Best Curling Irons for Loose, Beachy, and Natural Waves

Review & Comparison, Last Update July 17, 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

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

Thanks to rapid heat recovery, the curling tool gets back to the desired temperature very quickly, ensuring consistent styling results. A barrel with a 1/2-inch diameter will allow you to create natural-looking, bouncy curls.

CONS

You may accidentally push the on/off switch.

OUR VERDICT

The Bed Head Skinny Pop Curling Wand has got tons of positive reviews for its ergonomic design and incredibly slim barrel. Being just 1/2 inch in diameter, it really does a great job by adding springy, tight curls and fullness to straight, limp hair.

detailed parameters
Type

Classic

Material and Coating

Tourmaline ceramic coating

Safety of Use

Tangle-free swivel cord, Heat-protective glove, Heat-proof tip, Rapid heat recovery

Additional Features

High heat up to 400°F, Worldwide dual voltage, 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

8 ft swiveling cord

Additional Features

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

Warranty

3 years

PROS

The super high-tech ceramic wand, infused with a real pearl, provides smoother glide. The precious power of pearls will make your curls sleek and strong.

CONS
It is a clamp-free model, though a heat protective glove improves the situation.
OUR VERDICT

Featuring innovative Pearl Ceramic Technology, this curling wand delivers professional results without costing you a fortune. Its conic shape allows creating beautiful curls, while its wide temperature range makes it suitable for all types of hair. A 1/2-1-inch option is also available.

detailed parameters
Type
Conical
Material and Coating
Pearl and ceramic coating
Safety of Use
60-minute auto shut-off, Heat protective glove
Additional Features

LCD lock, LED screen, A heat regulator (270°F-410°F)

Warranty

2 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-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

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

It heats up very quickly and the heat settings are accurate.

Power

It is high quality, holds hair firmly, heats up quickly, has a long cord that swivels easily, and most importantly, it does an awesome job of curling my long, wavy, unruly hair!

Size & Weight

You can tell it is well made, has good weight to it, & the cord is very durable & strong.
 

Bed Head BH362

Ultra Slim

The Bed Head Skinny Pop Curling Wand is a revolutionary tool that is causing ripples across the market right now. It gets tons of positive reviews for its ergonomic design and incredibly slim barrel. Being just 1/2 inch in diameter, it really does a great job by adding springy, tight curls and fullness to straight, limp hair.

This adorable mini curling iron is perfect for creating ringlet curls that are especially great when you are putting your hair in an up-do. The ringlets are fun, bouncy, natural-looking, and stay all day.

The wand is made with Tourmaline Ceramic technology that really works, reducing frizz drastically. And as a result, you get smooth, tight curls that hold up amazingly well.

The iron is brightly colored in yellow that gives a nice variety to a bathroom of black appliances. And different-sized barrels come in different colors (3/4", 1", 1 1/4", and 1 1/2" also available).

Review of Bed Head BH362 Curling Wand

Ergonomic Design

Take note that the wand is clamp-less and it might take you a bit of practice to get good at wrapping the hair around. But what makes this wand really unique is that the end has a cool tip which you can hold with your fingers for better control over the styling process.

Additionally, the wand comes with a heat protecting glove so that you can not accidentally burn yourself, which is especially good for first timers. Although the glove looks tiny, it stretches hugely to accommodate even fingers with long nails.

The device heats up quickly (less than 30 seconds) and stays consistent thanks to the Rapid Heat Recovery technology. The only slight gripe is that the temperature setting on this curling wand is fixed. It gets as hot as 400 °F according to the specs, and this amount of heat might be detrimental to very thin or damaged hair.

Bed Head BH362 Curling Wand in the use

Great for Travels

Knowing that wrapping the cord around any styling tool can eventually ruin the cord and make the tool unusable, the manufacturer has added a velcro loop onto the cord of this wand. Therefore, you'll be able to fold it up and secure with the wand. The cord itself is long and swivels very well.

What makes the iron more appealing for avid travelers is that it supports dual voltage. So, even if you're going overseas, you can pack this mini wand and look your best in any corner of the world. It will help you create a very unique look.

Detailed review of Bed Head BH362 Curling Wand

Additional Info

    Manufacturer


 

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

Definitely great curls and it has a long cord.

Power

Well built, swivel cord.

Size & Weight

I have longer hair- below the shoulders, so the bigger barrel is a good size for me

Details

I noticed that when I turned the heat setting at its max it got very hot and so I immediately only curled sections of my hair for about 8 seconds and that was all I needed, my curls lasted way longer than with my conair infinity ceramic curling iron it even lasted till the next day !
 

Remington Pro 1"-1½" Curling Wand (CI9538)

For Crease-Free Hair

Perhaps the biggest advantage of a curling iron that has a conic shape is that, with enough practice, it's possible to create just about any types of curls - tight, natural, and loose, depending on how you wind your locks. So, if you're an experienced user looking for a practical curler to create all types of curls, we recommend checking out the Remington CI9538.

The Remington CI9538 looks stunning with its pink barrel, making it a good option for gifts. Looks aside, the results it delivers are just as stunning, allowing any girl to look her best while putting in minimum effort and time. With the Remington CI9538, you'll be able to create loose and natural curls as well as tight curls should you wind your hair around its narrow part. What's more, your curls will be perfect. With no clamp to hold the locks, there won't be any creases in your hair. Add to that the Pearl technology used, and you get a top-shelf tool ensuring fast, safe, and damage-free results each time.

Review of Remington Pro 1"-1½" Curling Wand (CI9538) with Pearl Ceramic Technology

Adjustable Heat Settings

The Curling Remington CI9538 heats up in a matter of seconds; it is ready to go in just 30 seconds. What's more, you have an opportunity to adjust the heating temperature using an easy-to-read digital display. The temperature range varies within 270-410 °F. So you can choose the best option for heating thin or thick unruly hair. A special LCD lock keeps the set temperature and prevents accidental dropping of settings during use.

Remington Pro 1"-1½" Curling Wand (CI9538) with Pearl Ceramic Technology in the use

Safety of Use

If you ever forget to switch the Remington CI9538 off, don't worry! Owing to a shut-off function, this magic wand will automatically switch off after 60 minutes of being not in use. For the extra safety, the Pearl Styling Wand is equipped with a cool tip and a styling heat-resistant glove to protect your fingers from burns. As for your hair, you can be sure that it is also 100% protected as a unique pearl ceramic coating provides the maximum gentle curling. All in all, this styling wand will become a reliable assistant to help you create fashionable hairstyles every day.
Detailed review of Remington Pro 1"-1½" Curling Wand (CI9538) with Pearl Ceramic Technology

Additional Info

    Manufacturer


VIDEO
Review/Demo: Remington T-Studio Ceramic Pearl Pro Curling Wand

What customers say about this product

Key Specs

I have thick, wavy hair naturally, and it worked so well, giving such perfect, bouncy curls, on the 410degree setting.

Size & Weight

I'm a huge fan of the wand curlers, have them in tons of different sizes. My hair is about to my chest & this curler gives it the beachhead wave look that I LOVE!

Details

The auto shut off is fantastic, good heat, fairly quick. Glove is nothing special, but nice perk. Overall it was a good buy.

Power

The cord swivels and is just the right length.
 

Conair Infiniti Pro (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 Infiniti Pro (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 Infiniti Pro (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 Infiniti Pro (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

The handle is long and weighted so you shouldn't have a hard time using it mainly with your prominent hand.

Details

Heats up very quickly, nice and smooth and like auto shut off feature.

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, it's 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, and that it’s “easier” to get burns. However, this problem can be solved - more often than not, together with the curling iron, you'll get a pair of special protective gloves included in the package.
  • 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, you need to do nothing - the curling iron will get the job done 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, the fact is: the longer it is, the more convenient the process of hair styling will be.

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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