Thick hair can give the most voluminous head of curls. From a tight springy ball of fun to voluptuous, rolling ringlets, thick hair lends itself to gorgeous curls. However, for those with thick hair, they understand the troubles and limitations.
With so much hair, it can be an arduous task to curl a whole head of hair while the weight of the hair itself pulls those curls back down. By no means does this leave you without hope! You just have to try a few different methods to get those curls to hold in place and give you that sexy, soft look with a bouncing, buoyant style.
Comparison of the Best Curling Irons for Thick Hair
GHD Curve Classic Curl
Beachwaver Co. Beachwaver Pro 1.25 Curling Iron
BIO IONIC Goldpro Curling Iron
Best for the Money
Bed Head Wave Artist Deep Waver
Infiniti Pro by Conair
Challenges of Curling Thick Hair
Having thick hair can make any girl who sees you jealous when she sees those luxurious lashings of locks flowing down your back. However, girls with thick hair understand the sacrifice of having such a sought-after mane.
Firstly, thick hair can be difficult to tame due to the sheer amount of it. When curling your hair, you’ll find it difficult to get the curling iron in close with the layers and layers of hair trying to interrupt you. You find that most tutorials will advise you to section your hair off with bobby pins. This would take 1000 bobby pins and two hours. What’s easier is to find a strong crocodile clip to keep it all back, letting a little down at a time.
Secondly, the weight of thick hair can be a problem. It can make your arm ache when you are curling it. Whether you have lots of hair or each individual strand is thick, the weight of your hair will make you tired throughout the process. What’s more, thick hair tends to curl just fine, but the weight of the hair itself will pull the curls downward, straightening it out over the course of the day. You need to make sure that you curl it when it isn’t freshly washed and that you’re applying high-quality hair products to hold it in place.
Another problem is the time. As a girl with thick hair, you’ll find it takes ages for you to curl your whole head of hair. Separating it off into smaller sections and working through it bit by bit takes a really long time. Making sure you have a curling iron that can whip through the hair quickly will be a real saving grace.
How to Choose a Curling Iron for Thick Hair
The first thing to look for when you have thick hair is temperature. It is advised to use a curling iron on the lowest temperature that has impact on your hair. When you have very thick hair, especially if the strands are thick, you’ll find you will need a curling iron that breaches the 400F mark. While this is a little harsher on the hair, it will allow you to manipulate it much more easily and will hold the curl for longer.
If you are going to apply such high heat to your hair, you need to make sure you’re scouting out protective measures. The best start, according to Joseph Main, artistic director at Color Wow, is to find a curling iron with a ceramic barrel. The ceramic barrel gives a better heat distribution. This not only protects the hair but makes sure the whole head is curled evenly.
You will also find many of these barrels are infused with tourmaline technology which emits negative ions, combating the positive ions released by the high heat. This keeps the cuticle sealed and smooth, protecting the hair.
As it can take a great deal of time to curl thick hair, a bigger barrel is usually advisable. Smaller barrels will give you very tight, springy spirals. While this gives a fierce look it takes a very long time with a huge, magnificent mane. Bigger barrels will give voluminous rolls or sassy beach waves.
Tips and Tricks for Curling Thick Hair
While we all like to pride ourselves on our shimmering, shiny, clean hair, leaving your hair to get a little grimy is the perfect way to hold a curl in thick hair. Although it may seem counterintuitive, don’t wash your hair they day you intend to curl it. This isn’t a suggestion to leave a week’s worth of dirt in it, only a day! The hair oils that build up during the day combined with the daily dust help to provide a texture that holds a curl better than sleek, shiny, conditioned hair.
Secondly, before you curl your hair, run a handful of product through it, such as a strong-hold mousse or gel. Let this dry and then brush it through. This will give your hair extra texture. When the heat touches the product, it will melt it, enabling it to manipulate into holding your hair better.
As Trace Watkins, celebrity stylist to AnnaLynne McCord, notes, thick hair can be difficult to style curly, especially if you want it to hold a half-curl like a beach wave. She suggests using a heavy product like a pomade. Rub it all over your hair, but make sure to go gently on the tips as the weight of the product will straighten the hair. Use it thickly at the roots and sparingly at the ends.
Hair will style to the shape in which it cools. Try to gently blow your curls with the cool setting on a blow dryer. Don’t do this on a high setting as it will blast the curls out, but on a low setting, it will freeze them into place.
Review of the Best Curling Irons for Thick Hair
Let’s have a look now at what tools will help you get the best curl in your nice, thick hair!
GHD Curve Classic Curl
This 1-inch ceramic-coated barrel contains tri-zone technology for even heating. It reaches temperatures of 365F and features a spring clip and a protective cool tip. It is dual voltage for use abroad and has an automatic shut off mode that kicks in 30 minutes after inactivity.
Designed by celebrity hairstylist Sarah Potempa, this model features a ceramic barrel infused with gold powder. It is a rotating curling iron with a 1.25-inch barrel and highs of 450F.
Best for the Money:
BIO IONIC Goldpro Curling Iron
This design features a ceramic barrel infused with a mineral complex and coated in 24K gold. It reaches temperatures of up to 450F. It has a 1-inch barrel and automatic shut off.
This uniquely-shaped product is designed for creating beach waves. It features ceramic blades infused with tourmaline technology and can reach highs of 400F. It is relatively light and priced for someone on a budget.
This 1.25-inch barrel is made of ceramic and infused with tourmaline crystals. With five heat settings, it reaches highs of 400F in just 30 seconds. It has a relatively long barrel and automatic shut off.
Choosing the right curling iron for thick hair is easier than ever. As curling irons evolve, they feature different aspects that lend themselves to thick hair. Just remember that while you’ll need higher heat to keep that curl, protecting the hair is a must at such direct and hot temperatures. Search for mineral-infused barrels and tourmaline technology. Also, always remember that cold blast to lock in your final style.