When styling your hair, starting out with clean hair cannot be emphasized enough. Although some hair stylists think that your hair can go one day without a wash because it holds curls better, it’s always better to curl your hair when it’s clean. But whether you adhere to one theory or another and whether or not you know how to curl thick hair, there’s one thing you must remember: the hair must be completely and totally dry.
Hair must be dry and free from residue of hair styling products. You obviously will obtain the latter only if you have thoroughly washed your hair. Remnants of day old styling products in your hair can hinder efforts in curling thick hair. Use a clarifying but mild shampoo to remove all traces of hair styling products. After all, you want to have clean hair, not hair stripped of essential moisture and nutrients.
Conditioning and Moisturizing Your Hair
Fact: healthy hair will hold curls better and longer. Hair that has been damaged or processed with harsh chemicals will find it difficult to hold curls and this is true for all hair types. Whether you have thick, oily, straight, fine, dry, wavy or curly hair, ensure that it is moisturized to begin with.
Nothing is more frustrating than the desire for curls and not having the right hair conditioner for them. Using shampoos and conditioners enriched with avocado oil, honey, aloe vera, milk, jojoba, tea tree extract, and similar natural ingredients can help nourish the scalp, strengthen hair strands, maintain the health of hair cuticles, and protect your crowning glory from environmental pollutants and contaminants from some hair products which you use.
Use the “Right” Products
Remember that well-conditioned and moisturized hair makes it easier to manage and more pliable to curl. Conditioning your hair’s ends can help protect against excessive heat emitted by curling irons. And contrary to popular belief, curling thick hair can be a breeze when you use the “right” hair styling products and the “most suitable” type of curling iron to successfully create gorgeous curls.
Protect your locks before heat is applied to them with a product in cream, gel, spray or liquid form. This not only gives your hair protection but also enables any hair styling tool, including curling irons, to hold on to during the curling process. The strength of these protective products depends on your hair type. Thick hair, for instance, would need gel or mousse in firm, strong or extra hold variety.
If you have thick hair which has a natural wave or curl it will be easier to style because you can always straighten it or add extra curls to it. If you have straight thick hair, however, it’s time to go shopping for a good quality hairstyling tool because this particular hair type needs some serious curling iron. Choosing the best curling iron for thick hair can be a no-brainer but only if you know how to select one from the various types available on the market. Take time to consider curling irons made of the following materials for performance, durability, and protection:
- Ceramic core: It’s relatively easy to curl thick hair if enough heat is applied quickly to penetrate the hair’s shaft. To get the maximum level of heat, your curling iron should have a ceramic core which allows the iron to achieve a temperature between 400°F and 450°F. This is sufficient heat powerful enough to curl all of your hair’s thick strands. Ceramic is a softer material, however, so you have to be gentler in using a curling iron with a ceramic core.
- Tourmaline: This gemstone’s crystals, when infused as a coating to the ceramic core, create negative ions which cause the shaft to lay smooth and flat, eliminating frizz to result in curls which are smooth, bouncy, and sleek. It is not a “stand alone” type of material, however, and needs either titanium or ceramic material to give the ions a mega boost. Tourmaline reduces static so less heat is needed by the hair which means less chances of damage.
- Titanium: A powerful heat conductor, titanium offers maximum retention of curls because it is able to deliver an exceptional amount of heat and do so evenly more than any other kind of material. It gets in your hair quickly and gets out at the same speed to leave hair with the silkiest texture possible. Titanium is the most durable type of coating because of its high resistance to corrosion from exposure to hair styling products.
Sizes of Curling Irons
Believe or not, it’s the barrel’s size which will determine the shape of your curls. Thick hair that is above the shoulders should be able to wrap around a curling iron with a smaller barrel, preferably one that measures ¾ of an inch or an inch. A barrel of any size, however, is able to create curls for longer thick hair. This chart can tell you what size barrel you should buy for the kind of curls that you want to create with your thick hair: [table id=1 /]
Options for Curling Thick and Long to Medium Length Hair
A clipless curling iron is another option if you have thick hair. You can wrap hair strands around the wand and hold them in place with your heat-resistant gloved hand. This option will leave no crease marks or bumps on your curls but you have to practice doing the process so you can curl large sections of your thick hair to save on curling time.
Curling irons with clips tend to flatten thick hair and prevent heat to penetrate, making curling time longer. This is one reason why curling irons that have interchangeable barrels may be the most efficient way for curling thick hair because you can use the larger sizes for bottom layer curling and then use the smaller ones on the top layer to create ringlets.
Recommended Curling Irons for Thick Hair
1. Sedu Revolution Tourmaline Ionic Styling Iron 1”
ALLURE Magazine’s 2013 “Best of Beauty Flat Iron” winner, the Sedu Revolution Tourmaline Ionic Styling Iron 1” has been found satisfactory by more than half of Amazon’s 151 customer reviewers for several reasons, including cutting curling time in half.
Here are the rest of its features:
- Edges of the tourmaline ceramic plates have unique curved design.
- Quick heat up time of less than 25 seconds.
- Comes with a heat-resistant pouch for safe storage after use.
- Heat distribution is even and constant.
- Plates are ultra smooth to eliminate stretching, friction, and snagging of hair.
- Comes in two colors: pink or black.
- Temperature setting is adjustable between 180°F and 450°F.
- “Floating” plates allow versatility in curling styles from sleek waves to bouncy curls.
- Nano tourmaline technology produces far infrared heat and powerful negative ions to create curls faster in a shorter period of time.
- Comes with a two year warranty.
- Plates reduce hair static.
- With a 9” power swivel cord for flexible movement during curling.
- Eliminates frizz.
- Edges have anti-slip capacity so hair strands are “captured” within plates.
Want more info about the Sedu Revolution Styling Iron? Click here for our in-depth review.
2. Hot Tools Marcel Curling Iron 1½ ” 2182
The Hot Tools Marcel Curling Iron 1 1/2” HT2182 prides itself in having a “gets hot and stays hot” performance quality. More than half of its 72 customer reviewers gave this product a 5-star Amazon rating. Most of the Amazon customer reviews consider the Hot Tools Marcel Curling Iron a great hairstyling tool not only for creating curls but hair volume as well.
- Ceramic material quickly radiates far-infrared heat to penetrate the hair’s shaft for less heat exposure and preserve hair’s natural luster and moisture.
- No hot spots which could cause damage to hair cuticles.
- Quick heat up time.
- Hair does not get “fried” while curling.
- Heat remains constant while curling.
- With maximum heat temperature of 428°F.
- Creates longer-lasting curls.
- Comes with a one year warranty.
- With heat selection settings for different hair types (fine hair, chemically-treated hair, wavy to medium, and thick to coarse hair).
- Separate switches for on and off functions to allow rheostat control to recall preferred or previous heat setting.
- Heavy duty.
- Comes with a foldable safety stand.
- Titanium barrel prevents snagging of hair.
- Soft grip handle ensures comfortable and secure handling.
Invest in a Good Quality Curling Iron
There is a plethora of curling iron brands that you can choose from for your thick hair. It helps to try several types of curling irons based on the criteria mentioned before you buy one. Good quality curling iron is, after all, an investment. The best way to curl thick hair is to have the right kind of curling tool that is easy for you to operate and maintain.