Curling Iron With 3 Barrels: How These Styling Tools Can Help You Get Amazing Waves

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Using a curling iron with 3 barrels is one of the best way to get amazing looking waves in your hair. With this device you can achieve any type of wave, be it beachy and messy, or styled and smooth. If you’ve never used this type of device, check out the info and tutorial below to see if it’s right for you.

What is This Device?

Essentially, a curling iron with 3 barrels is just a waver. You’re not going to achieve any other styles than waves, so keep that in mind. If you want a multi-functional device, you’re better off with a straightener or standard curler.

However, there are a few things that make these devices a great purchase, not the least of which is their easy styling.

How do You Use it?

Although they look complicated, these devices are actually super simple to use.  Here are the basic steps to give you an idea of how easy it is.

  1. Prep your hair.
  2. Separate out a single, wide section.
  3. Open the clamp on the device.
  4. Place the hair between the clamp and the heated barrels. You should start with the hair closest to your scalp.
  5. Hold the hair there for one second or longer, depending on what you need to achieve a good wave.
  6. Open the clamp and slide the device down to the next, unstyled length along the same section of hair. Close the clamp, and hold the device there for one second or longer.
  7. Repeat until the entire section has been styled.

As you can see, it’s really not that hard to use the device. Just move it along each section of hair, creating waves as you go. It’s essentially the same as a crimping iron, and just as simple to use.

Before You Buy

With any heated styling tool, there are things you need to consider before your purchase. Not every device will work for every hair type and situation. Here are a few things to think about before buying this type of tool:


Weight may seem like a minor concern, but it can have a big impact on your arm over time. Styling an entire head of hair gets pretty tiresome, even for simple things like brushing, braids, or buns.

Although not absurdly heavy, this type of styling tool tends to weigh more than a standard curler, wand, or flat iron. That being the case, consider your styling endurance before you purchase. You don’t want to end up with something that you can’t, or won’t use due to the inconvenience.


It’s important to use a little extra caution when styling with this device. It has a large, fully exposed, heated plate area. As such, you’ve got a lot of opportunities to burn yourself if you’re not being careful.

Hair Type

This type of device works best with hair that’s already straight, or wavy. People with naturally curly hair are probably going to have a more difficult time when styling. It would be better to try and straighten your hair as much as possible when blow drying, and then brushing out whatever curls remain before styling.

Hair Length

To get the most out of this device, it helps to have medium length, or long hair. The look it achieves would be harder to style with short hair, although not impossible.


Of course, there are also a few upsides to a curling iron with 3 barrels. Here are three main benefits:

Easy to Use

If you love waves, this device is a much easier way to get them. With a curling iron, you have to have the right size device, use the right curling technique, and then make sure you lengthen the curl or comb it out afterwards. With this device, you just put your hair in, clamp the plates, and then keep going. That’s it!

Great for Thick Hair

The large heated surface area on this device means that it’s perfect for thick hair. Typically, people with thicker hair have to use much smaller sections of hair to get the device to work effectively. This means more styling time, and sometimes even higher temperatures.

Since this device has so much surface area, you don’t have to worry about that. You can use a wider section of hair at a time, and still have it get styled effectively.

Saves You Time

The ease of use combined with the large heated surface area on this device with both save you time when styling. Regardless of hair type or length, you should find that it takes you less time to do your hair overall, which is a huge benefit. It makes this device a great option for those days when you want to do your hair, but don’t really have the time or energy.

Plus, the style that it creates is pretty forgiving. You don’t have to worry as much about going back over each individual section to make sure that they look perfect.

3 Barrel Waves Tutorial

To see this device in action, check out this great tutorial below:

This tutorial has plenty of great advice, and I love that she shows you some options for how to wear the look when you’re done styling.

Styling Advice

For some more styling advice, check out these tips:

Prep Your Hair

Make sure you’re properly prepping your hair beforehand. After finishing out your usual routine, use a heat protectant on your hair. These sprays are a great way to limit any heat damage your hair may incur. You can also use a texturizing spray to create a fuller look.

After that, make sure to brush out and section your hair before hand. This will make it easier to style.

Position Your Hair Correctly

The key to getting a good hold on this device is to make sure your hair is laying flat along the barrels. This means you’ll want to use a wider section, rather than a rounder one. In order to do this, focus on gathering your hair sideways, rather than gathering a large chunk all at once. You’ll still be able to fit a lot of hair at once, but the section will be thin enough to get a good hold.

Change up Your Look

Obviously this device is made to create waves, but you can still get some different looks out of it.

Using a wider section of hair will give you a clean, styled look. It creates sleek, put together waves.

Smaller sections of hair will create more of a beachy, messy look. This is a better option if you want a style that will create volume and lift.

Product Options

Here are some picks for the best 3 barrel curling iron available. There are a lot of different types of wavers, however these two have good qualities and reputations. Click on the links below if you need more information and related products.

Triple Barrel Waver

PrettyQueen Curling Iron 3 Barrel 1 Inch Waver Iron Wand Fast Heating with LCD Temperature Display 176°F to 410°F - for All Types of Hairbutton-check-price


This device is a good, colorful option. The coat on the heated portion is tourmaline ceramic, both of which are great for hair health. It would be better if the entire heated area was made of ceramic, rather than just coated in it, but you should still see some benefits. Ceramic does a good job of heating evenly so you don’t get unexpected heat damage, and tourmaline can help hair lock in moisture. Having both of them together on a device is always a good combination.

I also like that this comes with a standard curling iron clip. These clips are easy to manipulate with a single finger, and don’t get in the way when you have to turn the device.

The main potential downside to this device is that the maximum temperature is 410 degrees. That temperature should work for almost any hair type; however people with particularly stubborn curly, coarse hair may find that they would prefer more heat. For those cases, I would focus on using less hair at a time, and making the hair straight (or at least as straight as you can get it without heat) beforehand. Proper prep will help you achieve a better hold at a lower temperature, regardless of your hair type.

Revlon Deep Waver

Revlon Jumbo 3 Barrel Hair Waver for Deep Wavesbutton-check-price


This is another option that uses tourmaline ceramic, which has a lot of benefits. It’s going to be better for you hair and your finished style, as mentioned in the previous review.

Unlike the previous device, this one heats up to to 420 degrees Fahrenheit, which should work for just about every hair type. That makes it a better option if you know you typically need to use higher temperatures.

The main downsides to this device, for me, are the clip and the temperature selection.

The clip style is not one I prefer, just because it seems heavier. You generally don’t want something larger and heavier to move when styling, because it gets in the way. However this style of handle does give you a little more leverage. That leverage should make it easier to control when opening and closing the device, which you’ll have to do often. As such, it might actually be preferable for some people.

I also don’t like that the temperature selection is a dial on the handle. The placement and style makes it look as though it’s easy to bump during styling. Temperature is important for both hair health and achieving your desired look, so it’s not something you want changing easily. If you do purchase these device, just keep that in mind and check the temperature every so often to make sure you haven’t accidentally nudged it higher or lower.

My other issue with the temperature selection is that it’s a series of numbers, rather than exact temperatures. The only reason I don’t like this is that it’s important to make sure you’re using an appropriate temperature for your hair type, which isn’t easy to do if the temperature isn’t listed. Luckily, the device does provide information about which settings are good for which hair types. (I would recommend sticking to that as much as possible.) And, to be fair, it will be easier for some user’s to remember a specific setting, rather than a specific temperature. Beginners in particular, may find that they like this option better. Again, this issue is really a matter of preference, so use your discretion.

Getting your Ideal Waves

While these devices have their limitations, they’re great at achieving the style they were designed for. They make for one of the most effective ways to get a few different types of waves, especially since there’s no complicated technique necessary for styling. They also happen to be a good option for styling thicker hair types.

Keep in mind though, that they don’t work as well depending on your hair type and length. For shorter hair, or hair that’s curly, thick, and/or coarse, you probably want to stick to a traditional curler or straightener. Those devices are more adaptable to whatever you hair might require.

Potential issues aside, wavers are a great option if you want something that can help you achieve a quick, finished look. If you want to change up your styling, purchase a 3 barrel curling iron and see what it can do for your hair.

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