Best Curling Irons for Loose, Beachy, and Natural Waves

Review & Comparison, Last Update October 3, 2019
Wish to have romantic curls without spending many hours on your morning routine? This can be easily achieved with the help of a professional curling iron. Take a look at our selection of the best curling irons available on the market today and choose your path to perfection. ...Read more ...Read less
BEST 2019
PROS
CONS
OUR VERDICT
Type
Material and Coating
Safety of Use
Additional Features
Warranty
 
PROS

The unique rotating chamber can pull up your hair to curl it instead of you. All you need to do is just place a section of your hair onto the tip and push the rotating button (either Left or Right).

CONS

You may need some time to figure out how it works.

OUR VERDICT

Women with just about any styling skills and hair types will find this Chi wand amazing. Although its "tulip-shaped" looks odd, it actually works wonders and brings long-lasting results. Just Spin n Curl.

detailed parameters
Type

Unique rotating chamber

Material and Coating

Ceramic

Safety of Use

Tangle protection, 1-hour auto shut-off, 9ft swivel cord, Non-slip handle

Additional Features

Temperature display, Pre-set temperatures (370°F, 390°F, 410°F), Adjustable heat-up times (15, 17, and 19 seconds), Curl direction control, Beep alert, Auto temperature lock, Dual voltage, Cleaning tool included

Warranty

2 years limited

PROS

Thanks to the extra-long cool tip at the end, you won't even need to wear heat-resistant gloves to protect your hands from burns. The on-off switch allows you to set the settings that you use most often. 

CONS
A light indicator is rather dim.
OUR VERDICT

This is one of the most popular curling irons that can be safely used on all hair types. It has a tourmaline-ceramic coating and features the Pulse Technology, which allows it to heat up fast and provide safe styling.

detailed parameters
Type

Classic

Material and Coating

24K gold-plated barrel

Safety of Use

Heavy-duty round 8ft swivel cord and Soft-Grip handle, Extra-long cool tip, Foldaway safety stand

Additional Features

A heat regulator (up to 430°F), On/Off switch

Warranty

1 year

PROS

Nano Titanium technology applied in this professional curling iron provides fast heat-up and maintains a stable temperature. А Sol-Gel technology makes the barrel 37% stronger and 22% smoother compared to conventional irons. 

CONS

Small hair sections might slip out of the clamp.

OUR VERDICT

This is a high-end curler that features a titanium coating and features up to 50 heat temperature settings, making it a sound choice for most any user, regardless of their hair type. Due to a wider barrel diameter, it's a fantastic option for making big, loose curls.

detailed parameters
Type

Classic

Material and Coating

Nano-Titanium ceramic with Sol-Gel technology

Safety of Use

8ft swivel cord

Additional Features

Claps, 50 heat settings (up to 450°F), Turbo heat button

Warranty

3 years

PROS

The plates are covered with 2x Tourmaline Ceramic coating that protects hair from extreme heat and tackles unwanted frizz. They add an extra shine to your hair and lock in moisture.

CONS

The knob that controls the temperature is rather loose.

OUR VERDICT

This is a unique waver that can help you create beautiful beach waves. And make that super fast. It works best on big strands of hair and gives you the perfect-size waves. The iron supports dual voltage and can be used overseas.

detailed parameters
Type

Deep waver barrel

Material and Coating

Tourmaline Ceramic

Safety of Use

Auto shut-off, Barrel locking switch, 6ft swivel cord

Additional Features

Multiple heat settings (up to 400°F), "On" indicator lights, Dual voltage

Warranty

3 years limited

PROS

The LED display allows for more convenient temperature adjustment, giving you the option to choose between 5 available settings. An auto shut-off feature gives you peace of mind even if you forget to unplug the device after use.

CONS

A cool tip feels a little awkward to hold.

OUR VERDICT

The Conair Infinity Pro is available in several barrel diameters, so you can choose the one that meets your needs the best. If you select an extra-large 1 1/2-inch barrel, you'll be able to add body to your hair, making it look more voluminous and natural.

detailed parameters
Type

Classic

Material and Coating

Nano tourmaline ceramic

Safety of Use

Auto shut-off, Swivel cord, Cool tip, Protective heat shield included

Additional Features

LED screen, Heat regulator with 5 heat settings (285°F-400°F)

Warranty

5 years limited

CHI Air

Innovative Design

The CHI Air Spin N Curl looks nothing you’ve ever seen before. It's a "tulip-shaped" device with no visible barrel insight. Actually, the 1-inch rotating barrel is housed within the chamber. This unique design rids you of the need to wrap your hair around the wand manually. Let's check how.

As mentioned, this innovative product has a cool design concept that can pull up your hair to curl it instead of you. All you need to do is just place a section of your hair onto the tip and push the rotating button (either Left or Right). After that, the magic will happen and the curler will automatically pull in your hair and wound it around an internal rotating wand. The barrel is capable of spinning and curling the hair toward or away from your face.

In case you have absolutely no skills in hairstyling and are not sure for how long to hold a curl, the wand will beep three times when it's time to release your hair so it won't burn. It's that simple.

Even if some users find its look initially odd and more complicated to use than a regular iron, we have to admit that this iron is designed to be fail-proof. So, if you haven’t mastered the art of making waves, this tool ensures consistently loose, spiralling waves.

Importantly, the curler has a safety feature and can let you pull your hair out of the chamber if something gets wrapped up inside. The outside of the chamber never gets too hot, so you can get the tool as close to your scalp as possible.

Overall, the curling chamber is fairly wide and, thus, the curler can’t get too close to your scalp. For this reason, it's more suitable for long locks yet works well with shoulder-length hair as well.

Review of CHI Air Spin N Curl

Spin n Curl

The wand boasts Ceramic heat technology and produces far-infrared heat. The barrel is made with volcanic ceramic that ensures even heating with no cold spots. Add to that a great amount of negative ions emitted and you'll get a tool able to provide you with ultra-shiny, healthy, and smooth curls.

The wand comes to three temperature settings that can correspond to fine, medium, and coarse hair. In fact, the styler can tackle any hair type - you'll just need to split your hair into small 1-inch sections for the best results. You can use a smaller section of hair for more defined curls or a larger section for less defined ones.

To sum it all up, women with just about any styling skills and hair types will find this Chi wand amazing. Although it looks strange, it actually works and brings long-lasting results. Just Spin n Curl.

CHI Air Spin N Curl in the use

Additional Info

    Manufacturer


 

Hot Tools HT1181

Professional Curling Iron

The Hot Tools Professional 1110 Curling Iron is a modern, advanced styling tool at a moderate price that will work for all hair types. It's got a classic shape that will give the hair natural volume and loose curls at the ends, making it a wonderful solution for those girls who prefer natural locks to tight ringlets. Aside from the classic shape, the Hot Tools Professional 1110 boasts an ergonomic, modern design, making it more convenient to hold in the hand and use. Moreover, it has a long barrel with a cool tip, so it's safe to grab it on the handle without worrying about touching it when using at max settings. The barrel of the tool is 24-k gold-plated and can be applied to all hair types with no exceptions.

Review of Hot Tools HT1181 Professional 24k Gold Extra-Long Barrel Curling Iron

Memory Function

With 85 watts of power under its hood, the Hot Tools Professional 1110 Curling iron reaches up to 430 °F (220 °C) in mere seconds. What's more, it heats up evenly without hot or cold spots, allowing you to curl safely. However, the best thing about the Hot Tools Professional 1110 is that it has a memory function. After a couple of uses, it memorizes the temperatures you use most often and duplicates them on the next use.

Hot Tools HT1181 Professional 24k Gold Extra-Long Barrel Curling Iron in the use

Safety Features

Perhaps, the only gripe about this curling iron is that it doesn't have a digital screen to simplify heat control. That said, it has a convenient dial on the handle with very clear marks that will let you customize the temperature without a hassle. Plus, it comes with a very long 8-ft cord, which has a swivel base enabling you to move freely in front of the mirror. Also of note is a patented Pulse Technology deployed, preventing the device from drying and damaging your hair. All of this makes it a safe-to-use curling iron suitable for girls who love loose, natural curls.

Detailed review of Hot Tools HT1181 Professional 24k Gold Extra-Long Barrel Curling Iron

VIDEO
Hot Tools Curling Iron Review + My Hair Curling Routine

What customers say about this product

Key Specs

I like that the heat can be set up to 430 degrees.

Details

I would suggest playing around with heat settings and find what works for your hair type.

Power

It does heat up fast and the swivel cord is a great feature.

Size & Weight

Perfect size for me, works well.
 

Babyliss Pro BABNT125S Nano Titanium

Reveal the Secret of Flawless Curls

If you need an extra gentle styler, the Babyliss Pro BABNT125S curling iron is for you. The curler boasts the innovative Nano Titanium technology that has numerous benefits for your hair. For starters, Nano Titanium is the exceptional heat conductor, so you can be sure that the iron will maintain stable temperature during the whole procedure. Secondly, it yields maximum far-infrared heat, penetrating your hair from within for extra-gentle styling without damaging it - it heats up fast and evenly without hot spots. And, finally, owing to superior Nano Titanium's heat retention and smoothness, the curling process will be quicker and easier.

It's also worth mentioning that the curling iron has as many as 50 settings and its max temperature reaches 450 °F, higher than in some models from the same price range. This makes it suitable for customers with thick and thin hair alike.

Review of Babyliss Pro BABNT125S Nano Titanium Spring Curling Iron

About Usability

Also, don't overlook the usability features of the BABNT125S curling iron. The wand comes with a long 8-foot swivel cord to ensure an effortless styling process without tangled wires, while the safety stand eliminates the risk of damaging the worktop with the hot iron.

The risk for your hair is also reduced to the minimum, since the iron is made with the Sol-Gel technology. Thanks to this technology, the barrel is 37% stronger and 22% smoother compared to standard irons, meaning even slightly wet hair won't cling to the barrel.

Another feature that adds to usability is the Turbo Heat. If you want to speed up the styling process, you can press the "Turbo Heat" button and the unit will instantly boost the heat. Though we don't recommend you to use this function frequently, it's a nice feature to have anyway, especially when you're in a hurry.

Babyliss Pro BABNT125S Nano Titanium Spring Curling Iron in the use

What Curls Do You Prefer?

BaBylissPRO is the leader in professional styling tools, and no wonder the company produces its products in a wide range of sizes to suit any needs and preferences. The curling iron under review has a large 1 1/4" barrel, which is perfect for creating sexy beachy waves. However, if this size is too large for you, the manufacturer offers the same model with smaller barrels as well. Thus, for shorter hair, we recommend opting for 3/4" or 1" models, and if your hair is long, you can safely choose from 1 1/2" or 1 1/4" models. All BaBylissPRO curling irons are high quality and allow for comfortable styling without pulling or tagging. Plus, as you can see, there's a BaByliss curling iron for everyone!

Detailed review of Babyliss Pro BABNT125S Nano Titanium Spring Curling Iron

Additional Info

    Manufacturer


What customers say about this product

Key Specs

The electrical cord is standard length, and the buttons are all placed strategically so you don't hit them accidentally.

Power

I love the fact that it has a swivel cord. 'm happy with my purchase.

Size & Weight

Perfect barrel size to get a nice curl.

Details

Temperature control is easy to use.
 

Bed Head BH365

For Deep Waves

If you're obsessed with sexy loose, beachy waves and look for a perfect curling wand to get them right, the Bed Head Wave Artist Deep Waver is here for you. Actually, it's not a classic curling wand that may leave your hair too crimped and crinkly, it's a unique device, even though it might seem a bit quirky-looking at a glance.

This styling tool looks pretty similar to old-school crimpers from the 80s-90s but its plates are much larger. And its design can deliver you a perfect medium between tight spirals and stick straight.

To get a perfect look, you need to open the clamps and start at the roots of your hair. Put a small section of your hair between the barrels, close them, and hold for a few seconds.

If you'd like to get more defined waves, we recommend you to pull your hair tight away from the scalp with the closed clamps, like with a standard curler. When you're done, you can finger-comb your waves to make them look natural and sexy.

For uniform, sculpted waves, work with larger sections. And for a consistent pattern throughout, clamp your hair and work the waver all the way down.

No matter what style you choose, the texture of your hair will look fantastic. But as with most curling irons, you waves may fall out as you move, so it's better to add some hairspray to fix your hairstyle for a whole day.

Review of Bed Head BH365 Wave Artist Deep Waver

Great for Travels

Though designed in a bit unusual form, the plates here mean business. They feature a 2x Tourmaline Ceramic coating that protects hair from exposure to extreme heat, removes frizz and adds unreal shine even to the dullest hair, making sure it doesn't lose moisture and looks wonderful.

Moving to the heat adjustments, the Bed Head BH365 Wave Artist Deep Water features multiple settings and heats to a salon-grade 400 degrees F, which allows applying it even to thick and coarse hair that is difficult to style. That said, it can be safely used on all other hair types should you switch to lower settings. 

Finally, we should mention that the Bed Head BH365 Wave Artist Deep Water makes a great travel companion. Like all premium products, it supports dual voltage and has a special lock on the sides which clamps the tool together when not in use, allowing you to safely take it with you worldwide. 

All things considered, the Bed Head BH365 Wave Artist Deep Water is a unique device that can help you create beautiful beach waves. And do that super fast.

Bed Head BH365 Wave Artist Deep Waver in the use

Additional Info

User Manual     Manufacturer


 

Conair CD107TP

For Big, Voluminuous Curls

Are you a lucky owner of thick, long hair? If so, the Conair Infinity Pro ceramic curling iron can work wonders for your hair. Available in 3/4", 1 inch, 1 1/4", and even 1 1/2" barrels, it's one of the biggest curlers represented on the market, which can help you create big, voluminous curls, just like those of celebrities hitting the red carpet.

If you choose an extra-large 1 1/2-inch barrel, you'll be able to add body to your hair, making it look more voluminous and natural. Not to mention, the curler of this size can help you style your hair much quicker as compared to other models. Hence, if your hair is long and you need the right tool to manage it faster, this curling wand may be your best choice.

Review of Conair CD107TP Nano Tourmaline Ceramic Curling Iron

Smart Display

The Infiniti Pro ceramic curling iron is a real bang for the buck. At half the price of most professional models, this one offers the same salon-quality performance. Moreover, it even has a few features that some high-end curlers seem to miss.

Styling hair with this wand, you won't need to guess the temperature. Fitted with a handy LED screen, it lets you easily find a precise setting on the handle. And you will be able to increase or lower it with the button beneath the screen. For some reason, not all manufacturers fit their styling products with displays and that's where the Conair Infinity Pro definitely wins.

The Conair curling iron offers 5 adjustable heat settings (up to 400 degrees F) to vary the temperature. And, as expected from a pro-grade tool, it also has an auto shut-off function that will ensure your peace of mind by turning the device off after 60 minutes of it being not in use.

Conair CD107TP Nano Tourmaline Ceramic Curling Iron in the use

Ergonomic Design

A lot of customers who've already purchased this curling iron give it an extra score for a clamp that isn't always found on newer curling irons. With the clamp, wrapping hair around the barrel is not only more convenient but also safer, as you don't need to hold the hot barrel in your hands. Also, it's equipped with a cool tip to avoid face burns.

Performance-wise, the Infinity Pro 1-inch curling iron can deliver you amazing results. Its barrel is covered with a superior-quality tourmaline ceramic coating that heats up evenly along the length without hot spots. It effectively eliminates frizz, reduces static, and produces gorgeous healthy-looking curls.

Detailed review of Conair CD107TP Nano Tourmaline Ceramic Curling Iron

Additional Info

User Manual     Manufacturer


What customers say about this product

Key Specs

There are two buttons - one turns it on and the second one adjusts the temperature up to 400 degrees F.

Size & Weight

Great for travel if you need one this size.

Details

Love that this doesn't burn my hair! I really like the different temperatures.

Power

It's easy to use with the swivel cord.
 

Infographics

Comparison of Curling Irons for Loose, Beachy, and Natural Waves

What Is a Curling Iron?

A curling iron is a popular electric device, used by women worldwide to create curls and waves of different shapes and sizes. Whatever there has been said about the harmful action of a curling iron on the hair, it is definitely gone to the past together with poor quality metal curling tongs. Most modern devices feature either a ceramic or tourmaline coating, which mildly work on the hair to make it look absolutely gorgeous. Curling irons produced today, in their vast majority, are made to be safe to apply to virtually any hair type, including that prone to the brittleness, so you can create curls and waves of any possible shapes without worry of damaging the hair. In this article, we offer you to take a look at the best five curling irons presented by different brands and make your choice.

We also suggest you check out our flat irons review.

What Features to Compare

Type

The first characteristic to consider when buying a curling iron is its type. With the market offering so many hair tools for curling and straightening hair, choosing the right one may be quite tricky, especially if you've never used a curling iron before. So, to make it a tad easier for you, decide on the type you need. All curling irons in general fall into four most popular types: classic, conical, spiral and those with a chamber.

  • Classic is "classic" and obviously, is the most popular out of four. The biggest selling point of classic models is their simplicity of use enabling even inexperienced users to curl their hair with ease. Aside from a metal wand, they usually feature a heat regulator and a clamp.
  • Conical curling irons - these are the best option for those who prefer natural curls that have more volume at the roots. The downside is that it is a bit more difficult to maneuver them in the hand which increases the risk of getting burnt while curling the hair. That being said, you can solve this problem by using a pair of heat-resistance gloves which more often than not come supplied with this type of curling irons.
  • Spiral curling irons - as you can guess, spiral models allow creating spiral-shaped curls.
  • Curling irons with a chamber - these are quite different. Instead of a barrel, they feature a special chamber for curling hair. Simply put your lock in it and choose the direction and shape of a curl. Other than that, there's nothing you need to do - the curling iron will do the rest for you.

Material and Coating

What's also important is to check the materials a curling iron is made from. Stay away from metal tongs - these are the enemy of your hair. Not only will they make it weaker and more brittle, but also your hair will look unkept and messy. Look for curling irons featuring either a ceramic or tourmaline coating. Both coatings are good, but if you want to get rid of frizz, opt for ceramic-tourmaline coatings.

Additional Features

Next, consider whether a curling iron provides you with any additional benefits such as adjustable heat, for example, allowing you to achieve desired results with minimum hair damage, or an LCD screen, making it more convenient to control the set temperature. Having a lock won't hurt too since it allows minimizing the risk of accidentally changing settings during use. Some curling irons come complete with a few additional barrels (ribbed, wide, narrow, etc) making them a practical choice for those who want to experiment with their style.

Safety of Use

Last but not least are safety features. By this, we mean a few important things. One is an auto shut-off feature allowing the device to automatically turn off after some period of time (usually 60-72 minutes). Another one is gloves: most manufacturers pack in heat-resistant gloves to reduce risks of hand burns. Finally, we recommend paying attention to the length of a cord. Though it doesn't affect the safety of the device, still it will be way more convenient to maneuver the tool in the hands if it has a long cord.

How to Get Different Looks Using a Curling Iron

Flat Wrap Hair

Using the flat wrapped technique, you can create gorgeous wide curls with a lot of volume. If you have fine and thin hair but desire more body, this curl type is the excellent choice! For this hairstyle, we recommend using a 1” inch curling iron and take wide hair sections (about 1-½” - 2”) at a time. The key to a successful flat wrapped hairstyle is to curl, keeping your hair wrapped flat against the barrel without twisting.

  1. Take a section of your hair and mist it with a thermal heat-protection spray. Then use a comb to evenly distribute this styling product. Choose the direction of curling - towards your face or away from it.

  2. Try to keep the section flat whilst wrapping it around a curling iron. Don’t twist it around the iron.

  3. Keep on wrapping the hair around the wand until you get to the ends of your hair. To create a more natural look, don’t curl the last 2 inches.

Lazy Curls

Using the same 1” curling iron, you can create a sexy loose wave as well. Take your styler and wrap your hair around it but only half way down. Then, switch the wrapping direction. By changing the direction and leaving the ends out, you can give your hair the effect of more relaxed waves.

  1. At first, apply a thermal heat spray to protect your hair.

  2. Elevate each section to 90 degrees with thumb and your index finger.

  3. Place the iron in front of each section with the barrel behind the section.

  4. Face thumbnail up and flat wrap your hair around the iron (do not twist it when doing a flat wrap). After the flat wrap, hold the section and roll the curling iron close to your scalp.

  5. Holding your hair section, remove the barrel.

  6. Repeat the process - flat wrap, roll the curling iron, and close.

  7. Once you’re done, comb through each section with your hand to separate the curls.

  8. Apply a hairspray to lock your curls in place.

Spiral Curls

Again, thin irons will be great for creating tight spiral-like curls with added texture. Work in small sections - twist them from the top to the end and then wrap the twisted section around the iron to get a spiral effect.

  1. Take a small section and treat it with some thermal heat spray.

  2. Twist the whole section from base to end. Twist and wrap it around the iron in the same direction. Let it heat up.

  3. Remove the styler and allow your curl to cool down. Once the curling process is complete, shake your curls out with your fingers to define them, loosen, and add more volume.

Red Carpet Waves

Want the luxury Hollywood waves? Use this technique. Begin just like you would do using the Flat Wrap technique, but once you wrap your hair around the curling iron, twist the section as you would do with Spiral Curl technique.

Sources:

1. Kelly Townsend How Does a Curling Iron Work? Leaf.

2. Hair iron, Wikipedia. February 5, 2017.

3. Natalie Bell How Do Hair Straighteners And Curling Iron Work? FutureDerm. June 12, 2013.

4. Amanda Holstein The Real Difference Between a Curling Wand and a Curling Iron, PopSugar. April 18, 2015.

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