Curling Iron Brushes are the easiest way to get soft loose natural waves into your hair. Curling irons (without brushes) tend to only give you a tighter curl that looks, well – basically ironed. You still have to tease or brush the curls to add softness but then you risk brushing the curls out.
The way you use a styling brush is different. Running the brush through sections of your hair to smooth and straighten it before taking the ends up into the brush to curl, will give you softer more natural curls.
No need to brush or tease your hair to soften the curls. Just amazing results with long-lasting natural loose curls.
It doesn’t take long either, styling your hair with a curling brush takes so much less time than doing your makeup.
But there are tons of brands out there to choose from. So we have done all the research for you and have found the best curling iron brush for 2021.
Reviews of the Best Curling Iron Brush:
If you’re looking to buy your first one, this guide is here to help – I promise you, you’ll never go back to a regular curling iron again.
|Editor’s Award||Barrel||Brand||Click Image to Read Review|
|Out Top Pick / Retractable Bristles||1.5″||Sylkvia Tangle-Free Curling Iron Brush and Volumizer|
|Best for Shorter Hair||3/4″||PHOEBE Mini|
|Best for Shoulder Length Hair||1 1/4″||CHI Amplitude Ceramic Heated Round Brush|
|Best for Longer Hair||2″||CONAIR INFINITIPRO|
In This Guide:
- Out Top Pick / Retractable Bristles
- Best for Shorter Hair
- Best for Shoulder Length Hair
- Best for Longer Hair
- Our Top Picks Quick Overview
- What to Look for When Choosing A Curling Iron Brush | What does that mean?
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Other Curling Iron brushes We’ve Reviewed
Out Top Pick / Retractable Bristles: Sylkvia Tangle-Free Curling Iron Brush and Volumizer
Out Top Pick / Retractable Bristles
The Sylkvia Tangle-Free Curling Iron Brush is our new review – and it’s so well designed, it actually wins our top picks list.
If you are in the least bit worried about getting your hair tangled, this is the perfect brush for you.
The retractable bristles not only prevent any possible tangle catastrophes, the quick-release button also means your curl can cool and set in place -without the curl having to be uncurled just to release the brush.
It’s such a simple idea and though, to be honest, once you get used to using a curling iron brush, the chances of tangling your hair are minimal, the fact that this brush allows your curls to cool and set, untouched, makes the Sylkvia in our opinion, a gamechanger.
And this brush is not just a clever design, there’s also some state-of-the-art technology behind it to back it up too.
Firstly the brush has a tourmaline ceramic barrel. Tourmaline is actually a semi-precious stone. It naturally emits millions of negative ions when heated. These negative ions help to retain and lock in moisture – preventing frizz and giving you smoother, glossier curls.
Features include a 1-hour auto shut-off – so you don’t need to panic if you’re out and start to doubt whether you switched off your brush or not.
And unlike many out there, (including the Omni next), this curling iron brush has multiple heat settings. There are no less than five light indicators to display your chosen setting from 300°F to 410° F.
What We Like:
- Retractable Bristles | With a quick-release button. Perfect for anyone with long, fine, fly-away, or thick hair that could possibly be at risk of getting tangled.
- Tourmaline Barrel | Tourmaline naturally emits millions of negative ions when heated.
- Five Heat Settings | Allowing you to experiment and get the coolest setting that will still give you your desired curls.
- 1-hour Auto Shut Off | An important safety feature. It’ll give you peace of mind and means you don’t need to panic if you realize you might have left it switched on.
Buying Factors to Consider:
- None – this is a well-Designed curling iron bush and great value for what you get.
That being said, if you have short hair, the barrel which is 1 1/2″ may be a little too big for you, and you should opt for our next option instead.
Check the latest price for the Sylkvia Tangle-Free Curling Iron Brush and Volumizer on Amazon.
Best for Shorter Hair: PHOEBE Mini
Our Top Pick for Shorter Hair
The 3/4″ barrel on this mini makes it ideal for shorter hair.
The PHOEBE Mini is designed for travel so it’s a lightweight and compact heated brush with basic functions (it’s basically on at 390℉ or it’s off).
But that doesn’t mean it’s a basic model.
There’s some sophisticated technology in this mini heated brush. So if you have short hair this slim, 3/4″ barrel model is an ideal choice for you. And that’s why it’s one of our top picks.
You won’t have to plan ahead and switch this one on before you start drying your hair just to give it enough time to heat up. It uses PTC Technology which uses ceramic stones instead of a traditional heating element.
This technology heats the tool up super fast but has self-limiting heat properties. Simply put, you set the temperature (the max is 410℉), the brush heats up fast and stays at that temperature – and when I say fast, I mean fast – 30 seconds and you’re ready to go. It won’t overheat so your curling iron will last much longer and it’s safer too.
While many cheaper hot curling brushes do have ceramic barrels, this one has a Ceramic Tourmaline Barrel. Tourmaline is known to emit millions of negative ions which help to preserve the moisture in your hair and prevent frizz, giving you smooth, glossy curls.
The styling brush is travel-friendly too. It’s dual voltage (100-240V) and automatically adjusts to the correct voltage when used with a plug adapter. You don’t need a voltage converter, so you can just pop it in its travel bag and take it with you on your next vacation
What We Like:
- Heats Up Super-Quick | It uses PTC Technology and heats up super fast – 30 seconds and you’re ready to go.
- Ceramic Tourmaline Barrel | To preserve the moisture in your hair, and prevent frizz, giving you smooth, glossy curls.
- Nylon Thermostable Bristles | You don’t need to worry about burns if the bristles accidentally touch your neck or forehead, the nylon thermostable bristles, and long tip remain cool to the touch.
Things to Consider:
- Small Size – I’ll definitely need to mention it’s size here. At 8.72″ in length this brush is compact but if your hair is fairly short, a long wand will just get it the way so it’s actually an ideal size.
Just be aware there’s no auto cut-off and the temperature is set to 410℉ but is a great tool for soft, wavey, shorter hairstyles and that’s why it made our top picks.
Best for Shoulder Length Hair: CHI Amplitude Ceramic Heated Round Brush
Best for Shoulder Length Hair
Combining tourmaline ceramic technology with far-infrared heat, this heat curling brush will give you amazing results. Its 11/4″ barrel makes it ideal for shoulder or long-length hair.
CHI’s styling tools aren’t just another copy of what’s already out there. The company was the first to directly implement NASA technology and use negative ions produced the first-ever CHI Ceramic Hairstyling Iron.
They continue to be at the cutting edge of the industry and their CHI Amplitude Curling Iron Brush is a perfect example of this. Combining tourmaline | ceramic technology with far-infrared heat, this heat curling brush will give you amazing results.
You see, Far Infrared delivers a gentler heat that penetrates deeper into the hair shaft, heating it from the inside-out. It’s much kinder to your hair as it uses negative ions to seal the cuticle layer and lock in moisture leaving the natural oils on your hair – where they should be.
Tourmaline and ceramic combined give this curling brush an even heat distribution. They also produce millions of negative ions that smooth and hydrate your hair by sealing in moisture and eliminating frizz.
The Amplitude also has thermostable nylon bristles that will remain cool to the touch. But you should still wear heat resistant gloves because the barrel is, of course, HOT.
This model shuts off after an hour, so as long as you’ve left it in a safe place, you won’t have to worry you’ll burn the house down. Especially good to know if you’re already at work before you remember you left it on.
What We Like:
- Far Infrared heat – Far Infrared delivers a gentler heat that penetrates deeper into the hair. It uses negative ions to lock in moisture keeping your hair hydrated.
- Tourmaline Ceramic Barrel – Tourmaline and ceramic combined give the curling brush an even heat distribution. They also produce millions of negative ions that smooth and hydrate your hair by sealing in moisture.
- Digital Display – The easy-to-read display means you’ll be able to check your temperature settings at a glance. So you won’t risk it being accidentally set too high or low without you knowing. The brush also has a safety auto shut off feature.
Things to Consider:
- Not the Cheapest Option – Though this is one of the pricier options we’ve looked at in this guide. It’s still excellent value for money and cheaper than many out there. CHI is one of the best styling product companies in the US and the Amplitude is a quality heated curling iron brush.
Check the latest price for the CHI Amplitude on Amazon.
Best for Longer Hair: CHI Amplitude
Best for Longer Hair
This one has a 2″ barrel making it ideal for longer hair. It’s Titanium which will give you lasting curls, with exceptional shine.
If you have long hair or longish thick or fine hair like me. You’ll need to choose a heated hair brush with a wider barrel. Longer hair will tangle too easily in a barrel that’s too thin. That said, there aren’t too many 2″ heated curling brushes about. To find one that’s also good is harder. But the INFINITIPRO By CONAIR ticks all the right boxes.
What stands out about this one is that it has a black titanium barrel. Now titanium is fundamentally different from ceramic in that it’s a metal.
But don’t think we are back to the age before technology. Titanium has superior heating qualities and produces 100% more ions than a standard curling iron brush that has ion generation.
Titanium will give you lasting curls, with exceptional shine and the large barrel will help to add volume to limp and lifeless hair.
Though titanium is the best option for thicker hair due to its superior heat conducting properties. This brush has 5 temperature settings so it’s still suitable for all types of hair.
There’s a digital readout too so you can keep a closer eye on your temperature setting.
And lastly, titanium is lighter than ceramic. The brush feels lighter in your hand than a ceramic one would and this does make styling feel easier and more effortless, though to be honest, I’ve no idea why.
What We Like:
- Black Titanium Barrel – Titanium has exceptional negative ion-producing qualities. It’s lightweight and durable and provides even heat distribution.
Things to Consider:
- Only Suitable for Long Hair – A 2″ barrel is pretty big so this one is only suitable for long hair.
Check the latest price and color options for the CHI Amplitude on Amazon.
Our Top Picks Quick Overview
What to Look for When Choosing A Curling Iron Brush
- PTC Technology | (Positive Temperature Coefficient) heating elements are small ceramic stones that reach a self-limiting temperature. You set the temperature and brush heats up super-fast and stays at that temperature.
This new technology is safer too, so your brush won’t overheat, and as if this wasn’t impressive enough it’ll also prolong the life of your brush too.
- Ceramic | Ceramic disperses heat evenly across the surface of the barrels. It also emits millions of negative ions to deliver super soft, shiny hair.
- Tourmaline | Though ceramic plates are more frequently found these days even in cheaper heated styling tools, Tourmaline is less so. Tourmaline is a semi-precious stone that when heated, naturally emits millions of negative ions. That makes its application to heated styling products ideal. These negative ions help to preserve the moisture in your hair, and prevent frizz, giving you smooth, glossy curls.
- Thermostable Bristles | This means you don’t need to worry about burns if the bristles accidentally touch your neck or forehead as the bristles will remain cool to the touch. I still recommend that you use heatproof gloves as that barrel will be HOT.
- Far Infrared heat | Far Infrared heat reduces static electricity making the hair smoother. The technology uses a gentler heat that penetrates deeply into the hair shaft. This is much kinder to your hair as it locks in moisture using negative ions.
- Negative Ions | In ionic hair dryers they break up water molecules to dry hair faster. But they also have another great advantage in that they seal the cuticle to eliminate frizz for a super-smooth look.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do you use a curling iron brush?
Curling iron brushes are very easy to use.
You should always fully blowdry your hair first or you will damage your hair and it’s a good idea to spritz your hair with a heat protectant spray before you begin.
Taking one section of hair at a time, brush through with the curling iron brush in the direction you want your curl to go. For example, if you want your bangs to be curled under, you would brush from underneath.
When you’ve smoothed your hair 2 or 3 times, sweep the brush out though to the ends and then turn the brush to catch the ends up.
You will get a feel for how much you can wind the brush, but don’t wind it up too much or your hair could get tangled. Wait for around 10 seconds before releasing the brush for a soft natural curl.
What is the best curling iron brush?
Make sure you choose the correct barrel size for your hair length.
If you have long hair and use a barrel that’s too slim, you’ll end up winding it round too many times and risk getting your hair tangled.
With long hair using a larger barrel will mean less turns for an easier release.
Do hot brushes damage your hair?
Too much heat does damage your hair. If you set the temperature on your curling iron too high, you may not initially notice, but you will have burned your hair.
You can try hair treatments or masks and upgrade your hair conditioner but and the damage will have been done and unfortunately, you will only be masking the problem.It’s much better to go easy on the heat and limit your hair’s exposure by only curling when you feel it’s essential and setting your curling brush iron to a lower temperature. If it’s not high enough to give you the result you want, you can turn it up. But don’t just assume you need the highest setting.
You should always use a heat-protective spray before you begin styling. It’s so easy to rush and forget to do this, but taking this extra step is totally worth it.
And lastly, don’t set your curl for too long. Around 10 seconds should be enough time.
Do curling iron brushes work?
They absolutely do. They’ll give you a softer more natural-looking curl than a curling iron would, and they’re a great alternative to using big rollers if you want to add lift or if you want bigger looser curls.
Unlike the curls you get using a curling iron, which generally need to be teased out to give you a softer look, with a curling iron brush you are brushing the hair sections right up to the point you set the curl. When you release the brush your curls will already be soft and natural-looking. So there will be no need to tease your hair when you have finished styling.
Our Top Alt Picks:
These are the products that didn’t quite make our top picks, but they’re still pretty good so you might like to take a look:
Great Gift Idea
This AMOVEE would make a great gift idea. Its stylish high-end design isn’t reflected in the price.
- Adjustable temperature control.
- Ceramic Tourmaline barrel.
- Dual voltage for travel.
The FHI is fantastic for smoothing out the frizz and flyaways. It’s half comb on one side and half brush on the other.
- Great tangle-free option for medium to long length hair.
- Ceramic Tourmaline barrel and it even has Ceramic Tourmaline coated bristles.
- You can see it in action in the video below.
After you watch it you’ll definitely want one.
Rotating Curling Brush with Detachable Brush
This one has it all. It heats up in 30 seconds and has a 1.5″ Ceramic Tourmaline barrel. It’s even got auto shut off. But wait there’s more…
- It rotates 360° left or right.
- The brush is detachable.
- Dual voltage so it’s great for travel.
Dyson – High-End Choice
Dyson have done it again and if you managed to resist their high-end hair dryer, see if you can resist this. Prepare to be impressed…
- It actually attracts your hair to the barrel, then using only air it wraps it for you!
- It drys your hair as it styles.
- It has intelligent heat which repeatedly measures heat to prevent any heat damage to your hair.
The SwanMyst has all the features you’d want in a hot brush.
- Ceramic Tourmaline barrel.
- Heat setting lock so you don’t accidentally turn it off while you’re using it.
- Auto shut off after 40 minutes.
Flexible Silicone Bristles
Takes a little more getting used to, but definitely worth it. The flexible bristles hold on to your hair.
- Simple easy to use heat settings.
- Flexible silicone bristles.
- Cool touch bristles.
This one has a 1″ Ceramic Tourmaline barrel with variable temperature settings 265F to 430F.
- It has cool touch bristles.
- Long 8.2-foot cord.
- It’s also dual voltage so it’s great for travel.
The Berta has a ceramic barrel. It’s very easy to use, it has just high, low or off temperature settings from 200-410℉.
- It’s got a non-slip soft rubber grip.
- Cool-touch bristles.
- Dual voltage so it’s ideal for travel.