Thanks to the wonders of heating tools, switching up our hairstyles has never been easier. But with so many different types of tools on the market, it’s hard to decide which ones to invest in. This is especially true when it comes to curling irons. This simple category alone includes a variety of tools that come in a number of shapes and sizes: wands, wavers, irons, etc. It’s hard to envision the results of all these curling tools and even harder to determine if they’ll work with our hair types and lengths. To help make this curling iron selection process a little easier, we’ve come up with a guide of the basic curling iron options, the various curls they create and their hair type matches. Enjoy!

every size curl

Iron Size: 1/4-inch 
This little baby is great for tight, ringlet-like curls. You ladies with naturally über-curly hair should definitely invest in one of these, as they can help touch up your curls and keep them from getting unruly.

Iron Size: 3/4-inch 
For those of you with short to medium hair or those of you seeking a romantic, country-rose-like ‘do, this iron is for you. Wrap the ends of small sections of your hair around this little miracle worker and gently separate the curls so they look natural. Spritz it with some flexible-hold hairspray and you are ready to roll. For some extra vintage flare, separate two sections from the front sides of the head and pin back with bobby pins.

Iron Size: 1-inch 
This curler creates a lovely soft wave for a sultry siren look (á la Jessica Rabbit). Just create a deep part and curl your hair in two-inch sections. Apply some setting spray, like Matrix Biolage Thermal Active Setting Spray and, after it’s dried, brush out the curls with a flat paddle brush.

Iron Size: 1 1/2-inch 
This iron produces big, voluminous curls. Ideal for those with long, luscious locks, looks with this tool vary from soft, romantic curls to loose, beach waves. It’s all about how you style them. If you’re going for an effortless, messy curl look, spray your hair with sea salt spray (we love EverStyle Texture Series Beach Spray) prior to taking an iron to it. After the spray has dried, wrap the hair around the closed curling iron (or wand if that’s what you’re using), starting mid-shaft and leaving the ends uncurled. Hold the hair for a few seconds and gently unravel. Muss-up and separate the curl by gently fluffing your hair with your fingers.

Iron Size: 2-inch 
This bad boy isn’t necessarily for curling, but for giving your hair some body and rounded-out ends. It creates a nice, voluminous “blow out” look for those with stick-straight locks and is also an ideal tool for showing off those layers.

Hey, boho mamas! Here’s looking at you! If you’ve got fine, naturally straight hair, this three-pronged contraption is your go-to for perfectly imperfect bedhead waves. Just clamp the prong on a section of your hair (starting at the top), hold for a few seconds and release. Move down until the entire piece is crimped and repeat with the rest of hair. Those of you with thicker, wavier locks can jump on this waver wave too! Just stick to crimping the top layers of your hair instead of the entire head so as to avoid the hair getting unruly or lion-esque.

Which of these curling irons is your go-to? Tell us your fave in the comments below!

Photography: Joshua M. Shelton
Model: Brianna Leahy

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