Dealing with natural black hair is never a piece of cake. Handling it on a daily basis can be a real test of patience at times. At the same time – no other hair type can retain shape better than black hair. So, you have tons of styling options to experiment with.
However, you need the proper equipment by your side to get going. You want to do crazy stuff with your hair – that’s fine. But make sure you get quality tools to not damage your beautiful hair.
With that said –
Once you have the right tool, let’s say, a curling iron, you can style it in any way you want. Plus, the shape retention/hold I’ve talked about is both annoying and amazing. Why? Amazing – when you get the shape, it’ll last for a long time. Annoying – when you’re thinking about changing it, it can be a tough hill to climb.
So, in this article, not only will I take a closer look into the best curling iron for black hair, but I’ll also go a step further. This article will help you in developing a deeper understanding of black hair and how to style it.
A list of easy-to-employ techniques coupled with a sweet and savvy recommendation should be just the treat for your hairstyling palate.
Quick Comparison of the Winners in 2022
|Best Overall||BaBylissPRO Nano Titanium Spring Curling Iron||CHECK PRICE|
|BEST VALUE||HOT TOOLS Signature Series Gold Curling Iron||CHECK PRICE|
|PREMIUM CHOICE||Conair Double Ceramic Curling Iron||CHECK PRICE|
|ELLA BELLA Curling Wand||CHECK PRICE|
|NuMe Octowand 8-in-1 Curling Wand Set||CHECK PRICE|
|Alure Three Barrel Curling Iron Wand||CHECK PRICE|
|Bed Head Curlipops Curling Wand||CHECK PRICE|
7 Best Curling Iron for Black Hair Reviews in 2022
There is a difference between the black hair curling irons and the curling tools for natural hair. And that’s why I’ve handpicked some irons suitable for all my black hair beauties.
1. BaBylissPRO Nano Titanium Spring Curling Iron
The BaBylissPro Nano Titanium Curling Iron is one the most sought-after heating tools out there. Whether it’s professionals or amateurs, you name it, everyone wants to get a piece of BaByliss if they have the budget.
One of the reasons behind this is the fact that it comes with 50 variable heat settings. Having a wide range of heat settings becomes necessary especially when you are dealing with stubborn hair. Also, you don’t need to use the high heat setting around your roots.
There is also a turbo button available at the base of the barrel. This option allows you to use the device at 450 F for a short amount of time. If you have coarse hair, then by using the turbo setting you can get easy curls without any tangles in them.
The barrel of the curler has nano titanium that is infused with Sol-Gel ceramic technology. This ensures uniform heat distribution through Far-Infrared heat along the surface. And, most importantly, no hot spots!
The Sol-Gel ceramic technology makes this gadget more durable by increasing its barrel’s strength by 37% and, also, its smoothness by 22%. Also, it only heats the hair shaft without drying it out.
Focusing on the range of curlers, there are six different types – 3/4” iron, 1” iron, 1-1/4” iron, 1-1/2” iron, small tapered barrel, and large tapered barrel. So, basically, if you want your curls to remain uniform, you have four different options to choose from.
As for the tapered ones, the small tapered barrel starts off at 1inch at the base and then tapers down to 1/2-inch size. And, the large tapered barrel, begins at 1 ¼ inch at the base and goes down to 3/4 inch. All the curlers have a safety handle that protects your hand from getting burnt. They also have an 8′ tangle-free swivel cord so you have enough space to get a good range of motion for the perfect hairdo.
However, there are a few drawbacks to this device. After it is switched off, the curler takes a while to cool down. So, you have to be careful about where you set it down. Make sure that it is away from anything inflammable.
Also, the curler runs on 110V. So, if you are in a country where the voltage is 220-240V, you need to use a voltage converter before plugging in the device.
BaByliss is name loved by a ton of professionals and DIY stylists. From BaByliss flat irons to curling wands, you’ll find top-shelf performance all across the board. So, if you can get around a few minor hiccups that it has, you won’t be disappointed at what this curling wand brings to the table.
2. HOT TOOLS Signature Series Gold Curling Iron
If you are looking for a curler that not only does its job but also has a one-of-a-kind vibe to it, then the HOT TOOLS Signature Series Gold Curling Iron may be the one to consider. This particular series has a regal chicness to it that you simply cannot overlook.
The curling iron has a separate on and off switch. It features gold technology, that is, the barrels are gold-plated. This allows the device to heat up in a matter of 30 sec. So, you don’t have to wait forever for your iron to reach the right temperature.
The Pulse Technology ensures that once the barrel gets heated, it maintains the temperature consistently throughout the curling process. You can use the curler for any hair type, whether is it fine or coarse, it gives you a long-lasting Salon-styled look. And, you tell how well it does its job, simply by taking one look at it.
For fragile hair types, it is recommended that you use the device at 280F. For normal and wavy, it is between 330 F and 380 F. If you have thick hair, then you can use the maximum heat setting, which is, 430 F.
The curler has an extra-long cool tip at the end of the barrel where you can rest your fingers. It also has a soft-touch comfort grip that allows you to have good styling control. The material is made out of thermoplastic rubber, ceramic, and plastic. Also, to have a free range of motion, the curler comes with a 6 feet long tangle-free swivel cord.
It comes in four different barrel sizes – 3/4”, 1”, 1 1/4” and 11/2”. And depending on the size of the barrel, the length of the curler is between 5 2/8” and 5 3/8”. Unfortunately, the curler does not run-on dual voltage nor does it have any Auto Shut Off mechanism installed in it.
You can only use it at places with110V or you can use a voltage converter along with it. To clean the device, you can either do spot cleaning or wipe it with a clean piece of cloth.
3. Conair Double Ceramic Curling Iron
Let me begin by saying that the Conair Double Ceramic curling iron is the perfect styling tool to travel with. It can function on dual voltage. So, you can use it in places where there is 110V and also in the ones where there is 220/240V.
In terms of looks, it comes in a combination of white and rose-gold, which is visually appealing. Since it is a double ceramic curling iron, it has higher ceramic content that ensures even heat distribution and styles quickly. It gives you an 18-hour curl control. And, most importantly, it has anti-frizz control, a feature that is absolutely necessary for any styling tool.
The curler is relatively easy to operate. It has recessed buttons that eliminate any chances of getting accidentally switched off during use. It has a cool tip that you can hold onto while curling. And, it has an Auto-Off feature.
Now coming to settings, it has a wide range of heat settings, about 30 of them. The maximum heat setting goes up to 375F. But it doesn’t end here. There is a Turbo Heat boost button that allows the curler to go up to 400F. You can use this feature to tackle the pesky difficult areas.
If your hair is fragile and fine, you can use a low-temperature setting between 1-5. For thin hair, a medium setting between 6-10 should be fine. And, for the thicker hair quality, you can use, medium to high-temperature setting of 11-15. If it is wavy or curly, then go for higher settings between 16-20 because, at this state, your hair will be quite unrelenting. And of course, for coarse and thick hair, you have no other option but to use a maximum heat setting of 20-21.
As for the barrel sizes, this particular series comes with five different options – 0.5-inch, 0.75 inches, 1inch, 1.25 inch, and 1.5 inches. Each size caters to a particular look. But there are a couple of downsides to the curler, it doesn’t come with a grip handle so you need to hold on to your hair tight while curling.
And, the cooling tip isn’t long enough so, at best, you can probably use a finger or two to have better control. To maintain the curler, you can clean the exterior by wiping it with a cloth.
4. ELLA BELLA Curling Wand
ELLA BELLA is a mom-owned brand from London that strives to use innovative technology to ensure that their product is able to provide great results. It comes in a compact, high-end packaging box. As for the product, it is a 1-inch curling iron that has a ceramic coated barrel that guarantees equal heat distribution along the shaft of your hair. It calms down the existing frizz and adds more shine.
To further avoid the risk of getting hair damage or developing static and frizz, the curling wand comes with a wide range of temperature settings between 180F – 410F. Also, this heating tool is applicable for all types of hair irrespective of whether it is fine, medium, or coarse. And, you can use it on both short and long hair.
With this barrel, you can get curls between 1-1/2 inches if you wind your section loosely around the barrel. And, you get 1-inch curls if you round it up tightly. The curler comes with a simple and sleek look. The base of the gadget is golden and the barrel is coated in black. It has a curl slip that allows you to get a better hold on to the section of your strand.
The curler displays the temperature digitally. It is easy to use and heats up quickly. Once the curler reaches the desired temperature, it is able to style your hair in a matter of 10 seconds. The cord is about 8 feet long that has full 360-degree swivel movement.
As an added safety measure, the gadget has a built-in Automatic Switch Off feature. If your curler is left unattended for 60 minutes, this option turns off the device. Also, to safely handle the gadget, it comes with a pair of heat protection gloves.
5. NuMe Octowand 8-in-1 Curling Wand Set
The NuMe Octowand 8-in-1 curling wand set is one of the most exciting products out there. And here are a bunch of reasons as to why! The curling comes with 8 different interchangeable ceramic barrels. If you love experimenting with your hair with different types of styles, then you should definitely consider this product.
It is an 11- piece set that includes barrels, a heat-resistant glove, and a travel case. The barrels are not only of different sizes but are also of different shapes. In terms of sizes, it starts off from 13mm. And then, there are 19mm, 25mm, and 32. There are two different shapes- pearl barrel and reverse barrel. As for the last two barrels, they are cone barrels, one is 19mm and the other is 25mm. So, with these barrels, you can get tight ringlets, glam curls, spiral curls, soft curls, bouncy natural waves, and also beach waves.
Focusing on the design and specs, the entire body of the device and the barrels are black in color. There is no clip attached to the handle. However, it is very user-friendly. It has an ergonomic design along with a digital display and temperature control. The heating barrels are tourmaline-infused and have a ceramic coating. And all the barrels have rubber tips and are lightweight.
The tourmaline ceramic naturally conducts the Far-infrared heat. It directs the heat into the hair follicle that directly penetrates into the hair shaft and heats it quickly. This reduces the styling time and, at the same time, protects your hair from prolonged heat damage. In terms of texture, it offers a friction-free, smooth surface that reduces hair breakage.
The negative ions from the curler lock in the natural moisture, conditions it, and maintain the curls for a long period of time. It also adds more shine to your hair. The temperature range of the curler is between 170 F and 450 F.
It has an Automatic Shutoff mechanism that shuts down the device after 60 minutes if it isn’t being used. The curler works on dual voltage, that is, on 110 V and 220/240 V. And, it comes with a US plug and a fully rotating swivel power cord.
6. Alure Three Barrel Curling Iron Wand
If you want to get ready for the beach season, then the Alure Three Barrel Curling Iron Wand is the perfect heating tool for a ready-to-go wavy hairdo. The wand itself has a unique look to it. With 3 barrels, the curling iron crimps down each section of your hair the alternate beach waves which are almost impossible to achieve with a single barrel curler.
You can use it on different types of hair. Whether it is long or short, thin or thick, it is applicable for all. The barrels are made with high-grade ceramic. Each barrel is 1 inch in diameter. When the ceramic barrels heat up, it produces negatively charged ions that retain your hair moisture while creating shiny soft waves to your hair. Also, the gets rid of any frizz in the hair. The barrels are coated with Teflon that gives better pH resistance.
Now, moving on to the design of the gadget. As mentioned, it is a 3-piece hair waver that comes in four different colors- pink, white-pink, Zblack/ white, and Zgold. The maximum heat setting on this curler is 410 F. And, the heating time, that is, the time from when you switch it on to the time it reaches the desired temperature is 60 seconds.
Overall, the curler is 13 inches in length, of which, the barrel length is 4 inches. It has a no-slip handle on top and an LCD digital display to show the current temperature. Also, you can easily adjust the settings to suit your hair type. It has a 7-foot-long tangle-free cord that is able to rotate 360 degrees.
Although it looks quite bulky, this gadget is actually light in weight. Moreover, it is capable of running on dual voltage, both on 110V and 220V, which makes it a great styling accessory for international travel. And finally, the curler consumes less power so you can style your hair every day without worrying about the bill.
7. Bed Head Curlipops Curling Wand
If you are looking for a hassle-free simple curling iron then, the Bed Head Curlipops Curling Wand is exactly what you are thinking of. It is a 1-inch tapered curling wand. The advantage of having a curling wand is that you can get two different looks but use the same barrel.
Here, you are getting both bouncy curls and loose wavy ones. To get the bouncy look, you need to take about a 1-inch section of your hair and wrap it tightly around the base. Hold it in position and then in 10-15 sec, release the curls. And to create the loose waves, you need to pull out the iron slowly from the center of the curl.
The barrel is infused with Tourmaline ceramic technology that reduces the frizz and creates soft shiny waves. The curling wand comes in the color combination of pink and grey, where the grip is pink in color and the barrel is grey. On the gripping handle, you will find the on/off switch.
Many stylists find the clamp to be more of a hindrance or rather an unnecessary part of the styling tool, for them, this tool should work out well, as it is a clamp-free one. As for the temperature settings, you can easily adjust the heat. The maximum heat setting on this gadget is 400F.
At the top end of the device, there is a cool tip that is long enough for you to have better control over your curls. As for the weight, it is under 13 pounds which makes it portable. Also, it runs on dual voltage, both 110V, and 220/240V. So, you can carry it along with you wherever you go.
Along with the curling wand, there is also a heat protective glove that gives you extra protection from the hot iron, a necessary accessory that you will need while curling your hair. Unfortunately, this curling wand only comes in one size, so if you want to get kinky or any other variation of curls, this device won’t be able to give that.
Tips for Using a Curling Iron with Black Hair
Before you style, here are a few steps that you should adhere to when you use a curling iron for black hair. If you’re also wondering how to curl short black hair with a curling iron, the tips hair can still be pretty useful.
Step 1 – Rinse your hair
Rinse off your hair with cold water. Doing this will close the cuticles and protect them from heat damage. And, it will also reduce the chances of your hair frizzing up.
Step 2 – Dry your hair
Curling your hair while it’s wet, can not only be counterproductive but also may be damaging. So, make sure it is almost dry but not all the way.
Step 3 – Prep your hair
Heating equipment is not friendly to any type of hair. So, before you start using it, you need to lay down the groundwork first. Use a serum or natural oil of your choice to act as a barrier between your hair follicle and the heat from the curler. A small amount will suffice.
Step 4 – Choose the right barrel size
To get the perfect look, choosing the correct barrel size is important. Let’s say, your hair length isn’t too long, the curling iron for short black hair size 5/8” or lower would go great with your hairdo. But, if you have longer or medium-size hair then sizes between 1- 2 inches would look better. It is easier to handle smaller barrels but for a sophisticated look, the bigger barrels are the ones to go for.
Step 5 – Using low heat for relaxed hair
Relaxing the natural black hair is a very long and tedious process. Here, a number of harsh chemicals are used to calm down the hair which, frankly, can be damaging in itself. So, prevent your hair from getting even more damaged, use the curler at a lower temperature.
Step 6 – Choose a good quality curler
When it comes to quality vs quantity, you should never overlook the quality of the product. Even if getting the curler may put a dent in your wallet, if it is a good quality product then it will serve you well in the long run.
But, with that being said, you can also get curlers that are relatively cheap and are of good quality. For example, the ceramic curlers, ensure even heat distribution so that there are no direct hotspots.
A Little Knowledge About Black Hair
In terms of texture, there are four basic types of black hair: straight, wavy, curly, and kinky. And, when it comes to quality, there are three types: fine, medium, and coarse. Now, fine and medium-quality hair is easy to curl and manage, but coarse ones are difficult.
There is a wide range of curls. For example, you have corkscrews that are dense and thick curls. Then, there are kinky curls, also known as soft or wiry. They have ‘Z’ shape pattern. You can do tight curls on them.
Handling black hair is difficult, they are quite delicate and they undergo a number of treatments. So, you need to deal with it delicately, for example, wash it once a week, use a wide-toothed comb and apply a small portion of natural oil to keep it moisturized.
How To Choose a Curling Iron?
Alright, the curling irons I’ve selected here had to go through a lot of screening before making it to the list. What parameters did I set? What features did I prioritize? Well, I’ll explain my thought process below:
High Heat Settings
Having a curler that has high-temperature settings is necessary, especially when you are dealing with Afro- American hair type. Let say, you want to try on soft romantic curls but your hair is being too stubborn, so if you have a curling iron that has a working temperature of about 400 F, then you can get the style you desire.
Also, some of the curlers have the option of turbo heat. It is a button that allows your iron to get super-hot for a short amount of time. This will make the curling process much easier and, not to mention, a lot quicker for you.
Multiple Heat Setting
Now, not everyone has the same hair texture. Some may have fine hair types; others may have coarse or thick hair. For example, a person with fine hair does not need 400 F to style hair. What’s worse is that it might end up damaging the hair. So, to deal with different hair types, you need a range of options to deal with a specific hair quality.
To get the perfect curls, the heat has to remain constant. A slight drop in the temperature can ruin the entire look. So, when you are looking for a curling iron, go for the ones that have titanium and gold barrel coatings. These will ensure that heat remains consistent. Also, sometimes different brands add new technologies that maintain the heat level throughout the process.
Right Barrel Size
Different barrel sizes will give you the different sizes of curls. So, you need to have an idea beforehand of which barrel size will give you what type of curl. Here’s a quick layout:
- 3/8” barrel – This will give you nice tight curls that spring up.
- 5/8” barrel – This will also give you tight curls but non-springy kind of like corkscrew curls.
- 3/4” barrel – You will classic vintage curls that add volume to your hair.
- 1″ barrel – For nice wavy beach hairdo or well-defined curls. This is more suited for medium to long hair.
- 11/4” barrel – This will give you loose medium curls.
- 1 1/2” barrel – This is perfect for bouncy voluminous waves.
- 2” barrel – For easy tousled hairdo with loose gentle waves in the mid-section of the hair and rounded texture around the tips.
Features That Help with Black Hair’s Moisture Retention
I bet everyone has heard of this warning, “Excessive use of styling tools can damage your hair cuticles”. But, don’t worry, every dark cloud has a silver lining to it. There are a number of brands, as I mentioned earlier, that have some amazing features incorporated to prevent your hair from drying out.
Having ceramic infusion ensures that there are no hot spots when you are using the iron. The heat is distributed evenly across the barrel. This way, your hair stays damage-free.
By combining ceramic or silver plates with Hi heat, nanotechnology creates negative ions that eliminate the harmful effects of styling tools. This tech helps in retaining the moisture in your follicles.
The tourmaline technology is very much similar to that of nanotechnology, it also prevents loss of moisture from hair. But it isn’t as effective as the former. It does, however, get rid of the frizz or any static that may build up in your hair.
The automatic shutoff feature is quite handy. Let’s say, you are in a hurry and you are not sure if you have properly turned off the iron. If your gadget has this feature then you needn’t worry. It will automatically turn off the curling iron if it remains switched on for a long time or if the device gets overheated.
Protective styling glove
Not all companies provide you with a protective glove, but it is great to have one. It protects your fingers from coming into contact with the barrel while you are working with it.
Usually, when you switch on the gadget, the entire barrel gets heated up. But, the cool tip feature, as the name suggests, keeps the tip of the curling iron cool so you can hold it properly with your fingertips and get proper curls.
The heat shield is a small square or round plate at the base of the barrel. It creates a gap and prevents your hand from touching the hot barrel.
Why Is Afro American Hair Is So Hard to Reshape
Here is a list of reasons why Afro- American hair is difficult to reshape:
The chemical bonds within black hair are much stronger than any other type of hair. Due to this reason, it is hard to break down the bonds and reshape the hair.
By simply taking a look at it, you can say that the texture of afro American hair kinky and is thick. Each strand of hair has a certain amount of curl to it although the density and thickness can vary from person to person.
Type of natural curls
When analyzing the strands of hair closely in their natural condition, you will notice that certain sections have zigzag shapes, spirals, coils, or loops in them. With such randomness, it is difficult to reshape black hair.
Frequently Asked Questions
How many years do curling irons last?
The life span of your curling iron depends entirely on how well you take care of it. It can either last for two years or twenty years. The quality of the product is also a major factor. With that being said, it is unwise to keep a tool that has been overused for a long time since it becomes a fire hazard after a period of time. It can even burn your strands.
Should I treat my black hair with oil before I curl it?
Yes. It is a good practice to oil your hair before curling it. The oil helps in retaining the moisture content in the hair. Normally, because of its structure, black hair tends to dry out quickly.
Will I have better luck curling my black hair if it’s natural or relaxed?
If you curl your natural hair, then it depends on the quality and texture. If it is of fine quality, it will be easier to curl. But, if it is thick, then you will have a hard time curling it. Of course, for relaxed hair, it is much easier to give it form because the hair has already been calmed down.
Does it always take the highest heat setting on a curling iron to put a curl in Afro American type hair?
If you have thick frizzy hair, in that case, you need to use the highest heat setting to curl your hair.
How do I make my hair look fuller?
There are a few things that you can do to add more volume to your hair.
- Use hair care products like volumizing shampoos and conditions
- Make sure that you don’t use these hair care products on a daily basis. They can dry out the roots so use them occasionally or, perhaps, once or twice a week.
- While blow-drying your hair, you can flip it upside down and then dry it. This way, your hair will look fuller almost instantly.
What’s the least damaging way to moisture hair?
There’s no doubt that excessive use of heating tools can damage your hair. So, the least damaging way is to get heat-free, organic curls. For this,
- You can use rollers. Section your hair. And, wind each section around a roller. You can do this before going to bed. Or,
- You can braid your hair tightly when it’s wet. Let it dry and then remove the braid.
In the End
Now that I have explained every possible question that can arise about curling black hair, you should be able to handle it on your own. Always remember that by following the steps properly and by using the best curling iron for black hair you can save yourself from getting into a messy situation.
And I don’t want you to get lost in the crazy maze of irons. That’s why I shared my personal experience with all the curling wands mentioned here. You can simply go through them and choose what works best for you. If you want to have more options then you should go for the ones that have the option for multiple barrels. But if you want one that you can travel with then go for the ones that are compact and lightweight.
If you want an all-round curling iron, I’d recommend looking into the BaBylissPRO Nano Titanium Spring Curling Iron. It’s a top-notch curling wand and caters to a people with varied needs.
But if you don’t have the budget for a BaByliss, you should go for the HOT TOOLS Pro Signature Gold Curling Iron. This curling iron is cost-effective, but it can even give the big-boy wands a run for their money.
I hope this article was able to clear out any and all confusion you had about styling your black hair with curling irons. Just remember – no matter what style you choose or what tool you use – take good care of your hair. Better to have messy hair than no hair at all, right? Cheers!