The Best Hair Curlers To Invest In Now, According To Experts

By Charlie Colville

10 months ago

Give these curls a whirl

Fancy a change from stick-straight hair? If you fancy trying out big, bouncy curls, flowing beach waves or tight ringlets, then it might be time to invest in some curlers. We ask the experts what to look out for when shopping, and round up the best hair curlers on the market right now. Let the makeover commence.

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What Is A Hair Curler?

Like straighteners, hair curlers are a heated gadget that can be used to style your hair – in this case, they can curl your locks section by section.

Manual vs Automatic Hair Curlers

When it comes to curling your hair, there are multiple ways to do it – from rollers and ribbons to electronic curlers. With electronic curlers, you can either invest in a manual or automatic device. Domenico Casella, senior stylist at Neville Hair & Beauty, breaks down the differences between the two: ‘A manual hair curler has a hot mobile wand, which you wrap sections of your hair around to create a curl. You typically need to hold it in place for around five to seven seconds, before moving on to the following section.

‘In contrast, an automatic hair curler has a rotating wand that wraps the hair around the heated component for you,’ continues Domenico. ‘It’s a much easier process – and usually quicker too – so I’d highly recommend an automatic curler for those beginning to use hot tools.’

blonde hair

(c) Tim Mossholder, Pexels

Which Brands Are Best?

Ever wondered which brands the pros use? ‘There are so many hair curlers in the market, which can make it quite tough to choose one for yourself,’ says Domenico. ‘For fashion shows and session styling I use BaBylissPRO curling irons, as they’re long-lasting, offer great performance and are quite affordable overall. For at-home use I would recommend the ghd Curve Soft Curl Tong, but the Dyson Air Wrap is also a great option if you struggle to build volume and don’t like an excessive heat.’

How Hot Should Your Curlers Be?

The same rules tend to apply across all heat-styling tools: normal hair can be styled at 180 degrees Celsius, while thicker hair will need a slightly higher temperature of 200 degrees Celsius.

How Often Is It Okay To Curl Your Hair?

As long as you’tr taking the correct precautions beforehand (drying your hair properly before curling, using heat protection spray), then you should be fine to curl your hair once or twice a week. But Domenico warns that you should avoid re-curling: ‘Damage can start if you go over the curls with a heated tool in the days following, as the effect of the heat protector will have dissolved – meaning you expose your hair to extra stress that could cause split ends and heat damage.’

Woman with long hair in field

(c) Rana Sawalha, Unsplash

What Features Should We Look Out For?


Curlers tend to have either ceramic or titanium barrels (the bit which heats up). Most at-home curlers have a ceramic barrel, as these can spread heat more evenly – making them ideal for fine strands. Titanium is predominantly used for pro styling tools and can be used more effectively on thicker hair, as the metal is more durable and can maintain higher temperatures for longer. A third material, tourmaline ceramic, is best suited for those who struggle with frizzy or damaged hair, as the negative ions it emits can react with the positive ones in your hair to smooth out strands.

New Technology

It’s also worth taking a look at what’s new on the market – especially when it comes to the technology. ‘Before you purchase a hair curler, I would check which one has the newest technology,’ suggests Domenico. ‘There are models that can now auto control the temperature based on every different section of hair, or turn the curler off after 30 minutes with auto sleep mode.’ Very handy if you’re one of the many who leave their devices plugged in without realising.

The Best Hair Curlers To Invest In Now

Hiar curler next to matching box

Featured image: Ayo Ogunseinde, Unsplash