Curling Brush: How to Get Blown-Out Hair in Minutes

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 ’90s. 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. Read on as we wax nostalgic:

curling brush with plug

A heated curling brush, or an electric curling iron with a 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. Unlike your regular trusty iron, it 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.

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 hot tool came as an attachment to a normal curling iron; some, like that wonderfully extra comb-with-spritzer-handle, were purchased as separate tools entirely.

Styles to Create with a 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 smoothes out strands and infuses a longer-lasting style versus regular brushing. Check out a few of our fave hot-brush looks below:

1. Molten Waves

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

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.

2. Smooth Bob

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

Nothing beats the chic elegance of a perfectly blown-out concave bob. Prep your hair with a volumizing mousse, such as Dove Style+Care Volume Amplifier Mousse. Then blow-dry lightly beforehand and run through with a hot brush, curling inwards.

3. Shaggy Layers

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

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. Finish the look of by adding some extra texture with a few sprays of Love Beauty and Planet Coconut Milk & White Jasmine Salt Spritz Texture Spray.

These are just some styles you can achieve with a curling brush iron! We love this tool for its versatility and its ability to style and dry in one sitting.