A What's What Guide To Curling Iron (2)

Different types of hair curling irons
Photo: Poznyakow/Shutterstock
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A good rule of thumb when determining if a curling iron is the right size for your hair is to count the number of times you can fully wrap the hair around the curling iron barrel. If your hair isn't long enough to wrap around the curling iron one and a half times (at least), you should consider getting a smaller curling iron. This, of course, depends on the size of curl you want.
Multiple-barreled tools can be disconcerting, especially when most people think of the way a standard, single-barrel iron is used. Most two- and three-barrel irons aren't meant to create spiraled or overlapping curls. Instead, they are designed to add bend and wave to the hair. They can be used in various ways depending on the desired look and the special features of each.
What to Look for:
There are a number of features you should look for when shopping for a new curling iron. These are things that will ensure your choice is safe for your hair and for general use:
Non-stick surface: The iron should feature a non-stick coating of some type – either a Teflon coating, or the newer mineral finishes (such as tourmaline and garnet). This helps prevent the hair from sticking to the surface of the iron and potentially becoming scorched.
Adjustable Temperature Settings: The iron should have an adjustable temperature feature, whether it's a "low-medium-high" switch or an adjustable dial with a numeric range, since different hair types need more or less heat to be effectively curled.
Instant Heat or Ready Light: The iron may be one that heats up instantly, making it quick to use. However, having one that heats more slowly but has an indicator light to signal that it's ready is a good compromise.
Curling iron barrel
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Swivel Cord: The last thing you want is to constantly untangle the cord on your curling iron, especially if you have a lot of hair to curl. Choose an iron with a swiveling cord to make it less likely to become tangled and get in the way..
Auto-Off Function: This is a crucial safety feature. Since most of us are always in a rush in the mornings (or whenever we're getting ready), it's essential to have a curling iron that will shut itself off automatically if left unattended. This can prevent melted combs and brushes, or in a worst-case scenario, your house from burning down.
There are, of course, many other features that can be found on a curling iron, and these often have positive benefits, but the real determinant will be your budget. Curling irons vary widely in price, so it's up to you to do your homework.
Investigate the cost versus features, read product reviews (preferably from customers who have purchased and used the same product you are considering, and not just those offered by magazines and manufacturer websites), and choose the one you feel will work best for you.
By Bea | Updated | ©Hairfinder.com

See also:
How to use a curling iron
How to use a flat iron for curling
Burning smell when using a curling iron