Learn how to curl short hair with these step-by-step tutorials

Ever wondered what's the best way to curl short hair? These easy tutorials will show you how...   
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It’s no secret that having short hair is bang on trend, you only have to look to the red carpet to see A-listers everywhere heading for the chop. From celebs including Pretty Little LiarsShay Mitchell to model Bella Hadid, short hair is everywhere. If you’re rocking cropped locks too and want to know how to curl short hair, you’ve come to the right place.

While a shorter cut can be both practical and trendy, we’ll admit it can sometimes be tricky to know how to curl short hair. Fear not, short-haired ladies, having a cropped coif doesn’t mean you can’t wear volumised waves, all it takes is a little know-how.

Whether you’re rocking a pixie cut, lob, or anything in between, you can’t go wrong with this versatile style. So, put your hair woes aside and follow our step-by-step tutorial below to learn exactly how to curl short hair!

Two ways you can curl short hair

When it comes to curling shorter hair, there’s not just one way to style the look. Whether you prefer a more polished finish with plenty of volume, or like your curls more messy, we’ve got all your mane requests covered.

How to curl short hair girl standing near brick wall with curly blonde hair
Credit: Verity Jane Smith

Look 1: Cool, undone curls on short hair

Did someone say messy curls? Not just for Rapunzel-length locks, easy undone curls can look great on shorter hair too. Follow our in-depth guide below to learn how to curl short hair in 7 easy steps.

Step 1

Prep and protect.

As this look requires a lot of heat, it’s important to protect your tresses and prep them for styling.

Do this by spraying the VO5 Express Primer Spray all over towel-dried hair. This will help to detangle your tresses, protect them from heated styling tools and reduce flyaways.

How to curl short hair blonde girl with short hair spraying primer
Step 2

Blow dry your hair.

Using a brush, pick up sections of your hair and blow dry each one thoroughly.

Direct the nozzle of your hairdryer at the roots first and then make sure the mid-sections and ends are completely dry. Once each section is complete, use your fingers to double check there are no remaining wet strands.

How to curl short hair blonde girl blow drying hair looking at camera
Step 3

Clip the front section up.

In order to make sure you can reach every part of your hair with the curling wand, pin a small section upwards and away from your face.

This will allow you to access every laye of your hair, especially at the roots – a crucial step when you’re rocking got shorter strands.

How to curl short hair blonde girl looking at camera with hair clip
Step 4

Wrap small sections around your curling tongs.

Gather a small section of hair and wrap it around your curling tong, leaving the very end of the hair free.

Hold each section around the curling tong for a few seconds and then release it, letting the curl drop naturally.

How to curl short hair blonde girl with curling wand looking to the side
Step 5

Repeat the process.

Moving from the front of your hair to the back, repeat this process. Once the bottom layer of your hair is completely curled, unclip the top section and start curling it the same way.

Keep looking in the mirror to ensure you’re not missing sections of your hair. Go over any sections again with the curling tong if needed.

How to curl short hair blonde girl looking at camera with curling tong
Step 6

Add texturising spray for a cool finish.

Once you’re happy with all your curls, use the VO5 Dry Texturising Spray to give a casual finish to the look.

Holding the can approximately 30cm away from your hair, spray it evenly across all your tresses. Use your fingers to comb through the curls as you go.


How to curl short hair blonde girl using texturising spray looking at camera
Step 7

Lock in the final look with hairspray.

You’re almost done! Check in the mirror one last time and move any curls to exactly where you want them.

You can also run your fingers through any curls that look too tight or redo any that are too loose if needed.

Finally, keep all your hard work in place by spraying the TRESemmé Superior Hold Hairspray all over your locks.

And… we’re done! You’re now ready to conquer the world with your cropped, curly coif.


How to curl short hair blonde girl looking at camera using hair spray

Look 2: Try pairing the style with an embellished hairband

Now you know how to curl short hair with a messy finish, try a more sleek look with this quick and easy tutorial.

Step 1

Brush your hair.

Start out by washing your hair with a volume-enhancing wash and care duo, like the TRESemmé Collagen+ Fullness Shampoo and Conditioner. Once your strands are fully dry, brush through them to remove any knots or tangles.


woman with blonde hair shows us the best way to curl short hair
Step 2

Apply hair serum.

While curling short hair requires texture and volume, you’ll also need to ensure that your tresses are smooth and frizz-free.

To do this, apply some TIGI S-Factor Silky Smooth Moisture Serum to your hair, to help protect against styling damage and smooth down any pesky flyaways.

woman dispenses tigi serum on her hand before curling short hair
Step 3

Curl your hair.

Taking small sections of hair (approximately 2 inches-wide) from the front section of your head, use a small-barrel curling tong to curl your hair. It’s important to use a slimline tong, as large-barrel ones aren’t typically made with short hair in mind.

Tip: Always wanted to know how to curl very short hair? Using a curling tong will work better than a wand, because tongs are able to hold the hair in place while you curl.

blonde-haired women shows us how to curl very short hair with a curling wand
Step 4

Work your way around your head.

After curling the front section of your hair, begin working your way around your head. The direction in which you curl your hair is completely up to you, but we find that curling some sections of your hair towards your face and others away from your face makes for an effortlessly tousled look.

blonde-haired woman shows us how to get short hair in a tutorial
Step 5

Set with hairspray.

Once you’ve curled all of your hair, you’ll need to set your curls with some hairspray. Use a flexible-hold hairspray, like the Toni&Guy Casual Flexible Hold Hairspray to ensure that your curls retain some movement.

curling very short hair with blonde-haired woman
Step 6

Final look.

See? We told you it was super easy to curl short hair. Plus, this tutorial is proof that cute, bouncy waves are still achievable even if you don’t have long hair.

Tip: For a playfully glamorous edge, apply an embellished headband afterwards. This should sit in the middle of your head, so that you have some loose curls falling in front of it. Now you’re ready to hit the town!

how to curl short hair tutorial with short-haired woman

Enjoyed learning how to curl short hair? Great! Then we think you’ll be ready to put your new skills to the test, by working one of the looks from our Curly Hairstyles page – trust us, you’ll be glad you aced this curling short hair tutorial!

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