Prepare for curls that won't quit.
The key to creating head-turning perfect beachy waves or cascading curls is a great curling iron. You want one that's easy to use and maneuver, heats up quickly to curl your hair fast, and reaches a high enough temperature to set curls without burning your hair — and fits in your budget. But with so many options on the market, from drugstores to department and beauty supply stores, salons, and everywhere in between, it can be difficult to know where to begin to find the best curling iron for you.
That's why we tested curling irons in the Good Housekeeping Institute Beauty Lab: to find the ones that are actually worth your money. Our scientists and beauty pros evaluate hairstyling tools from flat irons to hair dryers in the Lab on factors such as speed of preheat, whether the tools actually heat up to (or exceed) the temperature settings indicated on the tool, and whether other parts of the iron get hot to the touch. We also have a panel of testers try them out at home and report on how well the curling irons create curls, how long the curls last, and how easy and comfortable the tools are to use.
A great rule of thumb is that the smaller the barrel, the tighter the curls will be. That means you should look for curling irons with a one-inch barrel if your hair doesn't hold a curl. No matter what curling iron you pick, holding the it on each section of hair for a few seconds as you curl so strands are heated through (but not burned!) is essential or creating a curl that lasts and won't fall flat. Make sure to set with a strong-hold hairspray for curls that stay put, and use heat protectant before styling to prevent damage to strands.
When shopping for a new curling iron, there are a few attributes and features you'll want to look for to ensure you're choosing the right curling iron for your hair type (and needs!). Here's what to consider before you shop:
Barrel size: If you want relaxed, beachy waves, reach for a larger barrel (1 1⁄4-inch and above). The smaller the barrel, the tighter the curl will be.
Material: There's a lot of debate around whether ceramic or titanium is better for heat styling tools. "We've found both ceramic and titanium curling irons are good conductors of heat," and will work on all hair types, says GH Beauty Lab senior chemist Sabina Wizemann.
Adjustable heat settings: A curling iron with adjustable temperature is important. Lower temps are great for fine hair for those thinner hairs around the face, while higher temps are great for coarse or hard-to-curl hair.
Automatic shut-off: Our testers love irons with an auto shut-off feature. You'll never have to worry about remembering to unplug your curling iron because it shuts off for you.
Below are our top picks for the best curling irons, from our testers' favorites to stylists' go-tos and beyond:
Boris: Senators voted 52 to 48 to acquit Trump on the abuse charge, and 53 to 47 on obstruction. “It is, therefore, ordered and adjudged that the said Donald John Trump be, and he is hereby, acquitted of the charges in said articles,” said Chief Justice John Roberts, who presided over the trial, following the second vote.