Have you heard of the Marcel curling iron but don’t know exactly what it is or how it is different from other curling irons?
Have you wished for a more ergonomic curling iron that doesn’t hurt your thumb and wrist in the long run? Then read on to learn what is a marcel curling iron and how to use it!
Since its invention in the 1870s, curling irons have been continually evolving to suit the needs of its users. From being a metal rod manually heated on fire, curling irons are now powered by electricity and equipped with heat adjustment settings.
Electric curling irons with heat settings are already perfect; what more could we ask for? Well, we could ask for a more ergonomic and versatile curling iron that the user easily controls. Fortunately, our generation already has one that fits those criteria—the Marcel curling iron.
A Marcel is a kind of curling iron that is not spring-loaded. It has a mechanism, very much like a pair of scissors, which allows the user to open and close the curling rod manually. Professional hairstylists prefer Marcel curling irons over regular ones because Marcels give more control on the curl they want to achieve.
Now you might be thinking that using it is intimidating. But don’t let it stop you from stepping up your hairstyle game. Don’t worry! We’re here to guide you on how to achieve better curls using Marcel curling irons.
Wondering what is the difference between a marcel curling iron and a regular curling iron?
As mentioned above, the main difference between the two is that Marcel irons don’t have springs while standard curling irons do. But there are other minor yet noteworthy advantages of using Marcel curlers.
Marcel irons come in different sizes. The barrel circumference can be ½ inch, ¾ inch, 4/5 inch, 1 inch, 1 ¼ inch, or 1 ½ inch. When thinking about the size of a Marcel curling iron appropriate for you, you have to consider your hair length and hair type.
For thick, coarse, long, or stubborn hair, it is ideal to use larger barrel sizes. While smaller barrel sizes are more appropriate for thin, fine, short, or fragile hair.
Barrel sizes are also used for different kinds of curls.
The 1 ½ inch barrel is for loose and voluminous curls like Gisele Bundchen’s. This kind of curl is best for people with long hair.
The 1 ¼ inch barrel is for natural-looking, messy, and wavy curls like Kim Kardashian’s. This works best on long hair to medium-length hair.
The 1-inch barrel is the ideal barrel size. It can help you create various hairstyles, from tight princess curls to loose beach waves. Although this barrel size is universally flattering, it is best for people with short to medium-length hair.
Despite being too thin, the ¾ inch barrel is actually versatile. You can use it for polished curls that are neither too tight nor too loose. This size works perfectly for those who have naturally wavy or curly hair.
Aside from the barrel size, you should also consider your iron’s heat setting. Needless to say that coarser hair requires a higher temperature, while more delicate hair requires a lower temperature.
Here is a rough guideline on adjusting your iron’s heat setting:
|HAIR TEXTURE||RECOMMENDED HEAT SETTING|
|MEDIUM TO COARSE||400|
You don’t have to strictly follow these guidelines. Only you know your personal needs. So feel free to adjust the barrel size and heat setting to match the hairstyle you want to achieve while still considering your hair’s texture and length.
For example, if you have short and fragile hair yet want big curls, you may use larger barrels but make sure to lower the iron’s temperature setting.
To better understand the steps in using a Marcel curling iron, take a look at this photo first.
A Marcel curling iron has six main parts: clamp, clamp handle, barrel, barrel handle, swivel, and metal stand. Notice how the clamp moves away from the barrel when the user pushes the clamp handle.
Just like any other hairstyling session, make sure to prep your hair. When using a Marcel curling iron, it is ideal to start with clean, dry locks.
Use a bobby pin to keep the curls in place as they cool. Do this to the remaining sections of your hair. Note that you should keep the sections small so you can have more control over the curls.
If you have very short hair like a bob, you need to slightly change the way you use a Marcel iron.
If you have bangs, consider it a separate section and curl it last. You may opt to curl only the tip of your bangs for a modern look.
In sum, people with short hair hold the Marcel curlers vertically and start from the sides to the back of the head. A good rule of thumb to remember is that you should always curl away from your face. This will make your curls look more polished and uniform.
Now that you got everything you need to know about Marcel curling irons, it is time for you to do your own curls and locks like a pro! Give it a try and tell us what you think.