Hairstyles

Curling Iron Line-Up: The Right Wand for Every Curl

Here's how to choose the right barrel for your look

What could be simpler than curling your hair? Clamp, wrap, repeat -- right? Not exactly. For those of us who have ever wrestled with a wand (read: all of us), we know that getting the perfect beachy waves or soft spirals can be tougher than it looks. And we've got the embarrassing prom pictures to prove it.

To get the curl you want, using the right-sized wand is crucial. Even though some curling iron barrels vary by mere fractions of an inch, the differences are like matte lipstick to high-gloss balm -- equally gorgeous, but worlds apart. We took to our beauty lab (an empty office) to size up the eight most common curling irons (from Conair, T3, John Frieda, and Hot Tools) and show you exactly what kind of curl you'll get.

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