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When it comes to most hair products that are popular today, chances are some people have been using them for decades and the mainstream has just clued in.
That’s not the case with curl sponges.
Curl sponges were created in the 2010s, and they are this novel tool that allow women and men with short, natural hair to curl, coil, or twist their hair.
If you’re looking for great curl sponges to help you achieve the look you’re going for, check out the options on this list.
Parabirds Curl Twist Hair Sponge (Best Overall)
First on the list we have the Parabirds Curl Twist Hair Sponge.
This design is one we see in a few of these sponges, but this one is probably the best.
With the dual sides, one of them is ideal for curling or twisting the hair, while the side with the points helps create waves.
The large holes in the design make it ideal for those with longer hair, but the size of the tool makes it perfect to bring with you everywhere.
Approximately the length of an iPhone, you can easily throw this in one of your bags.
Previous customers claim that not only is the product of great quality, but it helps create a flawless style seamlessly.
NuDred The Original Large Gold Mirrored Curl Sponge (Best For Short Hair)
While many of the products on this list can handle a range of hair form shorter to slightly longer, the NuDred Original Large Gold Mirrored Curl Sponge is specifically for those with short hair.
Coming in an abundance of colors, this curl sponge is slightly more expensive than the rest of the products on this list but it’s worth it.
This product seems to have amazing reviews from its customers.
Many of them mention that not only did this product give them the tight curls they were looking for, but they lasted longer than expected.
Twist Magic Barber Sponge Brush Studio Limited
If your hair is well over an inch and you’re trying to curl or twist it with a curl sponge, this should be one of the first options on your list.
The Twist Magic Barber Sponge Brush is one of the best products for your hair type.
With larger holes meant for longer hair, the size works well for creating long curls and twists.
While many customers with kinky hair seem to have some reservations about curl sponges not being able to curl their hair, this brush proves them wrong.
The only con you might find with this brush is that there seems to be some debate on whether it is too firm or too soft.
The Afro Twister has some of the best reviews when it comes to the products on this list.
With holes that have a width of 9mm, they will also help achieve the desired look on both short and long hair, but slightly favoring longer locks.
This product purposely comes with a foamy top to help with your grip as you use the tool.
From customers who have tried this product, they say that this twister can work on hair up to six or seven inches long.
In order to achieve full twists with this sponge, your hair should be under four inches long.
Many customers also mention that this brush is both sturdy and large so while you won’t have to worry about the quality, you can also be sure that this sponge will help your achieve your curls quickly.
HALLO Big Holes Hair Twist Sponge
Now, the HALLO Big Holes Hair Twist Sponge is one of the most favored on this list, and here’s why.
While the design if very similar to the previous product, HALLO gives you the option to customize what types of looks you might be going for.
As previously mentioned, these dual brushes allow you to create curls with one side and waves with the other.
This product lets you choose four options: big holes and big waves, big holes and small waves, small holes and big waves, and small holes and small waves.
Another thing to note that one customer pointed out in their review is that the holes of this product come with gentle adhesive in order to help with coiling the hair.
RioRand 2 In 1 Sponge
If you can’t tell already, we love when a product can have multiple uses and the RioRand 2 in 1 Sponge is one of them.
While some of the dual products on this list can provide both curls and waves, if you’re not interested in waves, then try this.
Both sides come equipped to help you achieve curls.
While one side is smaller at 10mm, this will help you achieve tighter curls and coils.
The other side is slightly bigger at 16mm which will help with creating a looser curled look.
This product is also great if you’re growing out your hair.
While you’d be able to use the smaller size with your shorter hair, you could easily transition to the other side as your hair grows.
BEWAVE Magic Barber Twist Sponge Foam Hair Brush
If you’re looking for a very inexpensive option that will still achieve great curls and waves, check out the BEWAVE Magic Barber Twist Sponge.
For only $6, this product is ideal for those with long hair who want to achieve twists.
Also, we can’t forget about the dual side that is great for stimulating the scalp and promoting blood circulation which leads to hair growth.
Some customers complained about the size of the sponge, but just be mindful that it is a large sponge that is meant to create curls, twists, and coils on slightly longer, natural hair.
Magic Hair Curling Sponge Gloves
As people come up with new inventions, others are always trying to put their own touch on it.
That’s where the Magic Hair Curling Sponge Gloves come from.
Instead of having it be a brush, this design allows you to place it straight onto your hand.
With numerous small holes, this product is going to work best on those who have short hair versus those with hair that surpasses three to four inches.
While this product seems very gimmicky, many customers believe that this product works better than their normal curl sponges.
The above are some of the best curl sponges currently on the market, but here are some other options that may or may not be in stock:
Cherir Premium Hair Sponge
First on our list of curl sponges to buy is the Premium Hair Sponge for Dreads & Afros by Cherir.
With this product, you can be certain that it’ll last at least a year.
The brand even offers a replacement if there are any tears, rips, or any other kind of damage to it within the year of buying it.
This particular design has 7mm holes which is ideal if you have longer hair.
While this could also be used on shorter hair if you’re going for looser curls, it is ideal for setting the foundation for dreadlocks or twists.
Vogani Hair Sponge Brush
Very similar to the previous curl sponge, the Vogani Hair Sponge Brush is another option to consider when shopping around.
Also 7mm, this product can be used both on short and long hair, but will perform better on longer locks.
The reviews on this product from customers speak for themselves.
Not only do customers think this product is easy to use, but many of them claim to get the best results with this brush.
While many consider this brush to be the most durable that they’ve used, others prefer this sponge because of the way their hair turns out.
They boast that this curl sponge gives them the desired look they’re going for while also allow the style to last a long time.
Magic Twist Hair Brush Sponge By Black Ice
While the Magic Twist Hair Brush Sponge works similarly any other curl sponge, the design is what sets it a part from many of the products on this list.
With small-sized holes, it will work best on shorter hair with some reviewers mentioning that they had to cut their hair in order to achieve their desired look.
Sometimes friction on your scalp can cause blood to circulate and this promotes hair growth.
This means that while you’re using your curl sponge to curl your hair, it can also help you grow your hair at the same time.
Waker 2 In 1 Hair Curl Sponge Brush
When you’re using a hair sponge for the first time, it might be best to start with a smaller one like the Waker 2 in 1 Hair Curl Sponge.
Starting with a smaller brush allows you to focus on one area and master it before attending to the rest of your hair.
If you want to slowly immerse yourself into using a curl sponge, this is a great product to start with.
You’ll also find new design showing up in a bunch of new curl sponges.
You always want to get the biggest bang for your buck, and you can with these dual ends.
While the flat end will certainly allow you to achieve the classic curls that most customers are looking for, the other side allows you to create a wavier look if your hair has a looser texture.
How Do Curl Sponges Work?
After looking at what these products look like, you might be wondering how exactly these products work.
There isn’t much to the secrets or design of the curl sponge.
As you can see from all the above products that the design includes numerous holes throughout the design.
This is specifically what allows you to achieve the curls.
In order for them to work, curl sponges need to be used on wet, detangled hair and rubbed in a circular motion.
This motion is what allows the curls to form.
Through the movement of the sponge, the holes on the device, and the texture between your hair and the sponge, it allows your hair to form into small, singular curls.
In addition to this, curl sponges are able to work so well because they rely heavily on the texture of your hair.
If your hair is naturally curly or kinky, the tool will help enhance the texture of your hair.
What Type Of Hair Is Best For Curl Sponges?
When it comes to styling black hair, you will find that most products work on a bunch of people.
When it comes to curl sponges, there are definitely specific types of hair that it will work on.
Curl sponges work best on short, natural hair.
In regards to length, curl sponges should be used on hair that is at least one inch stretched.
Even so, curl sponges can’t be used on hair that is too long either.
If your hair is too long, then it becomes impossible for the curl sponge to actually work on it.
The hair has to be short enough to be manipulated by the holes in the tool, so in order to make it work, you’ll find that your hair can’t be excessively long either.
Now, curl sponges will also only work if your hair is natural.
If your hair is naturally straight, temporarily straight (with a keratin treatment) or permanently straight (with a relaxer), curl sponges will not work on your hair.
Curl sponges work to manipulate the natural texture of the hair, and when your hair is straight, it is essentially without texture.
That is why you will find that the majority of the people who use curl sponges have short, natural hair because the tool provides the best results on their hair.
What Hole Size Is Best For Your Hair?
If the look and design of curl sponges isn’t confusing enough, another thing to consider when buying a curl sponge is the hole size.
While they might all look the same when you are looking from product to product, a side by side comparison would reveal that some tools have smaller holes while others’ holes are bigger.
What hole size is best for your hair?
Well, it depends on one, the length of your hair, and two, what look you’re going for.
If you have very short hair and are looking for tight curls, you are going to want the hole size to be small.
This will allow your holes to be cohesive and tight.
If your hair is a little bit longer, you’re going to need a curl sponge with larger holes.
Because your hair is longer, you’re going to need the tool to accommodate the additional length.
The large holes of the sponge will also help create loose, large curls.
What Size Sponge Should You Use?
If you truly want to start out as a beginner, a mini size curl sponge might be the best option for you.
Depending on how you prep your hair, the texture of your hair, and the quality of your sponge, it’s highly unlikely that your hair is going to turn out in the same manner every time you do it.
Instead, you might want to master the process first.
This is why starting with a smaller size brush might be a good idea.
With this method, you can master one area of your head before you move on to something else.
Because of the smaller sponge, there are less holes which means you’re working on a smaller area at a time.
This can help you master it before you move on to a full-size curl sponge.
When you’re ready to graduate to a larger sponge, this is when you consider how much hair you have.
Using a curl sponge can take anywhere from one to five minutes depending on how much hair you have and its length.
If you’re used to doing your hair, you know that can quickly become tiresome.
For those who don’t want to tire their arms out with their curl sponge, cater the tool you use to the amount of hair you have.
If you have a lot of hair, you’re going to want to get a large sponge.
This is because the sponge will cover more area and allow you to finish more quickly.
If you don’t have a lot of hair, feel free to invest in a smaller sized sponge.
Because you have less hair, a smaller sponge will still allow you to achieve the look you are going for before it feels like your arm is about to fall off.
How To Find A Sponge That Will Last
As you can probably tell with regular sponges, they can often be delicate to use.
I mean, how easy is it for a kitchen or bathroom sponge to tear?
If you want a sponge that will last, there are a few things you need to consider.
One, the sponge you use should be firm.
You might think that you want to use a softer sponge so you don’t promote breakage in your hair.
While that is all well and good, you’re going to run right through a soft sponge.
It will be exceptionally easy for the sponge to tear.
Firm hair sponges are going to be your best bet to getting them to last.
The texture will not cause your hair to break because you shouldn’t be using a heavy hand in the first place.
One way to text a curl sponge is to place it on a flat surface and push it down.
If it goes down to a certain point and then resists, you can expect this sponge to last.
If you are completely able to push the sponge down to the handle, return it!
This curl sponge is not firm enough to last and give you the results you want.
And while the actual brush matters, there is one thing you can do to help make it last longer.
You might be convinced that you need to wash your curl sponge regularly.
While you should wash your curl sponge occasionally, don’t make this a regular thing.
The turnout of your curls relies heavily on the design.
You need the sponge to stay firm, and washing it could mess with its consistency and cause it to tear prematurely.
What Are The Cons of Curl Sponges?
If you’re on the hunt for a curl sponge, you might be weighing the pros and cons of using them.
No product is perfect, so of course there are a few cons to using them.
When we use hair products, we like for them to last as long as possible which leads us to our first con.
Depending on the brand you buy, you might be forced to replace your sponge often.
This is usually due to the quality of the brush.
Most good brushes will stand the test of time as you attempt to curl your hair.
If you find that you’re replacing your curl sponge too often, chances are you need to invest your money into another brand.
Another con to using curl sponges is that you might find that they won’t work well on your hair if it’s longer.
While the rule of thumb is that your hair should be longer than an inch, there really isn’t a maximum length that could be given to you to follow.
Instead, you’ll have to try it out for yourself and see if it works.
While this can be annoying, you’ll definitely have to figure out whether curl sponges will work on your hair.
The third con to curl sponges is that it can cause tangles in the hair.
This is usually due to customers using the product wrong.
One rule of thumb when using a curl sponge is to circulate it in the same direction.
If you do it in alternating directions, you might find that instead of curls, your hair is getting more tangled.
Lastly, the final con to curl sponges is that they can lead to breakage.
Most products have to account for user error, and if you use your curl sponge wrong, it can lead to breakage.
Why is that?
Often times we think that we have to rub something harder to make it work better.
That would have the opposite effect in this case.
While your curl sponge should be firm, it shouldn’t be rough.
Also, you should use it with moderate pressure because too much friction can easily cause your hair to break.
What Are The Pros of Curl Sponges?
There might be a few cons to using curl sponges, but there are definitely some pros as well.
One, curl sponges are exceptionally easy to use.
All you really have to do is rub them along your hair.
Once you decide which circular direction you want to use, you can easily achieve your curls in a matter of minutes.
The second pro to using a curl sponge is that it works on tons of different natural hair textures.
While it is most commonly seen on 4C hair, it can work with an abundance of natural hair types whether you have 3B curls or 4C kinks.
Next, curl sponges are pretty inexpensive.
You’ll find that most of them don’t retail for more than $10, and they last a long time.
Essentially, you’re getting your bang for your buck.
We’re all about “reclaiming my time,” and that also stands true for when it comes to doing our hair as well!
How much time do you spend doing your hair?
The alternative to using a curl sponge is using a pomade or twist styling product and actually forming the curls yourself.
Depending on the size of your curls and the length of your hair, this could take hours.
Instead, the fourth pro about curl sponges is that they allow you to save a significant amount of time styling your hair.
The fifth and final pro to using a curl sponge is that they can help your hair achieve a cohesive look.
When you’re attempting to twist or curl your hair, it’s easy for us to make some smaller or larger than the others.
Instead with a curl sponge, it’s easier to get all of your curls looking the same and going in the same direction.
As we’re styling our hair, it is always easy for us to make a mistake, but with a tool that pretty much guarantees the size of the curls, it’s easy to achieve a uniform style.
Best Curl Sponges Conclusion
Curl sponges can help transform your hair if it’s short and natural.
There are tons of great options out on the market whether you’re looking for short, tight curls or long, looser ones.
While the design might have you feeling apprehensive on whether or not they work, trust us – they do!
Now that you have some options to purchase, next on the list is to learn how to use a hair sponge to curl, twist, or coil your natural hair.