​​How To Curl Short Hair

Curling short hair can add some volume and texture to your hair or create a chic and sophisticated look. However, curling short hair can be a challenge for many people. 

Thankfully, with the right tools and techniques, you can achieve gorgeous curls that will take your short hair to the next level. All you need is some time and patience and you will soon have beautiful curls.

​​How to Curl Short Hair

In this article, we will go over the best practices for curling short hair and introduce several methods to ensure you get the best curls every time. This guide will provide you with everything you need to know to curl your short hair like a pro. 

Using A Curling Iron

For our first method on how to curl short hair, we’ll use a curling iron. You can use any type of curling iron you wish but remember that the smaller the barrel of the iron, the tighter your curl will be.

We recommend a one-inch barrel for looser waves and a three-quarters-of-an-inch barrel for tighter curls.

  1. Protect your hair by spraying a heat protectant.
  2. Tie up the upper part of your hair. You can do this with an alligator clip or hair tie. Whatever you use, ensure the hair is out of the way so you can get to the layers underneath (see also “How To Layer Hair“).
  3. If your hair is particularly straight and fine, you should blow dry a little light mousse into your hair. This will give your hair some extra texture so that your curling iron can grip it more effectively.
  4. Feed a loose section of your hair through the barrel. Curl your hair as your curling tong instructions dictate and be careful not to allow it to touch the heat for too long.
  5. As you release the curl from the barrel, allow it to set by catching it in your hand. Hold it a few seconds and then let it go.
  6. Repeat steps four and five for the other loose sections of hair. For a more natural look, curl some sections of hair towards your face and others away.
  7. Release your hair from the tie or clip. Follow steps four, five, and six.
  8. Lock in your finish with some strong-hold hairspray.

Using A Curling Wand

Curling wands are great for adding a natural texture with straighter ends. If you have a bob or a lob and are looking to use a curling wand, use a one-inch barrel.

  1. As in our first method, begin by protecting your hair with a heat protectant. 
  2. Again, separate the top section and keep it out of the way by using an alligator clip or a hair tie.
  3. If you want more volume in your hair, hold your curling wand horizontally. For a style that is more modern and casual, hold the want at a diagonal angle.
  4. With a curling wand, you should wrap your hair around the iron instead of feeding it through. We recommend that you leave around one inch to one and a half inches of your hair out of the iron as this will give you a softer and more modern style.
  5. Work through the rest of your loose hair as listed in step 4.
  6. Release the top part of your hair from the tie or clip and repeat step 4.
  7. To get a more relaxed style and finish, use a flat iron. You can glide these over the ends of your hair to make it straighter.
  8. Finish your style with a texture finishing spray.
​​How to Curl Short Hair

Using A Flat Iron

If your hair is particularly fine and you haven’t had much success with keeping curls in your hair, then a flat iron is a good option. You still won’t be able to get tight curls but you can add some bounce and texture to your hair with a flat iron.

  1. As before, protect your hair with a heat protectant spray.
  2. Section off the top portion of your hair with either a hair tie or an alligator clip.
  3. Start as close to the roots as you can manage. Using the flat iron, you can create bends in your hair. Work down the shaft while gently rocking the flat iron. This can easily be done by just bending the wrist that holds the flat iron.
  4. A second option is to wrap your hair around the flat iron. Think of it as a ribbon and you’re creating a pretty ribbon for a gift. This method will result in hair that doesn’t have such a spiral finish.
  5. Work through the rest of your loose hair as listed in step 4.
  6. Release the top part of your hair from the tie or clip and repeat step 4.
  7. Use a hair pomade to keep the ends of your hair looking a little rough and artfully messy.

Tips For Curling Hair Without Heat

There may be times when using appliances that need plugging in to work isn’t practical. You may also want to give your hair a break from heat as this can be damaging. Luckily, there are some other methods you can use.

Your hair will need extra help to keep curls when heat hasn’t been applied so make sure you have some effective hair mousse on hand. We also recommend using a good leave-in conditioner and finishing hair oil.

Flexi-rods are a great tool for curling hair without heat. You can leave them in overnight as they’re comfortable enough to sleep in. We recommend wrapping your head in a light scarf before you sleep as this will keep them in place.

Final Thoughts

In this article, we listed several methods for curling short hair. We hope this will help you create beautiful curls in your hair.

Mimi May