How do I Choose the Best Dual Voltage Curling Iron?

Mandi R. Hall

Choosing the best dual voltage curling iron is not a task that should be taken lightly. These appliances generally perform the same function as other curling irons, but they have the added bonus of being able to work internationally. They can be great accessories for people who travel often. To chose the best dual voltage curling iron, you will want to consider several additional facets, including compactness, barrel size, temperature settings, material, and design.

Some dual-voltage irons will automatically adapt to whatever voltage is available.
Some dual-voltage irons will automatically adapt to whatever voltage is available.

When purchasing a dual voltage curling iron, the buyer should check the box, plug, or tag for any information concerning dual voltage. If the appliance is dual voltage, the tag will typically note that the input is 110 volts (V) to 240V. In modern times, most dual voltage appliances and electronics will adapt themselves when plugged in, according to whatever voltage level is available in that specific area. Some, however, will have a switch that can toggle between the choices of 110V and 240V.

Fine, brittle hair should be treated gently.
Fine, brittle hair should be treated gently.

A dual voltage curling iron will work most anywhere in the world that there is electricity available. Buyers may need to purchase a plug adapter, though, as electrical sockets differ between countries, such as between the United States and Germany. Since these curling irons are so adaptable, investing in a high-end one may be an appropriate choice for the frequent traveler.

Travelers typically should pick dual-voltage curling irons that fit their specific styling needs. People with naturally thick, coarse hair usually require different curling irons or settings than those who have fine, thin, or brittle hair. Thick hair can naturally withstand more heat and tugging, while fine hair or hair that has a history of being chemically treated usually needs to be cared for more tenderly.

Another feature that consumers should look for when choosing a dual voltage curling iron is the barrel material. While metal barrels are cheaper, the clamping can cause strain on the hair and the metal can heat unevenly, producing irregular curls that could burn. Tourmaline or ceramic barrels are recommended by hair stylists, as these barrels generally maintain stable heat while releasing ions and infrared heat, thereby infusing moisture and sheen into hair. These curling irons usually are lighter, making it generally easier to curl those hard-to-reach areas.

It is also important to choose a dual voltage curling iron that can easily be packed or stored, such as those with retractable or winding cords. Often, people learning to curl their own hair feel that the curling iron handle or cord gets in the way. If the beauty supply store has curling irons on display, you could try them out in front of the mirror, or ask a sales associate for tips. A consumer should pick the curling iron that is most comfortable for him or her to use.

The size of the barrel can be an important aspect of a curling iron, as it is this element that creates tiny spiral curls or soft, flowing curls. Generally, the smaller the diameter of the barrel, the tighter the curls will be. People who are looking for barrel curls typically should pick a dual voltage curling iron with a thicker barrel.

If possible, pick a curling iron that has multiple heat settings. Some curling irons will have 10 to 25 settings, while some will simply have low and high settings. Creating light, bouncy curls quickly can be done by loosely wrapping hair around the barrel on a low setting for a few seconds at a time.

Curling iron suggestions may come from a hair stylist.
Curling iron suggestions may come from a hair stylist.

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