Curling hair is one of the most sophisticated ways to add a touch of glamour to your regular hairstyle. Especially for women with naturally straight hair, a curling iron can do wonders without even giving much effort.
Although we can find tons of curling irons in the market at present, it was definitely not the case a century ago. Modern curling irons totally differ from their earlier versions, and it took a lot of time to get them to their present shape.
If you ever wondered how curling irons came into being while using them during your hairstyling sessions, we have news for you: the history is surprising and dates back to the 19th century!
Wondering who invented these irons in the first place, and how they evolved throughout the years? Well, we are here to answer all of your questions, so keep reading ahead to learn more!
- When was the Curling Iron Invented, and Who Invented it?
When was the Curling Iron Invented, and Who Invented it?
You will be surprised to know that the very first curling iron was nothing like its present version. At the earlier times, curling irons were heated using fire, and it was quite a hazardous situation if you ask us.
Although there’s no solid information on who invented the curling iron a century ago, the first patent for improving the design of the curling iron was provided to Sir Hiram Maxim in 1866.
However, Marcel Grateau was the person who designed his very own curling iron in the year 1890, which practically makes him the inventor of this handy tool that is used in salons at present worldwide.
But the interesting fact is that curling tongs were used by noble people in the Greek, Egyptian, and many other civilizations way back into the days. So it requires no explanation that your handy tool in present days actually has an enriched history!
What were the Dangers of Using the Earlier Version of Curling Irons?
As we mentioned before, the fire was used to heat the curling irons in the earlier days. There was no use of electricity so controlling the temperature was not an option back then. And as you have already assumed, the process was quite unsafe.
Although present-day curling irons come with several safety features, it would be too much to assume that these things were present in the 19th-century models. So the phrase ‘beauty is pain’ can actually be used in this case!
How was the Appearance of the Earlier Curling Irons?
Have you ever served food to your guests using tongs? Or generally speaking, do you have a set of gardening shears? If so, then you can easily picture what the earlier version of a curling iron looked like.
They resembled these two household items widely available at present, and there was no way these curling irons could have been used with the help of electricity. Everything about this tool speaks manual, but it was all you could get in the 19th century.
As you can see, the handles of the earlier curling irons were usually made out of wood, and the functioning bodies were made of metal. So when the metal part was heated using fire, that helped to give the hair that desired curly appearance. Sounds unbelievable, doesn’t it?
Who was the Inventor of the First Electric Curling Iron?
It’s easy to assume that operating the manual curling irons won’t be a preferable choice for long. This is why it was needed to change the designs and create something new that would be easy to handle and use.
Keeping that in mind, Frenchmen Rene Lelievre and Roger Lemoine were the first persons to patent the electric iron in 1959. 6 years later, the addition of different-sized barrels took the curling irons to the next level. And at present, we all know how popular curled hairstyles became in the ‘60s.
What are the Differences Between 19th Century and 21st Century Curling Irons?
The curling irons we use today came into the picture many years later compared to their ancestors. The first similar version to modern-day curling irons was invented by Theora Stephens in 1980, and the tool became available to common people in the following years with a suitable design.
The earlier versions of curling irons didn’t allow the user to control temperature, and they were basically made with metal and wood with little space for user safety. And without the use of electricity, these manual tools made it quite difficult to achieve faster and easier hair curling outcomes.
At present, curling irons have sophisticated designs that look great on the vanity. Made with ceramic, these curling irons feature multiple heat settings for user convenience. The lightweight and ergonomic features of these curling irons make your hairsyling session super easy and smooth, and you also get to flaunt your curls for a longer amount of time!
You will also find auto shut-off features, cool tip, as well as a dual voltage system in these tools for ensuring a comfortable and secure service to their users. Plus, they come in different sizes for regular use and traveling purposes, so your task just became even easier.
However, we will always remain grateful to the inventors of curling tongs back in the 19th century, because their vision has helped actualize the modern-day curling irons with great sophistication.
Curling irons have literally become our everyday companions, and we cannot imagine our lives without their existence. From casual styling to fancy, big curls, these tools help us achieve the hairstyles of our dreams. This is why it is always important to know the history of a tool that is so precious to our daily lives!
We hope this small guide has quenched your thirst for getting to know your favorite heat styling tool better. So whenever you are styling your hair using your curling iron the next time, don’t forget to remember its journey.
Your curling iron is precious, and so is your hair. Never hesitate to wear your curled hairstyle with pride, and spread confidence wherever you go with the best style at your hand!