Your Definitive Guide To Picking The Right Curling Iron Size

Updated 09/08/17

Whether you’re a veteran with a curling iron or you just break out a barrel on Saturday nights, the myriad of sizes can leave anyone confused. Click through to see which iron to use for loose waves, springy spirals, and more!

If you want smooth strands like Sandra Bullock, try…

If you want to look like you just dropped by your local blow dry bar, but can’t work a round brush to save your life, this is the iron for you. Best for those with longer locks, the 2-inch barrel iron gives hair a subtle bend towards the end that mimics a blowout. We love the Hot Tools Professional Spring Curling Iron ($35).

If you want loose waves like Whitney Port, try…

A 1 ½-inch iron creates a loose, voluminous curl. To achieve a beach-y texture, trade your traditional iron for a wand, like the Sultra Bombshell 1 ½-Inch Rod Curling Iron ($130).

If you want romantic curls like Lily Aldridge, try…

One of the most popular irons, the 1-¼-inch iron can produce a tight or loose wave. For a tighter curl that will last longer, set the hair after curling with hairspray and let it cool before brushing through it.

If you want tousled locks like Taylor Swift, try…

The 1-inch iron, like the Drybary 3-Day Bender 1” Barrel Curling Iron ($125), is universally flattering and a great option for your first curler. The ideal size for medium and shorter styles, it also creates a great soft curl on long hair when brushed through.

If you want to go retro chic like Amanda Seyfried, try…

If you’re looking for corkscrew curls or vintage-style updos, the ¾ inch iron will be your go-to. To mimic Seyfried’s symmetrical style, curl all of your hair in the same direction, either towards or away from your face.

If you want textured waves like Selena Gomez at the Kids Choice Awards, try…

The 5/8-inch curling iron will give you Carrie Bradshaw-esque curls, and will give already curly locks a more uniform look. Be sure to pick up a great mousse to keep your curls intact all day long!

If you want to enhance your natural curls like Beyonce, try…

Having a 3/8-inch iron on hand is a must for those with natural curls. It’s the perfect size to give definition to unruly ringlets after you air dry your locks!

Related Stories