There is a divide amongst hair stylists and everyone else who loves to style their hair. Some recommend titanium curling irons while others will give their all-out vote to ceramic curling irons.
The question is—titanium vs. ceramic curling irons, which one is better?
Quick and Easy Answer: it depends on your hair and your hair needs.
The fact of the matter is that there are several factors that you need to consider before you make your choice. Those who recommend ceramic curling irons do so because in their experience that is the one that worked for them.
It is the thing that they observed and maybe that is what they found in most effective in the experiences of other folks as well. Guess what. The same is true for those who favor titanium curling irons.
In this review we will go over the factors that you should consider when you decide which one is better—titanium or ceramic curling irons. We will also go over the pros and cons of each material.
After the little guide and comparison we will then give you a list of the best curling irons in the market today.
Factors to Consider
There are several factors to consider if you are choosing between ceramic or titanium curling irons. Here they are:
One of the really big things that people consider is the price of curling iron that they want to buy. Your budget will always be a determining factor in every decision you make.
Now, here’s the cold fact – ceramic curling irons are typically slightly more expensive than their titanium counterparts. Well, that is if the curling iron you’re looking at is made of pure ceramic.
There are ceramic curling irons that are more budget friendly and yes they’re not made from 100% pure ceramic. That means there are also titanium curling irons that are more expensive—but they are usually the high end brands.
That means you should check the label before you buy either a ceramic or a titanium curling iron. That will reduce the amount of disappointment you will get, budget-wise.
When we refer to the effectiveness of a curling iron what we are actually looking for is its level of efficiency. The more efficient a curling iron is the better and more effective it becomes—that is in the eyes of the consumer.
We often measure the efficiency of a curling iron by how well it curls our hair. We also take into account how fast it does the job. Another important thing we consider is how well the curls hold after the process is over.
Just like any other metal, we should expect titanium to get heated a lot faster compared to ceramic. That may already be a pretty good criterion for some.
Now, there is a downside to that when it comes to titanium curling irons. Yes, they heat up pretty fast but they don’t heat up evenly. In certain brands (I’m not saying that it happens to all models and brands) you will have hot spots and cold spots on the curling iron.
Ceramic curling irons don’t have that issue. These things usually heat up quite evenly, which is something that some hair stylists look for. That means all your hair strands get the same treatment and you won’t get some sides curled well while others are more like meh.
- Heat Transfer
Heat transfer simply refers to how fast a material can transfer heat to another substance. In this case how fast titanium or ceramic can transfer its heat to your hair.
Again, titanium, being a metal, has a faster heat transfer compared to ceramic. A lot of ceramic curling irons will take up to 30 seconds to completely transfer their maximum temperature to your hair.
Titanium curling irons on the other hand only take a fraction of that time to transfer their maximum heat to your hair. That means if you work on hair a lot faster, then titanium curling irons are for you.
If you run a busy hair salon and you need to work fast since you have a lot of customers waiting, then a titanium curling iron is the one for you. But if you’re not that busy but want a nice even curl every single time then a ceramic one is a better option.
- Ease of Use
Which is easier to use, a titanium curling iron or a ceramic one? One of the factors that affect ease of use is the design of the curling iron. That will vary from one manufacturer’s model to the other.
Of course (design-wise) that has nothing to do with the material being used to construct the curling iron. So, how does the material affect the user?
It is actually the weight of the curling iron that we are looking for in this case. Titanium curling irons are always lighter than their ceramic counterparts.
That means titanium irons are usually easier to use because they do not give your hands and wrists any undue strain. That is also why professional hair stylists prefer titanium curling irons.
But that doesn’t mean there aren’t any stylists that use ceramic curling irons. But if you need something that you will tend to use the entire day, I’d rather go for a titanium curling iron so you won’t have to worry about the weight of the iron the whole day.
The last factor that you should consider is durability. If you plan to use your curling iron for commercial purposes—let’s say in your salon—then you definitely want to get one that will last a lot longer.
Of course, a curling iron can be considered a significant investment even for personal use. If your curling iron can last for a decade then you can say that it was truly durable.
The main advantage of ceramic curling irons is that gentle even heating they provide, which is great for certain hairs. But when it comes to durability, there is no doubt that a titanium curling iron is definitely the better choice.
Now, this is can be an expensive experiment so you don’t have to do it at home. Just imagine dropping both a titanium and ceramic curling iron on the floor. It should be pretty obvious that the ceramic one will break and not the titanium iron.
Ceramic curling irons require a lot of care. You can keep one in your kit but you should make sure to keep it safe. Don’t leave it lying around in the salon—always keep it in its protective case.
Why Get a Ceramic Curling Iron
Ceramic curling irons are known for their smooth even surface. Because of that your hair tends to get a curl that is more even than what you will get out of any metal based curling iron.
Dust and debris don’t collect on ceramic, which is not something we can say for titanium or other curling irons that have metal heating plates. You can also be sure that the heat won’t spike off a ceramic surface, which is why you get a gentle even heat from it.
- Even heat
- Doesn’t accumulate dust
- Even curls
- Best option for hair that is easy to curl
- It is also the better option for damaged hair
- Requires a lot of care (don’t dare drop it!)
- Heavier—which means it isn’t that easy to use
Why Get a Titanium Curling Iron
Titanium is a great heat conductor. It tends to heat up a lot faster allowing you to work quickly and get you going. If you’re a professional stylist or someone who is just always in a hurry, then this is a better option for you.
- Heats up really fast—often at a fraction of the time for a ceramic curling iron to get to maximum heat.
- More durable—it’s made of metal and titanium is a really tough kind of metal at that.
- Light weight—it is easy on your hands and easier to wield and heft. If you’re going to be in the salon curling hair all day then this is the better option.
- Titanium curling irons are also usually more budget friendly compared to ceramic curling irons.
- Faster heat transfer, which makes it better for hard to curl hair as well as for coarse hair.
- Uneven heat – titanium curling irons usually have hot and cold spots.
- It may get too hot for some hair types—if you have heavily damaged hair due to a lot of styling then a titanium curling hair may not be a good option for you.
- Not suited for people with thinner hair strands.
More Buying Tips
Here are a few more factors that you should consider before you buy a curling iron (titanium or otherwise).
- Automatic on/off system
- Heat settings that suit your needs
- Cord size—some people prefer longer cords while others want medium to shorter cords. It depends on what you need and how you will use your curling iron.
- Barrel diameter
Best Curling Irons
The following are our recommended curling irons. Some of them are ceramic while others are titanium. What you need to do is to pick one that best suits your hair type.
The BaBylissPRO Nano features a titanium spring barrel that works very well on frizzy hair. Now, remember that this is nano-titanium. It’s not 100% titanium. In fact, this curling iron features Sol-Gel Ceramic technology.
It combines the best of both worlds. You can allow this curling iron to linger a bit on your hair to produce that frizz-less natural shine on your curls.
- 360 degree swivel cord
- Nano titanium barrel
- Immediately heats up to 450 degrees
- Smooth barrel creates perfectly silky curls
- Professional grade curling iron
- On/off button isn’t positioned efficiently
- Curls produced don’t tend to last that long
- Barrel is a little bit short, which means extra effort if you are curling really long hair
- Heats up to 430 degrees quickly
- Comes with heat protective glove
- Unit is outfitted with an extended power cord
- The barrel is big enough for really long hair
- Unit comes with a secure fold away stand – which is an added convenience
- Well-designed on and off switch
- Designed for creating soft shiny curls
- This is actually a titanium curling iron with a ceramic coating. After using it for a long time tends to burn off due to the high heat produced by the titanium plate inside.
- It cannot carry full voltage—that means it can’t always heat up as well as other titanium curling irons.
- Uses extended heated timing – be careful when using this because it may damage hair
This BaBylissPRO Nano iron works both as a curling iron and as a flat iron. It’s a multi-tool actually. It’s a tool that that you can use both for getting luscious wonderful curls and it can also be used to get vibrant straight hair.
It also has 3 different heat settings, which make it useful for different applications.
- 3 heat settings – 340, 400, and 450 degrees Fahrenheit
- It heats up instantly even though it has a ceramic surface
- Interestingly enough it is light weight, which is good for professional and every-day use.
- Dual settings – works as a curling iron when unit is closed and it works as a flat iron when the unit is opened
- The curls it makes tend to last longer
- No automatic off
- Flat iron is not designed as a hair straightener
This curling iron gives you the best of 2 styling materials – ceramic and tourmaline.
- Tourmaline/ceramic surface makes hair smoother
- 4 different heat settings
- Heats up quickly
- Budget friendly
- Leaves ridges on the metal clasp—avoid getting hair in that area
This curling iron also combines ceramic and tourmaline technology. It features 6 heat settings and dual voltage.
- Creates bigger waves
- Heats up to 410 degrees
- Instant heating within 30 seconds
- The multipurpose button for on/off and heat settings is at an inconvenient location