Looking for a curling iron that holds your hair right in place on the barrel? Then you have come to the right place; there is nothing better than a marcel curling iron to hold hair in place to produce the most gorgeous looking, professional quality curls and waves.
In this article, we have discussed and suggested some of the best Marcel curling irons available in the market that promises to provide you with salon-like curls and waves in different types of hair without causing any harms and damages to the tresses.
All our recommendations are based on our research, experience using the Marcel irons as well as interviews and reviews from other users of these curling irons. Without further ado, let’s dig in the article to find out more about the best Marcel curling irons available in the market:
Table of Contents
- Our Top Picks: Quick Overview
- What is a Marcel Curling Iron?
- How to choose the best marcel curling iron for your hair?
- Our Top Picks
- 1. HOT TOOLS Professional Ceramic + Tourmaline Marcel Iron/Wand – for fine/thin hair
- 2. Harry Josh Pro Tools 2-in-1 Ceramic Marcel Curling Iron – for fine/thin hair
- 3. BaByliss Pro Porcelain Ceramic Marcel Curling Iron – for fine/thin hair
- 4. HOT TOOLS Professional 24K Gold Marcel Iron – for thick hair
- 5. Paul Mitchell Pro Tools Express Gold Curl Marcel – for thick hair
- 6. BaByliss PRO Nano Titanium Marcel Curling Iron – for thick hair
- Final Thoughts
- Frequently Asked Questions
Our Top Picks: Quick Overview
Before going into details, here we have discussed very briefly the Marcel curling irons that we have recommended to use on different types of hair:
• 1 inch
• 1 ¼ inch
• 1 ½ inch
• 1 ¼ inch
• ¾ inch
• 1 inch
• ⅝ inch
• ½ inch
• ¾ inch
• 1 ¼ inch
• 1 ½ inch
• 1 ¼ inch
• 1 ¼ inch
• 1 inch
• 1 ¼ inch
• 1 ½ inch
• 1 ¼ inch
• ¾ inch
• 1 inch
• ⅝ inch
• ½ inch
• ¾ inch
• 1 ¼ inch
• 1 ½ inch
• 1 ¼ inch
What is a Marcel Curling Iron?
Unlike other curling irons and wands, the Marcel curling iron comes with a clamp that is controlled manually by the user; this free-swinging clamp requires the user to open and close it manually for the best styling outcome. As they require manual handling, it is always advised to be used by experienced users and thus, marcel irons are most often used by salon professionals.
Marcel curling irons are considered as the best curling tool for holding the hair right into place for the perfect, uniform and more versatile curls and waves. You can use these curling irons to style your hair with big, bouncy curls to short, tight ringlets and lustrous waves,
But remember, if you are a beginner and have little to no experience with curling irons, you should avoid using a Marcel curling iron because, as we have said earlier, Marcel curling irons require practice and experience for the perfect curling job.
Difference between a spring and a Marcel curling iron
As we have discussed earlier that a Marcel curling iron comes with a manually operated clamp that is a bit difficult to use and is best advised to be used by professionals. A Marcel iron ensures more styling flexibility and is less likely to leave behind dents on the tresses for more sophisticated curls and waves.
Whereas, a spring curling iron, as the name suggests, comes with a spring mechanism placed on the barrel clamp that helps to hold the hair tightly to the barrel surface for effortless curling experience. This spring system makes it super easy and comfortable to use the iron because you don’t have to control the clamp manually for creating the perfect curls and waves. Moreover, unlike a Marcel curling iron, first time users or people with relatively less experience with curling tools can also use a spring curling iron effortlessly.
Even though both these curling iron types have a different operating system, they both can create extraordinary curls and waves in any type of tresses.
Who uses a marcel curling iron?
Even though Marcel irons can be used by someone like us, mere mortals, it’s always best to leave this special curling tool in the hands of professionals; as this iron barrel doesn’t come with a spring, it’s up to the expert (a hairstylist) to manipulate it as he/she wishes for better control and more versatile styling results. Every expert hairstylist carries a marcel curling iron in their hair styling toolkit because of its ability to create a multitude of curl and wave patterns in your hair locks.
How to choose the best marcel curling iron for your hair?
Marcel curling irons are mainly for professionals; but if you have the required expertise, you can also use a marcel iron to enjoy professional-quality styling results at your home.
Then again, it doesn’t matter if you are a professional or just a regular iron user, before choosing and buying your ultimate marcel curling iron, you should keep in mind about the following aspects to achieve the best results from your curling iron:
The type of your hair is a major factor to consider while choosing a Marcel curling iron because every hair type and texture is different and a curling tool that creates fabulous curls in fine hair might not produce the same results in thick hair locks. Therefore, always determine your hair type before buying a curling iron to enjoy extraordinary curls and avoid hair damage.
- Fine/Thin hair: Fine/thin hair are super sensitive and more prone to heat and damage. A relatively high amount of heat can damage your delicate hair locks beyond repair. Therefore, you need a Marcel iron that has a low heat setting as well as made from ceramic or ceramic tourmaline materials to successfully curl and wave your thin tresses.
- Thick hair: Thick hair are more sensitive to frizz and tangle and you also need a lot of time to style thick tresses properly. To curl thick hair quickly with precision and to hold the curls for long period, look for a Marcel curler that has a high heat setting and is constructed with either titanium or tourmaline or 24K gold.
When choosing a marcel curling iron, the length of the hair also plays a crucial part as the barrel size of the curling tool depends on the length of your hair.
- Short: It doesn’t matter if you have thin or thick hair locks; if you have short hair, you should buy a Marcel iron with a barrel of diameter 1-inch or less to create different types of curls and waves in your tresses perfectly. A big barrel is not recommended because it won’t be able to hold your short hair on the barrel properly, let alone style them.
- Long: When you have lustrous longs tresses, hair experts suggest you use a Marcel iron that comes with a barrel of more than 1-inch diameter or has an extra-long barrel to create every type of curls and waves in your hair perfectly.
The Technology used in the Marcel iron is also an important factor to consider while choosing one to use on your tresses because not all the technologies are good for every hair type and therefore, you should know in details about the technologies used in a Marcel iron to buy the best one according to your hair type.
The most commonly used technologies in a Marcel iron are:
- Ionic Technology: Best for both fine/thin and thick hair, this technology is used in a marcel iron to protect hair from heat damage as well as to produce silky, smooth curls; the ionic generator in the curling machine releases an adequate amount of negative ions to the hair to saturate the ionic balance and to lock in the hair natural moisture for healthy-looking, manageable tresses.
- Infrared Emission: Marcel irons meant for thick hair are advised to incorporate infrared emission technology as the energy from infrared penetrates every hair strands with high heat to curl them from the inside out properly.
- Pulse Technology: Incorporating Pulse Technology in a Marcel curling iron that is meant for thick hair is very common; a Pulse Technology can quickly diagnose heat loss from the barrel surface and restores the heat in mere seconds to maintain uniform heat throughout the styling process. This innovative technology makes quick curls by cutting down styling time.
Don’t underestimate the construction material of the barrel while buying a Marcel iron because the wrong material used on the wrong type of hair can severely burn and damage your precious tresses. Below we have listed the most commonly used barrel material in a Marcel curling iron and the hair type that are suitable for these barrels:
|Barrel Construction Material||Suitable Hair Type|
|Tourmaline ceramic||Fine/thin hair|
|24K Gold||Thick hair|
As we have mentioned earlier that different hair type requires different heat settings and therefore, before buying your Marcel iron look carefully if it comes with the heat settings required for your hair type. Usually, we classify heat settings into:
- Low: Ranges from 200 – 350°F of heat; Suitable for fine/thin hair.
- High: Starting from a minimum of 380°F of heat and is best for thick hair locks.
Marcel iron comes in several different barrel sizes to meet the demand of every hair lengths users. Keep on reading because we have briefly discussed below the barrel sizes, the hair lengths suitable for these barrels and the type of curls and waves these barrels can create in your hair:
|Barrel Size||Suitable hair length||Type of curls and waves|
|3/8 inch (9.5mm)||Short hair||Corkscrew Curls|
|5/8 inch (16.88mm)||Short hair||Corkscrew Curls|
|½ inch (12.7mm)||Short hair||Springy, tight ringlets|
|¾ inch (19mm)||Short hair||Small, tight, vintage curls|
|1-inch (25mm)||Short hair||Big curls and beachy waves|
|1 ¼ inch (31.75mm)||Long hair||Small curls and soft waves|
|1 ½ inch (38mm)||Long hair||Big curls and beach waves|
Our Top Picks
1. HOT TOOLS Professional Ceramic + Tourmaline Marcel Iron/Wand – for fine/thin hair
- The rotating Marcel handle can be removed to use the tool like a curling wand
- Touch Guard protector for safety while using the iron close to neck and face
- Up to 430°F
- Rheostat control dial for effortless changing between heat settings
- Foldaway safety stand for extra convenience
- Soft Touch handle provides a comfortable, non-slip grip
- One-year warranty
The stylish, sleek, matte outlook of this HOT TOOLS Professional Marcel iron would impress anyone who had once laid eyes on it; but this is not the reason we have picked this tool as our top favorite. This curling iron scored the top position because of its professional quality styling results.
The Ceramic Tourmaline constructed barrel of this Marcel iron has the amazing qualities of both these materials which make it very suitable to curl and wave fine/thin hair locks without causing any damage to the delicate tresses.
Moreover, this special coating combined with the ionic generator of the machine emits 20x more moisture-locking ions and 6x more negative ions that not only saturate the ions in the hair but also maintains the nourishment of the scalp for healthy and shiny tresses that doesn’t suffer from frizz and statics.
In addition to the ionic technology, this Marcel iron also features a Pulse Technology that prevents heat loss from the barrel surface and helps to keep the barrel hot throughout the whole styling process.
Another great feature of this HOT TOOLS curling iron is that it comes in several different sizes for you to choose from according to your fine hair length and the type of curls and waves you want; from a ¾ inch (19mm) to a 1 inch (25.4mm), a 1 ¼ inch (31.75mm) and a 1 ½ inch (38mm), you can pick any one of your preference to style your delicate yet precious tresses.
2. Harry Josh Pro Tools 2-in-1 Ceramic Marcel Curling Iron – for fine/thin hair
- Fast heat-up
- Can be used both as a Marcel curling iron and a wand
- Comes with a cushioned handle to provide a firm yet comfortable grip
- Heat-resistant glove to ensure the safety of the user
- 2-year Limited warranty
- Comes in a heat-resistant barrel pouch
If you are willing to spend a handsome amount of cash on a professional quality Marcel curling iron, then this Harry Josh curling tool is just the tool for you. We have recommended this as an alternate choice only because of its price tag; otherwise this Marcel Curling Iron creates as perfect curls in fine/thin hair as the HOT TOOLS one.
This ceramic made curling iron can seamlessly create a variety of curls and waves in your fine tresses by heating the barrel to a point (maximum 380° F) that doesn’t burn or cause any harm to the delicate hair locks. Plus, the ionic technology incorporated by Harry Josh in this iron protects hair from frizz and burns by releasing negative ions to the fine/thin tresses that lock in natural moisture for silky, smooth, manageable hair.
Moreover, this curling iron comes in two different sized barrels, a 1 inch (25.4mm) and a 1 ¼ inch (31.75mm), that create versatile curls and waves (both tight ringlets and big, voluminous curls and beach waves) in any hair lengths maintaining your hair’s natural body and movement and without causing crimps cramping your perfectly curled hair.
Aside from offering single Marcel irons, Harry Josh also offers Pro Tools collection set that comes with different hair styling tools and accessories from Harry Josh including a spring curling iron and a Marcel curling iron to provide the users with everything they need for hair styling
3. BaByliss Pro Porcelain Ceramic Marcel Curling Iron – for fine/thin hair
- Also available in spring barrel for not-so-experienced users
- Separate on/off switch for added convenience
- Up to 430°F
- Comes with a soft, ergonomic handle
- 8-ft swivel cord
- 3-year limited warranty
This Porcelain Ceramic Curling Iron from BaByliss Pro scored the second position because this curler doesn’t come in a size that is suitable to curls long hair; other than this minor gripe, this Marcel Curling Iron comes with several amazing features to impress its users.
To start with, the barrel of this curling tool is constructed with Porcelain Ceramic which is an excellent material to curl and wave your fine, delicate hair locks. This porcelain ceramic barrel and the energy from the infrared emission produces a gentle heat that is spread evenly throughout the tresses and penetrate each hair shafts to curl hair inside out without causing any unwanted hot spots or burning them altogether.
Moreover, the ionic technology that is incorporated in this Marcel iron also helps to keep the lustrous curls and waves in your fine/thin hair nourished, silky and frizz-free by producing a lot of negative ions in the hair to lock in the moisture as well as protect hair from heat damage.
Even though BaByliss doesn’t offer a barrel size suitable for long hair doesn’t mean that this Porcelain Ceramic Marcel iron doesn’t have varieties of barrel sizes; this curling tool comes in different sizes ranging from½ inch (12.7mm), ¾ inch (19mm), and 1-inch (25mm) to create tight ringlets, bouncy big curls and lust-worthy waves in short to medium length fine hair.
4. HOT TOOLS Professional 24K Gold Marcel Iron – for thick hair
- Up to 430°F
- Touch Guard protector for the safety of the neck and face from high heat
- Rheostat control dial
- “On” indicator light for additional safety measures
- Lightweight and comfortable
- One-year warranty period
- Foldaway safety stand provides extra convenience to the users
HOT TOOLS is known for manufacturing excellent, professional-grade curling irons and that’s why it again scored the top position in our list; the Professional 24K Gold Marcel Iron comes with all the features and components that we look for in a professional quality curling iron for thick hair locks.
The barrel of this Marcel iron is made from 24K Gold with tiny gold particles that enhance hair follicles and helps to reduce hair fall to an extent. Moreover, gold is an excellent material to adopt a high heat in the shortest possible time and also remains hot for the longest time. To add more, gold barrels are super long-lasting and hence you can use this Marcel iron for years to come.
In addition to the high heat adapted gold barrel, this curling tool for thick tresses also incorporates a revolutionary Pulse Technology that ensures to maintain the high heat of the barrel throughout the curling process so that the styling time is cut down by several minutes and you can also enjoy uniform curls and waves.
The different barrel size of this Professional Marcel iron is also an amazing feature that is worth mentioning; HOT TOOLS offers several different sized barrels for this curling tool ranging from 3/8 inch (9.5mm), 5/8 inch (16.88mm), ½ inch (12.7mm), ¾ inch (19mm), 1-inch (25mm), 1 ¼ inch (31.75mm) and a 1 ½ inch (38mm) one so that you can create versatile curls and waves, from corkscrew to tight ringlets to big, bouncy curls and beachy waves, in all hair lengths.
5. Paul Mitchell Pro Tools Express Gold Curl Marcel – for thick hair
- Locking and rotating handle for ease of use
- 9-ft swivel cord
- Durable safety stand
- Locking temperature control dial for super-safe operation
- Ergonomic handle for a comfortable yet firm, non-slip grip
- 1-year warranty
- Instruction guide
We have selected this Paul Mitchell curling iron as our alternate preference because of the price point; even though this Marcel iron is a bit high priced than our top preference one, it delivers excellent curling and styling results in thick hair locks.
Like HOT TOOLS Marcel iron, this Paul Mitchell Pro Tools Express curling tool also comes with a gold barrel that has high heat capacity yet it doesn’t burn your precious thick tresses. This gold barrel combined with the advanced heating technology of the tool can reach up to 430°F in less than 1-minute to curl thick hair properly from inside out as well as decrease the curling time by several minutes.
Moreover, the gold surface of this curling tool barrel distributes heat evenly in each hair strand to make sure that you have consistent, long-lasting curls in your thick tresses. Also, the tiny gold particles ensure that the hair follicles are enhanced and the hair becomes silky and smooth as you have always wanted.
In addition to such amazing features, Paul Mitchell also made sure that people with every hair length find a barrel size of this express Marcel curling iron by introducing 3 different sized barrels, a ¾ inch (19mm), a 1-inch (25mm), and a 1 ¼ inch (31.75mm) barrel ensures that you can create different types of curls and waves effortlessly in both long and short thick tresses.
6. BaByliss PRO Nano Titanium Marcel Curling Iron – for thick hair
- ¾ inch (19mm), 1-inch (25mm), and 1 ¼ inch (31.75mm) barrel sizes
- Super durable
- Turbo heat button
- Dial switch
- Ergonomic handle
- 8 ft tangle-free swivel cord
BaByliss PRO is known for producing excellent quality curling irons, both spring, and Marcel. This Nano Titanium Marcel iron ended up being our second choice only because of its weight; at 1 Pound, this curling iron is quite heavyweight than our top favorite tools and might cause slight discomfort to the users. Other than this very minor gripe, this Marcel tool possesses some outstanding features that surely create extraordinary curls and waves in thick hair locks.
To start with, the barrel of this curling tool is made from Nano titanium which is a great material to adopt high heat and also maintains stability for a long period. A titanium barrel can heat up to 450°F in less than a minute to curl thick hair quickly and effortlessly without causing any heat damage or hot spots to the hair; the ionic technology adopted by BaByliss disperses plenty of negative ions to the tresses to protect hair and keeps them super hydrated by sealing in moisture and natural essential hair oils in the cuticles.
In addition to the ionic technology, this Marcel curling iron also incorporates infrared emission that emits infrared energy to your thick tresses that penetrate each hair shafts to curl them properly from the inside for long-lasting, lustrous curls and waves.
Moreover, this BaByliss PRO curling iron also has a Sol-Gel technology makes this iron barrel 37% stronger and 22% smoother than any other standard curling tool so that you can use this Marcel iron for years to come.
The professional Marcel curling irons that we have recommended and discussed above are all best in creating extraordinary curls and waves in their respective hair types and will provide you with professional quality results. These Marcel irons deliver all the features and services that they have promised and even more to make your curling experience more effortless as well as safe and secure.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. How to use a Marcel curling iron?
Prep the hair properly with a smooth blowout before curling the hair. Section the hair and take each section and wrap it around the barrel. Clasp and release. In the case of a Marcel curling iron, both the base and handles rotate. Unlock both. Grasp the base in your palm between the thumb and forefinger and place the handle between your index and middle finger. This will help open and close the clamp. Place the hair in the iron and close the handle and twirl the hair around the entire iron. Monitor the temperature to your preference between 250 degrees for fragile and 425 degrees for coarse.
2. What is the average size of the Marcel curling iron?
Marcel curling iron has barrel sizes 3/8 inch, 5/8 inch, ½ inch, ¾ inch, 1-inch, 1 ¼ inch, and 1 ½ inch. The average barrel size measures 1 inch.
3. How hot do Marcel irons get?
Marcel Irons have an average temperature control dial with variable heat settings of 250° to 430°F. The settings vary from color-treated hair mainly as well as all types of straight, wavy, thick, coarse hair types.
4. How to control the heat on a marcel curling iron?
Most Marcel curling iron models have rotating rear temperature controls that can be set at the desired temperature.
Last update on 2021-09-16 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API