To say that one has fine or thin hair refers to its texture or diameter. Most women simply know whether their hair is fine or thick. A simple and unscientific test is to take a single strand of hair and rub it between your fingers. If you don’t feel it, your hair is fine. If you feel it, your hair is medium. If it feels coarse, you have thick hair.
Women who have fine or thin hair sometimes see celebrities or models with thick looking hair and feel that their hair is substandard and wonder why they were passed over in the “hair department.” First of all, there are advantages to having fine hair.
You don’t need as much product as those with thick hair do, your hair is naturally smooth and silky, and it reacts better to heat styling. Besides, there are many tricks a fine haired person can use to make their hair look thicker, so it’s possible one of those celebrities or models simply used one of them. You can use one, too.
- Types of Curling Iron
- Best Curling Iron for Fine Hair
- 1. Beachwaver Co. S1 Curling Iron
- 2. CI96Z1 Silk Ceramic Elliptical Waving Wand
- 3. xtava 5 in 1 Professional Curling Wand and Curling Iron Set
- 4. T3 Twirl Convertible Curling Iron with Interchangeable Clip Barrel
- 5. xtava It Oval Hair Curling Wand ¾ to 1¼ Inch
- 6. Lee Stafford Chopstick Styler Curling Wand/Iron
- 7. Kiss Products Professional Instawave Pink Automatic Hair Curler
- Curling Iron vs Curling Wand
- A Bit of History
- Hair Curling Tips
- How to Make Fine Hair Look Thicker
- Love Your Curling Iron
Curling Iron Buying Guidelines
Here are some guidelines or tips that might help you make a decision when you are purchasing a curling iron or curling rod:
You may have noted that different measurements were noted among the curling irons. Such referred to barrel circumferences. Some can be very small (like the Kiss Products Professional Instawave Pink Automatic Hair Curler) and some can be as large as 2 inches.
The lower the number (3/8 inch or 5/8 inch) the tighter the curl, and the higher the number (1½ inch or 2 inch), the looser the curl or wave. If you’re not sure what you want, a one inch curling iron is a safe choice. Curling wands have tapered 3/8 inch irons or 5/8 inch irons, so you can adjust the size curl according to how you wrap your hair.
If you have short hair, a small barreled curling iron or curling wand might work best for you. Any larger and you be constantly frustrated trying to get strands around the wand.
A digital temperature display is optimal. You should be able to know how much heat you’re putting on your hair. Curling irons can get very hot and can easily burn and damage your hair. If you have fine or thin hair, use a low setting or below 200 degrees. If you have curly or coarse hair, you can go up to 300 degrees. If you have fine hair and set your curling iron at 200 degrees and think you need to go higher, that’s fine, but never go above 400 degrees. That’s just too hot.
One such way is to add curls or waves with a curling iron.
Curling Iron and Wand Parts
Today’s commercial curling irons and curling wands are relatively simple tool with parts that are easy to figure out and understand:
- handle: this is, of course, what you hold and what protects your hands from being burnt. You want a handle that fits comfortably in your hand and that protects you.
- clamp: this holds your hair in place while curling takes place. The clamp distinguishes the curling iron from the curling wand.
- cord: this, of course, provides power. You want a cord that’s long enough with which to work. Usually, the longer the better. Those that swivel causes less strain and wrist pain.
- barrel (or rod): this is really the most important part of the curling iron. It holds the heating element and is actually what curls your hair.
Types of Curling Iron
Barrel material determines what the type of curling iron and curling wand. Here are the types of curling irons most professionals and lay people use:
- Ceramic: most curling irons are ceramic. They release negative ions that work with hair’s positive ions and leave hair’s oil and moisture balance undisturbed. These types of curling irons also let users control the temperature setting to further ensure that the curling iron doesn’t damage their hair. These curling irons lessen the frizz heat causes, smooth hair, and are suitable for short, long, and processed hair.
- Titanium: this is an organic substance that is naturally strong and lightweight. It absorbs heat quickly, becomes hot fast, stays hot, distributes heat evenly, and doesn’t stick. Thick hair requires extra heat to effectively curl, so those with thick hair will like titanium curling irons. Even so, the high heat can still be damaging, so users should use a protective spray when curling. On the other hand, the high heat will dry out and damage thin hair. So those with fine or thin hair should stay away from titanium curling irons.
- Tourmaline: this is a relatively new substance in curling irons. Tourmaline, like ceramic, emits negatively charged ions and works with hair’s positive ions. Tourmaline, though, creates more than five times more negative ions, which leads to a neutral charge and leaves hair glossier than ceramic curling irons.
Ceramic costs less than tourmaline, so you’ll find more ceramic curling irons and those that are ceramic and tourmaline. The ceramic and tourmaline cost more, but they are better quality.
Best Curling Iron for Fine Hair
There are plenty of curling irons and curling wands. Here are reviews on the ones most recommended for fine hair (in random order):
1. Beachwaver Co. S1 Curling Iron
Sarah Potempa, who styled many celebrities, founded Beachwaver in 2010 and designed the very first rotating curling iron. This rotating curling iron forms three different curls: glam waves, loose curls, and beachy waves. It has a fast/slow switch, digital temperature clock, automatic shut-off, and ergonomic design. Independent reviewers and the majority of purchasers alike gave it high marks. It worked on those who had hair that was usually hard to curl. While costly, those who liked it felt it was worth the investment. Those with thick hair, however, said that it didn’t work well on them and some felt it took in too little hair.
2. CI96Z1 Silk Ceramic Elliptical Waving Wand
This one inch, ceramic wand is ready in thirty seconds and shuts off automatically after one hour. It has digital display, a swivel cord, automatic shut-off, and comes with a protective glove. It’s also affordable. It creates medium sized curls and works well on most hair types. Independent reviewers and most users rated it highly. Those who didn’t like it mostly complained about having to manually wrap hair around the barrel.
3. xtava 5 in 1 Professional Curling Wand and Curling Iron Set
This is both a curling iron and a curling wand. It has interchangeable ceramic and tourmaline barrels and you can select from a range of loose curls and beachy waves. It has automatic shut-off, digital display, and comes with a heat resistant glove. You get a lot for the price. Independent reviewers and the majority of users praised this curling wand.
4. T3 Twirl Convertible Curling Iron with Interchangeable Clip Barrel
This 1.25” tourmaline and ceramic, lightweight curling iron features a swivel cord, automatic shut-off, and an interchangeable barrel, which you can switch for different sizes. It’s white and gold and is pretty, which many users appreciated. Most purchasers were pleased with their purchase of this curling iron. A few said it did not work as expected.
5. xtava It Oval Hair Curling Wand ¾ to 1¼ Inch
This is a curling wand only (the xtava above is an interchangeable device). The tapered wand allows for the curl variation. It has a swivel cord, protective glove, digital display, a travel case, and automatic shut-off. It’s reasonably priced and easy to use. Most users gave it high ratings. Those who had trouble using curling irons and curling wands in the past were able to use this curling wand and those whose hair never took to curls had success with this tool.
6. Lee Stafford Chopstick Styler Curling Wand/Iron
while “iron” is in the title, the description frequently referred to it as a wand and further noted that it was the best selling “curling wand” in the United Kingdom. It also looked more like a wand. It produces tight, corkscrew curls. It gets very hot, yet comes with a protective glove and has an extra long swivel cord. The majority of users loved how it gave them a head full of curls. Some had hard to curl hair and never had curls prior.
7. Kiss Products Professional Instawave Pink Automatic Hair Curler
This reasonably priced, one inch ceramic curling iron turns in both directions. Because the user does not have to invert their arm to use it, it’s advertised as the device for those who can’t use standard curling irons and wands. It has a swivel cord, hanging loop, automatic shut-off, beeps when the curl is done, and comes with a traveling case for easy storage and packing. Most users liked the larger, bouncy curls the device provided and how easy it was to use. Some could not work it.
Curling Iron vs Curling Wand
As mentioned, the curling iron utilizes a clamp to hold hair. A wand has no clamp. You turn a curling iron in order to wrap your hair around it. You physically wrap the hair around the curling wand. Both tools produce good results. The curling iron generally produces curls that are more defined and keep their shape. The curling wand produces curls that more natural and loose. Here are a few more differences online users noted:
- curling wand commonly work better for people with long hair
- curling wand require little heating time and can be used almost immediately
- curling wand works faster
- curling wand make various sized curls
- a curling wand’s curls are usually better for casual outings
- you mostly hold a curling wand upside down
- curling irons leave your hair smooth and shiny
- a curling iron’s curls are typically more sophisticated
- a curling iron’s curls are for the office and special events
- curling iron doesn’t stress your arms
- you hold a curling iron right side up
A Bit of History
“Curling irons come with a warning tag that says for external use only.
Who made that necessary?”
Just a little humor to get things started.
The concept of curling hair is hardly new. Humans have been doing it for a long time. A very long time. And, curling irons aren’t really a recent invention. During ancient Babylonian and Assyrian times, men heated used iron rods over to curl their beards and hair. That was roughly six thousand years ago.
At around 300 B.C., Persian and Greek men continued to crimp and curl their hair in the same fashion. The Greek’s believed curls represented perfection, good looks, and affluence. Their gods and sculptures mostly had curly hair. Around the same time, Egyptian noblemen wore curly-haired wigs styled with similar tools.
While assorted curling hair methods continue through history, the curling iron isn’t really mentioned again for another few centuries. In the late nineteenth century, Hiram Maxim obtains a patent for the curling iron. He usually filed patents for weapons, including the machine gun. How and why he developed the curling iron is unknown.
Right before the twentieth century, Marcel Grateau and Maurice Lentheric utilized heated drying and curling techniques they called Marcel Waves, which remains popular through the 1930s. Grateau went on to develop more curling tools throughout the early twentieth century. It is unknown whether Marcel and Grateau used Maxim’s patent or created a totally separate device. Grateau, however, is considered a hair styling icon.
Also around the mid twentieth century Rene Lelievre and Roger Lemoine, used electricity to head up wands for hair curling (they are similar to curling irons, but don’t have clamps).
Professional hairstylists still use tools similar to the ones Grateau, Lentheric, Lelievre, and Lemoine developed.
Hair Curling Tips
Before you use any of these tools, make sure your hair is completely dry. You certainly don’t want your hair to sizzle. Such is very damaging. Always apply or spray on heat protectant beforehand. It will, as its name says, protect your hair, and also help the curl turn out nice. Curl for around ten seconds. Any longer is too much.
Using Curling Irons
It takes practice to become skilled at using a curling iron. Be patient with yourself. There’s plenty of advice out there on the Internet and lots of video tutorials. Some tips will work and others might confuse you. Don’t worry too much about it. Take your time and practice and see what works for you. Within a short time, you’ll figure it all out and become a pro at doing your own hair. Here are a few tips to help you along the way:
- ponytail trick: for quick, fabulous waves, put your hair in a high ponytail and curl in ½ inch sections. When done, let down your ponytail and enjoy your gorgeous waves.
- beachy waves: leave the ends out of the barrel when curling. This will leave keep them straight and give your curls a bohemian, beachy look.
- always start with the clip (metal stand part) positioned away form your face. You’ll have more control and wind up with a more natural curl. Holding the iron horizontally will create small, bouncy curls. Hold it vertically for loose curls. Hold diagonally for in-between curls.
Using Curling Wands
The same advice goes for curling wands. The Internet also has lots of advice and tutorials on how to use a curling wand. Again, it will take a bit of time and practice to figure out how to best use one. To reiterate, be patient and take your time. You will eventually master the curling wand, too. Here are a few tips to help you along the way:
- For natural looking waves, hold the curling wand with the tip facing downward. Start wrapping hair at the base and finish in the same area.
- For voluminous curls, wrap hair away from your face (clockwise on your right side; counter clockwise on your left)
- Regardless of which tool you use, brush out your curls when you are through.
How to Make Fine Hair Look Thicker
In addition to curling and adding texture, here are a few extra tips that will make your fine hair look thicker:
- Conditioner moisturizes your hair and helps keep it looking healthy, but sometimes it weighs down fine hair and makes it too soft. Condition it before you shampoo. Such will provide necessary moisture without the unwanted weight.
- Tease your hair at the roots with a fine tooth comb, then apply hair spray. It will give you volume at the roots.
- Part your hair on the side and flip it over, rather than part it in the middle. Such will give your hair more volume.
- Get a haircut with layers. It gives it a more textured appearance.
Love Your Curling Iron
Again, once you get used to using your curling iron and/or curling wand, you’ll love them so much, you’ll wonder how you ever got along without them. You’ll become very skilled at using them and will get whatever you need done quickly and easily.
One last piece of advice: invest in a quality product. Saving money is great, but you certainly don’t want a device that will breakdown on you after a few months. You’ll only have to spend more money on a new one when you could have just purchased a better quality one from the start.