Best Hair Curler 2018 – Buyers Guide

Curly, wavy and voluminous hair will never go out of style even if it has adapted throughout the years, but for those of us who aren’t blessed with natural curls, the number of products available out there which promise to achieve this style is pretty overwhelming.

They all do different things, depending on factors such as the barrel size and temperature they reach. Your particular hair also makes a big difference to how they work.

To help you decide which is best for your needs and hair type, we have reviewed some of the best available to make the choice easier. From wands to tongs, read on to find out what you need to know:

The Best Hair Curlers – Our Top Picks

Best Professional Hair Curler: ghd Curve® Classic Curl Tong
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ghd Curve® Classic Curl Tong
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  • Plate Material - Ceramic
  • Heating Time - 25 seconds
  • Temperature Settings - 1
  • 3m Cord Length
Best Budget Curler - TRESemme 2806U Perfectly (Un)Done
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TRESemme 2806U Perfectly (Un)Done Waves
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  • Plate Material - Ceramic
  • Heating Time - 60 seconds
  • Temperature Settings - 3
  • 2.5m Cord Length
Best Automatic: BaByliss 2667u
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BaByliss 2667u Curl Secret Hair Curler
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  • Plate Material - Ceramic
  • Heating Time - 30 seconds
  • Temperature Settings - 2
  • 2.5m Cord Length

Best Professional Hair Curler

ghd Curve® Classic Curl Tong

A problem with a lot of hair stylers is that the temperature isn’t completely consistent along the entirety of the barrel or plate. With new models of ghds there is temperature control technology, and the Classic Curl Tong is no different.

Tri-zone ceramic technology means that the 185°C temperature is maintained by six sensors in the barrel to give constant, even heat.

With a spring activated lever, you can easily clamp your hair to the barrel to create a wave which will stay in place for hours without any extra effort or styling on your behalf. A cool tip lets you hold the tong in place as it works its magic, and the safety stand enables you to place it down anywhere in between getting each strand ready.

We like

  • Professional length 3m cord
  • Auto sleep after 30 minutes
  • Universal voltage for worldwide use

We disike

  • Expensive (if not used regularly)

Final Verdict

A brilliant addition to the ghd hair styling range which will please fans of the brand and convert sceptics

+ Specifications

  • Plate Material - Ceramic
  • Heating Time - 25 seconds
  • Temperature Settings - 1
  • 3m Cord Length

+ Downloads

ghd Curve® Classic Curl Tong User Manual

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T3 Whirl Trio Styling Wand

The best choice for versatility, this T3 wand may be one of the most expensive on the market, but it is an incredibly innovative 3-in-1 product.

The three barrels provide three different styles of curls, so if you want large bouncy waves one day, flicked ends the next and tighter, more compact curls the day after that, this product can handle the switch. A locking system makes it easy to switch between the three, ensuring safety and efficient use.

The barrels are a 1″ straight, a 1.25″-1.75″ tapered, and a 1.5″ straight barrel. SinglePass technology means even, consistent heat for faster results – you won’t have to redo the curls for extra definition and hold. A tourmaline ceramic coating means your hair will be conditioned and not suffer from heat damage. Perfect if you struggle to get the shiny, healthy look after using heat products.

Five adjustable heat levels mean you will be able to choose the exact setting for your hair, whether it be the hottest 210°C for thick hair or coolest for your ends or fine hair.

It comes with a heat mat, protective glove and carry case for easy transportation.

We like

  • Temperature choice
  • Interchangeable barrels without loss of power
  • Great design

We disike

  • Price - good for 3-in-1 but is still only a curler

Final Verdict

Perfect for those who love to change up their style every day, without adapting their technique

+ Specifications

  • Plate Material - Ceramic
  • Heating Time - 90 seconds
  • Temperature Settings - 5
  • 2.8m Cord Length

+ Downloads

T3 Whirl Convertible User Manual

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Best Budget Hair Curler

Andrew Barton Curling Wand

Featuring a conical barrel for cascading curls, this Andrew Barton model is great value for how well it handles your hair.

Thanks to the ten heat settings, you can adjust the temperature to suit both your hair type and the style you are after. Thinner hair or shorter styles will only need a low setting, but thicker hair or tighter more set curls will need higher. The hottest is also plenty to tackle the most unruly of barnets, too.

This flexibility doesn’t only mean you can design as you wish, but you can care for your hair too. If you are wary about exposing it to heat, simply turn the temperature down.

There is an automatic shut off after 72 minutes, so if you occasionally leave the house without turning everything off first, this should stop any accidents. It will also help to save a little bit of electricity as it won’t be left on all day.

A heat ready indicator lets you know when it is up to the right temperature, and the included heat protection glove will give you a bit more control over the style.

For the price, it is a really powerful item. It even tackles long, thick hair reasonably well, which some of the models over three times the cost can’t really handle. Worth the purchase if you don’t want to splash out or are concerned about how to use a curling iron.

We like

  • Works well for price
  • Generous cable length
  • Stay cool tip

We disike

  • Best for loose curls - fails at producing tighter styles

Final Verdict

For a hair curler which falls under our budget section, it is actually pretty reliable and just as powerful as some of those retailing for much much more. The ten heat settings are very welcome too.

+ Specifications

  • Plate Material: Ceramic
  • Heating Time: 30 seconds
  • Temperature Settings: 10
  • 2.5m Cord Length

TRESemme 2806U Perfectly (Un)Done Waves

The 28mm barrel of this TRESemme wand is perfect for creating loose, beachy waves and curls. As it is extra long, it can accommodate longer styles with ease. It leaves hair looking natural without being over styled, and depending on your hair type the curls can last up to 2 days.

A maximum temperature of 200°C is ideal for hair which is a lot more difficult to style, but there is also the option to change this temperature if your hair is finer. The automatic shut-off feature means it will turn off after 72 minutes even if left.

The safety stand means you can place it down anywhere without risking burns to your surfaces, and the heat up time is pretty good for the temperature it reaches. There is fast heat recovery too, in case you turn it off then realise you’ve missed a bit of hair and it’s glaringly obvious. A heat protective glove will keep your hands safe from any hot hair.

We like

  • Really easy to grip and manoeuvre
  • Temperature choice

We disike

  • Glove isn’t heat resistant enough to solely rely on

Final Verdict

The temperature choice and extra-long barrel makes this a great option no matter your hairstyle

+ Specifications

  • Plate Material - Ceramic
  • Heating Time - 60 seconds
  • Temperature Settings - 3
  • 2.5m Cord Length

+ Downloads

TRESemme 2806U Perfectly (Un)Done Waves Specification Sheet

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Lee Stafford Argan Oil Ultra Long Chopstick Styler

If you are after tight, smooth curls, then a chopstick styler is your best product. This Lee Stafford model is conditioned with argan oil, making it kind to hair, as it will be in contact for a long time to maintain the curl shape.

What you won’t be waiting long for is the product to heat up – in just 10 seconds you are ready to go, meaning you’ll be able to head out the door a lot quicker than you thought.

A problem that a lot of people with long hair face is that they can’t find a barrel which is long enough to accommodate their entire strand of hair, resulting in kinks as you have to curl it in two separate parts or having to start halfway down the hair and nowhere near the roots. This stick is 40% longer than ordinary wands.

It comes with a heat protective mat and glove, to protect your surfaces and your fingers. A stay cool tip gives you greater control and angling. The 200°C maximum temperature is plenty to get the job done without singing your hair on contact.

We like

  • Super fast heat up time
  • Long power cord
  • Low cost but high value

We disike

  • Long barrel can make it difficult to style the back of your hair

Final Verdict

The best go-to on the market for anyone after 80-style disco curls without the actual dreaded perming

+ Specifications

  • Plate Material: Ceramic
  • Heating Time: 10 seconds
  • Temperature Settings: 1
  • 3m Cord Length

Best Automatic

BaByliss 2667u Curl Secret Hair Curler

A product which makes you wonder why nobody ever thought of it before. The BaByliss 2667u is excellent for those people who love to curl their hair but cannot operate a curling wand or tongs, as much as they try.

Pioneering Auto-Curl technology lets you simply automatically draw your hair into the curl chamber, and the machine does all of the hard work for you. Free flowing, they look perfectly natural and have a lasting effect.

The chamber softly holds and heats the hair thoroughly from all directions, so you don’t have to worry about any bits being missed. Three timer settings let you choose how long your hair needs to curl for, whether it be frizzy or fine.

All you have to do is place a section of your hair into the product and re-release it once it is ready.

It isn’t designed for very long hair, or for extensions, so if you fit in this category then stick to ordinary curlers which are appropriate.

We like

  • Little effort needed
  • Curls hold for hours
  • Timer settings

We disike

  • Time-consuming if you have a lot of hair

Final Verdict

Revolutionary, and a must-have for anyone who loves the idea of curls but can’t deal with the effort

+ Specifications

  • Plate Material - Ceramic
  • Heating Time - 30 seconds
  • Temperature Settings - 2
  • 2.5m Cord Length

+ Downloads

BaByliss 2667u Curl Secret Hair Curler User Manual

Download

Hair Curling Buying Guide

Curling Iron vs Curling Wand

You may have seen that we have featured wands and tongs and are wondering what the difference is.

  • Curling Iron – Usually has a clasp, which keeps your hair in place around the barrel whilst the heat gets to work. This creates a more polished, defined curl in the form of ringlets. Hold it with the cord facing down.
  • Curling Wand – There is no clasp, and these are usually for anyone who prefers a beachy, natural wave to their hair. Hold with the cord facing up.
  • What about chopstick stylers? – These are a form of wand, but due to their skinny, long barrel size, they are for creating tight curls where you wrap your hair around several times. So they give the definition of an iron, but without the clasp.

Barrel Size

The size of the barrel on your curlers dictates the curl style of your hair. ⅜” is seen as the tightest, which is usually reserved for chopstick stylers which leave you with tight, springy curls. Barrels that are 1.5 – 2” give looser, bouncy waves.

Think about the size of curl you are most likely to want before you take the jump and buy a curling tong or wand. If you like to change it up a bit, buying two stylers or getting a product where the barrels are interchangeable is a great option.

You also need to think about how long your hair is and cater how long the barrel is to this. Some are more appropriate to shorter hair than longer styles and may struggle to accommodate the latter.

Heat Up Time

This information is as simple as it sounds – the time it takes for the appliance to heat up to the maximum possible temperature. It isn’t a massive issue to look out for, but you may like to keep it low if you like not to have to wait around for your products to heat up.

Temperature Variation

Depending on your hairstyle, you may require temperatures above a certain point to style your hair. Generally, thicker and frizzy hair needs hotter plate temperatures whereas these temperatures may be too much for fine hair, causing damage.

To get an exact measure of temperature, a device with a digital display is a great option. These do tend to be at the higher end of the market, though. You may also wish to purchase a model which can regulate the temperature well along the length of the wand or tong, so no damage is caused to your hair.

Plate Material

The vast majority of heat stylers are now ceramic, which gives much better protection to your hair. There are some more advanced materials currently being used, however, such as tourmaline and titanium.

As your curler will be in contact with your hair for long durations to hold the style, it is best to get a material which will keep heat damage to a minimum.

FAQs

Can I Not Just Use My Straighteners To Curl My Hair?

A lot of people use their straighteners to put a bit of wave and flick into their hair. This saves purchasing two products or waiting for two to heat up to change between the two. Straighteners with curved barrel bodies have made it a popular choice, such as ghds.

However, most don’t give the level of curl that a dedicated curling wand or tong will. It is also a bit of an art form – it may seem easy enough, but one wrong move and the hair is often poker straight, never to be curled again until after you wash it.

If you like to have the option to curl your hair every so often, such as for nights out or in between washes, investing in a curling device will be a lot easier.

Who Makes The Best Hair Curlers?

The best hair curler for you may not be the best for somebody else, but brands to look out for include BaByliss, TRESemme, Lee Stafford and ghd.

It is best to not focus so much on brand, but other factors such as the curl that the product will give your hair, how fast it takes to heat up and how easy it will be to use.