The Best Way To Curl Thick Hair

Having thick hair can be a bit of a chore. It takes forever to dry, whether choosing the blow-dry or air-dry option. To style, it leaves your arms tired. Oh, but once you have gone through that whole rigmarole, what beauty! With those cascading locks flowing, bouncing, and deserving of those admiring stares. 

But there are a few tricks to make the whole process more enjoyable. Let's journey together through the hair jungle to find the best way to curl thick hair. 

What is thick hair exactly?

You might have a lot of hair but that doesn't necessarily mean that you have thick hair. When speaking of thick hair, it refers to the individual shaft, and not the amount of hair on your head. 

Try this with one of your strands. Roll it between your fingertips. If you can't really feel it at all, you have fine hair. If you can feel something, you have medium hair. And if you can definitely feel it, then you are the proud owner of thick hair. 

Knowing this will help you immensely when choosing the correct product and equipment to use on your hair. 

Preparing your hair

When washing your hair, choose a shampoo that will cleanse but not strip the hair of its essential and natural oils. We don't want to dry out the shafts as this could cause tangles. And all thick-haired ladies know the agony of combing through those knots. Ouch!

Your conditioner should have a detangling agent and suit your hair type, i.e. oily, dry, or in-between. Make sure that the conditioner doesn't leave your hair feeling flat and too heavy. A detangling hairbrush works wonders for thick hair. 

A good heat protectant spray or cream will ensure that you don't lose any of the precious moisture while heating and styling. 

Let's curl the hair

There are many options when choosing to curl your hair. Heat or no heat? Curling iron or hot rollers? Straightener or heatless curlers? The amount of time it takes to curl the hair must also be taken into consideration. 


Curling thick hair with a curling wand

Make sure your hair is completely dry. If your hair is damp, the curling wand will damage it. In fact, it can actually burn your hair right off like this young lady shows us in her video below. So dry, dry, dry. 

Try drying your hair as straight as possible. This will give you the best, polished curls and is the best way to curl thick hair if you want the curl to last longer. 

Switch on the curling wand and please don't forget the safety glove. Makes life so much easier and painless. 

Brush your hair and make sure there are no tangles left. Add heat protectant if you haven't already done so. Spray a little hair spray as well as it helps the curl to have more texture to "hold onto" the curling wand. 

Before starting to curl the hair, try to part all of your hair in evenly sized sections. You might need a lot of clips to do this, but it really helps especially if you are a beginner. 

Curl the section around the wand. Hold it for 8 seconds and see if this gives you the desired curl. If not, keep the next section in for 10 - 15 seconds. 

Let the curl fall into your hand and hold it for a few seconds as this will give the curl time to cool down without being weighed down by the weight of the hair. This is where the safety glove comes in really handy. If your hair is really heavy, place a bobby pin to hold the curl in place while it cools down. This will allow the hair shaft more time to curl properly. 

Alternate the curling direction as you continue to curl the other sections. Alternating curls look more natural. 

Once all your hair is curled, give it another spray with hairspray. Leave it for as long as you can, depending on your schedule. Lightly finger comb through your hair. Don't overdo it because the weight of your hair is going to naturally loosen the curl of your hair. 

Then, and this is an important step, go show off your labor of love with a night on the town or simply walk into the office with a spring in your step, and hair. 

Check Out: Best Curling Iron For Thick Hair


Curling thick hair while sleeping: Is this the best way to curl thick hair?

Many gals with thick hair choose this option as it allows the curl to set properly and stay curly for longer. Always think about comfort when choosing your material for this option. You are going to sleep on your hair and you still want a good night's sleep without things prodding and poking you in the head. 

Wash, condition, and prepare your hair. Towel-dry or blow-dry your hair until it feels damp. Create a clean part line either down the center or choose a side parting. Choose a scarf, a satin one works best. 

Your hair will already be split into two sections from the side parting. Roll up the scarf and place it on top of your head with the ends dangling by your ears. 

Take one section of your hair and split it in two again. Twist one of the sections around the scarf. Do the same with the other section. Secure the hair and scarf with an elastic and the end. Do the same with the other side. Twist the first section and create a cinnamon bun at the side of your head. Secure it with a soft fabric scrunchy. 

Now you can go to sleep. Night night. 

When you wake up, gently remove the scrunchy and scarf. Again, lightly finger comb through your hair until you get the desired style. This method gives beautiful, loose, wavy, curls. This method is the best way to curl your hair if your hair is a bit damaged and you need to lay off the heat options for a while. 

Luxy Hair explains this method in detail. She also shows how to heatless curl your hair with a headband and with a pair of clean socks! 


I hope this has inspired you to spend some special me-time with your hair. Even though it might take a little more time and effort than to pull up your hair in a doughnut bun, think of that feeling you get when your crown is shining and bouncing. And making some of us just a little bit envious. 

Enjoy your hair and remember: you are worth the best of everything. Get those products and hair tools that you have been eyeing for such a long time. The products will nourish your hair. Unwrapping and using that new hair dryer or curling wand will nourish your emotions.  

Last Updated: April 17, 2021

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