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Are Ceramic Curling Irons Better?

By Debby Mayne
Updated May 21, 2024
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Many proponents of ceramic curling irons claim that they are better for the hair because they conduct heat evenly across the barrel while releasing negative ions, thereby preventing frizzing. As the heating element brings the curling iron to the desired temperature, the ceramic exterior keeps hot spots from damaging sections of the hair by evenly distributing the heat. The surface of most of these devices is smooth and may be less likely to snag, break off, or pull out the hair. A debate as to whether they are really better than other curling irons, however, may simply come down to personal preference.

The different types of curling irons include ceramic, tourmaline, and metal-plated. People who prefer ceramic versions usually claim that applying hot metal directly to the hair can be damaging. Although tourmaline curling irons also release negative ions, they are made of costly materials that generally make them more expensive than their ceramic counterparts.

Ceramic curling irons are easy to use for most people. The irons tend to be lightweight enough for the user to maneuver them without tiring. They typically provide a tight grip on the hair without sticking when clamped, so they can be ideal for creating smooth curls. Another benefit of the ceramic version is that the negative ions will help repel dirt, which means that the hair can be washed less frequently without looking dirty.

Many professional hair stylists recommend ceramic tools to their clients because the irons are easy to use, gentle on the hair, and generally affordable. The amount of heat that they provide varies, based on the thickness, texture, and natural wave or curliness of the hair. Thinner hair usually needs less heat, while coarse, wavy hair may need more to produce the desired results. The curling irons that get the hottest work the quickest, but they are also more likely to do more damage to the hair.

Most curling irons come with a variety of settings to control how much heat is applied to the hair. Some of them also come with an automatic shutoff feature in case someone forgets to turn them off. Other features available may include a variety of barrel sizes for tighter or looser curls, brushes, and retractable or swivel cords. A safety feature that is available on some models is a cool tip on the end to help steady the curling iron without burning the fingers.

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Discussion Comments

By indemnifyme — On Nov 07, 2011

@JaneAir - You're lucky. It sounds like your hair isn't very prone to frizz and probably takes heat styling well. My hair is thin and prone to frizz (a horrible combination.) I simply can't use a cheap metal curling iron in my hair.

The ceramic irons work a lot better for me. No frizz! I find they damage my hair way less, too. For whatever reason, I can usually get good results with less heat using a ceramic iron than with a metal iron.

By JaneAir — On Nov 06, 2011

I have a Conair metal curling iron as well as some hot tools ceramic curling irons. The ceramic ones were more expensive than the metal one, which I think I bought for about $15 at the grocery store. I think the ceramic irons were closer to $40 dollars when I got them at the beauty supply store.

Sadly, despite the difference in price, I can't really tell the difference when I use them. All of my curling irons work about the same. The only difference is that some of them have larger barrels, so the curls look different. But I don't really notice more or less frizz with either kind.

By Sara007 — On Nov 06, 2011

@manykitties2 - I don't think you should have to spend a fortune to get some decent hair irons into your home. I have one of the Revlon ceramic curling irons I purchased a few years back and it still does the job.

I think if your hair is frizzing when you use a curling iron you should first look into some hair products that protect your hair from the heat and add smoothness and shine. I use a really nice hair serum with silicone in it whenever I curl my hair and it keeps my hair looking salon perfect. Give something like that a try first before spending a lot on a professional iron.

By manykitties2 — On Nov 05, 2011

Do you think it is worth the cost to purchase professional ceramic curling irons for doing your own hair at home?

Right now I have one of the cheaper Conair ceramic curling irons that you can buy online and it does an OK job on my hair, but I find that it still frizzes a bit too much for my liking. Plus, it takes forever to heat up.

I am considering investing in one of the tourmaline ceramic curling irons, as I have read that they cause less damage to your hair and do a better job. As one of the top ceramic curling irons on the market, they can get pretty pricey, so I really need to know whether or not I should go for the purchase or not.

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