Best 2 Inch Curling Iron (For A Faux Blowout)

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Hot Tools Professional 24K Gold 2” Curling Iron
Best Overall
  • Gold-plated barrel conducts heat well
  • Easy-grip soft-touch handle
  • Makes hair shine
T3 BodyWaver 1 ¾” Styling Iron
Best Luxury Iron
  • Premium ceramic blend barrel
  • Beautiful design
  • Only needs one pass for setting your curl or wave
Kristin Ess Soft Bend 2
Titanium Barrel
  • High-end design and feel
  • Eliminates frizz
  • Quick heat up

Whether you’re heading out for a formal evening, a girls day out, or – more likely now – getting on a Zoom meeting, a soft, sexy blowout compliments every style.

Getting that professional blowout look without going to the salon and dropping beaucoup bucks is key, especially nowadays.

Well, the good news is you can achieve the perfect salon-like blowout at home – all you need is a large barrel curling iron.

Here are some of the best 2-inch curling irons, tried and tested, and Haircareology approved!

Best 2 Inch Curling Iron Reviews

Hot Tools Professional 24K Gold 2″ Curling Iron

HOT TOOLS Professional 24K Gold Curling Iron, 2 inch
  • 24k Gold-Plated 2" Barrel
  • Control Dial Adjustable Heat
  • Temperature Range 280°F - 430°F
  • 8-ft. Swivel Cord
  • 1-Year Warranty

The Hot Tools Professional 24K Gold 2” Curling Iron has a really sleek build with a gold and black exterior, plus hints of purple. 

It has a gold plated barrel, which is super bling, if that’s your thing. (I’m a poet and I didn’t even know it! LOL)

All corny jokes aside, gold is a great conductor of heat, enhancing the efficiency of heat transfer from the styling surface to your tresses. 

The iron also has Hot Tools’ proprietary Pulse Technology, which maintains the barrel at a constant temperature throughout use. 

It’s very ergonomically designed, with a soft touch handle that makes it comfortable and easy to grip without tiring your hand out.

The curler has a heat range from 240°F to 430°F, which is adjusted by a rotating dial right below the base of the heated rod. 

I find this 2” iron quite easy to use, and love the slight shine it adds to my locks. Extra shine and smoothness go a long way in making hair look healthier because it reflects light better.

If you don’t want any kinks or dents from the spring clamp, it’s removable. You can also just wrap hair around the entire barrel, clip and all.

Frankly, this tool is quickly becoming my go-to whenever I want a polished style.

The 2” is the largest barrel width available, but you can get narrower diameter versions for tighter curls or waves. Hot Tools also makes a 2″ tourmaline ceramic curling iron too.

  • Excellent value for money
  • Smooths and promotes shine
  • Gold plating provides plenty of power and heat
  • Comes with a heat resistant mat
  • No auto shut-off
  • A bit heavy

Paul Mitchell Pro Tools Express Curl 1 ¾” Ceramic Curling Iron

Paul Mitchell Pro Tools Express Curl 1 ¾” Ceramic Curling Iron
  • 1 ¾” Ceramic Barrel
  • Digital Display + Controls
  • Max Heat Setting - 410°F
  • Dual Voltage + 1-Hr Auto Shut-Off

Paul Mitchell is a renowned company when it comes to hairstyling tools, and is committed to producing the highest quality appliances, fit for professionals.

The Paul Mitchell Pro Tools Express Curl Ceramic Curling Iron is 1 ¾” wide – so it’s not quite a full 2”. You still get gorgeous, beachy waves and swoops with it though, and the slightly narrower barrel is easier to wrap hair around. 

It’s all-black finish looks quite luxe, and the ceramic barrel distributes heat evenly, leaving hair frizz-free without damage or split ends. The surface is very smooth too – there’s no pulling or tugging while you glide hair through.

The iron uses far infrared technology to gently heat strands from the inside out, which is less drying and damaging than direct thermal heat. It also generates negative ions to smooth the cuticle layer down for extra shine. 

You’ll find the power and temperature control buttons on the handle on the clamp side of the iron. The only thing is they’re kind of hard to read because they blend in with the all-black color. At least the digital readout is bright and large.

All in all, the technology and results are pretty impressive, as expected of a Paul Mitchell product.

If you need more heat power, there’s also the Neuro Curl 1 ¾” Spring Curling Iron, which has a titanium barrel.

  • High quality ceramic with far infrared technology
  • Digital display and adjustable temperature controls
  • Smooth glide without pulling
  • 60-min auto shut-off
  • 1-year warranty
  • Control buttons are hard to read

Kristin Ess Soft Bend 2″ Curling Iron

Kristin Ess Soft Bend 2
  • 2" Titanium Barrel
  • Digital Controls + Display
  • 4 Heat Settings From 325°F - 425°F
  • 9-ft. Swivel Cord + Safety Stand
  • 3-min Auto Shut-Off

Celebrity hairstylist Kristin Ess’s line of hair products at Target are hands down a cult favorite for their high-end feel and quality at a very reasonable price.

Her 2” Soft Bend Iron is no exception. The golden barrel paired with a white handle and gold accents bearing her namesake looks like it could be a T3 curling iron.

Its titanium barrel makes it exceptional for quick, even heat that produces smooth lusciousness as you bend and curve your way to flowy locks. 

The Soft Bend lives up to its name and gives you gorgeous, full, natural-looking waves. The only catch here is that the right technique can take a little time to master, especially as 2” irons seem bulky to a lot of people.

If you’re not used to working with a big barrel curling iron, I would recommend practicing clipping and wrapping hair around the barrel (as well as releasing) with a cool iron first so that you get the hang of it before subjecting your strands to high heat.

This iron is quick to heat up, comes with 4 fixed heat settings (the highest being 425°F), and has a digital temperature display.

It doesn’t snag or pull hair at all, and also eliminates frizz. The final look is definitely very polished and comparable with high end irons.

On the downside, the extra wide barrel definitely adds additional weight to the unit, though this is true of any large barrel curling iron.

  • High-end feel
  • Titanium barrel
  • Digital display
  • Tapered easy-grip tip
  • Auto shut-off
  • Heavier than other irons
  • Only 4 heat settings

T3 BodyWaver 1 ¾” Styling Iron

T3 BodyWaver 1 ¾” Styling Iron
  • 1 ¾” Custom Blend Hollow Ceramic Barrel
  • Twist Base Temperature Control
  • 5 Heat Settings From 260°F - 410°F
  • Cool Tip

The BodyWaver 1 ¾” Styling Iron has T3’s unique Single Pass Radial Technology, which maintains constant heat throughout the length of the ceramic barrel, and seals moisture within the strands.

It allows you to style in one pass, saving time while preventing overexposure to heat and damage. The results are really nice too for a smooth, polished blowout effect.

It’s a very chic and elegant appliance with it’s white exterior offset by rose gold accents. The flared gold midsection works as a platform to keep the hot styling surface from touching and damaging your countertop if you set it down while it’s on.

To power on and adjust the heat, simply twist the base of the unit near the cord to set the temperature to your desired setting. An indicator light blinks while the iron is heating up, and becomes a steady light when it’s ready for use.

The power and temperature control is not in the usual spot for most irons, but I actually like the design as it prevents accidental button presses while you’re holding the handle. 

There are 5 heat settings from 260°F to 410°F, indicated by little dots that light up to indicate which setting you’re on.

Interestingly, the barrel is hollow – I guess that facilitates even heating around the surface (and probably makes the unit lighter too).

My experience with the T3 BodyWaver was good, but this product generally tends to be hit or miss with users. Some find it to be an amazing tool that’s well worth the price. Others find it somewhat “meh”, citing dents or kinks from the clamp.

  • Beautiful, luxurious, ergonomic design
  • Smooth, even heat
  • Twist base controls eliminate accidental setting changes
  • Adjustable temperature controls
  • Doesn’t require higher heat even on style-resistant hair types
  • Expensive
  • Tight clamp can leave dents or creases

The Biggest Barrel Curling Iron

2 inch curling iron

Curling irons and curling wands come in many different sizes, from as skinny as ⅜”, all the way up to 2”. 

Naturally, the style you can achieve with each size is different.

Extra large curling irons that are at least 1 ¾” or 2” wide, aren’t really meant for curly cue curls.

Big barrel irons are used to create soft waves, or a polished, salon blowout look. They work on all hair types, and can even be used to straighten and smooth out kinks and flyaways.

As you might guess, 2” irons won’t work on very short hair. They’re best for shoulder-length at a minimum, ideally medium to long tresses (or on extensions!).

How To Use A 2-Inch Curling Iron

Step 1: Before starting any sort of heat styling, be it straightening or curling your hair, make sure that your hair is not wet or moist, but properly dried. 

Step 2: Apply some heat protectant on all strands to prevent damage from heat exposure.

Step 3: Divide and clip hair into sections.

Step 4: Use 1-2” sections at a time when styling (the more you use at a time, the looser the bend or wave you’ll get). Wrap it around the iron near your scalp, clamp, and twist. Wait a few seconds before slightly opening the clamp up to let more hair onto the barrel as you slowly rotate the iron.

Step 5: Open the clamp fully as you pull the iron down gently to release the hair.

Step 6: Allow your hair to cool for a few seconds before moving on to the next section.

Step 7: Continue in this manner until your whole head is done!

Other Wide Barrel Curling Irons 

Curling irons that are 1 ½” and above, up to 2”, are generally considered wide barrel irons. They’re ideal for soft beachy waves, to add volume and lift to otherwise flat hair, or to curl ends inward the way a stylist does with a round brush and hairdryer.

There just aren’t that many 2” irons around, so here are a few other wide barrel irons to consider:

The Conair Double Ceramic 1 ½” Curling Iron is very affordable and comes with 30 different heat settings. It’s a decent budget iron but also feels like it is made of cheap plastic, and tends to snag hair.

BaBylissPRO Ceramic Tools 1 ½” Spring Curling Iron has a ceramic barrel and 25 different heat settings. Reviews are mixed for this iron as it seems to have a short lifespan for many users.

INFINITIPRO BY CONAIR 1 ½” Nano Tourmaline Ceramic Curling Iron is another inexpensive wide barrel curling iron, with tourmaline and ceramic technology. However, the tip design doesn’t make it easy to grip, which can cause fingertip burns.

What To Look For In A Curling Iron (Of Any Size)

woman curling hair with large barrel curling iron

Barrel Material 

Curling irons are available in many different materials like ceramic, titanium, tourmaline, etc. Each has its own benefits.

Ceramic curling irons are the most common, and for good reason. Ceramic heats evenly without giving rise to hotspots that can damage hair, making it suitable for all hair types.

Tourmaline is also commonly blended in with ceramic for extra frizz and static control.

Titanium, being a metal, is an efficient conductor of heat, heats up quickly, and recovers quickly between passes. Due to this property, titanium irons are great for tackling coarser, thicker locks that need that extra bit of power to style.

Other coatings include gold or chrome-plated barrels. Gold-plating helps give hair lots of shine and sheen, while chrome is mostly used in lower end, budget models. 

Adjustable Heat Settings 

Having adjustable heat settings that can be turned up or down in small increments is ideal, and is something I pay specific attention to when deciding on a styling tool.

If you have fine hair like me, adjustable heat settings are essential to ensure that you don’t overexpose your hair to high heat.

For thick, coarse hair, you may need a curling iron that heats up to at least 400°F or more to handle more resistant tresses.

Barrel Length 

Standard curling irons usually have about a 5”-long heated rod, which works well on most lengths.

However, if your hair goes below midback, you might want to consider a curling iron with an extended length barrel so you have enough surface area to wrap your entire length around.

Long Swivel Cord 

Most curling irons these days come with a decent length cord – usually at least 5’ in length. 360° swivel cords are also pretty standard too, for tangle-free, easy maneuvering. 

It allows you to easily style your hair without the cord getting twisted up or in the way, and any additional length gives you extra slack if your power socket isn’t in the most convenient location. 

Spring Clamp (Usually) 

Traditional curling irons come with a clamp that holds your hair against the barrel.

In smaller sized curling irons, it is quite easy to hold your section with your hand while you curl, even without a clamp. 

But in extra large curling irons, the clamp is quite helpful to firmly hold the section in place while you rotate the rod. 

Final Thoughts

All the curling irons mentioned in this article are great in their own ways, but my pick for the best 2 inch hair curler is the Hot Tools Professional 24K Gold Curling Iron.

It checks all the boxes I look for when choosing a good wide barrel curler. With its gold-plated barrel and comfortable handle, it’s easy to work with and can create that beautiful salon blowout finish without breaking the bank.

Emma Lee
As long as she can remember, Emma has been obsessed with beautiful hair. Her favorite look is pin-straight, sleek glass hair. She's had multiple styles from short and permed to long and natural throughout her life, and knows full well that how your hair looks can make or break your day.

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