How to Tell If Your Curling Iron Is Past Its Prime

Written by

Nothing lasts forever, and the same is true for your styling tools. No matter how much you love your hot tools, you can’t keep the same ones forever. So, how can you tell when it’s time to toss and when you can ride it out? We recruited Julia Venturin, hair extensions expert and affiliate marketing coordinator at Luxy Hair, for a crash course in hot tool help. She broke down everything we never knew we had to know about post-prime curling irons. Consider yourself forewarned, you might want to grab your old faithful and say goodbye after this.

What to Look For

According to Julia, there are several ways to know if a curling iron or hot tool is past its prime. “You’ll notice that over time, the barrel of your curling iron can become damaged with scratches, dents, and other signs of wear and tear. If you’re detecting a funky smell while curling your hair, it can be a sign that the internal motor or electrical wiring needs to be replaced. Not only can this odor transfer to your hair, but it can also be dangerous if ignored,” she explains.

“Additionally, if the temperature is starting to show signs of change, whether becoming cooler or overheating, this is a sign that your curling iron is no longer performing as it should and needs to be replaced. If you are going over a certain section of your hair more than you normally would, that’s also a telling sign that you need to replace your tool.”

Wear and Tear

Typical signs of wear and tear include barrel plates with scratches and dents or coating that has worn away in certain places, making the barrel heating surface uneven. “Frayed or damaged wires are also a serious sign of wear and tear,” Julia notes.

Look Out for Your Locks

An old hot tool doesn’t sound pretty, but not only that, it will leave your mane looking like it wasn’t styled properly. And I know if you put in all that work, that’s the last thing you want. Who wants to blame their iron for bad hair? “When your barrel plates get scratched or dented, or the coating has worn off, it can alter the finished style because of the uneven heating surface. More importantly, it can damage your hair by clinging or pulling on the hair. Repetitive use with an old tool can also cause the hair to lose its shine,” she continues.

Julia advises that before using any heat tool on your hair, it is recommended to also spray your hair with a heat protectant. Using an old iron can damage your hair just due to the pulling or clinging that can happen. Another way you can damage your hair with a hot tool is using products like hairspray; sticky product can build up over time and end up burning your hair.

Shelf Life

Curling irons are typically made to last anywhere between 500 to 1,000 hours. If you rarely go a day without turning on your trusty curler, it will run through its lifespan fairly quickly compared to if you just use it once a week. “It’s important to invest in a high-quality curler,” shares Julia. “Two things that you’ll want to consider before buying your next curling iron are the material it’s made of and the temperature setting. Irons with a mix of ceramic and tourmaline coating (like the new Luxy Hair curler) reduce breakage and damage, prevent frizz, enhance shine, and emit negative ions that counteract the positive ions in dry or damaged hair.”

In any case, you’ll want a curling iron that has adjustable heat settings. “When you’re selecting a heat setting on your hot tool, always consider the natural texture of your hair. If you have baby fine hair, opt for the lowest setting possible. And even if you have a thick mane, be careful when cranking up the heat.”

Suddenly in the market for a new curling iron after reading this post? HERE are the best curling irons at every price point!