Best Curling Irons, According To Hair Pros: Top 5 Tools Most Recommended by Experts

The new year is coming, meaning a chance for a fresh start! If you’re planning on transforming your hair for the incoming year, you’ll want to be armed with the best curling iron, hair dryer, and other tools of the trade.

Everyone is born with different hair, and all of us end up changing our own locks at one point. Whether you were born with straight, curly, or wavy hair, you’ve likely picked up a tool like a hair dryer, straightener, or curling iron at some point in your life. While the average Gen Xer has only tried six different hairstyles over the years, the average millennial has already tried eight new looks, according to a poll of 1,000 millennial women (ages 25-40) and 1,000 Gen X women (ages 41-56), which asked both groups about how their hairstyles have evolved over time.

The curling iron is not a new invention either, with the first patent for the curling iron obtained by Sir Hiram Maxim dating back to 1866. Women initially used metal tongs heated over an open stove flame. This method was not only dangerous but incredibly damaging to hair.

Nowadays, hairstyle enthusiasts have many more options to choose from, ranging from simple irons to multi-functional styling tools. 

StudyFinds searched for the best curling irons on the market, compiling a list based on the most recommended models across 10 expert websites. Grab one of these highly rated options or share which one you currently use in the comments below!

The List: Best Curling Iron, According to Expert Reviews

1. BabylissPro Nano Titanium Spring Curling Iron

The Babyliss Pro Nano Titanium is a solid choice for anyone with thick or long hair. The iron provides high shine and long-lasting curls due to its wide array of heat settings and titanium and ceramic-coated barrel.

“If you crave a curly look but are concerned about heat damaging your hair, the BabylissPRO Nano is an excellent choice. The barrel is titanium, which allows for even heat distribution. Not only does that make for a better, longer-lasting curl, but it also protects your hair, since infrared heating is much gentler on hair,” writes RealSimple.

Ringing in at $60, the Babyliss isn’t exactly a budget pick but is still considered very affordable for a reliable iron that will last for years and will deliver the same results as pricier picks that may cost up to $200.

“The BabylissPro Nano Titanium Spring Curling Iron is an unbeatable pick for thick hair because of its wide range of heat settings — it can go up to 450 degrees to create long-lasting curls, while the ceramic-coated barrel helps to also maintain shine,” writes InStyle. “Turn to this if you want voluminous, effortless-looking curls. We appreciate that it’s super lightweight and has a swivel chord, too.”

2. T3 SinglePass Curl Professional Curling Iron

For those who are looking for softer, beachy waves, the T3 SinglePass can help you achieve a less-polished finish.

“If you’re looking for an iron that can help you achieve that perfectly imperfect beach wave, look no further than the T3 SinglePass Ceramic Curling Iron. The 1.25-inch barrel size offered our testers a less defined, more relaxed, and more elongated finish in their curls,” writes Byrdie.

The ceramic barrel of the T3 is a huge plus for frizzy or heat-damaged hair, and the iron’s light weight makes it easy to grip and work with.

“One of our favorite features is its 5-heat settings (260-410) making it great for all hair types. It also has Auto World Voltage which is great for work travels — it turns off after one hour, has a cool tip to prevent burns, and is super user friendly,” writes Variety.

3. Dyson Airwrap Multi-Styler

The Dyson AirWrap is a cult favorite among those who have tried it (and can afford the $600 price tag). The styler doesn’t quite qualify as a curling iron, as it uses air and a lower level of heat to produce a curl.

“Dyson’s Airwrap and Supersonic hair dryer were game-changers for a reason and their brand new Multi Styler took it to the next level. Instead of manually wrapping your hair around a barrel or having the barrel rotate, this tool uses air to gently pull the section around the barrel,” writes Women’s Wear Daily.

The AirWrap has an intelligent heat control that measures air temperature more than 40 times a second to prevent heat damage while you style.

“This tool blows out air that sucks and wraps your hair around it for you so you don’t have to use your other hand at all. And it doesn’t get super hot, either, which is better for your hair, writes Cosmopolitan. “Basically, this is the best curling iron for someone who’s given up on all the others and wants something totally different.”

4. Kristin Ess Curling Iron

The Kristin Ess line is loved by hairstylists and beginners alike due to pre-programmed temperature settings you can select based on hair type and a short heat-up time.

“One of our favorite details about this budget curling iron is how well the clamp grips. I was able to grab the thinnest, tiniest hairs along my temples that usually slide out of other models’ clamps. This one keeps hair taut while I’m twisting the iron around and around, without creating a crease,” writes Forbes.

The iron itself is easy to maneuver, with a 9-foot swiveling cord and a clip that can gran even the smallest, thinnest hairs.

“The Kristin Ess Curling Iron earned itself an Allure Best of Beauty Award in 2021 because it immediately became one of our favorite options for curling shorter hair — though longer hair will enjoy some of its best days with its help, too,” writes Allure.

5. GHD Curve Classic Curl

The GHD is a classic option for those who want a consistent curl from root to end without heat damage. 

“The clear favorite among the hairstylists we polled for this story was a one-inch curling iron from GHD. Most mentioned how intuitive this iron is at minimizing hair damage — it heats up to exactly 365 degrees. The material allows heat to distribute evenly, creating the perfect wave without damaging your hair,” writes NY Mag.

The intuitive temperature control is loved by hairstylists for its ability to work on colored or damaged hair without smoking or burning.

“Those with color-treated hair should look to the GHD Classic Curl—a model designed to intensify hair color and create curls that last,” writes Vogue. “The ceramic iron uses the brand’s Tri-zone technology to guarantee the perfect curling temperature of 365 degrees Fahrenheit, which celebrity hairstylist Graham Nation says ‘makes the hair easy to manipulate without overheating the hair and maintain it across the entire barrel.”


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Note: This article was not paid for nor sponsored. StudyFinds is not connected to nor partnered with any of the brands mentioned. Listed prices for products may correspond to when article was published.

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