Tool Spotlight: The Curling Brush

Eunice Lucero | 22 June 2017

Between sleek blowouts and flippy layers, the time for the trusty hot curling brush is now.

You may have glimpsed a few of these back in the day, during the hot tool-happy Noughties. For some reason—the influx of the natural, wavy look, perhaps—the curling brush seems to have faded from the collective styling lexicon, a fossil from our great overstyling days of yore. Or so we thought: The resurgence of sleek blowout hair (or the fact that everything old becomes new again), appears to have brought on a renaissance of the curling iron brush.

curling brush with plug
The heated curling brush was a huge hit for those who wanted help recreating a salon blowout.

A styling essential or superfluous add-on? Scroll on below to read more about our thoughts on the hot curling brush.

The Curling Brush Iron: The Noughties Tool We’re Loving Now

A heated curling brush, or an electric curling iron with brush attachment, is exactly what you would imagine it to be: just like your regular round brush but with a plug. It pretty much looks like a curling iron with teeth, which, unlike your regular trusty iron, gives hair more of a smooth, blown-out finish versus tight, defined ringlets. It also can give you loose curls at the ends of your hair, but with a subtler spiral.

curling brush with other tools
So many options, so little time.

The heyday

Back when these brush curling iron hybrids first hit the scene decades ago, the look du jour was all about natural-looking curls, see-through bangs, and blunt, blown-out hair—in short, a true-blue ’90s aesthetic that has regained popularity in recent seasons. Some versions of the curling brush came as an attachment to a normal curling iron; some, like that wonderfully extra comb-with-spritzer-handle, were purchased as separate tools entirely.

How to use the electric curling brush iron

The curling brush has very similar features to a curling iron: It is plugged in and can reach up to temps of 430 degrees Fahrenheit. It’s able to get closer to the scalp than thicker, non-electronic hair tools, making for a more precise and streamlined styling experience. It’s also a handy tool to have for styling wigs, hair extensions and weaves, as it smoothens out strands and infuses a longer-lasting style versus regular brushing. Check out a few of our fave hot-brush looks below:

curling brush waves
Glamorous sculpted waves can be achieved with a heated brush.

1. Molten Waves

Recreate this iconic, Old-Hollywood inspired look by first spritzing hair with a heat protectant and styler, like TRESemmé Repair and Protect 7 Pre-Styling Spray. Next, rough-dry your hair with a blowdryer, then divide your hair into sections before curling it with the hot brush.

curling brush burgundy bob
Curl hair under using a heated brush to form that perfect concave.

2. Smooth Bob

Nothing beets the chic elegance of a perfectly blown-out concave bob. Prep your hair with a volumizing mousse, such as Suave Professionals Luxe Style Infusion Volumizing Soufflé Mousse, blow-dry lightly beforehand then run through with a hot brush, curling inwards.

curling brush layers
Half Cali-cool, half 1970s sex symbol. Photo credit: Verity Jane Smith

3. Shaggy Layers

Flippy, 1970s-inspired layers parted in the center evokes a fresh, sunny, skateboard-y sex appeal—not to mention works awesome as a day-to-night look. Prep your hair with a light volumizing spray, such as Catwalk by TIGI Bodifying Spray for Volume Blow Dry, carefully roll each layers over a hot curling brush outwards for a few seconds, then release.

Want more hot tool hacks? Learn how to achieve sexy looks with a flat iron.

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