hair curlers

The best hair curlers for a salon-quality finish

14 Jun 2024 | |By Hitanshi Kamdar

From beach waves to defined curls, unlock the big bouncy hair of your dreams with these innovative curling wands

All products are chosen independently by our editors. Luxury London may earn commission on items purchased.

The secret to an instantly glamorous look? Bouncy waves and curls. From rock stars to royalty, celebrities to social media influencers, cascading curls are a one-way ticket to effortless polish. And there are seemingly endless ways to curl your hair: a hair straightener can result in gorgeous waves when paired with the right technique, as can a hair dryer and round brush, while heatless curlers work their magic without the heat damage. But hair curlers remain the quickest and most efficient way to achieve perfect ringlets and waves. That said, as with any hair styling tool, there’s no one-size-fits-all option and factors like your hair type and length, the size of the curling iron barrel, and how hot it gets will all contribute to how well they can transform flat locks.

What to look for in a hair curler

Size is key when it comes to picking the right hair curler. For shorter and finer hair, thinner barrels are ideal. Thin barrels are also great if you desire tighter ringlets. Wider barrels, on the other hand, create looser curls and work well for longer and thicker hair. If you can’t commit to a single look, many hair curlers come with interchangeable barrels.

Another important factor to consider is heat – invest in a styling tool with customisable temperature, although a maximum temperature of 200ºC is recommended to avoid excessive heat damage. As for the material, while most curling wands feature ceramic barrels, look for a tourmaline ceramic blend to minimise frizz.

Whichever hair curler you choose, be sure to start with freshly shampooed hair for best results, and don’t forget the heat-protectant spray to avoid unnecessary damage.

The best hair curlers to buy now

Ready for salon-quality bouncy curls at home? Here’s our pick of the best hair curlers on the market.

GHD Creative Curl wand

Suitable for all hair types, GHD’s Creative Curl wand has a unique tapered barrel for creating both loose, glamorous curls and holiday-ready waves. While the lightweight wand doesn’t have a clamp to hold hair in place, a protective cool tip helps avoid burnt fingers. The curling wand is equipped with ultra-zone technology that maintains a temperature of 185°C across the length of the barrel for uniform, long-lasting curls. Among other handy features, it has a built-in safety stand, automatic sleep mode after 30 minutes of no use, and a 360-degree swivel cord.

Barrel width: 28mm-23mm 
Temperature: One setting (185°C)

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Dyson Airwrap Complete multi-styler

Dyson’s Airwrap is the most versatile state-of-the-art option on this list. The innovative styling tool is an all-in-one hair drying and styling option that comes with six attachments including two barrels, a smoothing dryer, round volumising brush, and soft and firm volumising brushes. Rather than relying on heat, it styles hair using concentrated airflow, which also wraps the hair around the barrel for you, making fiddling with hot tongs a thing of the past. The barrels turn both clockwise and anticlockwise for easy styling while smoothing attachments help reduce frizz and flyaways.

Barrel width: 30mm and 40mm
Temperature: Three settings with three different speeds

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Hershesons Wavemaker

Given that Hershesons is one of the best hair salons in London, it’s no surprise that it also boasts one of the best styling tools on the market. Perfect for casually tousled waves, the Wavemaker features an automatic rolling barrel encased in a transparent protective screen, meaning you can get easy curls at the press of a button without worrying about singed fingers, necks or carpets. It heats up in seconds while three temperature settings let you choose how defined you want your curls to be.

Barrel width: 25mm
Temperature: Three settings (50°C, 150°C, 200°C)

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MD London Wave retractable hot brush

The latest addition to renowned hair expert Michael Douglas’ range of hair tools, the Wave hot brush can help you achieve practically any style – it creates curls and waves, reduces frizz and flyaways, boosts volume, and smooths fringes. Simply roll the heated brush through a small section of hair and retract the bristles for defined curls. The brush also features an automatic turn off after 30 minutes of no use and a three metre long cable. 

Barrel width: 33mm
Temperature: Five settings (150°C, 165°C, 180°C, 195°C, 210°C)

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Drybar The 3-Day Bender curling iron

The 3-Day Bender curling iron is great for glossy curls. Designed with dual ceramic heaters for even heat distribution, it has a rotating clamp for quick styling and is suitable for most hair types. Plus, it is also equipped with ionic technology which seals the hair cuticle and reduces frizz for supreme shine.

Barrel width: 25.4mm
Temperature: Up to 226°C

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BaByliss 9000 cordless waving wand

Perfect for travel, BaByliss’ 9000 cordless waving wand is a great lightweight portable option. With three temperature settings and instant heat up technology, it features a unique micro heating matrix technology for even heat distribution. The wand can be charged in three hours for up to 40 minutes of use, a must-have for polished curls on-the-go.

Barrel width: 28mm
Temperature: Three settings (160°C, 170°C, 180°C)

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Mermade mini waver

True to its name, the Mermade mini waver is great for creating dreamy mermaid ripples. The ceramic-coated crimper creates curls and waves in 60 seconds and boasts ionic technology for taming frizz, as well as multiple heat settings. Simply clamp small sections, wait for a few seconds and release for perfect beach-ready hair.

Barrel width: 25mm
Temperature: Up to 210°C

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