It doesn’t matter whether your hair is curly or straight, long or short, thick or fine, we all have problems managing our manes.
Thick hair can be a problem because the sheer volume of hair can be difficult to tame, and the individual strands can be coarse, which can make styling difficult.
I’ve always had pretty thick hair, and while it’s not coarse, I always had to have the strength of ten men to get it all together to go up in a ponytail. Accessories and combs were always breaking due to the sheer volume of hair.
My mom, on the other hand, always had very fine hair, which presented its own specific challenges, especially when it came to using a curling iron—she never seemed to find one that suited her.
So let’s find out why we need to select the best curling iron, and what we need to look out for in curling irons that will suit fine hair. We’ve also highlighted five different curling irons that are great to use on fine hair.
What Exactly Does Fine Hair Mean?
Fine hair occurs for one of two reasons, or a combination of both. Each hair grows from a single hair follicle. The fewer follicles you have, the more thinly spread your hair will be.
Each strand of the hair can also be thinner and this is due to the specific type of fats, or lipids used in the cell membranes. Research indicates this is largely down to genetics.
What’s the Problem With Fine Hair and Curling Irons?
Fine hair needs a little more tender loving care than other hair types when it comes to using curling irons.
Many of the newer models of curling irons use very high temperatures, which is great for styling because it makes the process easier and the curls usually hold for longer.
However, because people with fine hair have thinner strands than people with other hair types, the heat can penetrate each strand more quickly, and it’s easier to singe or burn the hair.
Even if the hair doesn’t get burned, the high heat can penetrate the shaft of the hair and rob the hair of much needed moisture. As a result, after lots of styling with high temperature curling irons, you can end up with very dry coarse hair.
What to Look for in Curling Irons for Fine Hair
The first thing to look for is a range of temperature settings. Most curling irons have at least two, some have more. This gives you the flexibility to style your hair at a lower temperature and avoid burning.
These make the curling iron move smoothly through the hair without dragging it, which reduces hair damage and breakage. A ceramic coating also helps the curling iron heat up quickly and evenly distributes the heat along the length of the barrel.
This is all fairly technical chemical stuff about atoms and their electrons. Basically, positive ions are bad for your hair, and are associated with frizz and split ends.
The opposite, negative ions help protect the hair by tightening the cuticle layer on the outside of each hair shaft, which locks in moisture and nutrients, keeping your hair happy, healthy and shiny. Negative ion energy also helps to decrease the growth of bacteria, which also helps to maintain the health of your hair and scalp.
Sometimes, as part of their production process, manufacturers incorporate a layer of the powdered mineral tourmaline into their curling tongs by baking it onto the barrels.
Tourmaline is a natural source of lots of negative ions, so it helps to counteract the positive ions which are associated with dry and damaged hair. Negative ions help to seal more moisture into the hair and eliminate frizz, keeping hair healthy, smooth and shiny.
How to Get Curls to Hold in Fine Hair
It’s annoying when you spend time styling your fine hair and the curls drop in next to no time. Here are a few hints to make curls last longer:
- Curling works best on day-old hair, so plan ahead if you want to go curly.
- Work in small sections—this helps you to reach the roots when styling.
- After you’ve curled a section, try to catch the curl in your cupped hand while it’s cooling to help set.
Precautions for Use
It’s important to use your curling iron in the correct way to protect your hair. Besides, even if you’ve used curling irons for years, it’s always worth a reminder of some safety points:
Never Use Curling Irons in the Bathroom
Or near any water for that matter. The results could be seriously bad; we’re talking a quick smart visit to ER here…not good.
Use a Heat-Resistant Glove
If the one that came with the curling iron doesn’t fit you well, it’s definitely worth investing in one that does. It’ll save you time and hundreds of burns.
Clean Your Curling Iron Regularly
Products can be transferred from hair to the barrels of the curling iron, and the next time they’re used, the residue can damage your hair and ruin your style.
In particular, don’t use hair gel before you use your curling iron. If you want to use hair spray, apply it after you’ve curled your hair.
Safety When Cooling
Ensure you put your curling iron somewhere safe to cool after use. It’s easy for burns to occur at this time. Don’t store your curling iron in a drawer or in any enclosed spaced until it they’ve completely cooled down.
What Is the Best Curling Iron for Fine Hair?
We’ve had a good search through lots of the curling irons currently available on the market, and selected five great options for fine hair, and conducted a closer inspection. We’ve listed the pros and cons to help you identify which is most suitable for your hair.
There were a lot of good points about all the curling irons we reviewed, but the one that ran corkscrew curls around the rest is the Xtava Five-in-One Professional Curling Iron and Wand Set. People really liked the styling flexibility provided by the four different rods, the ergonomic design and the adjustable temperature.
This curling iron is great for fine hair. The ceramic tourmaline and far infrared help to protect the strands of hair, smoothing the cuticles, locking moisture in the core of each hair shaft, keeping hair shiny and healthy.
Most people thought the price for this curling iron set was reasonable considering the high quality of the product, the excellent results and the reasonable warranty for this type of electrical product. In short, I’m off to buy some for my Mom right now!
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