For years, I’ve much preferred to curl my hair rather than blowing it out straight or smoothing it with a straightener. I feel more polished and my hair is more comfortable during the day with some curl to it since it stays out my face more easily! Another benefit of taking a few minutes to curl it is that it looks cuter if I pull it back in a ponytail during the day, and if I lift weights, I can just do a low bun and it still looks fine post-workout or even on day two. (But if I do cardio, I have to wash my hair – I get too sweaty!) Now that I have a Dyson Airwrap, I use that about 50% of the time and a curling iron the other days (it really depends on my workouts that day, honestly!)
I’ve attempted to curl my hair with a flat iron and it’s a total disaster. But I find it super easy to use a curling iron, so that’s the method I use. Almost every single time I curl my hair, someone asks me how I do it. I’ve even written a blog post on it because I was asked so many times. And while practice makes perfect, I do believe the right curling iron will make it SO much easier, and it will make your hair look so much better.
T3 Curling Iron Review
I am a loyal T3 Curling Iron user, and I’ll share why in this post. When I first started curling my hair, I used a Hot Tools curling iron and loved it. It worked great for a few years until the spring broke, and since I was going to replace it anyway, I did a little research to see what else was out there. I had seen a few people talk about T3 hair tools, and when I saw that Nordstrom carried T3, I decided to try it (gotta love Nordstrom’s return policy). I was blown away by how great it was – I had no idea what I had been missing!
Let’s get into a full review, shall we?
First things first, let’s talk about T3 as a company.
In 2003, T3 was started as part tech start-up, part beauty venture. They wanted to reinvent hair styling by creating new styling tools that were technology-forward, fast-working, designed with high performance and better results in mind. I truly think they nailed this. They offer different kinds of hair tools, including hair dryers, flat irons, curling irons, and other hair styling accessories. I’ve wanted to try the T3 Hair Dryer since I’ve heard so many good things, but I can’t justify it since I have a Dyson Supersonic Hairdryer and a Dyson Airwrap.
T3 makes a lot of curling irons, including 4 sets as well as an option to create your own set with a convertible curling iron and attachments. They’re all a little different, so you’ll want to do a little research based on what you’re looking for. But almost all of their curling irons have the below features.
- Digital T3 Singlepass® technology: Ensures even, consistent heat and fast, healthy styling. I really don’t have to curl one section of hair more than one time.
- Multiple heat settings: Provides the optimum heat level for any hair type. I love this! I use the hottest on my hair since I have pretty thick hair.
- Cool tip & stand: Enables easy styling without burning your hands or getting your counter too hot.
- 360° 8 ft. swivel cord: Prevents cord from getting tangled or twisted.
- 1 Hour Auto Shut Off: A must-have so you don’t ever have to second guess if you turned off your curling iron. (I think this is standard on curling irons these days, but I’m not certain!)
T3 Interchangeable base + attachments
This option is pretty cool if you like to change your look up frequently or like to try new tools. Essentially, you purchase the Convertible Base for $120, and then you buy the attachment barrels separately. There are 7 barrels to choose from, so if you’re a hair stylist who styles with multiple hair hype, or just like the option of different size barrels for yourself, this is a great professional curling iron option for you. However, It’s pricey, considering each barrel is $100+. If you know you only want a couple of barrel options, you’re better off purchasing a set, which I’ll outline next.
This curling iron base does not come with any barrel attachments, so you must buy them on your own. This is a great option if you like to alternate between a clamp curling iron and a curling wand, but don’t want to purchase two separate tools entirely. See which barrels you can choose from here.
T3 Whirl Trio
The T3 Whirl Trio is a three piece set is a styling set that includes the Convertible Base and 3 wand barrels for $325. These are curling wands, not barrels with a clamp.
- 1″ Straight Wand Barrel – Creates uniform spiral or mermaid waves with the 1″ wand barrel. Perfect for all hair lengths.
- Tapered Wand Barrel – For relaxed, beachy waves. The tapered barrel ranges from 1 ¼” – ¾” and is perfect for all hair lengths.
- 1 ½” Straight Wand Barrel – A 1 ½” wand barrel that creates soft, loose waves. Perfect for shoulder hair length or longer.
The Convertible Base is the same as the base I explained above, and works with any of T3’s interchangeable bases. This set comes with a heat-resistant glove and soft travel tote.
I’m personally not a fan of curling wands. I’ve tried them, but I’m just not able to achieve the look I want and I’m just so much faster with a traditional curling iron with less risk of a burn.
T3 Twirl Trio
The T3 Twirl Trio is the same concept as the Whirl Trio above, but instead of wand barrels, this set includes traditional clamp or clip barrels. I prefer this hype of barrel for the curls I like to wear. This set also comes with three barrels. It’s slightly more expensive than the Whirl Trio at $335. This set is what I WISH I had purchased since my hair length varies a lot! When I was pregnant, it was VERY long and now it’s shoulder length and I have two separate curling irons for this reason.
- 1″ Clip Barrel – For defined curls with a classic feel. Works for all hair lengths.
- 1 ¼” Clip Barrel – For polished but loose curls. Best for shoulder hair length or longer.
- 1 ½” Clip Barrel – Helps achieve big, bouncy curls. Best for shoulder hair length or longer.
This set also includes a soft travel tote.
T3 Curl ID
The T3 Curl ID is a step up from T3’s traditional clip barrel curling iron (which I’m reviewing next). It’s the same size as the Singlepass curling iron, but with much more advanced technology. This curling iron is equipped with a smart-touch interface and HeatID technology, which adjusts the heat to your unique profile, based on your hair texture, color and chemical treatments. This is a great option if you have damaged hair that you’re trying to be gentle on and prevent further damage.
This curling iron is pricey at $249, and does not have the Convertible base, so you’re sticking to the 1.25″ size barrel for the life of this curling iron. But, this size barrel works for almost every hair length, depending on how tight you like your curls. I have short hair currently (right above my shoulders) and can use this size. It also works when my hair is longer (although I do prefer my 1.5″ barrel for very long hair).
- T3 Heat°ID- Automatically adjusts to your hair needs without overexposing to unnecessary heat
- T3 Rapid HeatIQ® – Ensures advanced heat precision for beautiful results
- 9 Precise Heat Settings
- Ion Generator – Minimizes static frizz and boosts shine.
- Dual Ceramic Heaters – Provide even heat, free of hot spots.
T3 Singlepass Curl 1.25″
The T3 Singlepass Curl 1.25″ is what I own. This curling iron is a traditional clip barrel curling iron, and the barrel does not detach from the base. It’s the most affordable curling iron T3 offers at $169.99, and it’s been a GREAT curling iron for me. The Singlepass curling iron has a 1.25″ barrel, which is the most versatile size for all hair lengths. I prefer bouncy curls, and I find that this size gives me the perfect defined curl that falls out perfectly over the rest of the day. This curling iron is the most basic curling iron option from T3, but it’s been the perfect option for me.
- Just like all of T3’s curling irons, this one has 5 heat settings (this one uses a dial instead of a button), and a smart microchip that keeps temperature fluctuations in check.
- Custom blend ceramic plates give a shiny finish.
- It’s the traditional feeling that I loved about my Hot Tools iron, but with much better technology AND my curls hold for much longer!
- This curling iron size is the most versatile size for all hair lengths.
How to Use A T3 Curling Iron
I have a hair curling video tutorial linked here, where I’m using my old curling iron. I’ve curled my hair the same way for years, however, so the tutorial will still be helpful even though I’m using old products.
My favorite shampoo and conditioner is by Beautycounter. I’ve used it for years and while it’s nothing fancy, it works well and it’s clean. I also love this Innersense’s shampoo & conditioner and have also used Rahua Shampoo & Conditioner, another clean brand. (This post talks about what ingredients to avoid in your shampoo.)
2. Apply Spray In Conditioner Tonik
After towel drying my hair, I spray this Cult and King Tonik light hold leave in conditioner all over my damp hair. It improves hair health, gives it very light hold, shine and just makes my hair look amazing. My stylist has used this on me for a few years and I finally broke down and bought my own since my hair always looks SO much better when she uses it! It also contains menthol to help stimulate hair growth, which I’m all about in my postpartum phase! It tingles a bit which I also LOVE. (Apparently I love tingles in personal care products – another example: these peel pads.)
3. Massage Volumizing Foam into Roots
After the Tonik, I use two pumps of Innersense I Create Lift Volumizing Foam, focusing on the roots and distributing any excess on my hands throughout my hair. It gives great volume without any crunchy texture or stiffness. It also smells amazing.
4. Styling Cream
This is a styling cream by Cult + King. I use just 1-2 pumps and apply only to the bottom half of my hair. I don’t apply it near the roots since it can weigh hair down. It has heat protection in it and a light hold.
5. Blow dry hair
I have the Dyson Hair Dryer and I LOVE IT. It dries my thick hair in 7 minutes! So if you’re looking to splurge, go that route. I dry my hair in sections to help it dry faster, and use a round brush or my airwrap to get some volume at my roots. I dry my hair completely, but I don’t spend lots of time with a round brush, since I’m going to be styling it with my curling iron anyway.
6. Section hair into layers
I split my hair into two or three sections depending on the length, using alligator clips. When my hair is long, these are SO necessary.
6. Start curling your hair at the root
Okay, now is when I finally use my T3 Curling Iron. Starting with the bottom section, I take a small section (maybe 2 inches wide), and curl it from the root. That means I clamp the hair at the top of the section, not the bottom. I prefer curled hair with loose ends and curls not too close to the root, which is why I clasp it with the curling iron near the root and never curl from the bottom. There are lots of methods for curling hair, but this is my tried and trusted method. I also hold the wand vertically — NEVER horizontally – to create more natural looking waves. (See what I mean here.)
7. Curl away from your face
Always twist your wrist to turn the barrel away from your face so it curls away, which helps create a more natural, current look (and not dated!). When you’re curling the back, curl a few pieces in the alternate direction so they don’t all clump together.
I leave just the ends of my hair sticking out just a little after I wrap it around the barrel. That gives it a more effortless look by not tucking the ends into the iron.
*If you’re new to curling your hair, practice without the curling iron turned OFF. Hold the iron in front of your face with the clamp facing out. Now bring your iron to the section of your hair (with the clamp still facing outwards), and put your hair into the open clamp. Twist your hair back, away from your face.
8. Let it cool
After I curl, I let the curls sit for a few minutes to cool, before you curl the next layer. Leave your hair alone while the curls are still warm – letting them cool while more tightly curled helps them hold longer. (Usually I do a step or two of my makeup while I let one layer curl!)
I don’t brush my curls out but use my fingers to break them up as I apply a texturizing product. If you’re left with tight, curls and want to loosen them for a loose curl, messier look, use a wide tooth comb to run through your hair. Over time, you should also see the curls fall a tad
Is the T3 Curling Iron Worth It?
Yes absolutely. For years I was using the Hot Tools curling iron and thought it was fine. But when the spring broke, I invested in the T3 Singlepass curling iron. I LOVE it and I swear it holds my curls longer and just feels much nicer and sturdier. I also feel like my hair is in better shape with this curling iron since it heats more evenly. Yes, it’s more expensive than most curling irons on the market, but I truly believe the technology that’s protecting my hair is worth it. (And it’s already outlasted my Hot Tools!)