Whether you want beachy waves, tight ringlets, or something in between, the secret to success is using the right curling iron. We'll show you exactly what to expect from different irons, along with when to use each.

By Rachel Wermager
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Depending on your hair length and style, you'll want a curl that looks best on you. The right curling iron or wand can make all the difference in achieving a good hair day. Here's a handy guide to help you find the perfect tool for every curl need.

Photo courtesy of HOT TOOLS.

2-Inch Barrel

Want loose, textured waves and volume that could fake a blowout? Reach for a 2-inch barrel, which create glamorous curls and add fresh-from-the-salon volume to hair.

Image courtesy of Amazon.

1.25-Inch Barrel

You don't need the ocean's help to get gorgeous beach waves; this 1.25-inch barrel can create the look all year round. Conair's double ceramic curling iron is designed to give you flowy, loose curls that last. (Traveling light? You can also create beachy waves with a flat iron.)

Photo courtesy of HOT TOOLS.

1-Inch Barrel

Want a curly 'do with serious bounce? Use a 1-inch barrel to create pretty, tight ringlets. This classic gold-finish curling iron is part of Hot Tools's signature series, which is a favorite of stylists (and one of the more affordable 1-inch barrel designs on the market).

Photo courtesy of HOT TOOLS.

1.25-Inch Wand

If using a curling iron doesn't come naturally to you, consider a curling wand instead. A 1.25-inch wand is ideal for ultimate texture. Try a quick-heating ceramic tool like this, which will cut back on frizz and help you achieve loose, shiny waves in no time.

Image courtesy of Amazon.

1-Inch Wand

A 1-inch wand size is great for creating the perfect-size waves on bobs and shorter cuts. Look for a tapered barrel design, which will give you more flexibility with styling (in other words, you can keep curls tight or loose). This ceramic wand can heat up to 400 degrees within 30 seconds and has five heat-styling settings.


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