Curling IronA curling iron is a device that curls a woman's hair using a great amount of heat. The curling iron is one of the best devices used by women to make their hair curly. Speaking about the curling iron, it is the simplest and easiest method. With a curling iron, you can sport a new curly hairstyle within few minutes. One thing to be taken care of while using curling iron is, the correct temperature setting. While you may not get desired results on low temperature, very high temperature may actually damage your hair. Many women do not follow proper ironing techniques which often results in damage to hair or undesirable results.
Curling irons are much used hair accessory that can give you those sexy wavy curls in no time. Moreover they are simple to use, just plug in the iron, heat them and fashion your hair just the way you like it. Learning the proper technique of using curling irons can help avoid the damage done to the hair by this heat styling tool. So if you are bored of your straight hair and want to add a touch of glamor to your locks with some luscious curls, then here is a guide on how to use a curling iron to create dramatic looks without having to spend a fortune on professional treatments.
Choosing the Right Iron
Barrel Sizes and Types of Hairstyles
• 3/8 inch - Used on short, thin hair. Can get smooth, no-frizz curls. Works great on short bangs.
Hairstyles: corkscrews, wisps & tendrils.
• 5/8 inch - Used on short & medium, fine hair. Can get smooth, no-frizz curls. Works great on short bangs.
Hairstyles: flips & medium wavy hair.
• 3/4 inch - Used on different hair lengths. Can get medium wavy, no-frizz curls. Works great for smooth, bouncing curls.
• 1 inch - Used on different hair lengths. Can get soft, loose curls.
Hairstyles: no frizz, soft waves.
• 1 1/4 inch - Used on medium & long hair. Can get big, loose curls. Works great for large waves.
Hairstyles: voluminous long wavy hair.
• 1 1/2 inch - Used for long hair. Can get big, loose curls. Works great for large waves.
Hairstyles: big, large curls.
• 2 inch - Used on long hair. Can get large, bouncy curls. Works great for loose waves.
Hairstyles: voluminous lift.
These were all the iron sizes for short, long, curly, and straight hairstyle; and everything in the middle. As for the numerous brands there are available.Just by choosing from different sizes is not enough. Curly hair care is essential if you want to keep the locks looking beautiful, healthy, and fabulous.
Curling Iron Materials:
• There are various kinds of irons: metal plated curling irons, ceramic curling irons and the newest technology, tourmaline ceramic curling irons.
• We do not recommend metal plated curling irons because they essentially cook your hair, which will cause heat damage over the long run and could leave you with brittle, split, unmanageable hair - especially if you curl regularly.
• Ceramic and tourmaline ceramic curling irons produce gentler, more controlled heat. This is in part because of the nature of ceramic, which is able to produce radiant rather than direct heat. It's also because these materials, when heated, generate negative ions - unlike positive ions produced by metal.
• Positive ions cause the cuticle covering of the hair shaft to open, causing frizz and dullness and making hair susceptible to humidity. Negative ions actually seal the hair shaft, "trapping" moisture, which protects your hair from the heat of the iron.
How to Curl Your Hair with a Curling Iron
1. Selecting the Curling Iron
The choice of the curling iron depends on the size of the curls that you want and whether you want waves and crimps as well. Your best option in this case would be to buy a curling iron that has a range of barrel sizes and attachments. For example, for the fine curly hair, you would need a smaller barrel size of around .75 inch, while natural voluminous curls require an 1 inch barrel size. In addition to this, you need to check for heat settings, safety features such as automatic shutoff, ready indicator light, and safety grip tip. Certain curling irons have additional features like steam settings to help lock in curls and cordless types of irons that run on rechargeable batteries.
2. Curling Iron Material
This is an important feature that needs to be kept in mind while purchasing a curling iron. The irons usually have a range of barrel plating, including ceramic, metal and chrome plating. The most commonly used and also the least expensive one is the chrome plated curling iron. Metal plated irons are best avoided as they can damage the hair and make it coarse and brittle. Ceramic plated irons are your best bet as they can seal hair cuticles for a smooth, shiny finish.
3. Read User Guidelines
First go through the user guidelines provided along with the equipment. Even though it is easy to handle curling iron, it is important that you understand the unit before using it for hair curling. Also take a note of the barrels and attachments, so that you can give fabulous curls of various sizes. Once you are thorough with the manual, you can proceed with styling your hair by using the curling iron.
4. Prepare Your Hair for Curling
It is recommended to wash your hair thoroughly before curling them. You may use a clarifying shampoo to get rid of any product build up from hair. Use a deep conditioner to retain the moisture in hair. Conditioning your hair helps them to trap the nutrients. After washing your hair, make sure you let them dry before treating with a curling iron. Otherwise, your hair will flatten upon drying. Also, comb your hair properly to loosen any tangles. For better curling, you can apply curl enhancer products that are available in the market. Some of these hair care products are formulated for using in wet hair, while you will find others that are to be applied on dry hair.
5. Choose Appropriate Barrel Size
A curling iron comes in barrels of different sizes. Depending upon the type of curls you wish to get, you can choose any of the following barrels.
1. If you wish to go for small springy curls go for a 0.75 inch barrel.
2. If you wish to go for simple, natural curls use a curling iron of barrel size 1 inch.
3. If you wish to generate voluminous, cascading curls, use a curling iron with a large barrel size of 1.5 - 2 inch.
6. Choose Appropriate Heat Setting
Plug in the curling iron and turn on the switch. Allow the iron to heat up till the desired temperature; you can check the user manual for reference of temperature levels. Coarse, stubborn, hair need to be curled at higher temperatures than thin, soft hair. A temperature setting of 400° F is appropriate for such hair. Thin, soft hair can tolerate heat setting between 280° F to 300° F. If you have colored your hair, go for even lesser temperature settings.
7. Start Curling Your Hair
Divide your hair in several sections that are about 1 - 2 inch wide. You can use hair clips to hold the sections in place. Take hold of a hair section and place in the curling iron. In case you want to curl the whole length, start from the part that is near to the roots and slide the unit down. Accordingly, you can place the tip portion, if you prefer to have curls on the tips only.
Depending upon whether you like inward curls or outward curls, you can wind hair around the curling iron in a particular orientation. Continue to wrap hair till the tip (for whole length curling) and hold the curling iron for about 10 seconds. Gently unwind the hair from the curling iron. By following these similar steps, you can start curling the next section and continue, until all the hair sections are curled. Spray and comb the curled hair gently to create volume.
• Choose a curling iron with different temperature settings. There are several reasons this is a wise choice.
• Your iron needs to be hotter to effectively style harder-to-manage hair. Hair that's coarse or thick needs to be curled at high temperatures to hold those curls - around 400 degrees F.
• Normal hair can be curled at the mid range of curling iron temperatures. We recommend that you try lower temperatures first (around 280-300) and only adjust up if your curls don't hold up to your liking.
• Thin, fine hair or hair that is permed, colored or damaged should be curled at lower heat settings.
• When touching up curls, set your iron to a lower heat and avoid unnecessarily heating your hair.
• Best of all with a variable temperature curling iron, you can experiment with different settings. We recommend that you test curls from the lowest temperature up, and use as your standard temperature the lowest that gives you good results.
Other Things to Look For:
• An iron with features like a specialized handle, rolling barrel or swivel cord will be more comfortable to use for long periods, something to consider if you curl your whole head often!
• Another great feature is an indicator light, standard on most of today's curling irons. This just tells you when your iron is heated and ready to use
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