Written by Gaby

Advice on curling irons

You use a curling iron to curl your hair. Do you want a lot of small curls or larger, natural curls in your hair? Apart from that, the length of your hair is important. In this article, I'll tell you what to pay attention to when choosing a curling iron, in order to always walk out with the hairstyle you desire.

1. What kind of curls do you want to create?

The right choice of curling iron depends on the kind of curl you want to make. The curling iron's diameter makes the difference when it comes to curls: the thicker the curling iron, the larger the curls. Below, we'll describe which diameter your curling iron should have for each curling effect.

Large curls

Large curls

Want large, wavy curls in your hair? Use a thicker curling iron with a diameter of 25 millimeters or more. This type of curling iron is also suitable for creating waves. To do this, all you need to do is curl the ends of your hair around the iron, then brush out the curls. Because of the iron's thickness, curling irons for large curls aren't suitable for short hair.

Medium-sized curls

Medium-curl curling iron

Neither small nor large, but just a nice, medium-sized curl. If that's what you want to create, use a curling iron with a diameter between 15 and 24 millimeters. Curling irons with this diameter are also suitable for creating waves, but the result will be less natural than with a curling iron for large curls. Because of the iron's large diameter, curling irons for medium-sized curls aren't suitable for really short hair. You can, however, use them for jaw-length and longer hair.

Small curls

Small-curl curling iron

Want a bunch of curls with lots of volume?Choose a curling iron with a diameter of 14 millimeters or less. This way, the curls will be smaller and packed more closely together. After brushing, this will create a lot of volume in your hair. Because these curling irons have a small diameter, they're suitable for shorter haircuts, too. For these, wrap the ends of the shorter locks around the curling iron to get a small curl, wave, or volume into your hair.

Natural curls

Natural-curl curling iron

Do you enjoy curling your hair and do you want it to look natural? In that case, choose a conical curling iron. These are wider at the handle than at the tip. When you curl your hair around the iron, the curls at the ends will be smaller than those at the roots. This creates a playful, natural effect. Conical curling irons are less suitable for short hair, because of their larger diameter.

2. How often do you want to curl your hair?

Do you use your curling iron every day, or do you only curl your hair for special occasions? It's important to choose a curling iron that fits the way in which you use it. The material the iron is made of matters most here, as it determines how long your iron will last and how much your hair will be protected against the heat.

Often or occasionally


For those who use a curling iron every day, it's a good idea to buy a fully ceramic model. The ceramic plates divide the heat more evenly across your hair. This prevents some parts of your hair from overheating and others barely getting hot at all. That means fully ceramic plates better protect your hair against the heat. In addition to that, the plates won't wear out as fast, meaning you'll be able to enjoy your curling iron for longer.


Only curl your hair occasionally? In that case, a model with a ceramic coating will suffice. Such curling irons aren't made of fully ceramic plates, but feature ceramic coating. This protects your hair against the heat, but less so than a fully ceramic model would. In addition to that, a curling iron with ceramic coating will wear out faster than a fully ceramic one, meaning it won't last as long.

3. What else can you pay attention to?

Is curling your hair difficult for you or are you very skilled at it? This is a good thing to keep in mind while choosing. With some curling irons, curling goes almost automatically, whereas with others, it'll require some more effort. Apart from that, it's wise to take the number of temperature settings into account when making your decision, since you should curl damaged hair at a different temperature than thick hair.

Clamp, yes or no

clamp curling irons, yes or no

There are various ways of curling your hair. With most curling irons, of course, you should wrap your hair around the iron, but some models make this a bit easier thanks to a clamp: the clamp holds your hair during curling, so all you'll need to do is rotate the iron.

Models without a clamp usually come with a heatproof glove. This allows you to wrap your hair around the iron without burning your hands.

Automatic curling iron

Automatic curling irons

If you're going for the most user-friendliness, choose an automatic curling iron. These curling irons only require you to hold your hair with the iron, which then rotates automatically. In some cases the iron doesn't rotate, but it slurps the hair up, so to speak.

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