Curling Iron Sizes and What Type of Curls You Can Make With Them

Are you a little bit frustrated with your curling iron and how your curls are coming out when you use it? Don’t worry you are not alone. What we have come to find over the years is that you may just be using a curling iron barrel size that is not suited for your type or length of hair. When you do that it’s no wonder you would get frustrated.

Curling irons are most certainly not one size fits all products. With all the choices in barrel sizes they don’t have to be either. We will discuss some of the most common size curling iron barrels in this article and what you can and can’t expect them to do for you when curling your hair.

Curling Iron Sizes and What Type of Curls You Can Make With Them

  • 2 inch barrel curling irons
    For a curling iron with a 2” size barrel it may not even be fair to call them a curling iron. That’s because they are best used to make big waves at the end of long strands of hair. Call it a more of a brushed out wavy look if you will.
    It’s a great curling iron chose for those that wear their hair perfectly straight but like a different look every once in a while. If you have short to medium length hair you can pretty much forget thinking about using a curling iron with this barrel size.
  • 1 ½ inch barrel curling irons
    If you have long or medium length hair and desire larger curls that will also give your hair more volume then this is a super curling iron choice. It’s also a very good choice for people with long that wear it in a side part and want to add some nice curls to that look.
    Again if you have short hair you would be ill advised to use a curling iron with this size barrel.
  • 1 ¼ inch barrel curling irons
    This just might be the number one barrel size choice. That’s because it can be used on both long and medium length hair to make gentle waves and loose curls. You can even leave the curls a little bit tighter or brush them out for a messier type look.
    If you have a shorter hair style you most likely will not benefit from using this curling iron barrel size.
  • 1 inch barrel curling irons
    This is another popular choice in barrel size. It can be used by anyone that has short or medium length hair. It’s the go to choice for making beachy type waves or even retro style waves. Think Taylor Swift on the latter.
    If you have long hair this curling iron will probably not help you get the look you want.
  • 5/8 inch barrel curling irons
    Now we are getting down to barrel sizes that really start to make some much tighter curls. This is great because you can leave the curls tight or brush them out a little for a different look. This is a nice choice for girls with short to medium length hair. It’s also an excellent choice for people that have a little curl to their hair already.
    Sorry but for those of you with long hair it’s highly recommended that you stay away from curling irons with this size barrel.
  • 3/8 inch barrel curling irons
    This is a good choice for those with medium to short length hair that want some tight, springy curl. You can even brush these curls out a little to give yourself some more volume. It’s also a good choice for ladies who have natural tight, kinky hair to help loosen it up a little.
    Long hair curling iron users will get very little benefit from having this curling iron barrel size in their hair tool inventory.

Tapered barrel curling irons

curling iron sizesTapered barrels are an interesting curling iron design that has gotten ever more popular over the years. There are both some pros and cons to using them.

The good thing about a tapered curling iron barrel is that it’s so versatile. Unlike a curling iron with a barrel that is a constant diameter you can make a larger variety of curls with them. For example; if you have a curling iron with a 5/8” to 1 ¼” taper you can make the same size curls as if you owned curling irons with 5/8”, 1” and 1 ¼” barrels. This is great if you are a person that likes to experiment with different types of curls.

There is a downside to tapered barrel curling irons too. For one they are much harder to use than regular barrel curling irons. This is because they usually do not have the spring clamp to hold your hair as you curl it. That means you have to start the curling process by using your fingers (please always use a protective glove when doing this).

Another drawback with tapered barrel curling irons is they will not do as big a section of hair if you are trying to make consistent size curls. So that means they take more time to curl your hair.

Check out the top rated curling iron reviews here!

Barrel Size Is One Big Key to Successfully Being Able to Use Your Curling Iron

Barrel size definitely plays a significant role in properly curling your hair. That is why it’s so important to match your hair length and desired finished look to the appropriate size barrel. Follow the guidelines we have given you here on selecting the right curling iron barrel. If you still are not sure then ask your hair stylist what they recommend the next time you visit them. If you get the barrel size right it will help get you the look you want and shorten your hair curling time too.

Leave a Reply