Glamour girls come in all shapes and sizes, and their hair types can be as varied as their personalities. Trying to decide what kind of iron to use can be majorly confusing, but there are a few things to think about that can make the decision easier for you.
Let’s begin with one of the most distinctive characteristics of your hair, its length.
If your hair is very short and you’re trying to curl it, you’re going to need a small iron so you can wind your hair around it at least once (if not more). You might not get ringlets out of a pixie cut, but you can use your iron to add a little more body to your hair.
What kind of body are you looking for? Short hair will still work with a crimping iron, so you can add some texture and you should be able to get a wave into it. That being said, you probably won’t fare as well with a wand because this sort of hairstyle does need a clamp.
Overall, your best bet for very short hair is probably an old fashioned curling iron because you can get some control without physically holding your hair on it and risk burning yourself (or your hair). Just remember you will only be adding some “oomph” to your style, and you won’t get ringlets. If that’s what you’re after I’m afraid it’s a case of waiting for your hair to grow.
At this point just about anything goes, but you have to decide what style you want. This will help you select what kind of iron is best to buy. Your hair only has to be slightly longer than a pixie to put some real curl in it, but if you’re looking for ringlets with hair shorter than your chin, the smaller the iron the better.
Spiral curls will come best at this length with a 3/8 or 1/2 inch old-fashioned curling iron. Looser curls will work on the smaller end of a 0.5 to 1 inch tapered iron. You can get waves with a waver or crimps with a crimper. Anything larger than a 1 inch barrel with hair at the shoulders or above is going to add body and a bit of wave, but not much more than that.
If you’re trying to get some style into your mane when your hair is below the shoulders anything smaller than a 1/2 or 3/4 inch barrel will have you in hair styling purgatory for just about your entire life. You can still get ringlets with a larger iron because you have a more to play with, but you might not want to put in the work to get hundreds of curls unless you’ve got a lot of time to burn (excuse the pun)!
Wands tend to have the best ease of use for curling and waving with this length. When my hair is this long and I try to use an iron, I end up getting a weird line where the clamp is. Wrap freely around the thicker part of a tapered or larger wand, and you can get some carefree beach-y waves for all seasons.
So now you know what size to look for based on the length of hair you have, but how do you know what kind of material to get? Everything says it’s the best, but clearly THAT can’t be true. So what’s the difference for you?
If your locks don’t have a lot of volume, you can pretty much get away with just about any iron material. The reason for this is you won’t have to work that hard to keep frizz out, so you don’t have to worry as much about trapping in moisture.
Thin hair reacts better to lower temperatures, so super high heat isn’t necessary (or good for your hair). I would start with a ceramic iron and not worry too much about all the bells and whistles. Try something like the Bed Head BH313 Orange Crush because it has ceramic and a lower heat threshold.
If your hair falls in with Baby Bear at just right, you also don’t have to worry too much about the type of tools you use. You will probably need more heat and a little more frizz control than your lightly mane-d brethren, but you can also get away without the most expensive tool in the box.
If your hair is dry you need to find something with nano technology, tourmaline or both. This will keep the moisture in all day so you don’t end up with frizz, and you won’t have to use a ton of product. Dry hair doesn’t need a lot of heat, so don’t worry about getting an iron with a high heat threshold.
If your hair tends to be oily, chances are you have as much of a problem with frizz as you do with hair that falls flat. You may need a little more heat to make sure your curls don’t fall out during the day because oily hair has a tendency to go limp the first chance it gets. You already have all of the moisture you need, so there is no need to worry about models of iron that will trap more.
People with normal hair fare well with ceramic or titanium, but look for the cheaper models that don’t have a ton of bells and whistles you’re unlikely to need. Think about trying the Conair Infiniti Pro Nano Tourmaline Curling Iron which I reviewed here.
THIS is where all the fun starts. If you fall into this category like I do, the heat on your iron really matters. If I don’t get enough power behind my curling tools, I’m a frizzy mess before I even walk out of the house. I need heat, I need moisture locking, and sometimes I feel like I need an act of God!
Beauties with thick and coarse hair are where titanium irons really come in handy. Pump up the volume with a curling iron that has the right amount of power while still being lightweight. You can get away with just about anything with the right titanium iron. Try something like the Hot Tools PinkTitanium Salon Curling Iron, which I reviewed here.
If you’re not crazy about metal a good ceramic iron with the right amount of heat (probably over 400F), a tourmaline coating and maybe some Nano technology thrown in for good measure could make all the difference as well.
The first thing you should pay attention to no matter what your hair type is, is the temperature your iron can handle. If it doesn’t fit what your hair needs, it’s time to move on to another option. If you want ringlet curls you can get them for most hair types, and waves are possible for just about anyone. The possibilities are pretty much endless as long as you pay attention to what your hair can deal with.