All you need to know about temperature when buying a curling iron
Where curling irons are concerned, fine hair is caught in a paradox. While a lower temperature is usually recommended for this type of hair (such is the case of flat irons), the curls won’t last if the temperature isn’t high enough. The selected temperature directly influences how long the curl will last. Try curling your hair at different temperatures. Use the maximum temperature allowed for your hair type (and quality) while making sure to leave no visible marks or signs of damage.
The temperature on curling irons rarely exceeds 450°F (230°C) and that’s just fine. They need to be hot enough to make lasting curls, without damaging the hair!
Rule of thumb: The higher the temperature, the firmer and more durable the curl. Conversely, the lower the temperature, the softer the curl (and shorter-lived).
Note that the hottest irons don’t necessarily produce the best results. Try them out first (by going to one of our boutiques or kiosks) to draw your own conclusions (this is particularly true for curling irons where we have seen big differences in performance).
All you need to know about the barrel size when buying a curling iron
The smallest barrel diameters are used to make narrow curls or to hold a brushing in very short hair.
Medium to large barrels are selected based on hair length (the longer the hair, the bigger the barrel).
The smaller the barrel, the tighter the curl. Conversely, curls will be softer and more natural looking with a bigger barrel.
Conical barrels create curls that are narrower at the roots and become larger as they reach the tips or vice versa depending on the curling direction.
The Bubble Wand produces natural looking and sturdier curls by wrapping the lock between the alternating narrow spaces between the bubbles.
You can achieve different curling styles depending on the type of iron used.
For example, with Jacques Despars curling irons you can wrap hair around the barrel with or without the clamp. Simply wrapping hair manually will produce natural curls. Previously, this required a specially designed iron, but our irons are built to offer great performance which allows us to offer 2-in-1 models!
All you need to know about ergonomics when buying a curling iron
Curling irons are not usually heavy, so weight is not really an issue. However, their ease of use depends on their ergonomics. Some buttons or dials may be too close to the handle or can easily be triggered by mistake. The only way to check if you like their handling is to try them out!
Models equipped with a clamp are user-friendly and produce “standard” curls that look somewhat like a spiral. Ideally, they should have a stay-cool tip that you can hold with the fingers from your spare hand to steady the process of wrapping the lock around the iron.
Models with no clamp create naturally wavy curls, unlike the “spiral” effect of the clamp iron. As a precaution, you should wear a protective glove on the hand that wraps the lock around the barrel. This type of iron is perfect with people with less dexterity!
All you need to know about automatic models when buying a curling iron
Compared to high-end professional models, entry-level models are equipped with a much smaller curl chamber (the part that draws the lock of hair). However, they come with a number of drawbacks, including wasted time and frustration when hair jams frequently in the chamber (although it’s easy fix). They are also limited to small locks, thereby taking longer to style a full head of hair. Higher quality irons rarely jam and have a larger curl chamber that can handle bigger locks which shortens styling time. The more performing irons will offer more options, including a greater range of temperature settings, curl direction (left, right or alternating – a convenient feature, especially when curling locks around the face), more pause time options, and user-friendly digital display.
So ladies, if you already have an opinion on automatic curling based on a few trials with entry-level models, you should reconsider your position by further testing with a high quality model. It will be worth your while! Keep in mind that automatic irons are not designed to save you time.
Weight is the main drawback of this type of iron.
On the positive side, it shines when it comes to ease of use and curl quality.
Overall, automatic irons are quite reliable and perform well over the long term. Warranties usually range up to 2 years.
ONE model with digital display (user-friendly) definitely stands out: Féline.
Automatic curling irons are well suited for everyday use or for the occasional look.
They invariably produce perfect curls that last longer compared to other types of irons. High-end models even succeed where round or flat iron fail at curling (e.g. very thin and limp hair).
As for automatic steam irons, we have taken a dislike for them! Our tests showed that curls look great at first but quickly fade away compared to other models.
Once again, don’t worry about jamming your hair. If a lock gets tangled in the chamber because it’s too big or wasn’t brushed well enough, simply release the tension on the handle to release the lock from the chamber. No harm done!