6 Best Curling Irons For Short Hair – (Reviews & Buying Guide 2018)

You may or may not be aware that curling short hair is kind of a double edge sword. That is because you need high heat to shape short hair just like any other type of hair. You also need to position that high heat close to your scalp and work in an awkward position to wrap it and curl it. It takes a special curling iron to be able to do all that.

That is the exact reason why we have decided to do several curling irons for short hair reviews. That way you will know which models of these handy hair shaping tools are the best curling irons for short hair.

Along the way, we will also tell you what to look for when shopping for a curling iron for your short hair and give you some helpful tips on the best way to curl your short hair.

  • 3.8 Customer Rating
  • Ghd Professional Curve Classic Curl
  • PRICE $$$$
  • Barrel : Advanced ceramic barrel coating
  • Barrel Size : 1”
  • Maximum Heat : 365°F
  • Technology : Tri-zone® technology
  • 4.6 Customer Rating
  • xtava It Hair Curling Wand
  • PRICE $$
  • Barrel : Ceramic tourmaline coated barrel
  • Barrel Size : ¾ to 1¼
  • Maximum Heat : 410°F
  • Technology : Ionic ceramic technology
  • 4.3 Customer Rating
  • Revlon 3X Ceramic Tapered Curling Wand
  • PRICE $
  • Barrel : C3 ceramic coated barrel
  • Barrel Size : 1/2 to 1 inches
  • Maximum Heat : 420°F
  • Technology : Three Layers of Ceramic coating
  • 4.4 Customer Rating
  • Hot Tools HTBW1852 Curly-Q Tapered NanoCeramic Curling Iron
  • PRICE $$$
  • Barrel : Tapered barrel
  • Barrel Size : ½” to 1 ¼”
  • Maximum Heat : 450°F
  • Technology : Heat up quickly and to also heat up evenly
  • 4.3 Customer Rating
  • Kiss Products Instawave Automatic Hair Curler
  • PRICE $$$
  • Barrel : Dual direction auto-rotating barrel
  • Barrel Size : 1”
  • Maximum Heat : 420°F
  • Technology : Diamond/Ceramic ionic technology
  • 4.3 Customer Rating
  • Infiniti Pro by Conair Tourmaline Ceramic Curling Wand
  • PRICE $
  • Barrel : Tourmaline crystal infused barrels
  • Barrel Size : 1-inch to 1/2-inch
  • Maximum Heat : 400°F
  • Technology : Tourmaline Ceramic technology

Best Curling Iron for Short Hair Reviews

Here is what we think is the right model curling irons for short hair:

1. ghd Professional Curve Classic Curl

Here is a nice curling iron for short hair that is known for its advanced barrel design. Not only is the barrel ceramic coated so your hair slides across it easily but it also features ghd’s advanced tri-zone® technology. This ensures the heat of the barrel is very even because it has six heating contact points distributed at equal distances the entire length of the barrel.

That is not all the ghd Curve Classic Curl gives you either. Its 1” short barrel design also makes it very useful when curling short hair. This is an excellent travel curling iron to thanks to its dual voltage capability. You can use it almost anywhere you travel in the world.

Read more: ghd Professional Curve Classic Curl

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2. xtava It Hair Curling Wand ¾ to 1¼

If you have short hair that needs curling it sometimes helps to have a versatile curling iron to do it with. That is exactly what you get with this curling iron from xtava. Its ¾ to 1¼ tapered barrel allows you to make curls effortlessly even on very short hairstyles.

That’s not all there is to like about it though. It features some 22 different temperature settings that range from 200°F all the way up to 410°F. There is also a nice ceramic tourmaline coated barrel that promotes even heating and helps your short hair retain its critical moisture too. To top it all off it comes with 2-year warranty and complete money back guarantee.

Read more: xtava Twist Professional Conical Curling Wand

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3. Revlon 3X Ceramic Tapered Curling Wand

This is a very good curling iron for short hair made by the reputable hair care company Revlon. It features 30 different dial-up heat settings with a max temperature of 420°F. That means that if you have fine short hair or thick short hair this curling iron can still style it safely.

It also uses Revlon’s own C3 barrel technology. This leads to even barrel heating, more moisture retention and a silky smooth barrel surface that your hair will not catch on. The Revlon 3X also has a ½” to 1 ½” tapered barrel that gives your short hair the curl versatility that you want.

Read more: Revlon 3X Ceramic Tapered Curling Wand

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4. Hot Tools HTBW1852 Curly-Q Tapered NanoCeramic Curling Iron

There are few curling irons that will style your short hair as safely and effectively as this model from Hot Tools. That is because it uses advanced NanoCeramic barrel technology. This technology offers your short hair several advantages such as improved moisture retention, super-even heating, and increased shine.

What else is there to like about this curling iron? For one it has a rheostat temperature control which allows you to choose from several different heat settings between 280°F to 450°F. Its small ½” to 1 ¼” tapered barrel size also allows this curling iron to get in close to your scalp which is exactly what curling short hair requires.

Read more: Hot Tools HTBW1852 Curly-Q Tapered NanoCeramic Curling Iron

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5. Kiss Products Instawave Automatic Hair Curler

Do you wish you had someone to curl your short hair for you at home? Well, this model curling iron comes close to that thanks to its auto-rotating barrel design. With a simple push of a button, you can be curling your hair effortlessly in either direction.

Its 420°F max heat is nicely distributed by this curling iron’s diamond/ceramic ionic technology too. It also will not let you dry your hair out to much in the process. Don’t overlook its lightweight and compact design or the fact it comes with a better than an average 2-year limited warranty.

Read more: Kiss Products Instawave Automatic Hair Curler

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6. Infiniti Pro by Conair Tourmaline Ceramic Curling Wand

This curling iron comes from Conair which makes excellent electric hair styling products. It’s a curling iron that works great on short hair due to its superior barrel design. The barrel features such things as moisture retaining ceramic tourmaline infusion and a versatile ½” to 1” tapered design.

Among its other convenient features are its 5 different heat settings (Max 400°F) and its 8-foot power cord with swivel end. Revlon was safety conscious with this model too. It has an included 3 fingers protective styling glove and a built-in automatic shutoff. The 5-year warranty that comes with it is outstanding too.

Read more: Infiniti Pro by Conair Tourmaline Ceramic Curling Wand

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Buying Guide: Choose The Right Curling Iron for Short Hair

Best Curling Irons For Short Hair

These are some of the features of curling irons you need to strongly consider when looking for one to use on your shorter hairstyle:

5 Features to Consider Before Purchasing A New Curling Iron for Short Hair

  1. Temperature range
    A curling iron with a wide temperature range selection is never a bad thing to have. Remember, its heat that breaks the strong protein bonds in hair that enable you to change its shape such as when you are curling it. It’s no different with short hair.
    Not all short hair requires the same amount of heat either. As a general rule fine or thin short hair should be curled at a lower heat. Somewhere in between 280°F – 350°F would most likely be sufficient and avoid damaging delicate fine and thin hair.
    On the other hand, thick or coarse hair has very strong protein bonds and needs high heat to help reshape and curl it. Start at around 350°F and gradually raise the heat up until you find a heat setting that allows you to curl your hair without damaging it.
  2. Barrel size
    This is a big factor when curling short hair for sure. That is because since your hair is short you don’t have as much hair to wrap around your curling iron. In order for you to curl your short hair, you will need a smaller barrel diameter in most cases. You may not even be able to wrap your short hair around a bigger size barrel.
    You should be looking for a barrel size somewhere between ½” and 1 ¼” in order to be able to curl your hair properly. The smaller the barrel the tighter a curl it will make. It even better yet if you have a curling iron with a tapered barrel in those size ranges. That will allow you some versatility when curling your short style hair.
  3. Barrel coatings
    Barrel coatings on your curling iron are important because they all help keep a curling iron’s high heat from damaging your hair. Here are the characteristics of the different barrel coatings explained briefly.

    • Ceramic
      This is by far the most popular barrel coating. It can be found as the only type of coating on a curling iron barrel or in combination with another. This coating gives you two big advantages. A ceramic coated barrel heats evenly to help avoid damaging hotspots and it also allows your hair to flow smoothly across your curling iron barrel.
    • Tourmaline
      The biggest benefit of tourmaline crystal infusion in a barrel is it helps keep your hair from drying out and become frizzy. Tourmaline infusion produces negative ions that react with your hair’s natural chemistry and help it retain its critical moisture as you apply heat to curl it.
    • Nano ceramic
      Nano ceramic technology is like tourmaline infusion on steroids. It will help your hair retain even more moisture than tourmaline crystal infusion does. When combined with a ceramic coating it heats evenly, helps keep your hair from drying and leaves it with some extra shine too.
    • Titanium
      This is another barrel coating which is known for heating evenly and helping to prevent your hair from getting damaged by barrel hotspots. One other characteristic of titanium barrels is they heat very fast too. This is good news if you are a person who is always running late when getting ready in the morning.
    • Others
      Manufacturers get pretty creative when it comes to barrel coatings. You certainly do not want to buy a curling iron that does not have any coating on it all. Other good barrel infusion materials are gold, pearl, and silk.
  4. Barrel length
    Barrel length is not as important as barrel width but it still can play a role if you have extremely short hair you want to curl. A shorter barrel curling iron will let you get in closer to your scalp and work at more of an angle as you curl your short hair. So in certain situations, this may help you so at least consider it some when shopping for a new curling iron.
  5. Safety features
    When you are using a curling iron you are essentially using a device that is hotter than boiling water in most instances. That means you have to be very careful when using it. The more safety features on it the better.
    As far as the curling iron itself goes look for such things as an automatic shutoff, a cool tip and a shield between the grip and the curling irons barrel. If your curling iron model does not have a spring clamp it should come with a heat protective styling glove too. A stand to put your hot iron down when you are not using it is a good thing to have too.

Helpful Tips and the Steps Needed to Curl Your Short Hair

Here is the recommended process for curling your shorter hairstyle:

Before you start with your curling iron

Curling Irons For Short Hair ReviewsBefore you even attempt to pick up your curling iron and get started there are a few things you should do first.

  • Dry your hair completely
    If your hair is not dry it will make it difficult to curl your short hair. For one wet hair does not slide well across the barrel of your curling iron. The other thing is wet hair will take the heat you so badly need to curl your hair out of the curling iron. Your hair should be 85% – 90% dry before a curling iron ever touches it.
  • Comb your hair out
    Not only should your hair be dry before you try to curl it but your hair should be tangle free also. A good thorough combing will help accomplish this nicely. Many people skip this step but we highly recommend you don’t.
  • Consider adding protectant to your hair
    There are many salon products that will help you protect your hair from heat damage. This is a good thing for you to put on your hair in most cases. This is especially true if you have fine or thin short hair. Argon oil and other hair protective products will keep your curling iron’s heat from zapping all the moisture out of your hair and leaving it frizzy and dry. Ask your hair stylist to help you here.
  • Select the right size curling iron to do the job
    This is very important, to say the least. You need a thinner barrel curling iron in order to be able to wrap your thin hair around it and make a curl. How thin a barrel you use depends on the type of curl you want to make. For tight curls, you will want to use a curling iron with a ½” barrel size and for slightly bigger curls a 1” barrel will work well on short hair.

The short hair curling process

Now you are ready to pick up your curling iron and start the curling process:

  • how to curl short hair with curling ironSeparate your hair into sections
    Many people skip this step when they go to curl their shorter hairstyle. That is because they feel they do not have enough hair to do this. It’s not true so go ahead and put your hair into sections on the sides, back and top. Don’t section your bangs
  • Start curling your hair
    Do the front top first. Roll your hair in a direction away from your face for best results. After the front do the back and then the sides last.

Helpful short hair curling tips

  1. Your curls will probably look better if you leave the very ends of your hair straight.
  2. Try not to make too big of curls or it will really shorten up your hair even more.
  3. Use a blow dryer on cool blast to help set your curls quickly.
  4. Use your fingers to adjust the size of the curls if they are too tight.
  5. If you want to use a hairspray use a medium hold one. It will allow you to have slightly relaxed curls. Stronghold hairspray tends to make it look plastic and fake.

Choosing the Right Curling Iron Barrel Size

Here are some general guidelines as to what size curls you can make with a particular curling iron barrel size:

  • 3/8” – This is your choice for making tight, kinky and springy curls. Sometimes they will be too tight for what you like and they can be combed out a little.
  • 5/8” – This size will make tight curls too but they will be spruced up and looser than 3/8” curls. It’s a good barrel size choice for women with naturally curly hair.
  • 3/4” – This is the choice if you want a vintage type curl or are looking for smooth waves. You can brush them out a little for an even different look.
  • 1” – Here you can make much fuller curls and any waves you put in will be clearly defined too. This works for beachy type waves too.
  • 1 ¼” – This barrel may be too big for really short hairstyles. If you can make curls with it they will be nice medium size, looser curls.

These are really the only barrel sizes that will work on short hair. Tapered barrel curling irons should have a section on them that approximates these fixed barrel sizes.

Curling Short Hair FAQ’s

  1. I have very thick short hair should I use the highest heat setting on my curling iron?
    Answer: It’s true; you may very well end up using the highest heat setting on your curling iron if you have very thick hair. I would not recommend you start there first. Start with a heat setting around 350°F and work your way up a notch at a time until your curling iron is working easily for you. This will give you less chance of damaging your hair with too high a heat setting.
  2. My hair has been damaged by my curling iron’s high heat. Is it ok to keep trying to curl it anyway?
    Answer: The answer here is both yes and no. You certainly don’t want to try and put any more heat to your damaged hair. It may take forever to repair itself if you do.
    However, it may surprise you that all is not lost. As a matter of fact, I have an excellent solution for you. You can put curls in your hair the old fashioned way using no heat and bobby pins. There are plenty of websites on the internet with good instructions how to do this.

Also, check out the pro-level curling iron reviews here!

Best Curling Irons For Short Hair Comparison Chart

PRODUCTPRICEBARRELBARREL SIZEMAX HEATTECHNOLOGY
Ghd Professional Curve Classic Curl
$$$$Advanced ceramic barrel coating1”365°FTri-zone® technology
xtava It Hair Curling Wand
$$Ceramic tourmaline coated barrel¾ to 1¼410°FIonic ceramic technology
Revlon 3X Ceramic Tapered Curling Wand
$C3 ceramic coated barrel1/2 to 1 inches420°FThree Layers of Ceramic coating
Hot Tools HTBW1852 Curly-Q Tapered NanoCeramic Curling Iron
$$$Tapered barrel½” to 1 ¼”450°FHeat up quickly and to also heat up evenly
Kiss Products Instawave Automatic Hair Curler
$$$
Dual direction auto-rotating barrel1”420°FDiamond/Ceramic ionic technology
Infiniti Pro by Conair Tourmaline Ceramic Curling Wand
$Tourmaline crystal infused barrels1-inch to 1/2-inch400°FTourmaline Ceramic technology

A Few Final Thoughts on Curling Irons for Short Hair

Without a doubt curling, your short hair can be a real challenge. You simply don’t have as much hair to work with when it comes to wrapping it around a curling iron. It takes a while to perfect the technique to curling your short hair. The best curling irons for short hair will definitely lessen the difficulty you have curling it.

In this article, we have done several curling irons for short hair reviews. Anyone of them would be an excellent choice to purchase if you are looking for one to curl your shorter length hair. If none of those models appeals to you then follow the advice in the handy buying guide. Either way, you should be able to find a curling iron that perfectly suits your short hair’s curling needs.

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