How to Curl Black Hair With a Curling Iron

by Mimi Abney ; Updated September 28, 2017

Curl your hair without damaging its natural texture.

Pretty African American woman image by MAXFX from Fotolia.com

African-American hair, whether it is relaxed or naturally curly, is versatile and fragile. Due to black hair's one-dimensional and thin strands, it requires expert styling tips to curl the hair without damaging the texture. You can add curls for a pixie hairstyle like Halle Berry's or wear long and loose waves like Naomi Campbell's. By curling black hair with a curling iron, you can add heat to your strands and have voluminous and buoyant curls in 30 minutes or less.

Start with dry and freshly shampooed hair. Divide your hair into six sections using butterfly clips.

Rake a dollop of straightening serum cream into your strands. Apply the product to each of the six sections from the roots of the hair to the ends of the strands.

Straighten your hair with a blow dryer on the lowest heat setting, using a wide-tooth comb attachment. Beginning at the roots, carefully and quickly comb your hair downward with the dryer attachment to make hair sleek and straight. When you are finished blow-drying each section, comb your hair with a wide-tooth comb to prevent accidental breakage.

Heat a 2-inch barreled curling iron. If your hair is short use a 1-inch curling iron. Set the curling iron on a high heat setting.

Take a 2-inch section of hair into your hands. Open the wand of your curling iron. Beginning at the hair's roots, twist and wrap each section of your hair around your wand.

Shut the curling iron wand on the section of hair for no more than seven seconds. When your curl is completed, slide your iron out. For long hair, pin the curls with duckbill clips to secure the shape while your hair cools. Repeat until all of your hair is curled.

Style the hair with your fingers instead of breaking up the curls with a comb. Spritz dry strands with a hair mist to shield hair from humidity and heat.


  • To create tighter curls, use a smaller-barreled curling iron and spritz each 2-inch section of your hair with a medium-hold hair spray.

    Unless your hair is relaxed, avoid any direct contact with high humidity or rain. The moisture in the air may revert naturally curly black hair to its original tightly curled natural state.

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Photo Credits

  • Pretty African American woman image by MAXFX from Fotolia.com

About the Author

Mimi Abney is a lifestyle writer specializing in online content for women. Her work has appeared in NewsOK.com and "Keepsake Magazine," among other publications. With over 15 years of writing and editing experience for the web and print, Abney is also a contributor to online health, beauty and fashion publications. She holds a Bachelor of Science in biology from Spelman College.