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.”

Curler By Gina

Jessie Quinn | The Sunday Riley
July 26, 2019

By Gina’s tools use infrared technology to steam the hair rather than applying direct heat. According to Gina herself, “this method will serve to retain all of the hair’s natural moisture. The extra hydration also contributes to creating styles that will last longer, as well as have an improved appearance. The hair will be softer, smoother, shinier and, most importantly, very healthy. With infrared technology, the hair is basically being conditioned as it’s styled.”


Gina quoted in, Phenix Salon Suites mentioned and Excel Styler featured in Yes, There Really is a Right
Way to Wash Your Hair


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Get your shine on.

Nothing makes a sad, dreary day than limp and dull hair. But if that’s just how our hair looks, are we stuck? Of course not! There are tons of shiny hair products and tools out there dedicated to keeping our hair looking great, and we don’t have to make a salon appointment to try them.

By Aly Walansky | Blogger


Gina’s Fenty Beauty selection featured in These Are the 9 Beauty Products That Busy Boss Ladies Swear By.


Included the infrared hairdryer for a story, “Editor Faves, Spring into Spring with Better Hair” The editor mentioned, “Tools of the Trade:  Protect that scalp from the drying winter air with NEW By Gina Excel Infared Blow Dryer: Engineered using exclusive infrared Smart technology. Introduces a new way to dry hair with steam heat coupled with Ionic technology. Excel Infrared Blow Dryer, efficiently dries each strand limiting heat exposure, produces negative ions to limit frizz and infuses each strand with moisture to recondition hair.”


What I love about Gina Rivera’s story is that she comes from a family of salon professionals. Born into the industry, she loved seeing how providing a service can truly uplift someone else’s spirits.