How Do I Choose the Best Double Barrel Curling Iron?

Judith Smith Sullivan
Judith Smith Sullivan
Man with hands on his hips
Man with hands on his hips

The best double barrel curling iron will have the features necessary to create the look you want. The shape of the curling iron as well as its design affect the results that the iron produces. The price of these curling irons can vary, so you will also need to consider how much you are willing to spend. Before you begin shopping, determine what kind of hairstyle you want to create with the curling iron.

Double barrel curling irons come in many sizes, from less than 1 inch (2.5 cm) to 2.5 inches (about 6 cm) in diameter. In most cases, the smaller the curling iron, the tighter the curl will be. Larger curling irons will produce a wavy texture in the hair. If you want tight ringlets, the best double barrel curling iron for you will have a small diameter. For larger curls, purchase a medium sized barrel, and for very loose waves, you will want a 2 inch (about 6 cm) or larger barrel.

The tubes of the double barrel curling iron also affect the shape of the curl. A cylindrical tube will produce a spiral. A flared or conical tube, however, which has either a wider tip than base or vice versa, will produce a curl which is larger at the root than the tip.

While shopping, you will probably notice three different handle designs. The most common is the spring loaded curler, which uses a curved clamp to hold the hair tight against the barrel. A second type, the Marcel handle, does not have a spring but relies on the strength of the hand to hold it closed. The third design is called a wand. It has no clamp, and hair is simply wrapped around the shaft.

Of the three, the easiest to use is the spring loaded handle. Typically, only professional stylists use the Marcel style handle because it takes practice to use it comfortably and is cumbersome when styling your own hair. Wand curlers are a good choice for producing waves in hair, but it is easy to burn yourself since your fingers must wrap the hair close to the barrels.

The material of the double barrel curling iron shafts affects the quality of the curl. Ceramic, teflon, and tourmaline produce a shiny curl with less heat damage to the hair. Although chrome and gold plated metal irons do heat effectively, they do not always heat evenly. Poorly made curling irons made of cheap metals can burn your hair.

The most expensive curling iron will not always be the best one for you. It is better to find one that is made from a good material that conducts heat well, with a handle design that you are comfortable with, even if it isn't a high end curler. If you are a hairstylist, you may find that the more expensive curling irons last longer and produce a more consistent result over time than cheaper models. Purchase a model that falls in your price range and offers the features that you need.

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