Hair Curler Repair

All those natural curls come from somewhere. This Fix-It Guide on hair curler repair tells how a hair curler works, what often goes wrong, how to identify a hair curler problem, and what parts and tools you will need to fix it. The information also applies to hair straightener repair, hair crimper repair, and other hair styling device repair. This guide gives step-by-step instructions for how to disassemble and test a hair curler set, how to disassemble and test a hair curling iron, and how to test a hair curler thermal cutoff. This Fix-It Guide also refers to electrical cord repair, switch repair, fuse repair, and heating element repair.

How Does a Hair Curler Work?

 Hair Curler Repair

Hair curlers and other heating appliances typically have a thermal fuse or cutout that can be replaced with parts from an electronics parts store.

Hair curlers, curling irons, hair straighteners, and hair crimpers are heating devices designed to curl or straighten human hair. All contain heating elements controlled by a thermostat. In addition, a thermal cutoff or fuse prevents appliance burnouts due to overheating. In a set of curlers, a solid metal plate transfers heat from the element to the warming posts on which the rollers are placed. In contrast, the curling iron is heated by an element located inside the barrel. Both are simple heating appliances and relatively easy to repair–once you figure out what’s wrong.

What Can Go Wrong with a Hair Curler?

The most common problem with hair curlers and curling irons is a faulty power cord. In addition, internal wiring may be faulty, swivel contacts may be dirty or corroded, a heating element may fail, the thermal cutoff may be faulty and the switch may be faulty.

Fix-It Tip

Hair curlers and curling irons are relatively inexpensive appliances and replacement parts may be difficult to find so it may be more cost effective to replace rather than repair them. But give it a try anyway.

How Can I Identify a Hair Curler Problem?

  • If the appliance does not heat, first make sure the power is on at the outlet, then test the electrical cord.
  • If the unit still does not work, disassemble it to look for wires disconnected from any terminals and reattach them. While the device is open, test the on-off switch if there is one and replace as needed. Check the fuse. Test the thermal cutoff (see below) and replace it if the part is available. Test the heating element using a multimeter. If you still can’t find the problem, replace the appliance.

Fix-It Tip

Because hair curlers and curling irons typically require lots of electricity to operate and because they frequently are plugged into a GFCI (ground fault circuit interrupter) receptacle in the bathroom, first check the receptacle by pressing the red button to reset it.

What Do I Need for Hair Curler Repair?

Replacement hair curler parts may be available from the manufacturer’s service centers (check the owner’s manual for location) or through small appliance parts dealers. Here are the basic tools you’ll need to test and fix a hair curler or curling iron:

  • Screwdrivers
  • Pliers
  • Multimeter

What Are the Steps to Hair Curler Repair?

Disassemble and test a hair curler set (depending on the model):

  1. Unplug the curler and remove the cover and rollers.
  2. Unscrew the base or pry open the access plate with a small screwdriver.
  3. Slide the access plate forward and upward with your thumbs to expose the inner parts.
  4. Remove the roller trays from the housing and remove the power cord.
  5. Disconnect the connectors attaching the thermostat to the heating element and remove the thermostat, held on either by clips or screws.
  6. Test the electric components using a multimeter.

Disassemble and test a hair curling iron (depending on the model):

  1. Unplug the curler and, if necessary to continue, remove the base.
  2. Loosen screws joining the housing halves and gently separate them.
  3. Disconnect the connectors attaching the thermostat to the heating element and remove the thermostat.
  4. Test the electric components using a multimeter.

Test a hair curler thermal cutoff (a small electric component in a wire between one side of the power cord and the heating element):

  1. Disassemble the hair curler or curling iron as described above.
  2. Set the multimeter to the RX1 (resistance times 1) scale and clip probes to each side of the thermal cutoff component. The multimeter scale should indicate zero ohms meaning there is no resistance and it is working. If not, take the component to a service center for an exact-replacement part.