Tutorial: How to Curl Short Hair in 2 Ways

All Things Hair | 10 November 2017
how to curl short hair
5min Style Easy

Curling iron, flat iron… or both? Master the tricks to curling short hair with both a wand and a flat iron to amp up your regimen. #skillz

Most looks might seem pretty democratic, but it’s no secret that longer-haired girls typically have the lion’s share of styles to play with. This is particularly obvious when you’re talking about the ultimate summer trifecta: braids, waves and curls. Not to say those with shorter locks can’t join in on the fun however: Short hair can lend itself to a myriad of styling options, especially when some curly hair accessories are an option. The only thing to remember if you want to know how to curl short hair is how far they can go around a curling iron.

When it comes to the best way to curl short hair, locks that can make a full revolution (and then some) around a wand is generally considered easier to curl. These lengths are long enough to form—and hold—a style, and bonus, actually look extra-cute and fresh with a bit of texture rather than when just worn straight. If you’re looking to change up your short hairdo with some fun, flirty curls, look no further than our simple guide below on curling short hair with a wand and a flat iron.

Tutorial: How to Curl Short Hair

how to create curls in dirty blonde short hair start fresh

Start with freshly washed hair.

Clean hair usually means fuller-looking, bouncier locks. Cleanse with a system that helps impart fullness and nourishment without weighing hair down (especially if your strands are fine, thinning or aging), such as Nexxus New York Salon Care Diamatress Shampoo and Nexxus New York Salon Care Diamatress ConditionerPower-dry with a blowdryer until at least 90 percent dry.


how to create curls in short hair apply a serum

Apply a serum.

Coat moist hair with a styling serum to prep for heat styling. A blend that helps fight frizz and tame flyaways, like S Factor by TIGI Silky Smooth Moisture Serum, is optimal for those who need some conditioning benefits too. Start with a dime-sized amount on strands, adjusting the amount for the length of your hair.


Start curling the front sections.

Spray your hair with some heat protectant, like TRESemmé Keratin Smooth Flat Iron Smoothing Spray. Then, use a 1 1/4″ curling iron barrel, begin twirling around sections of hair near your front hairline. Ed’s tip: When you curl very short hair, a modern, slightly tousled look is more youthful. Achieve by twirling hair in different directions.

how to create curls in short hair dirty blonde curl all over

Continue until all hair sections are curled.

Keep curling the rest of your sections, and don’t stress if they’re slightly uneven. The chunkier and more disheveled, the sexier.

how to create curls in short hair gently shake out curls

Muss up the roots with your fingers.

Gently shake out the curls after you’re done to loosen the ringlets. Also muss up the root area to create some lift.

how to create curls in short hair add a headband

Style as you wish.

Leave as is and finish with some hairspray, or deck it out with a flirty hair accessory like a headband or sparkly comb. Anything goes!

Want to achieve that chunky, blogger curl that’s a bit edgier than your normal wave? Read on below for some tips on curling short hair with a flat iron:

Tutorial: How To Curl Short Hair With a Flat Iron

how to curl short hair with a flat iron twist
How to curl short hair for an edgier look? Master the twist using a flat iron. Photo credit: Dvora

1. Choose your tool.

When curling short hair with a flat iron, or any tool for that matter, size of both your sections and the iron are the most important factor. You’ll want your flat iron to be high-quality with ceramic plates too. Try to find one that is between 1/2″ to 1″ in width. If you have short hair, like a pixie cut, stick to a narrower width. If your hair is any longer than your ears, you can go wider.

2. Prep.

Even though short hair tends to be less damaged (all those regular trims!), you’ll still need to protect your strands, especially if you choose to heat style or curl very short hair several times a week. Fending off heat damage is as simple as spritzing on a heat protection spray. Mist an even layer of TRESemmé Get Sleek Heat Protection Spray all over hair, and comb through to avoid any “hot spots” of spray on your heating tools.


3. Section your hair.

Even on short hair, it’s super helpful to section locks off evenly. You may need to get alligator or duckbill clips to secure your sections: These clips can catch strands really well, and won’t slip or leave dents. You will probably only need to section off two layers, i.e. the top and bottom halves of your hair, sectioning makes it easier when it comes to curling short hair.

4. Twist your hair.

Starting with the bottom half of your hair first, it’s time to start curling! Usually the bottom half of your hair will be pretty short, so do your best to add in bends to tie the look in with the longer top half. Take 1″-inch-or-so sections of hair, clamp each between the flat iron, then twist outwards as you gently tug it downwards.

5. Keep curling.

When you’ve finished the bottom section, unclip the top half of your hair. Find your part first, so you can figure out how to curl hair efficiently on the top half and to determine how your curls will lie. Repeat the curling steps, and be extra careful when curling short hair with a flat iron on the top half: The hair is not only more visible, but you’re also working closer to your scalp.

6. Shake out and style.

Once you’ve curled your whole head of hair, it’s time to shake it out! Ruffle up your curls and separate with your fingers for a fun, beachy look. Style your hair however you like from here: Wear it down, add a fun clip or try a headband! When your look is complete, set your style with some hairspray, such as Dove Style+Care Strength and Shine Flexible Hold Hairspray.


Not a big fan of heat tools? Try curling hair with a heatless curling technique instead.

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