Best Curling Irons for Short Hair – 2019 Review

Having short hair often appears to limit its styling capacity. While there are many tools created for dynamic curls for long hair, finding the right curling iron for short hair can be a little trickier. If the barrel is too big or the handle is too long, it can be hard to maneuver a curling iron when curling short hair.

Finding the right barrel size is integral to creating different effects on short hair, whether that be loose, beachy waves, or tight, springy ringlets. Don’t feel like you’re at a loss for curling if you have shorter locks; you just need to consider different features to find the perfect curling iron for you.

Let’s have a look at the factors to consider and learn more about these and other models.

Comparison Chart of the Best Curling Irons for Short Hair




BaBylissPRO Nano Titanium Conicurl Iron

BaBylissPRO Nano Titanium Conicurl Iron, 0.75-1.25 inch

Best Overall

Hot Tools Professional 1101 ¾” Curling Iron

Hot Tools Professional 24K Gold Curling Iron/ Wand for Long Lasting Curls, 3/4 Inches


Sultra The Bombshell Rod Curling Iron

Sultra The Bombshell Rod Curling Iron, 1-Inch

Best for the Money

xtava 5 in 1 Professional Curling Wand and Curling Iron Set

5 in 1 Professional Curling Iron and Wand Set - 0.3 to 1.25 Inch Interchangeable Ceramic Barrel Wand Curling Iron - Dual Voltage Hair Curler Set for All Hair Types with Glove and Travel Case by Xtava

FHI Professional Curling Iron

FHI HEAT Platform Tourmaline Ceramic Professional Curling Iron, ¾-Inch

What to Look When Buying a Curling Iron For Short Hair

When purchasing a curling iron for short hair, the most important thing to consider is the style you are trying to achieve. This will determine the barrel size that you need. While short hair will rarely need a 2-inch barrel, those looking for springy ringlets will need a different size than those looking for tousled, loose curls. Consider the circumference of the barrel. The smaller the circumference, the tighter the curl.

Secondly, consider the material. As with all hair lengths, short hair needs to be protected from the direct heat of a curling iron. Choosing a curling iron with a ceramic barrel will provide better protection and more even heating, preventing your hair from drying. If you have thicker, coarser hair, a titanium barrel will help to curl it more easily, but the direct heat is a little harsher. Ideally, try to look for tourmaline technology as this neutralizes the positive ions that damage the hair when using curling irons.

Adjustable temperature controls are an added bonus. This enables you to work with the curling iron at different heats. Lower heats make looser curls, whereas high heats hold the curls for longer. Equally, if you have damaged, dry or fine hair, you will need a curling iron that has the capacity to work at low heats to protect your hair from drying out.

As with all hair lengths, have a look at what else the curler offers. Try to find curling irons with extra accessories such as a travel case and heat protective glove and mat. Also, if you’re a big traveler, you’ll need dual voltage technology to use your curling iron abroad. A long cord will enable you to use it anywhere, even when an outlet is not convenient.

Some of the Challenges With Curling Short Hair

Curling short hair can be difficult. First, when curling the hair, it is harder to pin back sections to stop it from getting in the way of the curling iron. This is the first hurdle to overcome. Using bobby pins to pin certain sections will be a great help.

Secondly, it can be awkward. Even when you have a thin barrel sometimes the curling iron is quite long, making it hard to reach into the hair. With short hair, there are fewer ways to hide the strands that are harder to curl. Especially at the back, the bottom of the hair by the nape of the neck is often shorter than the rest and difficult to curl, but still can’t be hidden. A thinner barrel will help here, as well as having a mirror behind you.

When curling short hair, it can often be easier to burn yourself. With short hair styles, often the hair by the nape of the neck is significantly shorter and harder to manage. Trying to hold these shorter parts of the hair to a curler can lead to burns on your neck and hands.

Remember when curling hair, it appears shorter once curly. One of the issues with curling short hair is that thin-barreled curling irons can make the hair appear even shorter and springier. Bear this in mind when choosing a barrel.

Quick Take - Best Curling Irons for Short Hair

Review of the Best Curling Irons for Short Hair

Now that we know what to look for when trying to curl short hair with a curling iron, let’s have a look at some of the best irons available.

BaBylissPRO Nano Titanium Conicurl Iron, 0.75-1.25 inch


  • It’s relatively affordable.
  • It comes with dual voltage to be used abroad
  • At its widest, the barrel is only 1.25 inches, making even the wider circumference great for short hair.
  • It has 50 heat settings allowing versatile styling while also protecting the hair; the ceramic coating will enable more even heating.
  • The tapered barrel makes for more versatile styling for short hair, with tighter curls at the tip of the barrel and looser curls at the base.


  • you have to hold the hair the whole time.
  • The titanium material may be a little high in heat for fine hair.
  • It is a wand which doesn’t have a clip which can be difficult to maneuver when curling the back of short hair.

This ceramic/titanium model from BabYlissPRO features nanotechnology and a tapered barrel.

Hot Tools Professional 24K Gold Curling Iron/ Wand for Long Lasting Curls, 3/4 Inches


  • It features a heat setting that remembers your ideal heat and it can heat up to 430F.
  • The thin barrel has a firm clip which helps to clip the hair while working for easier use.
  • Gold-plated tools are usually reserved for professionals as the gold creates the evenest heat distribution and does not overheat as much when left on for longer. This makes it a good option for people who use a curler frequently.


  • It is a little more expensive than alternative options.
  • The lowest temperature setting is still quite high so this isn’t suitable for people with fine or damaged hair.

Featuring a gold-plated barrel, this Hot Tools curling iron is 0.75 inches, which is a perfect size for short hair.

Sultra The Bombshell Rod Curling Iron, 1-Inch


  • It is lightweight for easy use.
  • It comes with a heat protection glove and mat.
  • The ceramic barrel helps to keep even heating with less damage, while the far-infrared technology smooths the cuticles of your hair to keep it protected and soft.


  • The lack of a clip can make it a little difficult to use at the back of the head.
  • This model is very expensive and doesn’t feature different temperature settings.
  • The on- inch barrel is quite big for short hair, especially if you have a jawline bob or shorter.

This 1-inch model from Sultra the Bombshell is made of ceramic and features universal voltage.

5 in 1 Professional Curling Iron and Wand Set - 0.3 to 1.25 Inch Interchangeable Ceramic Barrel Wand Curling Iron - Dual Voltage Hair Curler Set for All Hair Types with Glove and Travel Case by Xtava


  • It includes a heat-proof glove.
  • It is very affordable for such a versatile tool.
  • It comes with varying heat settings for different hair types.
  • The barrels are made of ceramic tourmaline for great protection.
  • The five different exchangeable barrels allow for a whole variety of styles. In particular, the tapered barrel, 1-inch wand, and 1-inch barrel will be the most useful tools for short hair, while the larger barrels can be used for texturizing.


  • Changing the barrel can be a little difficult and time-consuming.
  • This isn’t ideal for beginners and could maybe be an issue when trying to curl near the nape of the neck as it has no cool tip, so the end can easily burn your skin.

This 5-in-1 set is the perfect instrument for diversified styling.

FHI HEAT Platform Tourmaline Ceramic Professional Curling Iron, ¾-Inch


  • The 0.75-inch barrel is perfect for short hair and the spring clip holds the hair tightly while you work.
  • The stand prevents the curler from burning your counter, while the cool tip prevents you burning your skin while curling hard-to-reach places.
  • The ceramic barrel has 3 layers, making it scratch resistant and highly durable as it protects the hair with tourmaline technology as well.


  • This model is very expensive considering it doesn’t have much versatility.
  • While it comes with a warranty, FHI charges $35.00 for a replacement if it breaks, even if it’s under warranty.

This curling iron has an extremely durable ceramic barrel and comes standard with a travel case.

Some Great Styles for Curling Short Hair

Despite the difficulties with curling short hair, you can achieve a whole range of incredible styles with short curly hair.

When looking at celebrity stunners with short curly hairstyles, Rihanna and AnnaLynne McCord demonstrate the fun, fierce look that can be created with tighter ringlets. Using a thinner barrel, you can create springy, tight curls that bounce all over the head, reaching out in all directions and giving that flirty, carefree feel.

Alternatively, by letting the curls cool and running your fingers through them you can create a more voluminous and bold curly look.

By using larger barrels, you can create wavy looks with short hairs that gives a casual softness and air of glamor. Like the Olsen Twins and Alex Chung using a slightly wider barrel, you’ll get the impression of more natural texture. Again, by letting the hair cool and running your fingers through it with a little mousse, you’ll get an even more flowing look. Another way is to spray your hair with sea salt and water and scrunch it so that this wavy look becomes the tousled, textured beach feel.

Lastly, curling irons can also be used to create the Marilyn Monroe or Dita Von Teese 1930’s look. You can curl the hair and then smooth the curls with a comb and mousse to give the much more structured feel.


Curling your hair when it’s short can be a little more difficult than doing it with long hair. However, it can make a dramatic change to your look with each different style. Choose the right barrel for your hair length and intended style and make sure to consider the way you use it. Often a clamp makes for easier styling, and a shorter length curler that weighs a little less is going to be easy to master for short styles.

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