Saturday, September 13, 2014

Saturday beauty: Curling irons

I both like and dislike curling my hair.  I dislike it because it takes forever to do, but I like it because the look afterwards is very pretty.  I always use a curling iron to curl my hair as that is the fastest and most efficient method.  While curling irons come in many sizes and types, they can generally be divided into two categories: clamp or clampless.

I decided to test both types of irons on my hair to see which gives the better curl.

Clampless iron

Clamp iron
I chose two irons with similar barrel sizes.  I heated both to 400 degrees.

Lasagna insisted on being in the room with me.  Nya~!

I wanted to try the clamp iron first, but I forgot to turn it on when I plugged it in, so I instead used the clampless iron first while the clamp iron heated up.  The first time I ever used a clampless iron was a very clumsy experience as I had difficulty figuring out how to wrap my hair around the barrel without burning myself.  I've done it so many times now that it is no problem.  I wrapped a strand of hair about half an inch thick around the barrel and held it for twenty seconds before gently removing the curling iron.

Clampless iron result
Next, I used the clampless iron, taking a strand of hair the same length and thickness as the first strand.  I clamped the end of the strand and wrapped my hair around it.  I wish I was able to take a picture of the wrap, but it's difficult to do when you're by yourself!

Clamp iron result
Both irons produced nice curls.  The clampless iron, however, produced a tighter curl which is apparent by how much shorter there clampless curl appears than the clamp curl.

Clampless curl on right, clamp curl on left
Of course, the most important feature of a curl is how long it is able to last.  I did not use hairspray on either curl and took a picture of them just five minutes later.

Clampless curl after five minutes

Clamp curl after five minutes
After just five minutes, the clampless curl is still quite strong while the clamp curl is already starting to lose its curl.  Hairspray would've helped, of course, but considering that the clampless curl was not sprayed either, it is quite a difference.

I then brushed out each curl to further test their strengths.

After brushing out both curls, clampless curl on right and clamp curl on left
The clampless curl still retains a considerable amount of shape, but the clamp curl is now almost straight.  It's very difficult to see at all.  For whatever reason, the clampless iron has created a stronger curl than the clamp iron even though both irons had the same heat and barrel size.

Now, of course, both irons did not seem to be made of the same metal, but I have found that no matter what kind of clamp iron I use, it never produces as good a curl as a clampless iron.  I will likely revisit this with a clamp iron with a barrel that is made with the same metal as the clampless iron, but for now, I will definitely continue using my clampless iron.  It's a little harder to use and certainly more likely to burn as your fingers and hands must stay close to the barrel (I've accidentally touched the barrel many times, but it never resulted in an actual burn, just pain for a few seconds or so), but the end result is all worth it.

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