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Crimping Iron vs. Curling Iron — What's the Difference?

Edited by Tayyaba Rehman — By Fiza Rafique — Published on November 16, 2023
A Crimping Iron creates zigzag patterns or "crimps" in hair, while a Curling Iron forms smooth, rounded curls or waves.
Crimping Iron vs. Curling Iron — What's the Difference?

Difference Between Crimping Iron and Curling Iron


Key Differences

A Crimping Iron is designed to add texture to hair by creating distinct, small zigzag patterns, often termed "crimps." In contrast, a Curling Iron is primarily intended to produce rounded curls or waves, providing volume and a classic curled look.
Both the Crimping Iron and the Curling Iron utilize heat to style hair. However, while the Crimping Iron uses serrated plates to press hair into a crimped style, the Curling Iron uses a rounded barrel to wrap hair around, forming smooth curls.
Though both the Crimping Iron and the Curling Iron are popular hair-styling tools, their outcomes are quite distinct. The choice between them depends on the desired look: crimps for added texture and distinction, curls for a soft, wavy elegance.
Maintenance and care for both the Crimping Iron and Curling Iron are crucial for longevity and hair health. Both tools apply direct heat, so using protective hair products can mitigate potential damage, irrespective of whether one crimps or curls.

Comparison Chart


Creates zigzag patterns or "crimps".
Forms smooth, rounded curls or waves.


Serrated plates.
Rounded barrel.

Desired Appearance

Textured, edgy look.
Timeless, elegant curls or waves.

Hair Texture Result

Distinct, small zigzags.
Smooth, rounded curls.

Common Use

For adding volume and texture.
For classic curly or wavy styles.

Compare with Definitions

Crimping Iron

A device with serrated plates for distinctive hair designs.
The Crimping Iron left a fun, zigzag pattern throughout her tresses.

Curling Iron

A heated tool used to form smooth, rounded curls in hair.
She used a Curling Iron to create classic waves for the wedding.

Crimping Iron

A heat styling tool designed to create zigzag patterns in hair.
She used a Crimping Iron to add playful texture for the concert.

Curling Iron

A device with a rounded barrel to wrap hair around.
The Curling Iron effortlessly transformed her straight hair into bouncy curls.

Crimping Iron

Used for producing crimps for added volume and style.
For her 80s-themed party, she chose the Crimping Iron for that iconic look.

Curling Iron

The go-to tool for timeless and elegant curly looks.
For her portrait, she chose the Curling Iron to give her hair a vintage flair.

Crimping Iron

Ideal for those aiming for an edgy, textured hairstyle.
For the fashion show, the stylist used a Crimping Iron to achieve a modern edge.

Curling Iron

Used for producing wavy or curly hairstyles.
Before her date, she grabbed her Curling Iron to add some romantic waves.

Crimping Iron

Transforms smooth hair into a textured appearance.
She switched things up by using a Crimping Iron instead of her regular straightener.

Curling Iron

Transforms straight hair into soft, curled patterns.
With the Curling Iron, she achieved the Hollywood waves she'd always wanted.

Common Curiosities

Is it essential to use heat protection with both Crimping and Curling Irons?

Yes, always use heat protection to prevent potential hair damage.

Which is better for an 80s retro look, the Crimping Iron or the Curling Iron?

The Crimping Iron is ideal for that iconic 80s crimped look.

What's the main function of a Crimping Iron?

A Crimping Iron is designed to create zigzag patterns or "crimps" in the hair.

Can a Curling Iron produce the textured appearance of a Crimping Iron?

No, a Curling Iron creates smooth curls or waves, not crimped textures.

Which tool should I use for a beachy wave look?

A Curling Iron is often preferred for creating beachy waves.

Are the results from a Crimping Iron long-lasting?

With proper hair products, crimped results can last, similar to curled styles from a Curling Iron.

Can I achieve classic curls with a Crimping Iron?

No, for classic curls, you'd use a Curling Iron.

How does the design differ between a Crimping Iron and a Curling Iron?

A Crimping Iron has serrated plates, while a Curling Iron has a rounded barrel.

Which tool is more versatile, Crimping or Curling Iron?

It depends on desired style; the Curling Iron may offer a broader range of curl types, but the Crimping Iron offers a unique texture.

Is the Crimping Iron a newer invention than the Curling Iron?

Both have been around for decades, but the Curling Iron has been in use longer.

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Author Spotlight

Written by
Fiza Rafique
Fiza Rafique is a skilled content writer at, where she meticulously refines and enhances written pieces. Drawing from her vast editorial expertise, Fiza ensures clarity, accuracy, and precision in every article. Passionate about language, she continually seeks to elevate the quality of content for readers worldwide.
Tayyaba Rehman is a distinguished writer, currently serving as a primary contributor to As a researcher in semantics and etymology, Tayyaba's passion for the complexity of languages and their distinctions has found a perfect home on the platform. Tayyaba delves into the intricacies of language, distinguishing between commonly confused words and phrases, thereby providing clarity for readers worldwide.

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