Best Curling Irons For Thick Hair – 2019 Buyer’s Guide

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

ghd Classic Curl Iron

Best Overall

Beachwaver Co. Beachwaver Pro 1.25 Curling Iron

The Beachwaver Co. Beachwaver Pro 1.25 Curling Iron


BIO IONIC Goldpro Curling Iron

BIO IONIC Goldpro Curling Iron 1 Inch

Best for the Money

Bed Head Wave Artist Deep Waver

Bed Head Wave Artist Deep Waver for Beachy Waves

Infiniti Pro by Conair

INFINITIPRO BY CONAIR Nano Tourmaline Ceramic Curling Iron, 1 1/4-Inch Curling Iron

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.

Quick Take - Best Curling Irons for Thick Hair

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 Classic Curl Iron


  • It’s quite lightweight, which is a bonus for people curling a lot of hair.
  • The barrel is shorter than regular barrels, making it a great option for those with thick, short hair.
  • It has a built-in safety stand and automatic shut off, making it a safe option, especially if you’re forgetful.
  • The tri-zone technology gives it an evenly distributed heat. This is great for thick hair as it ensures that each curl receives the same level of heat. It helps keep it from dropping out so quickly.


  • This model is quite pricey in relation to other curlers on the market that have exactly the same or better features.
  • It only reaches temperatures of 365F. While this is very hot, it might not be powerful enough for people with thick hair.
  • The barrel is only ceramic coated, not 100% ceramic. This means it will emit more positive ions than 100% ceramic barrels. This can be damaging to the hair.

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.

The Beachwaver Co. Beachwaver Pro 1.25 Curling Iron


  • The temperature goes to an extremely high level, making it far easier to curl thick hair.
  • Ceramic barrels infused with gold powder give the evenest distribution of heat of any material that can be used; perfect for even curls.
  • You can choose fast or slow rotation, defining tighter or looser curls. This also enables those with thick hair to speed up the process.
  • The rotation makes it a little easier and prevents your wrist from aching, especially for people with thick hair who have to work to continuously turn a curling iron many more times than people with fine hair.


  • This model is extremely pricey; it is far more expensive than most models on the market.
  • The clamp is very short, which can make it difficult for people with layers cut into their hair.
  • This curling iron is quite heavy. While the rotation may relieve the continuous twisting motion, the weight may make your arm ache.

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.

BIO IONIC Goldpro Curling Iron 1 Inch


  • It features dual voltage so it can be used abroad.
  • It heats to a high of 450F which is perfect for those with thick, hard-to-curl hair.
  • The 1-inch barrel combined with the versatile temperature gauge allow varying styles of curl.
  • The volcanic minerals infused into the barrel form exceptional protection, locking in moisture and creating a smooth, sleek finish.
  • The gold coating gives the best distribution of heat for even curls all over, supported by the ceramic barrel underneath that equally provides even heat distribution.


  • This model is very expensive, making it unavailable to people on a budget.
  • The design isn’t very ergonomic as the temperature gauge is located where you hold the curling iron, meaning you change the temperature constantly accidentally while using it.

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.

Bed Head Wave Artist Deep Waver for Beachy Waves


  • It’s very affordable, making it a great tool to add to your arsenal of hair styling equipment.
  • The ceramic blades give even heat distribution while the tourmaline technology provides the protection to support this.
  • It reaches a relatively high temperature which is great for creating waves in thick hair while having multiple heat settings enables variation in the depth of those waves.


  • This doesn’t feature dual voltage so it cannot be used abroad.
  • It’s not very versatile. It can only create beachy looking waves of varying definition. It cannot be used for curling or creating bouncy ringlets.
  • Many users complain that it isn’t as easy as it seems to get the tousled look, and instead they end up with unusual-looking crazy waves that stick out at all angles.

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.

INFINITIPRO BY CONAIR Nano Tourmaline Ceramic Curling Iron, 1 1/4-Inch Curling Iron


  • This model heats up to 400F, which is around the right temperature to curl thick hair.
  • The ceramic barrel gives great even distribution and the tourmaline crystals provide the protection.
  • 1.25 inches is a great circumference for thick hair, as it provides versatility without increasing the time it takes.
  • This is a great model for someone with a low budget as it offers many of the important features without breaking the bank.


  • This model doesn’t feature dual voltage and cannot be used abroad.
  • The spring is not great quality, and customers have complained that it breaks easily.
  • The cool tip is the shape of a citrus squeezer and not very large. Many customers have complained of burning their hand by accident.

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.

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