Reviewers choose Hot Tools Professional gold series curling irons more often than any other brand because of their professional quality and affordable price tag. Experts say these curling irons, which are available in seven sizes, are built to withstand daily use. They also heat evenly and quickly, with variable temperature settings. The barrels are coated with 24-karat gold, which reviewers say is an excellent heat conductor and is less apt to damage hair than plain chrome. Users appreciate the 10 variable heat settings and say curls last all day. Because they are made for salon use, though, they don’t have automatic shut-off, which could be a safety concern. Some users complain that the springs wear out quickly, but Hot Tools now includes two extra springs with each curling iron sold. If you prefer a ceramic curling iron, reviewers say that the Infiniti by Conair Tourmaline Ceramic Curling Iron (*Est. $24) works well, and this curling iron does have an auto shut-off feature.

We found user reviews at Folica.com, Amazon.com and MakeupAlley.com to be not only plentiful, but also useful in gauging long-term customer satisfaction. A video review by beauty blog Pursebuzz.com, posted at YouTube.com, shows how to use the curling irons and compares them to other high-end brands.

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