How to Use A 3 Barrel Curling Iron

by Anjelina Tongco

If you haven’t used one before, a 3 barrel curling iron might overwhelm you. Its size, which is bigger and bulkier than the average curling iron, can be a little intimidating. 

Although a little bit unnerving at first glance, learning how to use a 3 barrel curling iron can be quite beneficial, especially if you’re someone who likes to get dolled up all the time, but rarely finds the time to do it. There’s a bit of a learning curve, sure, but it’s nothing that can’t be done. 

A 3 barrel curling iron can be used to achieve multiple looks.  Interested in learning how to use one? Read on for a quick tutorial and some tips to make your curls last. 

Step 1: Hair Prep 

Whenever you style your hair with a heat styling tool such as a curling wand, a hair waver, or a flat iron, always make sure to prep your hair first by drying it properly and applying a heat protectant. This will minimize the damage to your hair from the heat emitted by the tool you’re going to use. If you’re looking to make your curls last, you’re going to want to use a curl enhancer as well. 

Step 2: Sectioning 

Decide how you want to rock your hair for the day and section it accordingly. Doing this will help you create better-looking and more intentional curls/waves instead of just random ones. In general, you’re going to want to section your hair into four: top, bottom, and one on each side. Depending on how long and how thick your hair is, you can create more sections. 

Step 3: Curling

A 3 barrel curling iron is like a hybrid between a curling rod and a flat iron. You clip your hair in instead of wrapping it around the barrel and, as a result, you get wavy curls. When feeding your hair into the clamp, make sure you’re not overdoing it. Too much hair at a time can result in poor-looking curls/waves. 

Start at the top. Once hair is in the clamp, press and hold for 10 to 15 seconds, and then release slightly and move the 3 barrel curling iron downward. Repeat this until all sections have been curled. 

If you want to get more volume and a more ‘lived-in’ kind of vibe, simply comb through your hair to separate the curls. On the other hand, if you’re looking to get those mermaid curls, you’re better off leaving them as they are after you’ve curled them. 

Ready for your very own 3 barrel curling iron to use and practice with at home? Check out for a wide variety of hair styling tools, from curling wands to 3 barrel curling irons, and more.