Long, flowing curly locks give a real glamorous look.
One of the great benefits of long hair is the versatility in styling, especially when it comes to curls. Whether you’re looking or tight, springy curls with huge fierce volume, or soft, face-framing waves, long hair can achieve the look.
However, curling long hair can be a challenge. Not only is there a lot to manage, but it can be hard to maneuver a curling iron through such long tresses. Equally, you’ll find that the weight of the hair often makes the curls drop out quicker than short hair.
Finding a curling iron that suits long hair is no mean feat but understanding the properties to look for can help you to find a barrel that suits your hair to keep it looking bouncy and voluptuous all day long.
Comparison of the Best Curling Irons for Long Hair
Hot Tools Professional 1110
Homitt Automatic Ceramic Hair Curling Iron
Best for the Money
Infiniti Pro By Conair
Some of the Challenges With Curling Long Hair
The first issue with long hair is the weight. Long hair tends to weigh considerably more than short hair, making it more difficult to curl. Not only is there more hair to work with, it can be heavy, making your arms ache during the process. Moreover, the weight of the hair pulls down on the springs so the curls tend to drop out relatively quickly, leaving nothing but a slight wave.
Equally, hair tends to stay in the style in which it cools down. Due to the weight and thickness of long hair (read our curling iron buyer's guide for women with thick hair), as soon as it is heated and becomes malleable, the weight of it starts to pull it down and straighten it as it curls. This is especially true since those with long hair often have to section each part to curl, and you may find that some parts end up straightening more while some parts stay more curly.
According to celebrity stylist Mark Mena, one of the problems with long straight hair is that the hair strands are too smooth to curl.This occurs especially for people with super-healthy hair. Whereas curly hair tends to have kidney-bean shaped strands, straight hair has round strands. The thickness of the cuticle on healthy hair stops the curling iron from being able to mold it, making it harder to curl. This will be more of an issue if you wash your hair every day and use heavy conditioning products.
Because of these reasons, you’ll notice that you tend to combat this hard-to-curl issue with a whole host of different products, trying to give the hair a little texture and holding ability. No doubt, you’ll find that you go through a whole ton of products to try and keep the curl. Not only is this expensive, it’s not all that good for the hair as many products contain drying chemicals like denatured alcohol and sulfates.
How to Choose a Curling Iron for Long Hair
When curling long hair, you want to search for a tool that’s specific to the job. Firstly, it would make the most sense to seek out curling irons with extra long barrels. While many people are used to barrels ranging in circumference, not many people realize that you can purchase curling irons that have extra-long barrels as well. This enables you to wrap your long hair around the barrel more times, stopping the top of the hair from straightening while the bottom is extra curly; it gives fair heat to the whole length.
With this in mind, many hair curling tools tend to have a cool tip on the end to prevent you from burning your head and skin. The problem is that this cool tip often takes up space on the barrel, meaning there is less heated area for you to curl your long hair. Try to look for curling irons with no cool tip or a very small one.
Some people find that curling irons with clamps are harder to use with long hair as the lengthy locks get crimped more easily by the clamp, leaving bends and kinks in your hair. If this is the case, you can find varying shapes and sizes of curling wands which can give beautifully natural looking curls to long hair. Curling wands don’t come with the clamp, but they do mean that you have to hold your hair in place. While good for people with less hair, if you have very thick hair you might find that this makes your arm ache in the process.
Try to find a curling iron with a ceramic barrel. Ceramic barrels give better heat distribution which will stop some parts of your long hair from heating very high and other parts not heating so well, leaving them straight or frizzy. Ceramic barrels also provide better protection for the hair, meaning it won’t damage it.
A big bonus of long hair is that you can be more versatile with style than short hair. With this in mind, try looking for curling irons that could have interchangeable heads or a tapered end to create different curly looks.
Some Great Styles for Curling Long Hair
Long hair has great diversity when curled. If you use a thinner barrel, you’ll find you can create tight, springy ringlets, similar to that of AnnaLynne McCord or Lorde. You can separate them with your fingers to give an even more fierce and voluminous look.
Alternatively, you can go for the softer, middle-sized ringlet like Taylor Swift, for a fun girly look. By tousling these, you can create the beachy wave that Blake Lively loves to sport. Spraying your hair with sea salt and scrunching it will give this effect very well once curled.
By using very large barrels, you can create glamorous looks of huge bouncy curls. This gives you that sexy, centerfold feel. You will see celebrities like Megan Fox, Rihanna, and Jennifer Aniston have all worn their hair in this way throughout their careers. Alternatively, by letting them drop a little, you’ll find yourself with a loose, soft wave that can be beefed up a little with product to give you a similar look to Sofia Vergara or Jennifer Lopez.
If you are looking for a more formal style, try curling all the curls one way, usually away from your face. If you want a more natural, casual look, curling each strand in alternate directions will give the more tousled feel.
Review of the Best Curling Irons for Long Hair
Now let’s dive into the best curling irons for your long locks!
This incredibly lightweight curling iron comes with a conical barrel for varying sizes curls. Barrels are available in sizes 1-1.5-inches and 0.5-1-inch. The curling iron comes with a heat protection glove. It features automatic shut off and has a silk ceramic barrel.
Hot Tools Professional 1110
This gold-plated curling iron comes in three sizes: ¾ inch, 1.25 inches, and 1.5 inches. It features a strong spring clamp, an extra-long cool tip, and a heavy-duty long cord with swivel.
Best for the Money:
Homitt Automatic Ceramic Hair Curling Iron
This unique style of curling iron features a steam function which helps to set the hair while curling and prevent it from damage by keeping the moisture locked in. It automatically curls the hair and has customizable time, temperature, and direction settings.
This 1.25-inch barrel curling iron is made of ceramic and features tourmaline technology. A lower-budget option, this model has 5 heat setting with a high of 400F and heats up in just 30 seconds.
With dual voltage and temperatures up to 430F, this curling iron rotates for automatic curling. While quite heavy, it has a ceramic tourmaline barrel and 11 temperature settings.
Curling long hair can give a whole range of beautiful finished styles. However, due to the weight and length it can sometimes be hard to manage the tools and keep the curls from dropping out. To get the best effect, don’t wash your hair the day you want to curl it. The little bit of grime will give texture and hold a curl better than silky smooth hair.