiful and loose – no tight curls here!
- Quick heating time
- Button-Controlled barrel rotation
- 290 degrees F is the minimum temperature, which might be too hot for some
- May be considered pricey
2. FHI Heat Platform Tourmaline Ceramic Curling Iron
Even if you know nothing about curling irons (or hair straighteners for that matter), just know that tourmaline ceramic equals good things. It helps seal moisture into your hair and prevents frizz. See? Good things!
The one-inch barrel with an ergonomic spring grip allows you to create glamorous waves and curls, tight pin curls, and bouncy beach waves. Adjust the temperature from 250 degrees F to 450 degrees F, and its 9-foot swivel cord comes with a Velcro strap for easy storage.
- Ergonomic spring-grip
- 9-foot swivel cord
- Some reviews said it was a bit heavy
3. Hot Tools Signature Series Gold Curling Iron/Wand, 1.5 Inch
This barrel is the largest so far at 1.5 inches. Larger barrels mean larger, looser curls, so make sure you know what look you’re going for before purchasing. This Hot Tools series is designed with gold-plated technology to ensure long-lasting results quickly. The barrel can get up to 430 degrees F, so watch out!
A great tip from the manufacturer is to start at a lower temperature and gradually move higher until you figure out the right temperature. The swivel cord measures at about six feet, so you’ll have more than enough room to get it all done.
The handle’s grip is designed to minimize any fatigue you may experience for a fun, stylish experience from start to end!
- ergonomic handle
- swivel cord
- Gold plated technology is not as well known as tourmaline ceramic technology
4. CHI Texture Tourmaline Ceramic Curling Iron 1”
As you have already learned, tourmaline ceramic is something to be excited about. This CHI curling iron is specifically designed to distribute heat evenly and reduce any static electricity in the hair for a smooth, shiny hairstyle. Your curls will last all day after using this iron! The barrel is an inch wide, and heat is controlled through a digital thermostat on the handle.
The curling iron also comes with a heating pad to wrap for travel, which is a fun bonus. It has a whopping 9-foot swivel cord and an automatic shutoff, making it a great affordable option for anyone that wants to curl their hair but doesn’t have time or money for the salon every week.
- Tourmaline ceramic technology
- digital thermostat
- heat pad included
- Clamp is not very tight
5. INFINITIPRO BY CONAIR Nano Tourmaline Ceramic Curling Iron
This curling iron looks almost futuristic. With a digital readout screen to control temperatures from 310 to 400 degrees F and a metallic and teal handle, it looks like a spaceship, but its here to take your hair out of this world. It’s super affordable and comes in four different barrel sizes, so you get to choose your curl types.
This curling iron also has an automatic shut off, so you’ll never have to turn the car around to unplug it after getting halfway to work or your girl’s night out meeting spot. The barrel is – wait for it – tourmaline ceramic so that it will minimize frizz.
You’ll also get a protective heat shield for the barrel to protect your fingers and belongings after you’re done curling; not accidentally burn your hand when tidying up after getting ready!
- Tourmaline Ceramic
- automatic shutoff
- 310 degrees F is the minimum temperature, which might be too hot for some
6. BaBylissPRO Nano Titanium Spring Curling Iron
BaByliss is a well-known hair tool brand, just like many brands featured on this list, so we trust that their curling iron is not to be taken lightly. Their curling irons also come in several barrel sizes, so it’s the dealer’s choice based on the look you want.
This nano titanium curling iron produces far-infrared heat to minimize heat damage while still creating a lasting style. Its design distributes heat evenly and has a turbo heat button to boost heat output for faster results (but use that feature sparingly!).
The barrels used by BaByliss have a higher percentage of titanium and ceramic, making them more resistant to chemicals and longer-lasting than traditional curling irons.
- Even heat distribution
- Turbo heat boost button
- The lowest heat setting might still be too hot for fine hair
7. Hoson 3/4 Inch Curling Iron Professional, Ceramic Tourmaline
This curling iron is the smallest of the ones featured on the list. A smaller barrel diameter gives you tighter curls, so if that’s the look you’re going for instead of big beachy curls, look for something below an inch in diameter (like this one!). This curling iron features a long curl clip to secure your hair in place. It also has an LCD for a digital temperature reading, a tourmaline ceramic barrel (which we all love!), and an adjustable temperature from 225 to 450 degrees F.
This little beauty is also a dual voltage curling iron so that you can take it all over the world. Its auto-shutoff means you can forget it on in the hotel room and not stress about burning the hotel down in your absence.
- LCD display
- Great temperature range
- Creates very tight curls, which may not work for all hair textures
What is a Curling Iron?
A curling iron is a hair styling tool used to create a curl pattern in hair using heat. The design can be tight, loose, or wavy, depending on the type and texture of hair, the size of the curling iron barrel, or the temperature used. A curling iron typically has a clamp to secure the hair section in place. The hair is rotated around a hot cylinder (made of metal, ceramic, or similar material) until the hair temporarily saves the curl pattern. Some curling irons have automated this clamping and curling process, though many remain manual.
A more recent version of a curling iron, called a curling wand, has become popular. The difference between the two is that a wand does not have the clamp to secure the hair section; the hair is manually wrapped around the rod. Some believe this action causes less stress and damage to the hair.
Why should you use Curling Iron for long hair?
Long hair is beautiful, but it’s also usually bulky. Big hair means it typically is weighted down and tends to straighten on its own – not that there are no exceptions to this. Curling long hair can be a nice change of pace and can feel like a change in style without something as drastic as cutting or coloring your hair.
With long hair, using alternative curling methods like rollers is not as easy, as these methods tend to lose their efficacy with more hair involved. That is why you must bring in the big guns: curling irons. Heat can make your hair stay in place when all else fails.
Things to consider before buying best curling irons for long hair
Of course, as with any purchase, there are things to consider when you’re on the market for a curling iron. We’ve made a small list of what you should think about before you ‘add to cart,’ but keep in mind any other personal considerations.
Barrel Size and Features
Barrel size will affect the look you’re going to achieve and ultimately will determine whether you like your curly hair. If you’re looking for super-tight curls and get a 1.5-inch barrel, you’re going to have a bad time, as they say. Make sure you’re setting yourself up for success! Another thing to consider about the barrel is the clamp. Some barrels have clamps that go all the way up, while some only have a clamp for the first inch. Some are automated with buttons that you control, though users are conflicted about whether they like that feature.
Also, consider the heat protection tip at the end of the barrel: some curling irons don’t have it, and if you need to hold the barrel to steady it, you will burn your fingers. Know thyself before you start shopping.
Though your hair is never something to skimp on, an endless number of products on the market have proven that more expensive does not always mean better. It is important to do your research, read reviews, and look at the features to determine whether a product is worth spending your hard-earned cash on. If you’re not sure what the range you’re looking at is, you should be able to find a great curling iron around $40 – $80, though you’ll undoubtedly find something above and below those price points.
If you can’t tell, we are fans of tourmaline ceramic. Tourmaline releases negative ions, which protects your hair cuticles and locks moisture in the hair strand. That all helps to make your hair look smooth and frizz-less. If you have thin, fine, damaged hair or style your hair frequently, go for tourmaline ceramic.
Titanium is excellent for heat-conducting and is best for coarse, thick hair that doesn’t curl easily. It’s lightweight so that you won’t be sore the next day. Curling irons made of titanium are durable, and even if you drop them, they’ll usually be okay. Try not to drop them on your toes, though – those are less durable.
Gold-plated curling irons can tolerate high heat for a long time, so they’re great for coarse or thick hair.
Heat is the magic ingredient of curling irons, but you need to make sure you’re using it carefully if you don’t want to damage your hair (or burn it off). Like we read in that helpful tip, try starting with a lower temperature and work your way up until you hit your mark. Please remember to use a heat protectant before styling your hair with heat – whether you’re blow-drying, straightening, or curling, you need to add something to shield your hair from the worst.
If your hair is thin, fine, or chemically treated, do not go above 300 degrees F. Your hair is already prone to heat damage, and you don’t want to risk pushing it over the edge. If your hair is healthy or average thickness, you can take it up to 380 degrees F. If you have thick, curly, or coarse hair, you’ll need to up the heat – you can go anywhere from 350 to 450 degrees F. As we said, start low!
This section may not be a massive deal to you, but if you travel a lot or your plug is too far from the sink, you might need the extra accessibility that a longer cord provides. You’ll also want a swivel cord if it’s available, but if all the other features work, it may not be a deal-breaker.
You might want to consider additional features like its weight, dual voltage, and button placement on the handle, though these may not be deal-breakers if other features appeal more to you.
How To Use a Curling Iron
Curling irons may seem like torture devices when you first see them – they heat up and get very close to your face. It’s quite intimidating, so let’s take the fear of the unknown away, shall we? You should always use a curling iron on dry hair. Make sure to use a heat protectant on your hair, as that can limit the damage to your hair significantly.
Section your hair into two sections: a lower half and a top half. Clip the top half away at first – we’ll deal with that later. Face the mirror so you can see yourself work.
Start by holding your curling iron vertically with the clasp facing the mirror. Clamp a section of your hair a few inches from the ends, curl the hair out from your face, and roll it up to your roots. Hold it for a few seconds (approximately 10) and release gently. Don’t brush the curl out yet!
Repeat this process and spray your hair with hairspray to set the curls after each coil. After you’ve finished the bottom section, you can start with the top section, taking care to place your part wherever you want it. Curl your front pieces away from your face.
When you’re done with all pieces of hair, you can comb your fingers through your curls for more defined curls or brush a wide-tooth comb for looser, more wavy curls.
Is it okay to use a curling iron every day?
It is not recommended to use a curling iron every day, even with heat protectant products. Though curling irons are created with better materials now, they still apply high heat directly to your hair. It’s best to use them no more than once or twice a week.
What curling iron do salons use?
Curling irons vary by brand, function, and size. Different salons have different brand loyalties and needs, so no one specific brand or type is used by salons. Different clients have varying requirements based on hair texture, type, and style requests. Don’t worry about what salons do; find the right curling iron for you!
Do curling irons ruin your hair?
Curling irons do apply high heat to your hair, so it is essential to exercise caution and consideration when using it on your hair to make sure you are not damaging your hair. You must use them only on dry hair, use heat protectant products, and only use them for short periods (think a few seconds) once or twice a week.
Why does my curling iron make my hair smell?
If your hair smells like it is burning, stop immediately! You may be using it on wet hair, or the temperature you are using is entirely too hot. Either way, you need to put the curling iron down and assess the situation to make sure you know how to use the curling iron without damaging your hair further properly.
How long should you hold a curling iron in your hair?
Your curling iron should not be on one section of your hair longer than 12 to 15 seconds. The intense heat is doing more than enough to curl it, so you don’t need long!
Is 400 degrees too hot for hair?
It depends on the type of hair. Do you have fine hair? Is it too thin or chemically treated? Then yes, it is too hot. If your hair is coarse, healthy, or thick, it should be able to handle 400 degrees F if you are using the curling iron properly.
How do I keep my hair from smelling burnt after curling?
Your hair should not smell burnt when or after curling it. If it does, you are using a temperature that is too high for your hair, and you are literally burning it. Turn the temperature down, use a heat protectant, and watch the smell magically disappear.
How do you get curls to stay in freshly washed hair?
The natural oils in your hair make it easier to style. If you let it air dry completely, you have a better chance of the curls sticking, but if you’re pressed for time, try a diffuser to get air to run through it without straightening it. Straightening with heat will prevent the curls from staying at all.
Is it wrong to put hairspray before you curl your hair?
Not at all! Just don’t overdo it – you want your hair to stay dry. Spray your hair with a light-hold hairspray as a prepping tool and then curl it. This trick will help the curl stay in place. Just don’t go crazy with hairspray before and after curling – you don’t want to be a walking flame hazard.
Does hair curl better unwashed?
Yes! Natural oils make your hair retain the style better. Don’t use oils, as they can weigh your hair down. Ideally, washing your hair the night before styling is the best scenario.
How do I make my curls stay overnight?
Pull your curls to the top of your head in a loose ponytail. This option will prevent you from sleeping on your coils and smashing them flat. When you wake up, you let them down, shake them out, and go back to curly city. Have you ever heard of the pineapple? Well, you have now.
Not all curling irons are made the same! We went over many things from heat settings and barrel size to cord length and other features. Luckily, we know you’ve got it. Hopefully, this list helps you achieve the curls of your dreams!
Last update on 2021-08-03 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API