The Best Curling Iron for Long and Loose Curls & Waves

The secret to long, loose waves is the right type of curling iron.

Photo: Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images

So you want to curl your long hair, but you're afraid you'll end up looking like you got a bad perm -- or like Cher in the '80s? You can use a curling iron to create long, loose waves for a trendy boho look -- or a glamorous bombshell, if that's more your style. The right brand of curling iron will make it easy to create the look.

The Hot Tools Jumbo 1" Pro, a Large Barrel Style

When it comes to curling irons -- the larger the barrel, the bigger and looser your curls. Allure says its favorite is The Hot Tools Jumbo 1" curling iron, and it can be used to create a sexy bombshell 'do -- like Victoria's Secret models sport on the runway. This curling iron heats up fast and retains heat evenly due to its jumbo-size, 24K gold-plated barrel. Wrap 2-inch sections of hair around the curling iron's large barrel and you'll create waves. Brush out to finish the look.

Sedu Revolution, a Clipless Style

Heather Muir, Beauty News Editor at Allure, says that the pros like to create curls that look loose and more modern by not using the clamp on a regular curling iron -- and now that clipless ones are available, it's easier to create the look. The Sedu Revolution Clipless curling iron, with a 1-inch barrel, will easily create loose curls and waves. It's designed to help you create curls without the lines and kinks that the clamp often makes. Muir says it heats evenly, making it even easier to create consistent curls and waves. Hairstylist Esther Langham used this curling iron to style Taylor Swift's hair for the August 2011 cover of Teen Vogue. Rather than Swift's usual tight, springy curls, the "fluffy" brushed-out wavy style looked more grown-up and romantic.

The RSession Tools Runway Series, a Tapered Style with Tracks

InStyle tested the RSession Tools Runway Series tapered curling iron and found its claims to be true -- its unique design will make it easier for anyone to create curls and waves. The curling iron has spiral tracks that guide your hair as you're winding it around the barrel, ensuring that your hair is placed in the right position to form the perfect loose curls -- "Hollywood style." Hairstylist Ted Gibson, who counts Angelina Jolie among his clients, told InStyle that the tracks really work.

The Essence 2011 Best, White Sands Curling Iron

Essence featured the White Sands Curling Iron as a winner in the Best Tools category of the magazine's March 2011 Beauty Awards. The curling iron combines two features, making it easy to switch from tight curls to looser waves. When the barrel's clamp is in the Marcel position, it's unlocked so it can be lifted all the way up and out of the way when styling each section of hair -- and your curls won't have the unnatural lines from the clamp. Waves will look looser and more natural.

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