Whether you curl your hair daily or only on very special occasions, a good curling iron is a handy helper to keep stashed in your bathroom. It’s one of the most versatile styling tools and can make you look like a free-spirited mermaid or the queen of vintage glam. The trick is knowing which size and style curling iron will give you the bombshell look you want. So to take the guessing out of the game, we’ve gathered the 10 best curling irons on the market and matched them with looks that show you just what they can do. Scroll down to find the hair + styling tool of your dreams!
1. Soft Curls: The big Hot Tools 2″ Gold Curling Iron ($37) isn’t intended for big stiff curls, but more for a nice rounded bend at the ends of your hair. This iron is amazing for anyone with naturally straight hair who wants to keep it straight, but gets bored with the pencil-straight look. (via Misumipyon)
2. Pinup Curls: The Babyliss Pro TT 1 1/2″ Curling Iron ($89) is great for voluminous curls and for those of you sporting a heavy side part and wanting to pair it with soft, messy, big curls. Set the hair with a light holding spray because big curls like this tend to fall quicker if you don’t. (via All Women Stalk)
3. Messy Beach Waves: Probably the most popular iron, you really can’t wrong with the Chi 1 1/4″ Curling Iron ($99). If you’re looking to get the beach babe look, curl your hair with this iron while leaving the ends out. Spray it after with a sea salt spray and then roughly blow dry the whole head using your fingers only. (via Mr. Kate)
4. Short Waves: The Hot Tools 1″ Curling Iron ($33) is a go-to for anyone with medium or shorter length hair. Create those soft, rolling waves by lightly apply a setting spray to set your curls. Once they are cool, smooth them out with a large paddle brush. (via My Lookday)
5. Vintage Curls: The curl from a 3/4 iron is the best for vintage-inspired hair and updos, like this Conair Instant Heat 3/4″ Curling Iron ($7). To get this ultra glam look, curl your whole head using a 3/4 iron, let it cool for 20 min, then brush out using a soft brush for 5 minutes — the curl will open up in this dreamy fashion.
6. Natural Curls: If you have naturally curly hair, a Hot Tools 5/8″ Gold Iron ($27) is where it’s at. Just wrap up any crazy stray pieces around the iron to reduce the appearance of frizz. (via Beauty High)
7. Short Tight Curls: Every girl with tight curls should have a Hot Tools 3/8 Inch Professional Spring Curling Iron ($29) on hand. It’s perfect if a piece or two needs a little taming. Or if you have kinky curls and want to loosen pieces up a little, this is THE iron for that! (via Short Haircuts)
8. Retro Ripples: Resembling a giant crimper, this ceramic tourmaline Deep Waver ($50) gets the job done fast by curling big chunks of hair all at once. Though it looks daunting, it is really easy to use to produce Taylor Swift-style ripples. (via Negin Mirsalehi)
9. Mermaid Curls: Simply clamp your hair into the base of the Beachwaver Rotating Curling Iron ($189), press the button, and watch the barrel spin and wrap your hair (whoa!!). It makes tight spirals, but you can rake your fingers through the curls to loosen ’em. (via Madame de Rosa)
10. Naturally Wavy: A bubble wand tool like Not Your Mother’s Beach Wave ($43) may look outlandish, but the waves it creates are just the opposite. For the most natural-looking bends possible, simply roll up hair, release after a few seconds and shake what your mama gave ya. (via Mary Claire Roman)
What is your favorite way to curl your hair? What hair styling tools do you swear by? Let us know in the comments below!