Although curling irons are a great way to pep up plain, straight hair, and can totally change your look from ordinary to fabulous in a matter of half an hour or an hour, the way they operate – by heating up a barrel of metal or ceramic around which your hair is wound – means that you also have a very hot object close to your fingers and those of anyone else who happens to be sharing the space you live in.

Depending on how much heat you need to curl your hair – with softer, finer hair needing less heat (and, indeed, being likely to be damaged – frizzed, burned, or dulled – by too high a temperature) – your curling irons barrel will be anywhere from 200?to 400? Fahrenheit (93? to 204? Centigrade), which is more than enough to give a human finger, or the inquisitive nose of an unsuspecting cat or dog, a nasty blister should they accidentally touch it.

You are probably using a ceramic curling iron, which is in many ways the best kind of curling iron available on the market today, since it keeps your hair safe and provides good results, with little risk of damage. However, the virtues and advantages of the ceramic curling iron are also things that make it even more likely to give someone an accidental burn when it is not being used. These irons heat very quickly, with the heat distributing smoothly and evenly throughout the barrel – but ceramic also tends to retain heat longer than metal, so the iron is likely to stay at a skin-singing temperature for a lengthier period of time than a metallic one.

For your own safety and that of others who live in the same house – including adults, children, and pets – you should not forget to get a curling iron holder as well. Curling iron holders are items that let you place your curling iron in a spot where it is safely out of the way, blocked off from contact with incautious hands with various heat-proof substances. With one of these in your possession, you can put away your hot curling iron in a safe place where it will not harm you or anyone else and can cool off to a safe temperature without you needing to worry about it inflicting any damage to what it is lying on, either.

One of the two major types of curling iron holder is a “mitt” holder made out of heat proof cloth – rather like an oven mitt or welding gloves, but with the hot object contained on the inside rather than being on the outside. A typically-sized curling iron fits into one of these holders like a pistol into a holster, and is kept safely insulated while it gradually cools. The advantage to these holders is that they cannot be knocked over, while their disadvantage is that since the cloth is highly insulating, it will take a long time for your curling iron to cool.

The other type is a chrome steel cylinder which stands upright and into which you place the barrel of your curling iron. The cylinder is simple but rather attractive looking, and has the advantage that since metal conducts heat well, your curling iron will cool faster than in a “mitt”-style holder. However, this kind of holder could potentially be knocked over, so it is not quite as certain to keep your curling iron under wraps as the mitt holder will.