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9 Curling Irons That Turn Fine, Thin Hair Into Bouncy Waves

These won't torch your delicate strands.

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My hair type can best be described as "fine, but a lot of it," which essentially means that my hair rarely can be coaxed into holding a curl longer than an hour. Generally, if I curl my hair, it's kind of like a Cinderella situation—at the stroke of midnight (or, like, an hour after curling my hair), my hair turns back into a metaphorical pumpkin.

If you are similarly afflicted, know that there's hope. First off, choose the right hair products. A heat protectant is especially important since fine hair can be prone to breakage, Dominick Pucciarello, celebrity hairstylist, says. Second, choose the right curling iron. "The biggest issue with fine hair when you curl it is overdoing it and frying your hair," Pucciarello says. "For fine hair, you don't need a curling iron that gets to 450 degrees—that is way too hot and will burn and damage your hair." (Side note: Oops, I've definitely been frying my fine hair in my quest for curls.)

Pucciarello suggests looking for one that's 310 degrees or lower. As for size? It all depends on the look you're going for. "If you want tight curls, go with a small barrel. If you want loose beach waves, go with a bigger barrel," he says. Sounds straightforward enough.

Shop our picks of the best curling irons for fine hair, below.

Best Overall: BaBylissPRO Nano Titanium Spring Curling Iron

This 1.5-inch curling iron effortlessly adds body and wave to fine hair. An adjustable heat setting allows you to set it at the 310 degrees that's the perfect temp for fine hair, and the titanium/ceramic blend of the barrel delivers negative ions that help smooth hair.

Best Budget: Remington Ceramic Pearl Professional Curling Wand

You can control the heat setting of this tapered wand, which, coincidentally, was my curling iron of choice for many years. It's affordable and gets the job done without causing major hair damage. I found that my curls actually lasted longer when using this wand.

Best Budget, Runner-Up: Conair Double Ceramic Curling Iron

Resist the urge to use the turbo heat setting on this rose gold wand—it'll only do more harm than good. Instead keep it at a steady 310 degrees (reiterating because, as a fellow fine-haired girl, my instinct is to crank up the heat to make my curls last longer); the one-inch non-tapered barrel creates pretty, loose waves.

Best for Beginners: Beachwaver Co. Beachwaver PRO Curling Iron

Beachwaver Co. Beachwaver PRO Curling Iron

 Courtesy of Nordstrom

Pucciarello is a fan of the Beachwaver because it's so easy to use. The super-long rotating barrel curls hair at the push of a button (literally, you barely have to do anything), and has an adjustable heat setting so you don't fry your fine hair.

Best Rotating: Drybar The 3-Day Bender Digital Curling Iron

drybar digital curling iron

Courtesy of Drybar

There's a bit of a learning curve with this rotating curling iron, but once you get the hang of it, it quickly transforms even the straightest of fine hair, like this writer's, into bouncy, full curls. It also has ceramic plates so it's gentle on your hair and ionic technology to smooth frizz.

Best Splurge: T3 Whirl Trio Interchangeable Styling Wand

t3 interchangeable styling wand

Courtesy of Nordstrom

Create a variety of styles with this set of interchangeable barrels. There's a tapered barrel for curls, a one-inch barrel for polished waves, and a 1.5-inch barrel for loose, bendy waves. Each barrel is made with tourmaline and ceramic, which basically means they get rid of frizz and make hair super shiny in addition to curling. Plus, you can adjust the heat setting.

Best Ceramic: Hot Tools NanoCeramic Curling Iron

hot tools nanoceramic curling iron

Courtesy of Ulta

A basic 1-inch curling iron that has a clamp, which means it's a bit easier to use right off the bat than some of the wands. It's ceramic, aka less damaging to hair, and the barrel is extra long, which, in my opinion, makes using it simple and quick.

Best for Loose Waves: Bio Ionic Curl Expert Pro Curling Iron

Curl Expert Pro Curling Iron 1"

Courtesy of Sephora

This wand has natural volcanic rock minerals infused in it, which, in addition to sounding cool, also helps hydrate hair while you curl it. It works exceptionally well at creating beach waves on fine hair.

Best for Volume: Revlon Pro Collection Salon Advanced Copper & Ceramic Curling Iron

Pro Collection Salon Advanced 3X Copper Ceramic Curling Iron 1.25''

Courtesy of Ulta

Bouncy curls on fine hair can be a reality with this curling iron. The 1.25-inch barrel heats up in under 30 seconds, and it has sensors that monitor the heat levels to ensure that it's even the entire time. Pretty high-tech for such an affordable option.

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