Best Curling Iron For Beachy Waves In 2017
Some people are born with thick, luscious hair that kinks and curls just right to produce luxurious waves. However, most of us run our hair through the wringer in a near futile attempt to achieve that of-so-desired look.
Thankfully, there are a few products out there that can help you get stunning waves if your natural does not want to cooperate. For this, we bring you the five best curling irons for beachy waves.
Moreover, we also provide a buyer’s guide, so you know what to look for in the curling iron that is right for you.
A curling iron’s power will be measured in watts. Obviously, the more the watts, the more powerful the curling iron--but judging a curling iron by this metric can be a bit misgiving. Specifically, you may not necessarily need the most powerful curling iron.
For instance, unless you have exceptionally thick hair, you are unlikely to require a curling iron that puts out the most wattage.
Likewise, if you have extra fine hair, exceptionally powerful curling irons risk burning it more easily. To make matters worse, few curling irons advertise their wattage.
Instead, curling irons prefer to rely on maximum temperature settings as an indicator of power. However, this too is rife with confusion considering that hair simply burns beyond a certain point--even if it is just on the micro scale.
As such, most brands will limit their maximum temperature around 400 degrees. Unfortunately, that does not tell you how many watts the heating element uses--which can be an indication of its potential longevity and efficiency.
More important than a curling iron’s power, or maximum temperature, is its temperature consistency. It does little good to go out and get a curling iron that provides the optimum temperature setting if it cannot do so consistently. Moreover, the way that curling irons can be inconsistent is itself not always consistent.
For instance, one way that a curling iron’s temperature can shift is quite literally across the entire heating element.
Depending on the hair’s thickness or moisture level, the curling iron might dip for moments before getting back to temperature.
This can leave your curls a bit uneven which is something you are not likely to even notice until well after you have left your house or stylist.
The second way a curling iron can produce inconsistent temperature is along the barrel. Essentially, different parts of the barrel will be different temperatures.
Much like with the previous example, this inconsistency issue can lead to uneven curls or waves. However, the first example will produce uneven curls vertically, while the second example is more liable to make uneven curls horizontally.
It may come as a surprise, but the size of the curling iron’s barrel is one of the most important factors for beachy waves.
Keep in mind, the barrel size is not necessarily the most important factor for curling irons in general, but if you are looking to achieve a specific style, then the size of the barrel is paramount.
It is also important to note that just because a curling iron has the right sized barrel does not mean that you are automatically guaranteed beachy waves. All of the other factors in this list work to determine the overall effectiveness of the curling iron.
Still, there is no getting around the fact that the wrong sized barrel will simply limit you from getting your desired look. For beachy waves, your curling iron’s barrel should ideally be 1 ¼”.
Keep in mind, you can fudge the barrel size ¼” either direction if you know what you are doing, but that requires more technique than everyone might have.
Of course, depending on your hair’s length and type, the barrel size may be a bit more or less forgiving. For example, people with exceptionally long or thick hair will have little trouble getting beachy waves with a 1 ½” barrel.
However, if your hair is thinner or you still want to achieve a short waved look, you might do better with a 1” barrel.
Depending on what the curling iron is made out of it will conduct heat better or worse than other materials and may also provide a degree of protection from hotter temperatures for your hair.
Cheaper made curling irons will often use steel and similar alloys which are not great at conducting heat consistently and pose a much higher risk of burning or damaging your hair.
Of the better-made curling irons, the two materials favored most are titanium and ceramic. Tourmaline may also be used, though that material is more often used to coat the curling iron rather than be the primary component material.
Between titanium and ceramic, which is better for you will come more down to your hair type than anything else--though all three share one of their primary benefits.
Titanium, like steel, can reach exceedingly hot temperatures extremely quickly.
However, unlike steel, titanium distributes the heat more evenly and releases negative ions which work to seal moisture into the hair and give it a silky smooth shine. Still, titanium is best for people with thick hair as those with fine hair may find it burns.
Ceramic gives off even more negative ions when compared to titanium. Moreover, ceramic can control hotter temperatures better. However, this also means that the heat may not conduct quite as well, so people with thicker hair may need to take longer using the curling iron.
Tourmaline is similar to ceramic in its structure and function. This material produces the most negative ions so that it will provide the shiniest hair of the three materials.
However, tourmaline is also much more brittle than the other two and can flake or chip off after extended use--hence why it is used as a coating and not the base material.
Our first curling iron, the T3 Whirl, is a professional grade curling iron. Keep in mind, you may or may not require a professional grade curling iron at home, so you should consider carefully ahead of time what your specific styling needs are before ponying up the cash for this curling iron.
And ponying up you will have to, as this is the most expensive curling iron on our list. However, it also features some qualities that you will not find in other products.
First, this curling iron features the coveted combination of ceramic and tourmaline. This allows the heat to conduct evenly while also providing plenty of negative ions, so your hair is left silky smooth after styling.
However, unlike the other products on our list, this is the only curling iron to feature infrared heat, a much safer type of heat that is less likely to burn your hair.
This is made even more effective by the T3 only offering 5 temperature settings--which is the second most on our list, but still not as good as purely incremental temperature control.
As the name suggests, the T3 offers three different attachments depending on what type of style you want to wear that day. Of course, if you are looking for beachy waves, then you will want to use either the 1 ¼” to ¾” tapered barrel or the 1 ½” straight barrel
If you are looking for a step down in investment but are unwilling to settle for a similar step down in performance, the Beachwaver may be just the curling iron you are looking for. While it does not offer the same degree of versatility as the T3, it offers just as professional a quality of product with a few advantages of its own.
First, much like the T3, the Beachwaver is made from ceramic that is then coated in tourmaline to provide an abundance of moisture sealing negative ions.
Unfortunately, the Beachwaver cannot boast the infrared heating, but it does go a step further to ensure that the heat conducted is even and consistent.
The Beachwaver is coated not only in tourmaline but gold as well. The gold dust coating embedded in the tourmaline allows the heat an even distribution while preventing any flare ups or rapid cool downs.
Another interesting feature of the Beachwaver is its rotating barrel. With the touch of a button, the barrel of this curling iron will rotate to give you the perfect curls.
However, it does bear mentioning that it may take a little while before you can get the hang of the rotating barrel, so be prepared to practice at your leisure before you use it before work or going out.
Conair is a brand that has developed a reputation over the years for manufacturing high-end styling products.
Unfortunately, the past couple decades have seen that reputation tarnish a bit as the brand has moved from professional grade salon markets to the consumer grade market. However, Conair has made the transition as gracefully as possible and still manages to shine above most of its other consumer grade competitors.
The You Waves is another curling iron on our list that makes use of ceramic and tourmaline--though, this product comes at a fraction of the price as the previous two curling irons. Moreover, the Conair provides two different barrels, so you have the option of changing it up when you want and are not simply stuck with beachy waves.
Still, there are a few features that could be improved upon. First, this curling iron will take some practice. For one, both of the barrels are graduated. This means you need to hold your hair in place or it will slide right off.
Unfortunately, the Conair does not feature cool tips, so using a protective glove, while awkward, is necessary to prevent potential burns.
If you are looking for a curling iron that can do it all but is a bit squeamish about spending well over $100 to do so, then the Parwin may be the right compromise to fill all of your needs without emptying your bank account.
As should almost be expected of a curling iron on a “best” list, this product uses ceramic, and tourmaline to both provide even conduction of heat as well as reinforce your hair with negative ions.
Moreover, this curling iron provides five different attachments--making use of the most popular styles of curling iron barrel available today--so you have the freedom to style your hair any way you choose, using any technique you choose. However, you can not get everything you want at a discounted price, and the Parwin does have some limitations.
First and foremost among them, the Parwin does not provide the option to change the temperature settings. This may not otherwise be a problem except the maximum, and only, temperature setting for the Parwin is 430 degrees. This temperature may be too hot for people with fine hair and could cause micro burns.
Another issue with the Parwin is the lengths of the barrels. The barrel’s thicknesses come in a variety of sizes, including 1 ¼” to 1 ½” for beachy waves. Unfortunately, the barrels a bit on the shorter end which will limit their usefulness for extremely long hair and will increase the curling time for all lengths of hair.
Our final product comes from Bed Head. Not truly known for salon quality or professional grade, bed head serves a number of niche markets with their product lines often tailored to exceedingly specific types of hair. Granted, they have a line for every type of hair, but it can be confusing to make sure the products you purchase from this brand are right for you.
With the Wave Artist Deep Waver, this trend continues as not every person will find this curling iron to their liking. The primary issue with the Bed Head is its size. For one, the curling iron itself is exceptionally large. This size adds a significant amount of weight compared to other curling irons and can get heavy after holding it up for a while.
However, the other issue with the Bed Head’s size is that it will not be right for all people. If you have shorter hair, you may find this curling iron a bit too large to provide the beachy waves you desire properly.
Moreover, unlike the other curling irons on our list, this product is designed for beachy waves exclusively--you will need to be extremely skilled to get this product to make other types of curls.
As we can see, the best curling iron is the one that will do what you need without requiring too significant investment.
Of course, if money is not an issue, you will be hard pressed to find a better curling iron than the T3--though the Beachwaver may suit you better is versatility is not a necessity.
Beyond that, the Conair is a solid, if unspectacular entry. The Parwin, on the other hand, is a veritable Goldilocks curling iron providing a wealth of versatility for a reasonable cost--though fair haired customers beware the extreme temperatures.
Finally, if you are looking for a specialized product on a budget, Bed Head checks all the necessary boxes for luscious, beachy waves.