Material Curl: Your Guide to Ceramic vs. Titanium Curling Irons

Written by Ashley Mishler

Buying a new curling iron means sifting your way through hundreds of options. Of course, there are different shapes and sizes, but there are also different features and materials. While it may seem like the shape or size of the curling iron is the biggest factor in how your coils shake out, there’s an even more important piece of the puzzle that often gets overlooked: materials.

Do you know what material the barrel of your curling iron is made out of? This matters more than you may think. Most available curling irons are either ceramic or titanium (at least the good ones), but what’s the big difference between the two? Here’s everything you need to know about titanium vs. ceramic curling irons, and how to choose between the two hairstyling tools.

Closeup of unrecognizable hairdresser using curling iron - stock photo In this closeup of the top of a female customer

What Is a Ceramic Curling Iron?

Let’s start with the most common one. Ceramic curling irons are often favored due to the perks of the material itself. Ceramic materials used in iron construction are often safer for the hair because they heat up evenly and slowly. This means that you won’t see sudden spikes in temperature and areas of the iron that are hotter than others, which can cause damage to your tresses.

Ceramic curling irons are also favored because of their smooth surface which means you’ll have a cleaner iron for longer (hello product gunk), and less snagging as you style. The benefits of a ceramic curling iron really shine for those who have fine hair or previously damaged hair types. While they can be a bit more costly, keeping your hair healthy is worth the price.

What Is a Titanium Curling Iron?

Titanium is another incredibly popular material for curling iron construction. Titanium curling irons are beloved for their anti-corrosive nature (say no to rust spots) and fast heat-up time. Titanium curling irons are also very lightweight, which makes them a favorite among those with thick hair or coarse hair. Imagine, when working your way through super dense locks or coarser tresses, a lightweight iron will help save your arm strength.

While the titanium curling iron is lauded for its quick heat and durable nature, titanium curling irons aren’t perfect. Because they heat so quickly and reach such high temperatures, this means they are prone to cold spots (or hot spots) which may damage the hair as you’re curling. At the same time, titanium does emit negative ions, which means you’ll get a smoother result as you glide through each curl or wave. Regardless of which iron you choose, as long as you use a heat protectant and practice safe temperature practices, hair damage can be avoided.

Ceramic vs. Titanium Curling Iron

To reiterate, here are the biggest differences in deciding between a ceramic vs. titanium curling iron:

Ceramic Irons:

-Distributes even heat across the barrel to better curl hair

-Less damaging for those with fragile, fine, or thin hair

-Ceramic material is incredibly smooth, meaning less snagging and less product buildup

Titanium Irons:

-Its lightweight nature makes it ideal for long styling sessions

-Heats up fast

-Emits negative ions perfect for smoothing coarse hair or manes prone to frizz

Best Ceramic Curling Irons

Now that you’ve got the info you need, here are the five best ceramic curling irons for finer-haired folks.

T3 Singlepass Curl 1”

$135.99 at

T3 Singlepass Curl 1” | Mane Addicts

T3 has been making waves with its incredible repertoire of hot tools. The T3 Singlepass Curl utilizes their patented Singlepass Technology for “perfect curls every time.” The ceramic keeps temperature fluctuations in check and offers five customized heat settings and a smart microchip that monitors temps as you style. The T3 Singlepass is perfect for anyone looking for a luxury ceramic curling iron.

Kristen Ess NANOBLACK 1.25'' Ceramic Curling Iron for Waves + Curls

$65 at

Kristen Ess NANOBLACK 1.25

Kristen Ess has been a hero in the budget-friendly professional beauty world. The NANOBLACK Curling Iron lives up to its reputation with ceramic Soft Heat Technology that locks in moisture and eliminates frizz for healthy hair and smoother curls. The 1.25” iron comes in a stylish, eye-catching true black that will look gorgeous on your counter or beauty product shelf. And if you forget to turn it off, don’t fret. The curling iron features a 30-minute auto shut-off setting that will give you peace of mind after you’ve left the house.

Ghd Creative Curl - Tapered Curling Wand

$205 at

Ghd Creative Curl - Tapered Curling Wand | Mane Addicts

For those who prefer a wand-style curling iron, ghd has got you covered. The ghd Creative Curl - Tapered Curling Wand allows you to create any curl you desire with its gradual size change. From tight textured curls to soft beachy waves, the Creative Curl’s ceramic barrel features an Ultra-Zone Technology that keeps strands safe throughout styling. The Ultra-Zone Tech actually detects each strand of hair and adapts the barrel to an even 365-degree temperature. This means you’ll get perfect, damage-free wand curls every styling session.

CHI Lava Ceramic Curling Iron

$75 at

CHI Lava Ceramic Curling Iron | Mane Addicts

CHI has been a mainstay in the hair product and hot tool world for years. Their chic packaging designs, fashionable hot tool colorways, and high-performance formulas have built a reputation that consumers and professionals adore. The CHI Lava Ceramic Curling Iron is a favored iron amongst CHI fans due to its Volcanic Lava Ceramic barrel which provides less damage and smoother, shinier results. Its lightweight design and automatic temperature settings ensure you won’t go overboard and fry your ends while you create your favorite curly and wavy hairstyles.

Ghd Soft Curl 1.25” Curling Iron

$205 at

Ghd Soft Curl 1.25” Curling Iron | Mane Addicts

Ghd is back again! But aren’t they always? Like CHI, ghd is another brand that both consumers and stylists love. High-quality and high-performance hot tools are necessary for creating lasting styles and avoiding heat damage and the Soft Curl 1.25” curling iron is the perfect example. The Soft Curl’s large barrel is ideal for creating big, bouncy curls or touching up blowouts. The ceramic barrel and protective cool tip mean your strands aren’t the only things being protected from the heat—your fingers will be, too.

Best Titanium Curling Irons

Needing a little more heat to accomplish your curl? Here are the five best titanium curling irons on the market.

L’ange Le Clip 1.25'' Titanium Curling Iron Blush

$99 at

L’ange Le Clip 1.25

L’ange makes some of the cutest high-performance hot tools. The Le Clip Titanium Curling Iron comes in a gorgeous blush colorway and mimics everything you love about a classic curling iron but with modern features. The 1.25” barrel means looser, bouncier curls and its quick heating time means you’ll be able to get styling as soon as you plug it in. Speaking of plugs, the Le Clip iron also features dual voltage so you can use this pretty pink curling iron anywhere in the world.

InfinitiPRO By Conair Titanium Curling Iron Luxe Series - Rose Gold

$32.99 at

InfinitiPRO By Conair Titanium Curling Iron Luxe Series - Rose Gold | Mane Addicts

Say hello to rose gold titanium, the latest (and greatest) titanium curling iron trend. The InifinitiPRO Titanium Curling Iron from Conair utilizes this rose gold titanium to help create smooth, shiny curls that last longer. The iron itself offers five different heat settings, an automatic shut-off feature, and a swiveling cord so you don’t get caught up while curling,

L’ange Le Cinq Titanium Curling Wand Set

$150 at

L’ange Le Cinq Titanium Curling Wand Set | Mane Addicts

L’ange is reigning over the titanium iron market with this incredible rose gold titanium curling wand set. You can achieve any type or style of curl with this five-piece package. From bubble curls to big bouncy waves, Le Cinq can and will accomplish any and every curly look under the sun.

Olivia Garden Titanium + Ion Professional 1.25” Curling Iron

$99.99 at

Olivia Garden Titanium + Ion Professional 1.25” Curling Iron | Mane Addicts

Olivia Garden is a highly popular brand amongst beauty professionals but is just beginning to make waves in the consumer world. The Olivia Garden Titanium + Ion Curling Iron is perfect for pros and consumers alike with its quick heating time and recessed buttons so you won’t press the wrong one mid-styling session. The Titanium + Ion Pro Curling Iron features a titanium barrel, but it also has a ceramic-coated clip meaning you’ll get the best of both worlds. Say goodbye to dented waves and frizzy curls with Olivia Garden!

BaBylissPRO Nano Titanium Spring Curling Iron

$59.99 at

BaBylissPRO Nano Titanium Spring Curling Iron | Mane Addicts

BaBylissPRO knows how to make a quality curling iron. The Nano Titanium Spring Curling Iron is an excellent pro-quality, affordable curling iron with easy-to-use features. The Nano Titanium combines ceramic and titanium materials with their Sol Gel technology to transfer heat and deliver a smoother finish. This BaByliss Curling Iron can also reach 450-degree heat for times when high-heat styling is a must.

Are you in the market for a new curling iron but need to know which works best for your mane? HERE are the best curling irons for every hair length!