You would think that it would be easy for a guy who has a wife and four daughters to choose the best curling iron. I’m that guy and I certainly thought it wouldn’t be difficult at all. Boy was I wrong.
There are a ton of things you have to consider that all come well before you even get into brand names and pricing. In my ignorance, I figured I’d just waltz into the personal care section of the nearest department store, pick out a mid-priced curling iron or two, and be at the local watering hole in time for the start of the big game. Instead, I received a masters degree in the “science” of curling irons and completely missed the game.
I don’t know too many folks who are interested in taking a six week course to become an expert in the field of curling irons, but we all get those “honey-do” lists at some point in our lives. If you’re planning to sneak down to the pub, or don’t want to miss the big game, look at this like you’re choosing some James Bond spy gear and take some notes to help speed up the shopping process.
There are three main criteria you have to consider when choosing a curling weapon:
1. The type of curl that is desired
2. The type of hair the target has
3. The extra options that may be desired or needed (I am disappointed to report that I did not find any that come with flame throwers or grenade launchers. This would have been a huge selling point in my book)
The first thing we need to do is to interview our target subject and find out what type of curl they want. Once this information is obtained, we can move on to the next step, which is choosing the correct barrel size of the curling device. (Yes, it really is called a barrel).
Here’s a quick cheat sheet for the different types of curls and the correct barrel size:
Big Waves: The best barrel size for this mission is 1½” to 2″. This will create large loose waves, especially in
longer hair. This size can also help smooth short hair. At least that’s what the lady at the counter told me.
Slight Waves: For slight waves, a 1¼” to 1½” barrel will create nice, soft waves. Again, those words were used by the lady at the counter. Slight waves, soft waves, whatever you want to call it. I just took her word for it.
Big Curls: The correct barrel size used to create large curls is usually 3/4″ to 1″.
Tight Curls: Did you know those small tight curls are also called little ringlets? Reminds me of baby pigs, but hey, if that’s your choice, you’ll need a 3/8″ to 1/2″ barrel size. It is also my understanding this would be the correct size for bangs and wisps. I’m still not exactly sure what a wisp is. A kitchen utensil comes to mind but that could just be me.
Now that we can put a check mark down next to what size is needed, it’s time to move on to the type of material the barrel is made of.
To be completely honest, whether it was shiny or not shiny was my first thought, but there’s quite a bit more it seems. Some cause more damage than others when you use them as explosive devices against invading terrorists. Ok, that’s not exactly true. It has more to do with damaging the target’s hair, but that just didn’t sound as nearly cool. The hair thing is important, however, especially if you don’t want the curling iron used against you as a weapon.
Barrel Material cheat sheet:
Metal plates: Metal plates emit over-the-top heat and can damage the crap out of your targets hair. Do not try to sneak metal plates through airport security and do not buy curling irons that are made of this material. Both are just plain dumb.
Chrome/Silver: Now we are talking. Shiny objects make most guys happy and I happen to be one of those guys. A cool thing about this particular shiny material is that it is usually the least expensive in the field of curling irons. Since it’s cheap (umm, I mean inexpensive), it tends to be one of the more popular choices with the ladies too. Unfortunately, all is not well in Shiny Ville. Chrome/silver material tends to not distribute heat equally. This can cause spotty heat damage to your victim’s hair. Not very cool.
Ceramic: This happens to be the popular choice for most people after they realize the two materials above have a tendency to do some pretty bad things to their hair. It does provide consistent heat distribution and it seals the hair to lock moister in. These attributes apparently make it great for frizzy, color treated or dry, damaged hair. (According to the girl at the counter anyhow.) One more thing. It’s not that shiny.
Gold: Yes, they actually come in real gold! I was pretty excited because, admittedly, this is my favorite shiny material. (Awesome!). Gold distributes the heat evenly and it reminds me of Bond’s Goldfinger movie all at the same time. If hair curling is a daily or almost daily occurrence in your house, this material is perfect. (There are several bonuses to take advantage of with a gold curling iron too. For example, pull that puppy out at large gatherings and say something like “I love my wife so much, I even got her a gold curling iron”. Sweet!)
Teflon: This is supposed to be pretty good but it reminds me of cookware. And it’s not shiny. In all fairness, this is another material that efficiently distributes heat evenly throughout the barrel. I guess that’s cool for not being shiny. The girl at the counter also mentioned that this material helps eliminate frizz and creates “soft, bouncing curls.”
Tourmaline: I’ll be honest. I’m not even sure this is a word, let alone a material for curling irons. According to my inside source behind the counter (aka “the lady”) tourmaline delivers negative ions to neutralize your hair’s positive charge. Sounds James Blondish when you put it that way I guess. It’s supposed to create calm, smooth, shiny hair. I think I’d be more impressed if it filtered my water or made my air cleaner. But that’s just my opinion.
Titanium: Over rated and not nearly as shiny as gold in my book. The name reminds me of the terminator or something from the transformers, so that’s kind of cool. Other than that, there’s just not much else to say.
Extra Options: Machine gun, grenade launcher or flame thrower? (Just kidding)
I’ll try to make this quick. Curling irons do not come with any cool guy accessories. You can’t shoot stray cats with rubber bullets and they don’t dispense beer. Regardless, some of these options may be important to your lady, so we need to cover them.
Steam Curling Iron: No, it does not shoot steam in the face of your enemy. It does, however, help with hard to curl hair and it is less damaging to hair than dry heat.
Cordless Curling Iron: Cordless is cool, just like your phone. It would be better if it picked up satellite reception but it doesn’t. If it did, I’d own ten.
Brush Curling Irons: That’s brush, with an “r”. This is basically a hair dryer, brush and curling iron combined. No poison gasses spray out, it does not double as a stun gun and it doesn’t make a good dinner date. This was obviously designed for people on the go who don’t want to bring everything on the road when they travel.
Triple Barrel Curling Iron: Cool name. Three barrels instead of one. I thought maybe this one was more aimed towards guys because of the name and design, but I was informed it can do some pretty amazing things in the hands of someone who knows what they’re doing when it comes to curling hair. That’s obviously not me.
Which Is The Best Curling Iron for My Lady’s Type of Hair?
We are in the home stretch now. The last thing you need to figure out is what type of hair your target has. Should be pretty easy unless you’ve been married for a very long time.
Obviously, there are many different styles and lengths. Fortunately, we can narrow type of hair down to three main categories for the purposes of choosing our curling weapon:
Fine or Thin hair: A smaller barrel is better. Kick it down a notch (¼ to ½ inch) for the desired type of curl or wave.
Thick Hair: Stick to the basics you just learned. It is however important to note that with thick hair you need to concentrate on something with a higher heat setting. This is also a case where you should definitely consider the extra options such as something with steam.
Short Hair: Like fine hair, you should usually opt for a smaller barrel unless you are shooting for large curls. If that’s the case, aim for the larger barrels.
Congratulations. You are now about as close to an expert as it gets when it comes to choosing the best curling iron. And hey, if you are one of those inventor types, how about putting some cool guy options on the shiny ones? I’d be willing to bet if they came with a video game or two, sales would shoot through the roof.
One more thing. Make sure you talk to your significant other before you run off and buy the biggest, baddest, shiniest curling weapon you can find. That will go a long way in her not going all James Bond on your sorry butt.
Source: Paul Rhodes, Best Curling Iron , BestCurlingIronDeals.com