Clamp Versus Clamp-Less Models
One of the first things that you'll need to decide when you're comparing the styling tools
available for curling is whether you wish to purchase a clamp or a clamp-less model. Clamp curling irons have a thin clamp along the barrel. When you curl your hair, you slide it in between the barrel and the clamp, and the clamp then keeps the hair in place while you twist. If you're new to using a curling iron or have difficulty keeping your hair on the barrel because it is thick, a clamp model will simplify styling. Clamp-less designs require you to twist your hair without the benefit of the clamp, making them a little more challenging to use. You won't, however, run the risk of having a mark in your hair from the clamp if you opt for this type. In addition, if you have damaged or fine hair, a clamp-less style will put less tension on your tresses, helping to protect them.
Choosing the Right Barrel Size and Type
Another major difference between the curling irons on the market is the type and size of the barrel. Curling irons that are under an inch in diameter produce the tightest curls, while those over an inch in size will give you looser curls. Keep in mind that the longer your hair is, the bigger the barrel of your curling iron should be. If you have very long hair, you will need a medium-sized barrel to get the same type of tight curls that someone with shorter hair could achieve with a pencil-thin barrel. Barrels that are the same diameter from tip to end will create curls of uniform size from the roots to the tip. Those with tapered barrels that are smaller at the tip and larger at the base are designed for creating spiral curls that are smaller at the bottom and bigger at the top.
Tips for Using Your New Curling Iron Safely
No matter what type of curling iron you purchase, you should keep some basic hair care
tips in mind to ensure that you and your tresses stay safe. Always apply a thermal protector spray, serum or lotion to your hair before using a curling iron in order to protect your hair from becoming dehydrated due to the heat of the styling tool. Use the curling iron on the lowest possible heat setting to get your desired results to minimize the heat exposure even more. Be careful not to touch the curling iron to your fingers, your ears or your face while you curl, as this can result in very serious burns. If you don't purchase a curling iron with an automatic shut-off feature, always double check to ensure that you have switched off the tool after styling. back to top »
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