Best Curling Irons For Black Hair – 2020 Review

| Last Updated: January 21, 2022

Black hair is unique in its own way. Incredibly diverse to style, black hair has the capacity to hold its own shape and to create inspiring and innovative looks. Like all hair types, however, black hair comes with its own challenges, especially when looking to apply heat as with curling.

In this respect, it’s super important to find curling tongs that suit black hair and help it to achieve the amazing finish you’re looking for.

Comparison of the Best Curling Irons for Black Hair 

  • Dual voltage works on any type and length of hair
  • 25 heat settings up to 400°F
  • Features a comfortable rubber handle for easier handling
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  • Automatic temperature control for all hair types
  • 9-foot swivel cord with an easy soft-touch handle
  • Bioceramic heaters deliver long-lasting hair curls
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  • Has a wide range of results; super tight, bouncy, romantic, or tousled curls
  • Features a rheostat control dial with adjustable heat settings
  • 24-karat ion styling design provides gorgeous hair
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  • Perfect curler for all hair types
  • Longer barrel ensures all hair is curled
  • Comes with a heat-resistant glove for owners safety
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  • Used both to curl and style hair
  • Features 24k gold Marcel iron barrel as the heat conductor
  • Fitted with rotating handles to spin hair sections easily
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The Special Needs of Black Hair 

Black hair comes in four main types: straight, wavy, curly, and kinky. With straight black hair, you’ll find fine, medium, and course types, with fine being easy to curl and course being very hard to curl. With wavy varieties of black hair, the finer types stick close to the head and have a defined ‘S’ character, whereas courser types are harder to style and can appear frizzy.

Curly types usually come as loose curls, tight curls, or corkscrews. While looser curls tend to be a little frizzy, tight curls tend to have a more combined textures. Corkscrews are characterized by dense, thick curls of hair that are harder to style. Kinky hair is either known as wiry or soft and has a more defined pattern of small ‘Z’ shapes. It can be styled but tends to be far more tightly coiled than other types of hair.

Black hair, due to its very nature, needs a little more TLC as it can become fragile very easily due to its structure. For best care, it is better to wash the hair only once a week or once every other week. This helps to prevent the build-up of products in the hair.

Keeping this in mind, using blow dryers and other heat products should be kept to a minimum as it quickly dries the hair out. Equally, a wide toothed comb should be used to detangle it, to prevent it breaking. Using a little natural oil will also help to keep black hair moisturized and shiny.

Best Curling Irons for Black Hair 

Look no further, these are the best options of the year:

Best Overall:
BabyBlissPro CT58S

BaBylissPRO Ceramic Tools Spring Curling Iron


  • This model reaches 400F – The high temperature is really helpful for those who have especially tight curls or very coarse hair.
  • It features a ceramic barrel – The ceramic barrel gives better heat distribution and doesn’t burn the hair like titanium or generic metals.
  • This model has 25 heat settings – This allows for great diversity with black hair. If you have relaxed or fine, straight hair, this model features for lower heat settings. On the other hand, if you have tight corkscrew hair or coarse, kinky hair, this model can also reach higher temperatures. Most importantly for black hair as there are so many hair types, this can be used to address them all.


  • The ‘on’ button is badly placed – When in use, it is really easy to turn the curling iron off without noticing due to the placement of the ‘on’ button.
  • The clamp is not tight – Many users have complained that the clamp doesn’t quite meet the curling iron. While this isn’t a problem for thicker hair, thinner hair slides right through.

This model is a very reasonably priced curling iron with a ceramic barrel and 25 heat settings. With a 5/8-inch barrel and rotating cord, it comes with dual voltage.

BIO IONIC Curl Expert Pro Curling Iron, 1 Inch

BIO IONIC Curl Expert Pro Curling Iron, 1 Inch


  • Tight spring clamp – The clamp is designed to hold thicker, more coarse hair, making it ideal for African-American hair.
  • It has a bioceramic barrel – Not only is the barrel made of ceramic, it is infused with volcanic minerals. These minerals create a sleek, shiny look, and fuse the hair with minerals to protect it against heat and damage.
  • High and versatile temperatures – This model reaches up to 430F. Most black hair stylists use curling irons that reach over 400F, especially for coarse hair, making this perfect for wirier black hair. It also has a range of temperature settings for less hardy hair types.


  • This model is quite expensive.
  • It’s very long – The barrel is 17 inches long. While this may be great for people with longer hair or perhaps relaxed hair, for those with curlier, shorter hair, 17 inches is extremely difficult to manage.

This 1-inch model has a great reputation among the black hair community due to its high temperature of 430F and bioceramic barrel. It is 17 inches long and features a 9-inch cord, digital temperature settings, and automatic shut-off.

Best for the Money:
Hot Tools Professional 1181 Curling Iron with Multi-Heat Control, Jumbo 1"

HOT TOOLS Professional 24K Gold Curling Iron/Wand for Long Lasting Curls, 1 Inch


  • Gold-plated barrel – The 24K gold-plated barrel provides even better heat distribution than ceramic, prevent hotspots that can burn straight through the hair.
  • Pulse technology – This technology helps the curling tong to keep a consistent heat throughout curling and all through the barrel. This makes sure that the hair is curled consistently from root to tip.
  • Good temperature range – Ranging from 230F to 430F, this model not only works well for different black hair types, it can also be used to provide versatile styles. The lower temperatures provide looser curls, while higher temperatures can hold tighter curls.


  • No automatic shut-off – If left on, this model will not turn off making it a little bit of a fire hazard.
  • No dual technology – This cannot be used as a standalone product outside the US. In order to travel abroad, you will need a voltage adapter.

This curling iron has temperatures ranging from 230-430F and has a gold-plated barrel. It features 10 heat settings and pulse technology to ensure consistent heat.

4. Xtava Satin Wave 5 in 1 Curling Iron and Wand Set

5 in 1 Professional Curling Iron and Wand Set - 0.3 to 1.25 Inch Interchangeable Ceramic Barrel Wand Curling Iron - Dual Voltage Hair Curler Set for All Hair Types with Glove and Travel Case by Xtava


  • Very versatile – The 5 different barrels mean you can create a myriad of styles for the hair. It also means it can be used on all different hair types.
  • Good heat range – With lows of 250F and highs of 410F, this wand set can be used on very damaged hair or relaxed hair as well as on coarser, more wiry hair types.
  • Ceramic barrel – The ceramic barrel will give even heat distribution while the tourmaline technology will smoothen the hair. This works by releasing negative ions to combat the positive irons, preventing it from drying out and giving a shiny look.


  • No cool tip – This product doesn’t have a place to hold the wands at the end making it a little difficult to use without getting burned.
  • Changing barrels is slow – If you are trying to use more than one barrel, you need to wait until each one cools down before you can take it off the curler and replace it.

This curling wand comes with 5 interchangeable barrels and a heat protective glove. Featuring a ceramic tourmaline barrel, it has 9 heat settings ranging from 250F – 410F and includes dual technology.

5. Hot Tools Curling Iron Spring Grip 5/8"

Hot Tools Professional 5/8 Inch 24K Gold Marcel Iron/Wand Model No. 1104, 0.625 Inch


  • 24K Gold-plated barrel – The gold-plated barrel gives the best heat distribution preventing direct heat from causing damage to the hair.
  • Pulse technology – The pulse technology means that it gives consistent heat all through the barrel and throughout the whole curling experience.
  • Small size – This model is only 10 inches long making it easy to maneuver and easy to pack if traveling. This is specifically helpful for people with shorter hair, especially as the barrel is only 5/8-inch.


  • No automatic shut-off – This could be a fire risk if left on or could burn the product out.
  • Loose grip – Some users have complained that the grip isn’t tight enough to hold fine hair, and it slips through.

This mini curling iron has 10 heat settings and a 5/8-inch gold-plated barrel. It heats to 430F and features an 8-foot swivel cord and pulse technology.

Curling Iron Hairstyle Ideas for Black Hair

1. To achieve springy corkscrew curls like this, use a thinner barreled curling iron, such as 5/8-inch. For thicker hair of this type, you will need to use it on a high heat.

2. For natural looking tight corkscrews, you will need a think-barreled curling iron and to curl very small strands each time. Once the whole head is curled, rub mousse into your hands and vigorously run your fingers through your hair with your head turned upside down.

3. For this style, you need a 1-inch barreled curling iron with a spring grip. Wrap the hair around the barrel so it overlaps itself and spray with hair spray before gently releasing the hair.

4. You will need a very thin-barreled curling wand to achieve this look. Take tiny strands each time and wrap around the wand on a high heat. Finish with lots of hair spray.

Tips for Using a Curling Iron With Black Hair

  1. Prepare the hair – Before curling black hair, it is really important to ensure that you protect it first. Using a serum cream or a small amount of natural oil will help provide a barrier to the heat, which will prevent it from drying out.

  2. Choose the right size barrel – For shorter hair, a 5/8-inch barrel (or smaller) is advisable as it allows the hair to reach right around the barrel. For longer hair, choose a wider barrel, like a 1 or 1.5-inch barrel. With natural hair, smaller barrels are easier to maneuver, whereas bigger barrels can create glamorous looks for relaxed hair.

  3. Low heat for relaxed hair – When you relax black hair, harsh chemicals are used which can damage the hair. To prevent further damage, use your curling iron on a lower temperature.

  4. Choose ceramic – Ceramic barrels give a more even heat distribution and prevent direct hotspots, unlike titanium or generic metal barrels. Try to use a ceramic barrel with tourmaline technology for utmost protection.


Black hair has a fantastic capacity to hold a good curl if you use the right tool. If you have previously used harsh chemical, such as in the process of relaxing, make sure to use a low heat. If your hair is coarse and wiry, use a higher heat. Always remember to prepare the hair with serum or oils first to lock in moisture, as black hair can become delicate very easily and is extremely susceptible to heat damage.

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Hi I'm Emilia! I like to think of myself as the "crash-test-dummy" of the hair world. Whether that means testing out the newest curling iron or going with fresh hair styles. I like to mix it up. I share my thoughts on Caffe Hair based on my first hand experience!