Top 9 Curling Iron Sizes to Create Perfect Curls

nume octowand 8
source: Amazon

For the love of curls, we all try curling tools to get a specific look forgetting that curling iron sizes determine the results. You might be wondering which curling iron size I should use for my hair? The answer is not so easy, since hairstyles change with different occasions or even moods.

Not to mention that curly irons almost look the same except for the big ones, which are conspicuous. There are varying barrel sizes of curling irons, which you should get acquainted with if you plan on creating beautiful curly hairdos.

If you’re hoping for bouncy waves, a ¼ barrel size should get the job done, and if you increase the size, so does the curls. It should be that simple, but your hair length might defy this rule. That’s because the more hair you wrap around the barrel affects the resulting curls. Please do not get confused, as it is made more accessible with this guide on nine curly iron sizes.

How to measure curling iron barrel sizes

Most curling iron sizes come with the specifications written on the packaging. Suppose you’re still curious to know if it is the actual size. You can always measure it using the steps below.

  • Get a measuring tape, and place it at the tip of the handle. That connects to the cord, down to the ends of the barrel. This gives the entire length of your curling iron.
  • It would be best to take the measuring tape around them for the barrels to get an accurate size. It is an important exercise, so you know curls to expect with the barrel size. Ensure you measure the iron when it gets turned off to avoid getting burnt in the process.

9 curling iron sizes for different hairstyles

1. 3/8 inch Curling iron  (9mm)

3/4 curls on Beyonce
source: Amazon/hairfleek

This curling iron size gives only tight curls because the barrel is small. This might be the best curling iron size for you if you have short hair, as it picks up tiny hair. It gives beautiful bouncy curls to even short haircuts like the pixie. You get corkscrew curls with long hair lengths.

2. 5/8 inch curling iron

5/8 culring iron sizes on Teyana Taylor curls
source: Amazon/Pinterest


Depending on your hair length and technique, you can have tight curls and beachy waves with this curling iron. If you succeed in creating the tight curls, the result looks natural and luxe. It is a fun shaggy look you will love to wear.

3. ½ inch curling iron

half inch curling iron sizes on Kelly Rowland
source: Amazon/hairfleeek

This curling size serves lots of purposes, and its best use is to boost the natural curl pattern. So, if your hair is curly on its own, this iron might be all you need to smoothen out the curls. You only get this result if your hair is long. Even if it’s straight, you still create natural curls. You can make beach waves with ½inch curling iron sizes for short hair length.

4. ¾ inch curling iron

3/4 inch hoson curling iron
source: amazon

This curling iron size gives you the ultimate deep waves, which form a popular hairstyle. You can use the iron-on short hair to create a vintage look, replicating finger waves. While on medium-length hair, these deep waves can turn into a glamourous affair, especially on blonde hair. For a classy curly hairstyle, go for ¾ curling iron sizes to give that polished look.

5. 1 inch curling iron

1 inch hoson curls
source: Amazon

A beautiful loose wavy hairdo gets created with this curling iron size. It delivers almost the same results for all hair lengths and is the ideal size for its versatility. For long hair, you get beachy waves, while for short hair, the waves will look a bit loose and cute. It also adds texture to the hair for the best results.

6. 1 ¼ inch curling iron (1.25inches)

1 .25 inch curly hair
source: Amazon

This curling size gives one of the most natural curls a tool can provide. A perfect representation of the expected curls will be goldilocks. To some, this is the perfect curl because it is the ideal balance between tight and loose curls. It is best to use this curling iron size on medium to long hair lengths.

7. 1 ½ inch curling iron size

1 1/2 curling iron sizes
source: Amazon

This size falls on the big side since the barrel comes wide and looks conspicuous even on sight. If you have short hair and which to create natural waves, then a curling iron of this size will work for you. It is used mainly to add texture to curls, so the hair looks flat but structured.

8. 1 ¾ inch curling iron

1 3/4 curling iron sizes
source: Amazon/maneinterst


You get voluminous, bouncy curls with this curling iron size, but it only works well on longer hair lengths. For shorter hair lengths, it creates a bend rather than giving you actual curls.

9. 2 inch curling iron

2 inch curls on Kate Midleton
source: Amazon/Getty Images

A 2inch iron size will give you loose waves rather than actual curls. The barrel size looks big and might be tricky to handle. It provides the best results on long hair that you wrap multiple times around it for a wavy pattern. When used on short hair, they might only make the hair look voluminous and may not add waves. It might look like you got a blowout instead because of the volume it gives.

 Tourmaline & Ceramics Hair Curling Wand Set
source: Ustar

How to choose a good curling iron size

There is no general rule to deciding the best curling iron you should be using. It all comes down to your style and preferences; sometimes, your mood calls for loose curls, and it might be wavy. If you’re going to use a curling iron, you should remember that small barrel sizes give tight curls. While for wavy and loose curls, you will have to go higher in the curling iron size. However, tighter curls last longer.

You can create different curly hairstyles as suites between the big and small range of curling iron sizes. However, the standard barrel size for all your hair needs is 1inch, as others get fixed between hair lengths. If you find a technique that works for you, you might only need one or two sizes. Better, you can opt for a curling iron that comes with multiple barrels to create several hairstyles.


You create curls by wrapping your hair on a curling iron barrel, and the heat allows the rings to set in to follow the warp curls. Your hair length plays a huge part in how the curls turn out. You might never know which curling iron sizes will suit you until you experiment with a few.

Find out more ways to create curly hairstyles:

Curly hairstyles: 10 stunning styles you can do if you have curly hair
17 Best Product For Two Strand Twist
10 best curling wands for beautiful long lasting hairstyles

Fanti Tukuwei
I'm a fashion, beauty, and lifestyle enthusiast, and the ultimate curves queen. Here, I share beauty, fashion, and lifestyle tips to teach, inspire, and give confidence to all women.