While many perceive the curling iron as a modern innovation, curling tools were used as far back as ancient Egyptian times. Both gentlemen and ladies of the noble classes would curl or crimp their wigs. The reason for the wigs was that most Egyptians were shaved bald to keep them cooler in the desert heat. However when they had important functions to attend they wore ornately styled wigs.
In some museums you may come across metal curling utensils used by the Egyptian nobles for wig styling. Another ancient demographic that made use of styling tools were the Greeks and Romans. While these tools would be considered primitive today, they were quite innovative at the time and reserved for the wealthy and privileged.
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Many women of the 19th century styled their hair into curls. Hiram Maxim, a machine gun designer, actually obtained the very first patent for the curling iron. This was in 1866, and since that date many have followed with curling irons of many different varieties. In 1959 the electric curling iron was invented by two men named Roger Lemoine and Rene Lelievre. This invention led to a whole new era in hairstyling. To this day, the electric curling iron remains a popular styling tool.
The curling irons of today are much improved over previous versions. These days you will find irons made from ceramic and tourmaline for the smoothest, most beautiful curls. Some of these irons, when used with a nourishing heat protective serum, may actually leave your hair in better condition.
Modern technology has given us heat styling tools with the capability of leaving our hair improved rather than damaged like the hot tools of the past. There are also hot roller sets that use steam, ceramic and tourmaline to add curls while improving hair health.
You can purchase curling tools at any location where hairstyling items are sold. Beauty supply stores like Sally Beauty Supply offer many of the same brands used in salons. However there is no need to go high end because even your local supermarket probably has a selection of irons from names like Revlon and Conair. Drugstores, department stores and online stores are other places from which heat styling tools like curling irons can be purchased.
When choosing a barrel size, keep in mind that smaller barrels are good for creating tighter curls while large barrels are ideal for sculpting loose waves.