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 –  As you start to compare curling irons to find the perfect one to create gorgeous hairstyles at home, you'll quickly find that there are a variety of types from which to choose here at drugstore.com. Tapered curling irons are one of the many available styles and are ideal for creating curls with a very distinctive shape. The irons come in many different sizes and styles to suit your needs.
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What Is a Tapered Curling Iron?

All curling irons have long, heated ends called barrels. On a traditional curling iron, the barrel is of the same diameter from the tip all the way to the handle. Tapered curling irons differ from traditional curling irons in that their barrels are not the same size from end to end. Instead, one end of the curling iron barrel is narrow, and the other is wide with the barrel tapering at a steady angle from end to end. The difference in diameter along the barrel affects the shape of the curls. The part of the hair that wraps around the wide end will have a looser curl, and the portion that is wrapped around the narrow end will have a tighter curl.

Selecting the Right Barrel Size and Shape

Most tapered curling irons have narrower points and are wider at the handles. This type of tapered curling iron creates curls that are tighter at the roots and looser at the ends. You can also find a small number of inverted tapered curling irons that have the opposite effect, creating tighter ends and looser roots. The overall tightness of the curls will depend upon the size of the barrel. The larger the barrel is at its widest point, the looser the curl will be overall. You'll need to take the length of your hair into consideration when choosing the right barrel size. Typically, medium length hair can be curled with a tapered curling iron that is between .75 inches and 1.25 inches in size. Longer hair is best curled with tools over 1 inch in size.

Spring Vs. Clip-Less Curling Irons

In addition to choosing the right size and shape of tapered curling iron for your needs, you'll need to determine whether or not you want your curling iron to have a clamp. Spring or clamp curling irons are very easy to use and keep hair secured in place while you style. Clip-less curling irons won't create creases on your hair and pull less on the ends to minimize damage.

Protecting Your Hair from Damage

All curling irons expose your hair to heat, which can cause moisture from inside of the strands to evaporate and leave hair feeling brittle and dry. Applying a hair care product with a thermal protector in its formula can help to reduce dryness by sealing moisture inside of the hair and lessening evaporation. Be sure to set the curling iron at the lowest heat setting possible to get results. The finer your hair, the less heat the curling iron needs to produce a lasting curl. If you curl your hair daily, use a leave-in conditioner on a daily basis and apply a deep conditioner on a regular basis to keep your hair in good health.

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