When it comes to curling irons, most of us reach for a hot tool with a one or two-inch barrel (aka, the rod). However, these aren’t the only curling iron sizes available and they might not even be the best size for the hairstyle you are trying to achieve. “The size of a curling barrel will vary [depending on] the overall curl style,” notes Gina Rivera, founder, president and hair expert at Phenix Salon Suites.
The general rule is: “The larger the barrel, the more wave you create, the smaller the barrel, the tighter the curl,” she adds. “If you would like to loosen up your curl to have a defined wave, then I would suggest using a larger barrel, like 2 inches,” she notes, adding that it creates a beach wave effect. “If you want to maintain the curls you have [or add more defined curls], use a 1 to 1.5-inch barrel.”
The looser the curl, the more space you want between spirals and the tighter the curl, the less space you want between each twist around the curling iron. However, curl size isn’t the only thing that determines the best-sized curling iron for your hair — it also depends on your hair type, as well.
Thin/Fine Hair: Thin or fine hair “has a tendency to lose curls quite quickly,” explains Rivera. This isn’t caused by the texture of the hair, but instead by the shape of the strand. “Straight hair will be more cylindrical in shape whereas curly hair will appear more elliptical and flat,” she remarks. Simply put: Strands that are more flat hold a curl better, which explains why those with thin or fine hair typically have straighter, or less-defined curls and waves. She suggests using a 1-inch or smaller curling wand to “initially create tight curls that will naturally fall to a beautiful wave.” Another hot tip? “If you want your curls to stay all day, then you must try tools with infrared technology,” suggests Rivera. “The infrared technology allows you to use less heat to form a particular style. [It] works from the inside out, therefore you are able to quickly reform the hydrogen bonds [in the hair] which helps define the style while limiting the overall high heat exposure.”
Jessie Quinn | The Sunday Riley
July 26, 2019