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Spring Curling Irons vs. Clipless Curling Irons
What’s the Difference?

When you think of a curling iron, what probably comes to mind is a long metal barrel with a clamp on the side, also known as a spring curling iron. The spring curling iron is by far the most common. However, with ever-evolving technology a new type of iron has come along that will soon rival spring curling irons for their place as a household necessity. Clipless curling irons are exactly as the name implies – there is no clip on the side. Instead, you use your free hand to wrap your hair around the iron’s barrel. This may sound a bit daunting, so we’re here to help you decide if you’re ready to upgrade to clipless curling irons, or you’re better off just sticking with the good ole, familiar spring curling iron.

Spring Curling Irons

The spring curling iron has many benefits, largely due to its reign over the curling iron industry. Because it has long been the most popular curling iron, industry professionals have spent considerable amounts of time and money perfecting it, so not only is there a huge selection of all types and sizes of spring irons, but there is a great range available from functional and affordable to luxurious and high end.

An advantage to using a spring curling iron is that you’re already familiar with it. You know what to do and how to work it to style your hair the way you love. They are renowned for being extremely simple to operate – just clamp the ends of your hair, and roll it up. You’re also able to choose from a very wide variety of different barrel sizes, which allows you to create a wide variety of looks.

Spring curling irons are a great option due to their availability and ease of use. However, there are a couple drawbacks which may have you thinking twice. The clamp on some spring irons can leave crimp marks in your hair that are tough to get out. The clamp can also be prone to breaking off, though this is more typical of lesser quality models.

Clipless Curling Irons

If you want to stay up to date with the latest hair appliances, consider the clipless curling iron. Though fairly new, it is already the go-to tool for many top hair stylists. The most obvious benefit to the clipless curling iron is that you will never get crimp marks in your hair as you may with spring curling irons. It takes some getting used to, but once you master it, the iron is very easy to use – many professionals insist it is even faster than using a spring curling iron.

You also gain more control over the size of your curl with the clipless irons. Because you are using your hands to wrap your hair around the barrel, you are better able to determine the size of the curl you are going to get, whether it be small, medium, or large. Though clipless curling irons have many advantages, there are a couple things you should be wary about. We recommend purchasing a clipless curling iron which comes with a heat proof glove included. We insist first time users always wear a glove, even if you have to purchase it separately. What’s the point of achieving a flawless, curly style if the only place you will get to show it off is the emergency room?

The Bottom Line

If you’re still torn between the two choices, consider this: If you’re the type of person who only uses a curling iron on special occasions and isn’t especially interested in pursuing “the next big thing” then your best bet is to invest in a great spring curling iron and stick with that. If it’s not broke, don’t fix it!

If you’re the type of person who works in the beauty or fashion industry, loves trying new styles and professional hair tools, or curls your hair often, then you should definitely try out a clipless curling iron. You’ll be glad you did!

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Thanks to Sarah for writing this article for Misikko!


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