Just like with hair, not every curling iron is the same. When shopping for the best curling irons for fine hair, there’s more you should consider than just price.
For starters, you should always, always make sure you have the ability to control the heat setting on your curling iron. Fine hair is prone to heat damage and doesn’t need the super high heat that a lot of irons have, so make sure you have the ability to turn it down (to around 300 degrees Fahrenheit, ideally). Similarly, to avoid unwanted heat damage, you need to be extra cautious about the material of the barrel. Metal irons like gold and titanium should be avoided for anyone with fine hair, while materials like ceramic and tourmaline are great choices because they're safer and more effective. Keep in mind that if you opt for a cheaper iron that’s only coated in ceramic, it may wear off in time and need replacing. The last thing to look for when choosing is the size and style of the barrel. While barrel size won't effect your hair from a health perspective, it will be what makes curling your hair easier (or harder), and will determine the final look and style of your curls.
At the end of the day, you don’t have to sacrifice the look of sultry beach waves or bouncy curls just because you have fine, damage-prone hair. Prep with a thermal protecting spray or cream and choose one of the four irons listed below to effectively avoid damage and still get the curls you want.
1. Best For Damaged Hair: A Fast-Heating Iron With An Extended Barrel That Conditions Your Hair As It Curls
The Bio Ionic Long Barrel Styler is amazing for fine hair because it has patented Nano Ionic minerals in its barrel that actually help to hydrate and condition each strand as you style. Also, the extra-long barrel (and five second heat-up) speeds up styling time even on long hair and helps give your curls a loose, natural feel.
2. Best For Your Budget: A Tourmaline-Ceramic Curling Iron With Digital Temperature Control For Under $50
Ceramic and tourmaline are two of the best materials you could ask for in a curling iron, and this one from Anjou has both for under $50! It's 1.25-inch barrel will help you create nice, loose curls, and the digital temperature display will help you make sure the iron doesn't get too hot and damage your hair. It heats up in less than 60 seconds and has a near-perfect rating, with over 650 positive reviews.
3. Best For Beginners: An Easy-To-Use, Automatic Rotating Curling Iron For Consistently Perfect Beach Waves
There’s a lot to love about The Original Beachwaver Curling Iron, especially if you have fine hair. First, the iron has a huge temperature range, so you can set the heat low to avoid damage. Second, it’s probably the easiest iron to use because of its automatic rotating function that works in both directions. Also, although it's mostly a wand, it has a small clamp to hold your hair in place while you curl so you can avoid having to navigate a big spring clip, which can crease your hair or burn your fingers.
4. Best For Versatility: A Tapered, Ceramic-Coated Styling Wand For Tighter, Long-Lasting Curls
Some people with fine hair have a hard time making their curls last no matter how much money they spend on a iron. Their mistake? Barrel size. The rule is, the smaller the barrel, the tighter the curls, the longer they last. This $17 Conair Infiniti Pro Wand tapers from 1-inch to a much smaller 1/2-inch, so you can use it to create tight curls all over or beachy waves that last longer. It also has tourmaline ceramic technology and five temperature settings so it's perfect for fine hair. Keep in mind though, the inexpensive price comes at a cost: it's only coated with ceramic, so you may have to replace it down the line once the coating starts wearing off.
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