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Equipment Series -- Curling Irons

As part two in the equipment series, I want to take a look at the irons in your closet. We might see a variety of sizes and shapes. Curling irons come in many diameters to fit every need. My own include a one and a half inch, a one inch, a three-quarter inch, a half inch and a quarter inch as well as a few specialty irons. I can create any size curl on any length of hair with one of these.

For a satisfactory result, first, be sure to fully pre-heat the iron. Your iron should have a thermostat to keep it from over-heating. Create curl that is bouncy next to the head as well as curly on the ends by using the following technique.

First clamp the iron on the hair shaft about an inch or two from the scalp, leaving the ends out. Now roll the iron toward the scalp while working the ends into the curl. This is done by loosening the clamp and allowing the hair to flow into the iron while turning. Touch the hair on the outside of the curl with your finger. Donít touch the barrel of the iron. When this hair is hot, the curl is finished, take the iron out. As another aid in creating more curl and bounce, slide the iron out of the curl while holding the hair in place. Either hold it until it cools or clip it in place and go on to the next curl. If you are worried about burning yourself when trying to get the curl close to the head, try sliding a comb between your head and the iron before taking the iron all the way down.

Flat irons are very effective in creating very straight swingy styles. They remove any trace of wave left in the hair after blow-drying. Clamp the iron on to a wide but not thick panel of hair and gently move down the hair-shaft. Do this fairly quickly so as not to damage the hair by over-heating. Very similar to the flat iron is the waving iron. It is used like the flat iron except that it does not move on the hair shaft. You just clamp it, release it and clamp it on again just below the first wave. By matching the top of the iron with the end of the wave, you crate an undulating wave throughout the length of hair.

There are irons for special effects but generally not used for everyday styles. One such iron is a spiral curl iron. By following the guides while wrapping the lock of hair around the iron a spiral curl is created. Depending on the thickness of your hair, this can take a long time to complete.

Another specialty iron is a Z iron. This isnít really a curling iron because it forms a Z pattern in the hair when used as you would a curling iron. It resembles a curling iron that has been flattened and is for the person who wants a look that is spirited and unexpected.

There is an iron to accomplish every purpose in every type of hair. All that is needed is to find the correct size and style of iron and to use it correctly.

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