Is It Better To Curl Hair With A Flat Iron or Curling Iron? (A Professional Guide)

Unfortunately, we don’t all wake up with the perfect beach wave or bouncy curls (sad, I know.) That’s where our trusty hot tools come in. But is it better to curl hair with a flat iron or curling iron? And what type of curls do these tools produce? Let’s break it down. 

Is It Better To Curl Hair With A Flat Iron or Curling Iron?

Is It Better To Curl Hair With A Flat Iron or Curling Iron?

Did you know that curling irons and flat irons produce different types of curls? So, depending on what style of curl you prefer, one of these hot tools may suit you better than the other. Which tool is best for you and your locks? Let’s discuss.

Curling Hair With A Curling Iron

Curling irons are a hot tool that is cylindrical in shape. They have a metallic barrel and a clamp that holds the hair against the tool to create clean, polished curls. Traditionally, curling irons create precise, perfect, long-lasting curls.

Pros of curling hair with a curling iron: 

  • They are suitable for all hair types and hair lengths. 
  • Much easier for beginners to use as the clamp ensures the hair stays in place while curling.
  • The curls last longer than curls done with a flat iron. 
  • Curling irons typically produce smoother, frizz-free curls. 

Cons of curling hair with a curling iron:

  • The curling iron barrel is a single size, so it may be hard to achieve curls of varying shapes and sizes. (Unless you purchase multiple barrels.)
  • The curling iron produces curls that are very polished and pageant-like. So if you prefer a natural, effortless look, curling irons may not be for you. 
  • Some curling irons don’t have adjustable heat settings. 

What Curling Iron Should You Use?

The Winner: Conair Double Ceramic 1 1/4-Inch Curling Iron

When it comes to affordability and quality, you can beat this Conair Ceramic curling iron. But don’t let the bargain price fool you. This curling iron is a fan fave with over 4000+ glowing reviews on Amazon. This much-loved curling iron comes in different barrel sizes, so you can get your favorite curl every time. 

Curling Hair With A Flat Iron

Flat irons are traditionally used to achieve straight, smooth locks. But, surprisingly, the modest flat iron is a versatile tool that can do much more than just straighten your hair. Flat irons can give you the effortless beach wave we all swoon over. And they can be used to get big curls and polished S waves. (With a little practice.)

Girl showing off 8 Expert Ways To Stop Frizzy Hair After Straightening.

Pros of curling hair with a flat iron:

  • Flat irons allow you to achieve effortless, natural, undone curls. 
  • They are multi-use and can be used to both straighten and curl the hair.
  • Flat irons have adjustable heat settings allowing you to turn the heat down if you have thin hair.
  • Perfect for when you’re in a rush and want to do a quick wave or loose curl. 

Cons of curling hair with a flat iron:

  • It may be difficult to achieve traditional curls with a flat iron. 
  • Harder for beginners to get the hang of using a flat iron to curl their hair. 
  • It may be challenging to use on short hair as there’s no clamp to hold the hair into place. 
  • Flat iron curls may not hold as long as curling iron curls.

What Flat Iron Should You Use?

The Winner: HSI Professional Glider – Ceramic Tourmaline Ionic Flat Iron

With an astounding 75,000+ 5-star reviews on Amazon, there’s no denying that this best-selling ceramic flat iron is a goodie. It is super versatile with heat options ranging from 140 to 450-degrees, making it perfect for all hair types. You can use this flat iron to straighten and curl in a hurry! It uses micro-sensors to evenly distribute heat, so fewer passes are needed and less time is wasted. 

Tips and Tricks For Curling Hair

No matter what hot tool you’re using, these tips and tricks will help protect your hair and achieve swoon-worthy curls.

  • Make sure your hair is completely dry before you reach for your flat iron or curling iron.
  • Always use a heat protector on your hair! We love the OUAI Heat Protection Spray.
  • Let your curls set before going in with your brush. It will help them last longer.
  • Alternate the direction of your curls to make your hair look tousled and natural. 
  • Try to use the lowest heat setting possible to avoid damaging your locks.
  • Don’t hold the flat iron or curling iron on your hair for too long. Aim for 8-10 seconds max!
  • Make sure you regularly clean your hot tools (when they’re unplugged, of course.) It will help prevent residue build-up from your hair products. 
  • Don’t forget to use a hairspray to hold the curls in place all day long. 

Is It Better To Curl Hair With A Flat Iron or Curling Iron?

Is it better to curl hair with a flat iron or curling iron? We think both tools absolutely deserve a place in your bathroom cabinet. You never know when you’ll need to whip out the curler for some big bouncy curls or your flat iron for sleek smooth locks! 

But if you’re torn between picking a curling iron or flat iron, think about what type of curls you prefer. And which ones you’re more likely to rock on a regular basis. 

If you love the precise, long-lasting, and done-up curls that the curling iron produces, that may be the best option for you. Or, if you prefer natural, tousled waves and loose curls, opt for the flat iron instead. 

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