Curling Tool Guide

Curling Iron Size Comparisons

A curling tool guide is exactly what every woman needs when choosing a curling iron, wand, or flat iron.

It is no secret that the size of curling iron, wand, or straightener you use determines the size of curls you create. The larger the barrel, the looser the curls. Likewise, the smaller the barrel, the tighter the curl. The length of your tresses also makes a big impact on the end result of your curls as well. Here I will quickly give you some things to remember the next time you are picking out your curling tool.

Curling Iron Sizes 1.5

The 1 1/2 ” barrel is great for curls with a lot of body, think Victoria Secret volume. This is my favorite barrel to use when I want to create a soft, touchable look.

Curling Iron Sizes 1.25

The 1 1/4″ barrel is my favorite size curling iron. It creates a great uniform curl when held at a vertical angle to the face. My #1 recommendation when choosing a size.

Curling Iron Sizes 1

The 1″ barrel is perfect when you have hair between short and medium, aka chin length to collar bones. It creates a tighter curl and a second choice after the 1 1/4″ iron above.

Curling Wand Sizes 1

The Jose Eber Trio Curling Wand Set  is specially designed with three distinctive curling barrel sizes that are perfect for all hair types.

Curling Iron Sizes 25mm

Curling Iron Sizes 19mm

Curling Iron Sizes tapered

With easily interchangeable barrels, a multitude of curly and wavy styles can be created with the trio wand. The clipless design gives perfect, more natural looking curls and waves that are free of kinks, ridges, and crimped ends.  By focusing longer heat at the roots and not the tips, damage caused by traditional curling irons is a thing of the past.

Flat Iron SizesCurling Iron Sizes 1.25 flat iron

My favorite straightener ever, the HAI Convertible Flat Iron. The 1 1/4″ creates a great uniform curl when held at a vertical angle. My #1 recommendation when choosing a straightener width. This iron offers adjustable heat (which is a must!) and floating plates to eliminate any tension and pull on the hair.

Curling Iron Sizes 12
The 1/2″ flat iron (similar here) allows close reach to the scalp in order to perfect bangs or hairstyles of shorter length.

Other items of note:

The 2″ barrel (not pictured) would be your weapon of choice for a subtle bend on the ends of your hair. The curl is very loose so it is best to keep this barrel to imitate a blowout style.

**Style Trick:

One of my biggest tricks when curling my hair with a flat iron is gently smoothing the flat iron over the top of them at the end. This gives those loose, uniform waves that are so gorgeous.


  1. February 15, 2018 / 9:25 AM

    i love the hot tools curling irons, i have tried others but always go back to that brand , great blog x

  2. marycramer
    September 29, 2015 / 2:59 PM

    I personally love my Karmin :)

  3. gretajenkins
    September 2, 2015 / 10:49 AM

    I really like my Karmin

  4. snillocecila
    August 31, 2015 / 3:38 PM

    My Favorite is Karmin

  5. Nelly
    June 12, 2015 / 5:39 PM

    I have really long hair that reaches almost to my butt and I’m undecided between the 1 1/4 and 1 1/2. I want loose curls but I also want them to hold their shape. Thanks in advanced! ♡♡♡♡

  6. Monica
    December 24, 2014 / 11:09 AM

    I thought that with the tapered curling iron, it was supposed to be used the other way (bigger diameter at the top). I didn’t hear this anywhere, this was just in my mind as the way that would give the best kind of curls. Have you tried it the other way (opposite of what’s in your photo)?

    • December 30, 2014 / 10:15 AM

      I see what you mean, I’ve only used it the one way so I guess I’ll have to give the other way a try, thanks!

  7. July 26, 2014 / 3:55 AM

    Hey, could you upload a video on how you curl your hair? I really liked the way you did your curls in the pictures, so I was wondering if you could do a video on how to achieve different styles of curls using a specific way to use your curling iron.

    • July 29, 2014 / 10:35 AM

      Thanks for the comment, I’ll see what I can do (:

  8. virginia
    April 7, 2014 / 4:49 PM

    Hi, Melissa! I’ve bought a curling iron that comes with 3 barrels. The size comes in mm.
    What would be the equivalence of 38mm, 33mm and 19mm in inches?
    Thank you!!! <3
    P.S. I love your blog!!!

    • virginia
      April 7, 2014 / 5:07 PM

      Would these be correct?
      3/4″ = 19mm
      1.25″ = 33mm
      1.5″ = 38 mm

      • April 8, 2014 / 9:21 AM

        Hey Virginia, Yep you got it (: I’d recommend using the 33mm – 1.25″ gives the best curls (:

    • April 8, 2014 / 9:22 AM

      Thank you, Virginia! <3

  9. March 26, 2014 / 4:36 PM

    Do you have any video tutorials on how to curl your hair with a flat iron? Every time I do it my hair just looks zig zagged and bent.

    • melissa
      March 26, 2014 / 4:49 PM

      Hi Justina! I do actually have a video tutorial but I am still working on the editing portion of it. It should go up soon! Flat irons are definitely tricky buggers ((:

  10. March 21, 2014 / 5:38 PM

    this helps so much understanding the different barrel sizes and what the curls would look like xo

    • melissa
      March 24, 2014 / 9:19 AM


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