How To Curl Thick Hair

Thick hair can look voluminous and healthy. However, this type of hair might be difficult to style. Because thick hair essentially has large hair shafts, it may be more resilient to styling products and to regular curling methods, such as rollers and curling irons.

You can be successful at curling your thick hair, though, with some patience and with the right tools.

What you need:

  • Curling iron
  • Hair spray
  • Hair gel
  • Hair brush or comb

Wash your hair. Before you curl your hair, you will need to wash it thoroughly, in order to rid it of any residual hair products, like gels, hairspray, and oils. You can use a clarifying shampoo (basically anything with sulfates in it) to make sure your scalp and hair are clean.

Blow dry. Before curling your hair, you will need to thoroughly dry it, as wet hair will not hold curls. Blow dry your hair, running a round brush at the underside of the hair while blow-drying. Excessive blow-drying would produce frizz, and might damage your hair in the long term, though. Use a diffuser with your blow dryer, and don’t blow dry too close to the hair.

Apply mousse. While mousse is usually needed for thinner hair, thick hair can also benefit from better hold if you apply mousse or styling gel.

Use the curling iron. While you’re blow drying, you can already plug in the curling iron so it can pre-heat while you work on drying your hair. Once you’re ready, do the following steps:

  1. Take a one-inch section of hair and slide the curling iron from near the root to about 1 ½ inch from the tip.
  2. Roll the curling iron upward until you reach near the scalp. Be careful not to let the iron touch your scalp, as this can burn your skin.
  3. Hold the curling iron in place for about 30 seconds.
  4. Unroll your hair from the curling iron, taking care not to pull on your hair.
  5. Repeat with other small sections until all your hair is curled.

For better hold, apply hair spray when you’re finished curling with the curling iron.

Use a flat iron. Aside from using a thin-barreled curling iron, you can also use a flat or straightening iron to produce curls in thick hair.

  1. Separate your hair into sections, to make it easier to work on your curls. Try parting your hair down the middle, and separate them into left, right and back. Hold the other sections with a big clip while working on curling one section.
  2. Take a one to two inch small section and clip the flat iron around three inches from your scalp. Fold it with your hair inward, such that the hair is at a 180-degree angle, or with the tip pointing toward your scalp.
  3. Holding the iron in place, slide it outward, until it reaches the tip of your hair. You will get a nice inward curl.
  4. Repeat these steps with other smaller sections. When through, move on to the next big section.
  5. Apply hair spray for better hold.

Thick hair is more resistant to styling so you might have to use extra-strength hair spray and styling gel to achieve the look you want. After curling, you can comb through your hair with your fingers.


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