Back in the 80s and 90s, crimped hair has always been the cool girl hair style. Those teeny tiny waves that look like you’re wearing invisible bobby pins in the wrong side up were popular among young girls to the hottest female celebrities.
Everyone who was famous back in the day, from TV’s Topanga and Lizzie McGuire, famous actresses like Jodie Foster and even pop stars like Britney Spears, models like Tyra Banks, and even divas like Barbra Streisand stepped out with the hairstyle, so a hair crimping iron has quickly become one of the must-haves for every young lady at the time.
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And since trends tend to come and go, it shouldn’t be surprising that hair crimping is coming back with the mom jeans, chokers, and crop tops that are in vogue right now. If you think this hairstyle is something you need to sport right away, there are a few ways to go about it. Owning a hair crimper is one of the best ways to do it, though, as these tools will give you the best results that will hold and give your hair the definition and volume you need to get that retro look.
The Magic of Crimped ‘Dos
Some people may argue that hair crimping looks too dated to wear today, but a lot of celebrity stylists, beauty experts, and big fashion houses will beg to disagree. This hairstyle shouldn’t be reserved for retro costume parties because you can always give it a modern take. Also, as mentioned above, with 90s fashion back in full swing, crimped hair will naturally follow suit, as evidenced by the many runway shows that sported the ‘do over the past few seasons.
What makes hair crimping such a popular hairstyle is its ability to volumize the hair while making it completely different. It’s a popular pick among those with fine hair as it provides a different texture to their otherwise limp and lifeless strands. It gives a whole new dimension to one’s locks, making it more interesting.
Crimping lifts the hair and gives it a unique shape that’s only achievable with the help of the jagged shape of the heating tool. Some folks may claim that they can crimp sans the heat or the tool, but it’s not the same. Its visually striking effect is just not that pronounced without the heat, so if you want the best results, using the best crimper for hair is the only way to get this hairstyle.
How to Choose the Best Crimping Iron for You
Not all crimpers are made equal. Just like other heat styling tools, some are magnificent while others will do nothing but harm your tresses. This is why you need to find the right one for your needs and to do that, here are some tips you should stick to.
1. Consider Your Hair Type
Choosing the best hair crimper iron is a lot like shopping for any other heat styling tool because the first thing that you have to do is to consider your locks. Looking at your hair type is essential as this can dictate the effectiveness of the product you’re choosing. If you have fine hair, you should look for a unit that will work well with your fine strands. If you have coarse, thick tresses, you need something that can give your stubborn locks a nice definition.
You should never choose a heat styling tool that is not for your hair type as can damage your locks. Those with fine strands should opt for units with ceramic plates. The even heat distribution and ionic technology will do a good job in heat styling your hair without any serious damage.
2. Pick the Right Size for Your Hair Length
Again, like other styling tools, crimpers also come in different sizes. The bigger the plates, the more hair it can work with in one go. But if you have short hair, wielding crimpers with wide plates might prove to be challenging. 1” crimping irons offer a good middle ground for everyone, especially if you only intend to use the tool to add some details to your ‘do from time to time. If you want a full head of crimped hair, though, going a bit bigger if you have longer locks will let you save time and get the job done.
3. Be Particular about its Heat Levels
Aside from the materials and size, the heat level of the crimping iron is something you should look into as well. As different hair types require varying heat levels to get the best results, finding a unit that can provide the amount of heat you need is necessary. If you can use the optimal temperature right away, you won’t have to expose your hair to heat for long periods of time as the right temperature will give you the definition you need.
As a rule of thumb, when styling fine hair, you shouldn’t go beyond 350 degrees. This hair type can be quite fragile and is prone to getting damaged. Low amount of heat will also quickly penetrate the strands since they’re thin. So you shouldn’t need too much of it to get the hairstyle you want.
Normal hair is easier to work with, but you should still stay below the 400F mark to prevent damages. Thick, textured locks need more heat and can withstand up to 450F on initial passes. If you need to touch up, though, you can already use less heat. It won’t be as stubborn as it has been before getting heat styled. That way you can avoid seriously damaging your locks.
Reviews of the Best Crimping Irons in the Market
If you want to be able to recreate the famous hairstyle at home, here are a few of the best crimping iron models that you can choose from.
1. Hot Tools Professional Micro 24K Gold Crimper
Want to replicate the crimped ‘dos that celebrities love to sport? Then, a professional-grade tool is what you need. The Hot Tools Micro Crimper is an excellent option for you as this brand is widely popular among hair stylists all over the country.
What makes this hair crimper a great option for your styling needs at home is its rheostat control dial. This allows you to get precise temperature settings on this nifty little tool. So you’re guaranteed that you’re getting what your hair needs to achieve the results you want.
With a quick heat up feature, this product also guarantees efficiency. While its small plate size can’t really do a quick job on long hair, it can be the best crimper for short hair as its curls hold nicely.
Being a mini crimper, this tool might not be the best pick for those who want to create wildly crimped hairstyles. But it can be perfect for touch ups and creating volumized, tousled hairstyles.
2. Bed Head Totally Bent Chrome Crimper
Bed Head has always been a popular hair care brand among people who care about their locks. Aside from hair products, they’re also a reliable brand for styling tools. This is not only because they offer great products, but the variety they carry is astounding.
The Bed Head Totally Bent Chrome Crimper is one of the many unique hairstyling tools the brand offers. Equipped with chrome plates for the fastest heat transfer and effective conductivity, it guarantees curls that hold and effective hair volumizing.
With a temperature range that goes from 330F to 440F, this styling tool is definitely suitable for all types of hair. It also has three heat settings, so you can set it to your required temperature.
Considered as one of the best large crimping irons with its 2” plates, this product will help you quickly style your hair. It’s great for those with long hair. The wide plates will cover more ground, letting you completely crimp your tresses in a jiffy.
3. Infiniti Pro by Conair Tourmaline Ceramic Crimper
Made for those who are serious about their hairstyling tools is this hair crimper from Infiniti Pro by Conair. Designed with all the features that make a great crimping iron, this promises not only great results but the good health of your locks as well.
How? Firstly, it features 1” tourmaline ceramic plates. This material makes it ideal for all hair types as ceramic isn’t as damaging as metal plates with its even distribution of heat and the tourmaline infusion make it more capable of handling stubborn and coarse hair.
This unit can also reach 455F, making it a great pick for those with thick, coarse hair. The temperature is adjustable, so if you think the highest temperature is too much for your locks, you can still find it ideal for your needs.
Another reason why this product is one of the best picks for crimping iron is the fact that it automatically shuts off after a few minutes when left unattended. This makes it safer for use, so even if you forgot to unplug it, it won’t cause any mishaps at home.
4. Gold N’ Hot Crimping Iron
If you’d like your styling tools to be as fabulous as your hairstyle, then the Gold N’ Hot Crimping Iron is something you should look into. As its name suggests, this product features gold plates that make it look fancy despite its affordable price.
This unit isn’t just about the looks, though. It packs a punch with its adjustable temperature settings that reaches up to 400F. You select the heat level you need with its dial control, so you don’t have to worry about using too much heat on your locks.
The Gold N’ Hot Crimping Iron is also dual voltage compatible. So if you’re planning to travel overseas, this product can be a great addition to your luggage. It’s not exactly compact as it has 2” plates. But if you need an efficient styling tool on your trip, it can be the perfect pick.
5. Bed Head Little Tease Crimper
Another mini hair crimper for volume addition to your locks is the Bed Head Little Tease Crimper. As the name suggests, this heat styling tool is more than just a crimping iron, but it can also be very handy in adding more dimension to your ‘dos. Not only will it add tight waves to your tresses, but it can also help you tease your hair for more exciting hairstyles.
What makes this crimper great is its tourmaline ceramic plates. The use of this material makes it suitable for all hair types and less prone to damage. It’s also durable and heats up fast, so you can be guaranteed of quality and efficiency.
With 1” plates, this mini crimper may be small in size but it sure does guarantee big results. It’s the perfect tool for adding volume to your hair. It can lift your locks right at the roots to give you great volume. Use it under an uncrimped top layer of hair for a nice bed head that will give you that sexy rolled out of bed look.
6. Conair Infiniti You Crimp or Straight Styler
Need a new flat iron but also interested in a crimper? Why not get both at the same time with the Conair Infiniti You Crimp or Straight Styler? This heat styling tool allows you to do both at the same time with its special design that looks a lot like a styling tool sandwiched with its three layers. One side lets you straighten your locks while the other lets you crimp, giving you an efficient and practical answer to your hairstyling needs.
Some might think that this product might just be one of those Jack of all trades, master of none items. In reality though, it does a great job in straightening and crimping your hair. With three temperature settings that can reach up to 392F, it can handle different hair types. It’s also equipped with tourmaline-infused ceramic plates. So it’s not only good for your hair but is durable as well.
A Few Tips in Using the Best Crimping Iron
Using a crimping iron is pretty easy and straightforward. Unlike using curling wands or flat irons, all you need to do with this styling tool is to clamp it down a few strands of hair and you’ll immediately get crimped locks after a few seconds. However, this doesn’t mean that you can just use these tools mindlessly. If you want to get the best results, here are some tricks that you should keep in mind.
Use the Right Size for Your Desired Style
Like other heat styling tools, crimpers also come in different sizes. If you want to create a full head of crimped hair, you’ll need a small and large crimper to get the job done. The large unit will help you style your hair quickly, giving you that full 80s look, while the miniature version will be great to add details.
Most people will most likely opt for a large hair crimper because of its efficiency. But you shouldn’t forget about mini crimpers either. These small sized tools are handy and travel-friendly. And because of its size, you can also easily maneuver it close to your roots, giving your hair a better lift. This makes it a great addition to any well-equipped vanity as it can help style your hair with ease. It’s ideal for root touch-ups in case you want to achieve great volume.
Use Heat Protectants
Since you will be using heat to style your hair, using heat protectants is a must when using a crimping iron. This way, you can prevent your hair from getting seriously damaged.
Dry Your Hair Before Using Any Heat Styling Tool
Another thing that you absolutely must do when styling your hair with heat is to make sure it’s completely dry before you use any hot tools in it. Wet hair and high temperatures can boil your hair strands, causing it to get fried and damaged. There are units compatible with wet hair, though. So you can still find products that will let you safely do this if you’re so inclined to try it out.
Do a Test Run
Because excessive heat is dangerous to your locks, it will be best to try the unit out before you actually use it to style your hair on an important day. When giving your hair crimper a test run, make sure to remember these two things:
1. Start at a low temperature and work your way up.
Too much heat right away can damage or even singe your hair off and you don’t want that. Since you’re not familiar with the unit yet, this is the best way to work with it.
2. Never leave the crimping iron on your hair for too long.
Again, you should be careful when using heat on your hair as it can always put your locks in danger of being singed off. When testing how long you should expose your hair to heat, start with three seconds and work your way longer until you get the results you want.
Never Pull the Crimping Iron Like You Would a Regular Flat Iron
Crimping tools are not flat irons so you shouldn’t use it as such. The jagged plates will not give you smooth and straight locks, so don’t run it down the length of your hair.
Secure Your Curls with a Hair Spray
To ensure that your curls will hold, use a hairspray to keep it in place.
So, in closing…
Whether you’re in search for the best crimpers for long hair, short locks, or even for just volumizing, you’re sure to find a great match from ten of our top picks. All of these products are high quality and have great performance. Choosing one might just help you say goodbye to limp and lifeless tresses.
We used to feature these hair crimpers before, but they have either been discontinued by the manufacturer or unavailable to buy online.
Enzo Milano Estratto III Crimper Iron
Another professional-grade crimper that deserves a spot in every hair stylist’s arsenal is the Enzo Milano Estratto III Crimper. This product is a heavy duty unit that can be used in salons. It’s a great investment for anyone who likes to sport crimped hairstyles on a regular basis.
This unit is a world apart from other crimping irons because of its unique design. Also referred to as a 3-in-1 Texture Iron, this product is best known for its interchangeable plates that offer different crimping styles. You can create tight, medium, and large waves with this kit, letting you play up your look with just the switch of a plate.
Aside from its revolutionary design, this unit also offers TRIBOSTATIC Ceramic Heating Element and Pro-Grade Ceramic/Tourmaline plates. These ensure effective styling and your hair’s safety despite its heat exposure. It also features HDH heating adjustment to make operation easier and to make sure that you’re using the right amount of heat for your hair type.
A resident styling tool for runway shows and editorials, the Enzo Milano Estratto III gives a modern twist to crimping irons. This makes it the total hair crimping machine for those who love to be innovative when it comes to their looks.
LavaTech Crimping Iron
Want an affordable crimping iron that you can quickly reach for when you want to add some texture to your locks? LavaTech’s Crimping Iron is a good choice for this job. Its friendly price makes it a great choice for those who can’t commit to a pricey hair styling tool without sacrificing quality results.
Equipped with 2” plates, the sizing of this product is great for those who like to try out different looks with a crimping iron. As they are also anodized, you can be guaranteed that they are durable. It transfers heat effectively, promising quick results for a more efficient styling session.
Babyliss Root Boost Micro Crimper
Made by a world-renowned heat styling brand, this Babyliss crimper is a solid choice for a mini crimping iron. It can add precise details and give your hair a good lift right at the roots. Thanks to its micro crimp plates that creates the tightest waves at 15mm, you can add more dimension to your locks with this unique hair tool.
Designed to lift your hair with the ‘Root Boost‘ system, this product promises to provide more natural looking volume than what backcombing can provide. Its micro crimping design also allows it to style close to the roots and eliminate frizz. It’ll definitely give your locks a much-needed lift.
Suitable for all hair types, this crimping iron is equipped with ceramic plates and three temperature settings ranging from 280F to 392F. The effects are also guaranteed to last all day long, making it the perfect addition to your collection of heat styling tools.
Bed Head Groupie Mini Travel Crimper
Mini crimpers may be the last thing on your mind if you’re aiming for an 80’s look, but don’t knock the Bed Head Groupie Mini Travel Crimper out just yet. With just a pair of 1” plates, it might not be ideal if you want to crimp all of your hair, but it’s perfect for adding cute details and texture to your locks.
You can also use it as a touch-up tool that you can use in conjunction with a larger unit. Its small size makes it easy to use near your roots, making it capable of adding volume to your locks.
What makes this Bed Head hair crimper a great option for you is its use of ceramic plates. This makes it a good match for those with fine hair. It only has one heat setting, though, so it might not be the best option for those with thick, coarse locks that require a lot of heat.