14 Best Curling Irons and Wands of 2024 for Every Hair Type

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Editor Tip: Let’s be real: That mint-green finish of the tourmaline ceramic coating makes this multitasker as cool as it is hot (which is up to 380 degrees, to be specific).

Product Specs: 10 heat settings, 9-foot swivel cord, universal voltage | Who It’s For: All hair types and textures


What to look for in a curling iron

Size, size, and size. According to Ohio and New York City-based hairstylist Mia Santiago, “Smaller barrels create tighter curls whereas bigger barrels create looser, almost blowout-level curls.” Another key component is being able to control and customize your heat settings. Santiago says that “safe” heat settings are 360 degrees Fahrenheit and below, so keep that in mind if you want to avoid unnecessary heat damage. (Don’t we all?)

In terms of shapes and designs, curling irons come in quite a few options. Wands have no clamps and relay on the user’s ability to wrap around and hold their hair in place — which is why most wands come packaged with a heat-resistant glove (to avoid close-contact injuries). Curling irons with clamps are probably the most common type and allow you to create a variety of curls depending on how you feed the hair, twist/roll the wand, open/close the clamp, and release.

Automatic curling irons are relatively user-friendly (but read the instructions, no matter what!) and have small springboard clamps that wrap the hair for you. Then, there’s the Marcel iron, which Santiago says is mostly for professionals as it has a manual handle that’s not as user-friendly to the masses. “However, it allows for a smoother transition while curling,” she notes.

How to use a curling iron

No matter what kind of curling iron you choose, the pro advice for long-lasting curls remains the same: Curl from the roots, down. “The ends of your hair are more delicate and don’t need nearly as much heat to curl,” Dallas-based hairstylist Kirsten Patterson previously told Allure. If you’re going for glam waves, you’ll want to curl in the same direction all throughout, while you should curl sections in alternate directions for beachy waves.

Another smart top from Patterson: Never use hairspray before curling — only after. “Hairspray and heat from the curling iron can dry your hair out, so it’s important to only use hairspray once you’re finished styling,” Patterson adds. Instead, use a heat-protectant spray before.

How we test and review products

We always enlist a range of testers for any review, but hair-care products and tools are another story. While some can be used across different hair textures, lengths, curl patterns, thicknesses, colors (natural and unnatural), and concerns, many are created with specific consumers and their needs in mind. When reviewing tools, we also take into account testers’ experience levels. For instance, an innovative new blow-dryer may feature industry-leading technology, but if the only people who find it intuitive to use are professional hairstylists, we have to consider this when determining whether it is worthy of a recommendation.

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