Most of us have a long, spiraling history with curling irons. A one-inch barrel might have created your perfect prom curls as a teen, or maybe you plugged in a wand during your many attempts to master Victoria’s Secret Angel hair. It’s about time you got an upgrade. When curling, it’s best to choose a tool that’s specifically made for your desired style and hair texture. Here’s a selection of some of the top tools on the market right now.
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For Textured Waves
Classic Wand Reverse
Why we love it: Tight curls are a girl’s worst nightmare (see: this meme) Solve the issue with the new curling wand from NuMe that features a reverse tapered base that gives you varied barrel waves without having to swap out tools.
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SinglePass Curl 1.25” Professional Ceramic Curling Iron
Why we love it: This all-white curling iron is crafted to create perfect curls in just one pass thanks to a smart microchip that monitors heat fluctuations.
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For VS Angel Waves
S1 Curling Iron
The Beachwaver Co.
Why we love it: The key to easy, breezy beach waves is the Beachwaver. The self-rotating tool creates three different styles, including defined curls, loose beachy waves, and more glam waves, with nary a twist of the wrist.
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2-in-1 Ceramic Marcel Curling Iron 1 Inch
Harry Josh Pro Tools
Why we love it: This curling iron boasts a detachable clip that can easily be transformed it into a wand. You get the best of both hair curling options with one tool.
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For All Hair Types
24K Gold Curling Iron
Why we love it: This curling iron is literally the gold standard. Its barrel is plated in 24k gold to help speed up heat circulation, meaning it will stay consistently hot throughout.
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Why we love it: An Amazon-approved (4 stars and 7,266 customer reviews) curling wand that provides effortless waves and loose curls. Unlike other wands, this tool heats up to a high of 410 degrees. We don’t advise heating to 410 degrees everyday, but it’s good to know this wand has the power if you need it. It also has a handy Instant Hot function, so it heats up right away.
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For Thick Hair
The 3-Day Bender Digital Curling Iron
Why we love it: The popular blowout spot Drybar treats their tools like their salon looks–they want the style to last for days. That’s exactly what they had in mind for their 3-Day Bender Curling Iron. It has a rotating clamp that makes styling your hair—especially difficult-to-curl thick hair—quick and easy.
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For Under $35
Pro Series 1
Why we love it: This super affordable curling wand is loved by pros and amateurs alike. It heats up quickly with adjustable temperatures, but as a friendly reminder, never crank up above 40o°F to avoid damaging your hair. It turns off after an hour automatically, so say goodbye to those mini panic attacks you get when you leave your apartment.
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For Curls That Last
Curve Classic Curl Iron
Why we love it: This curling iron is a pro-favorite, and rightfully so. The heat created from the smooth, ceramic-coated barrel will lock in moisture and won’t snag your hair. The curls will form fast and will stay all day. It’s ideal for short to medium-length hair, but will work for even the straightest of hair.
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For Beach Waves
High Tide Deep Waver
Why we love it: Celebrity hair stylistMark Townsend swears by this tool to give the Olsens (all three of them) their signature messy waves. Simply wrap your hair in a figure-eight around the styler for soft, natural bends. You’ll wonder how you ever lived that single-barrel life, we swear.
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Whirl Trio Interchangeable Styling Wand Set
Why we love it: T3’s famous SinglePass curling iron also comes in interchangeable barrels, using the same ionic technology to seal the cuticle for high-shine curls. It includes a 1″ straight barrel (for defined uniform curls), a 1.25-1.75″ tapered barrel (for textured, beach waves), and a 1.5″ straight barrel for high-glam, voluminous waves. It’s literally three wands for the price of one, and definitely worth the splurge.
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For A Relaxed Wave
Curlipops Curling Wand for Loose Curls
Why We Love It: You’ll never have to worry about curls becoming tight and overdone. This loose wave creates the perfect balance of natural body.
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For Straight Hair
Professional Nano Ceramic Tapered Curling Iron
Why We Love It: Straight hair leans on the limp side so you need to create volume with a larger barrel curling iron. This one from Hot Tools comes with a two inch option to create bounce and wave.
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For the Top-Rated
Conair Conical Ceramic Curling Wand
Why We Love It: It’s affordable. Check. It comes highly-rated. (4.5 stars and 1,658 customer reviews) Check. Is cermaic so it won’t damage your hair. Check. What’s not to love?
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For Tight Curls
Herstyler Baby Curls Mini Curling Iron
Why We Love It: This wand is hot, hot, hot (literally). It heats up very fast but provides tight spiral curls. This is also perfect for updos or curls you plan on brushing out for a nice ’70s style voluminous wave.
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For Tired Arms
Soft Wave Pivoting Wand Curling Iron
Why we love it: Leave it to celeb hairstylist Kristen Ess to create the most user-friendly and budget-friendly curling iron. Give your arm a rest by twisting the rotating handle to create easy voluminous waves.
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For Damaged Hair
Why we love it: Hot styling tools can cause further damage to brittle hair. Avoid the heat with Dyson’s Airwrap, which uses the coanda effect (a high-speed jet of air) to create bouncy curls for healthier-looking hair.
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For Long Hair
Long Barrel Curling Iron
Why we love it: Need more space for that long, flowing hair? Bio Ionic’s barrel is 2 inches longer than average curling irons, allowing more room and heat distribution.
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For Short Hair
Bombshell 1-Inch Oval Curling Iron
Why we love it: Create effortless bends with this oval-shaped barrel. Instead of wrapping hair around the wand, try pulling strands in alternating directions.
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Chloe Hall oversees all beauty coverage at ELLE.com.
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