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Types of Curling Irons

Learn about the different types of curling irons in this hair tutorial from Howcast.


All right. So today I'm going to talk to you about a couple of different kinds of curling irons. And then I'm also going to show you kind of what each curling iron and what type of curl it makes on our model here.

So, first of all there are basically maybe three types of curling irons. The first being your traditional curling iron that has a clamp. This would be the at-home version, not the professional. It also has a tip that you can touch, but just a regular old clamp.

And then you have wands, which are the same shape as a regular curling iron, only they don't have a clamp.

And then you have another kind of wand that is conical, so it goes from fat to skinny. There are also many variations of this rod. Sometimes it goes fat to skinny to fat again for a more open-ended curl. I've seen them all different ways.

So those are basically your main types of curling irons. And I have some small sizes here to show you too.

When people haven't used curling irons in a while, they always tend to buy a curling iron that's too big, so I think that there's a little bit of mis-communication as to what size is the best size.

So we're going to start with the biggest size. And I'm going to do it right here around her face. And I'm going to show you two different ways to do it.

So the first way is, this is a two inch curling iron. I'm going to start by warming the hair before I start. If you warm the hair before you get started, you won't get any clamp marks. And I'm going to softly open and close the clamp on this, and start at the root and work my way to the tip. You get a traditional curl. And you'll notice the hair itself is only able to make two rotations, so there's one bend, two bends. That's big when you're choosing a size curling iron, you want to think about how many rotations it's going to give you.

Now I'm going to take the same curling iron and I'm going to use it in a different way, but I'm still going to prep the hair by heating it up. I'm going to point the curling iron down and I'm going to wrap the hair around it from root to tip. And what this is called, is tonging, and it's the same effect that you would get from a wand, only this is just a traditional curling iron. So this is what a two inch wand would look like. And you can see the difference in the curl. This is a flat elongated curl and this one's a little bit more puffed. I will say too, when you smooth the curls down, they soften up and you really just get a bend-over. So the two inch curler, or any curl that's bigger than that, is going to almost fake like a round brush blow-out or something like that. They're going to be super super loose. This is the one that you guys usually tend to buy. So if you want just a little bend to the hair, go for that one.

The curling iron that I prefer, that's the most universal, is a one and a quarter inch. I have the most versatility with this one. So I'm going to take this. I'm going to show you what the difference is. So you can see, we're able to get one, two, three rotations out of that, so a little bit more. And I'll show you a tong curl next to that.

Okay. Smaller size down. This is a three-fourths of an inch curling iron. And this one will give you a curl that's a little bit larger than my natural curl size. This is great for a vintage set, something that you want a little bit more control, or definitely something that you're going to brush through later. Really universal. You can see you get even more rotations. You get one, two, three, four, five rotations out of the tong.

Now this is the smallest curling iron I own. This is about a fourth of an inch. But this is what I would use to replicate my own curls. So you would actually take a very small section. Definitely with a curling iron that's this small. Warm the hair up, season the hair first. So you can see how tiny that one is. You can see how cute it can be if you tong it, teeny tiny that guy is.

Now, lastly, I have my wand. And this, you're always going to want to point down towards the floor and you're going to want to wrap a section of hair around it. The section of hair that you wrap around is usually matches the size of the barrel. And with the wand you want to keep a really light tension so that not too much of your curl slinks down to the small side. You can see how it gives you a beautiful bump at the root and then a lighter curl throughout.

And all of these curls look really different when you take them and stretch them or move your hands through them. They look much softer.

So I hope that helps you pick out a great size barrel for your curling iron.

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