You Are At: AllSands Home > Health > Advice > Hair styling tools: How hair curlers and curling irons work
Hot rollers and curling irons are used by many women daily. Many women use them so often, when something breaks, they probably think they worn the iron out. But, both curling irons and hair curlers work on basic principles. Most problems can be fixed fairly easily.

Hair curlers are made up of a roller tray, thermostat, thermal cutoff, elements, and rollers than sit inside a large housing. The housing is encased on top with a Plexiglas cover. Power cords run from outside, inside the housing through a slit in the bottom. Roller pins are located outside, which hold a woman's hair to the roller. Once the power cord is plugged in, the electricity flows through the wiring, heating the elements. The elements in turn, heat each roller.

A curling iron works on the same principles, but on a smaller level. A curling iron has a indicator light, switch button, switch module, and power cord, inside its housing. Then the housing is attached to a barrel. Inside the barrel is a heating element. A spoon handle rests on top of the barrel.

This handle is what holds a woman's hair to the barrel. If the curling iron does not have a switch button, the iron works just like the hair curlers. When the cord is plugged in, electricity moves through the wires, giving heat to the element. The element in turn, heats the barrel, which curls the hair.

If the iron has a switch, the switch module does not activate the heating element until it is pressed. Even if the power cord is plugged in, the heating element will not heat, until the switch module is pressed.

Because there are very parts in either appliance, they can be repaired with ease. However, you might pay more for a part, than you would a new hair curler, or curling iron. Investigate before you buy.