What Is A Curling Iron?

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Definition of Curling Iron

Simply, it can be told that a curling iron is a heated rod used for rolling a person’s hair into curls. It was a bookish definition of a curling iron.

Defining a curling iron is simple. We all more or less know about this. Those who curl their hair for stylizing must know every detail about a curling iron because; this is the only magical device that can bring curl to the hair. The curling iron is the only device you will look for when it’s time to curl your hair.

The curling iron is a device which bends hair using heat. This device has a specially heated unit that curls hair and gives it a perfect definition. The barrel part does the main curling. Details about the barrel will be described later on. Different types of curling iron work for various types of hair. The mighty curling iron will never fail to curl any type of hair. No matter how fine or how thick and unruly your hair is, a curling iron will always fulfill your expectations.

curling iron with a woman

Rolling hair with curling iron

Look matters the most

Since the ancient time, physical appearance and hair were indicative of one’s social status in almost every society. More elaborate and refined styles were for famous people such as the Royals while the plain artless ones were perceived as a sign of barbarism. The importance of look has only increased ever since but the time to groom ourselves just got shorter and shorter. Thus, an invention of tools to save time became a necessity, and somewhere along the way, curling irons were invented.

The invention of the curling iron

Although curly hairstyles have evolved with us, social norms are still pretty much the same. From the red carpet events to family get together or weddings, we have to dress up accordingly as well as do our hair for important events. Thus; for our convenience, tools such as the curling iron were invented. You can create head-turning hairstyles in no time and be the center of attraction using this tool. Over time, these tools have also evolved with us to give even better results without damaging hair.

Curling iron in history

Evidence has been found that renowned civilizations of Syria, Babylonia, Greece, Egypt, and Persia used hot curling Irons or tongs to curl their hair, beard or wigs artificially more than 6,000 years ago! Romans used a hollow iron pipe which was heated on the ashes called “calamistrum,” (a curling iron) to curl hair! Indeed, the curling iron has truly come a long way!

The modern age

Thanks to Rene Lelievre and Roger Lemoine, who developed the electric Curling Iron In 1959. This revolutionized hair styling tools, and curling irons became faster, lighter and more efficient ever since. However, because of our hair has not changed the essential parts of the curling iron as well as the necessary steps of using it have remained the same. Now there are a lot of curling iron brands available in the market. To find out the best curling iron for your hair type, length, and style, we have reviewed a lot of curling irons in this blog.

Curling Iron Parts

A curling iron consists of many different parts. All these parts have different functions and contribute to the curling process in every possible way.

Parts of curling iron

Parts of curling iron

This picture will help you to know about the parts of a curling iron at a glance. All the parts will be described in detail. The parts of a curling iron are –

  • The cord
  • Temperature setting button
  • Turn on/off button
  • Clamp
  • Barrel
  • Spring
  • Tip
  • Handle

These are essential parts of a curling iron. Now let’s get deeper.

The Cord

The cord is the main way of supplying electricity to the iron. Electricity reaches the iron through the cable and gets into the power unit. This unit runs electricity to the barrel and heats-up. An ideal curling iron must have a user-friendly and comfortable cord. The cord must be long enough so that the user can move easily while using the iron. Moreover, the cord must be tangle-free. Because, while one is busy curling hair and moving the iron in different directions, nothing would be so much annoying like a tangled cord. Good iron comes with a tangle-free cord.

Temperature Setting Button

In a curling iron, the perfect heat is a must. For a perfect curl, a perfect temperature limit must be set. This will give the hair a perfect smooth curl. An ideal curling iron has a temperature setting button. There are different levels to be set. Choosing the perfect level of temperature with this switch is easy. Some irons have 3 or 4 levels, and some might also have 10 or even more.

Turn on/off button

For a smooth power supply, a curling iron has the turn on/off button. Using this one can easily turn the power on and off according to need.


The clamp is like a clip that helps to get proper hold of the hair while curling. Using the clamp one can easily curl the hair. It gives you the tension so that you can easily hold on to the hair as you are curling it. The clamp is a must for curling hair properly with the perfect hold.

There are different types of clamps. The normal clamp and the two-way control clamp (Marcel clamp) are two of the most known clamps.

The traditional clamp gives you the proper hold and makes the curling process easy. On the other hand, the Marcel iron-type clamp gives you better control, and you can do anything with this. This gives you a better hold.

traditional clamp

This is the traditional clamp.

marcel clamp

Marcel clamp

This type of clamp gives you better hold on your hair.

No matter what the type is, a clamp is the grip that you need to hold on your hair and give it a smooth curl.


It can be told that the barrel is the most important part of a curling iron. Curling is done when it is attached to the barrel and twisted. The barrel gets hot, and the proper heat makes the hair curly. The barrel is almost 2/3 of the curling iron and the most important one regarding function.

There are different types of barrels. Curling iron materials used in the barrel are crucial to making the difference. Sometimes barrels also differ in shape. Barrels are of the traditional shape and also conical. Regular and conical are the two forms of the barrel which are widely used.

On the other hand, different materials are used in it. The materials are mainly ceramic, tourmaline and titanium.

Ceramic barrel ensures even heat distribution. Moisturizes the curl and makes it smooth.

The tourmaline barrel emits 6x more negative ions to smooth hair and leaves a shiny hair.

Titanium barrel evenly distributes heat and avoids sticking.


The spring maintains a proper hold between the barrel and the clamp. Spring is the must for maintaining clamp’s tension.


The frontier part of the barrel is the tip. This doesn’t get hot and gives you a safe edge and prevents you from getting hurt by the heat.


The handle provides the grip to hold the iron and curl. The turn on/off button, the temperature setting, etc. are on the handle. A perfectly shaped handle helps to curl easily.

The curling iron is a must to curl hair properly. It gives you a smooth and shiny curl. But excessive use of it might harm your hair because; if the hair gets regularly heated it might lose the natural health and might get damaged.


1. How long should your hair be on a curling iron?

Your hair should not be in the curling iron for more than 8 to 10 seconds. If you want tighter curls and your hair resists curling, you can hold it for a couple of seconds longer. Any longer may burn or dry out your hair. For normal hair, 4 to 5 seconds is usually considered enough. 

2. How do you replace a spring on a curling iron?

Measure the broken spring and pick the correct size. Unplug the iron and remove the stand by pulling one side down and under. This will cause the stand to release. Do not overbend the stand. There are two small screws on the sides which need to be removed with a screwdriver. Some curling irons may have retaining pins that also need to be removed. Once this is done, the tensioner handle will fall off the iron. Loosen the screw holder and remove the broken spring. Slip the replacement new spring under the clip and squeeze the two wires together for easy fitting. Tighten the screw and re-attach the handle to the barrel. Screw back the side screws and retaining pins. Re-attach the stand finally.

3. How do you remove the clamp from a curling iron?

Begin with removing the two side screws that hold the top clamp in its position. Find the spring below and loosen the screws which hold it down by a small metal plate. Pull out the spring from underneath. Tight back the screw on the metal plate. Keep the two screws and the black metal stand safely to re-attach later. Screw back the screws on both sides of the wand and clip the black metal stand back in position. This step can be skipped if you don’t want to use the metal stand.

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