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The best hair curlers

Not all of us are blessed with long luscious curls, but that’s not to say we can’t achieve this sought after look. Whether you have poker straight hair or just want a bit of extra bounce in your natural wave, investing in a good curling wand can make all the difference. 

But choosing the right one for your hair can prove tricky, as there are a range of different curlers on the market that offer different things and it’s not always easy to know if you’re going to get on with the styling method or if it will adapt to your hair well or not. From tongs to wands and specific stylers, we’ve picked out a wide selection of the best hair curlers to help you achieve your desired curls with ease. 

The most important thing when trying to achieve the curls you want is picking the right barrel size. The bigger the barrel the looser the curl, so for beachy waves and effortless curls, a 1 ½ inch barrel is ideal. For smaller and tighter curls, barrels under 1 inch work most effectively. If you’re completely new to hair styling and cannot decide on the best hair curling iron for you, opt for something straight down the middle at 1 inch so you can play around with different styles. 

Different types of hair will also require different levels of heat in order to achieve a style that lasts, as one of the most common complaints is that curls drop out very quickly after styling. If you’ve got thin hair, it is recommended to keep the temperature fairly low to avoid damage, and try not to apply heat any higher than 300 degrees. Thicker hair has a little more strength but never exceed 400 degrees if you want to keep your hair in the best condition it can be. 

Then there are the different shapes and styles of curling iron. Most commonly, curling irons have a clamp that holds the hair in place while you curl and wands require you to manually guide and hold the hair in place. Some of the best hair curlers can set you back as much as £200, but if you’re looking for something to ease you into the world of hair styling, we’ve picked plenty of options that won’t break the bank and will give you a great introduction into achieving beautiful, bouncy curls!

1. ghd Curve Soft Curl Tong

Never have a bad hair day again with this curling tong

Best for: Soft gentle waves | Cable length: 3m | Weight: 1.04kg | Colour: Black | RRP: £120.00

Reaches 185 degrees
Spring level
A little pricey 

GHD is renowned for its hair stylers and the soft curl tong is no exception. The large barrel is perfect for creating loose, effortless waves on any length of hair. The spring activated barrel helps to create volume and bounce and the high temperature setting is great for locking in your curls all day and night.  

2. Cloud Nine The Waving Wand

Get salon perfected waves with this super smooth barrel

Best for: Bouncy waves | Cable length: 2.6m | Weight: 0.500kg | Colour: Black | RRP: £99.00

Large barrel
Better for long hair 

For that salon quality blow dry look, try the Cloud Nine Waving Wand. Its large barrel works with 3 different temperature settings that allow you to take the best care of your hair when styling. The barrels are also mineral-infused, meaning your hair is left sleek and shiny when finished. The handy kick-stand allows you to rest the wand down when parting hair without the risk of burning the carpet or furniture.  

3. GHD Curve Creative Curl Wand

Create the curls you want with this medium sized barrel wand

Best for: Defined loose curls | Cable length: 3m | Weight: 1.04kg | Colour: Black | RRP: £120.00

Cool tip
Safety stand
Not much different to other GHD Curve 

 This curling wand is great for creating fun and flirty curls for any occasion. This wand creates smaller curls for a super bouncy look. It has a cool tip so it makes it far easy to curl the hair without burning your fingers and a safety stand so you can carefully rest your tongs down while styling the hair. This wand isn’t much different than the other GHD Curve Soft Curl wand, except it works better on longer hair when wanting to achieve a spirally flowing curl. 

4. Lee Stafford Chopstick Hair Wand

A super thin barrel for corkscrew curls

Best for: Corkscrew curls | Cable length: 1.8m | Weight: 0.251kg | Colour: Pink | RRP: £19.99

Ceramic barrel
Quick heat-up
Short cable 

If you want to achieve tight corkscrew curls, then this thin curling wand is the one for you. The Lee Stafford Chopstick Hair wand is only a 7-10mm barrel which allows you to achieve the most defined spiralling curls from root to tip. Ladies with long or thick hair; be prepared to set aside some time to achieve this look as you can only use a small strand of hair around the barrel at a time in order to get the best results. At just under £20.00, this bright pink curling wand is great for ladies with thinner hair who want to add volume and bounce.  

5. T3 Whirl Trio Interchangeable Styling Wand

Free and flowing or tight and swirly; take your pick with this multi-styler

Best for: Multi Curl Options | Cable length: 2.7m | Weight: 1kg | Colour: White | RRP: £199.99

Interchangeable barrels
Looks pretty
Need a lot of hair spray 

For those of you who love to change your style every week, then the T3 Whirl Trio styling wand is perfect for you! You’ll get three different barrel sizes so you can achieve wavy mermaid hair or springy blow-dry curls and anything in between. This wand also looks beautiful with its white barrel and rose gold accents, making it a great gift idea for those hair styling fanatics.  

6. Toni & Guy Style Fix Curler

A lightweight mini styler that’s perfect for packing in your suitcase

Best for: Travel | Cable length: 1.8m | Weight: 0.422kg | Colour: Green | RRP: £29.99

Handbag size
Max temp 210c 
Not great for long hair 

If you want to be able to curl your hair wherever you go, then the Toni & Guy Style Fix Curler is one of the best hair curlers for travel. It is small and compact making it the ideal size to pop in your handbag or suitcase yet has all the power of a full-sized styler. These work best on shorter hair due to the shorter barrel, however they do still do a great job at touching up curls on longer hair when you need a quick boost. 

7. BaByliss Curl Secret

Get long-lasting curls with this unique curling tool

Best for: Long-lasting curls | Cable length: 2.5m | Weight: 1kg | Colour: Pink, Purple Black | RRP: £119.99

Unique curling chamber
3 curl settings
A little tricky to get the hang of 

This unique curling tool has 3 different heat settings which allow you to achieve different types of curls depending on your mood. The curling chamber makes it quick and easy to style your hair with salon perfection and uses auto curl technology to gently heat the hair from all directions for a free-flowing, even curl. This tool locks in the heat for curls that will last all day and night. If you find traditional curling irons and wands tricky to use,  this is a great alternative for effortless curls in no time at all.  

8. BaByliss Diamond Waves Wand

A twisted barrel for natural looking waves

Best for: Natural waves | Cable length: 2.5m | Weight: 0.365kg | Colour: Black | RRP: £30.00

Twisted barrel
5 heat settings
No clamp for the hair 

If you want to create natural looking waves, then the twisted barrel on this BaByliss Diamond Waves Wand will help you achieve a long-lasting glamorous hairstyle with ease. It has 5 heat settings which makes it great for all hair types as you can tailor the temperature to fine or thick hair so that you do not cause any damage. Some people prefer a wand with a clamp to help keep the hair in place, but the grooves in this wand guide the hair into place and only takes a couple of seconds to curl each strand, creating shine as you style. Brush out afterwards if you want to create an even fuller wavy look.