Best Curling Irons For Short Hair – 2020 Buyer’s Guide

| Last Updated: January 21, 2022

Shopping for a curling iron seems easy – until you start looking for it and realize how many there are to choose from.

There are so many different sizes and shapes available; it really is a mission to find the one for your short hair.

After a lot of research, we decided to pen down our favorite curling wands. Eager to see which ones made the cut? Read on!

Comparison of the Best Curling Irons For Short Hair

Can Any Curling Iron Be Used for Short Hair?

It is believed that one cannot use a curling iron with a large barrel on short hair. However, that is just a myth. The size of the barrel only affects the size of the curl; it has nothing to do with the length of your hair. Short and long bobs are not limited by barrel size. So yes, just like with long hair, any kind of curling wand can be used for short hair. There are surely certain other factors that need to be considered, but those are generally listed for all hair lengths.

What Size of Curling Iron Do I Need For Short Hair?

The size of the curling iron is very important. It can determine the kind of curl, loose or tight. To achieve beach waves, a narrow barrel is a suitable option as it gives tight curls. On the other hand, if you want looser, more natural curls, a larger barrel should be your choice.

If you have short hair, any kind of barrel will suit you just fine; however, if you want your curls to be more obvious, go for a one-inch barrel. If you have shorter hair, get a half-inch barrel. Also, a narrow barrel would suit fine hair more than thicker hair.

What Makes a Curling Iron Great For Short Hair?

Before you decide to make your purchase, there are certain factors you should be aware of that make it easier to curl your short hair.    

Temperature Control

Make sure your iron offers variable temperature settings. If you have thick, coarse hair, you’ll need a high temperature to curl it and make it last longer. However, if you have fine, thin hair, a low temperature would do the job without damaging your hair.

Material of the Curling Wand

This is an important factor to consider. The metal should be able to withstand high heat and not dry your hair out. Ceramic and tourmaline are affordable and keep your hair hydrated and frizz-free, whereas gold and titanium are expensive but durable.

Size of the Barrel

The size of the barrel influences the style of your curl. A larger barrel gives looser waves, whereas a narrower barrel will manifest tighter, smaller curls. 

Generally, a medium-sized barrel (one inch or smaller) is recommended for short hair so that the curls look more obvious. However, a larger barrel can also be used to achieve an effortless, slight curl.

Design and Accessories

To ensure maximum safety precautions, make sure your tool comes with a heat protectant glove or that it has a cooling tip at its edge to make it easy to hold without burning the hand.

Review of the Best Curling Irons for Short Hair

Now that we’ve gone through the basics and have an idea of what we want, let’s get down to business. Here are our top picks for the best curling wands to invest in for short hair:

Best Overall:
Hot Tools Professional 24K Gold Marcel Iron/Wand

Hot Tools Professional 24K Gold Marcel Iron/Wand for Long Lasting Results, 1 Inch


  • Lightweight and easy to handle and use
  • Soft handle allows for better grip on the iron
  • Rheostat dial offers various different temperature settings
  • Gets hot quickly and maintains temperature consistently for long-lasting curls
  • Comes with a foldaway stand to prevent damaging surfaces and for convenient storage


  • Clamp can be annoying
  • Rheostat heat dial can get more loose with use
  • Can burn and break hair if the temperature is too high

What Recent Buyers Report

Buyers love this curling iron, especially those with short hair. They have received many compliments for it, saying it makes their hair look natural and beautiful and gives the hair an effortless shine. They also find it lightweight and easy to use. Buyers would surely recommend this to their friends and relatives.

Why it Stands Out to Us

We find this to be the best curling iron overall because of its look and finish. The 24K gold material gives it a high-end look, yet maintaining the wand’s low weight. The iron has many features to offer, such as variable temperature settings and a foldaway stand. It also comes in many different sizes, ranging from a 0.375-inch barrel to a 2-inch barrel.

Who Will Use This Most

People with short hair would really like the Hot Tools Professional 24K Gold Marcel iron. Its many sizes provide the option to get any type of curl from tight to loose waves. It also comes at a very low price, so if you’re on a low budget, this is the way to go.

Bottom Line

If you don’t have the time to get a professional blow out every time you wish to style your hair, a curling iron is the way to go. The Hot Tools Professional 24K Gold Marcel curling iron is an affordable and versatile model with many different sized barrels and other features to offer. We rate this as the best on the market, so there aren’t many ways you can go wrong with it.

Kiss Products 1” Automatic Curling Iron

Kiss Products Instawave Automatic Ceramic Curling Iron, 1” (KACI01)


  • Curl dial can be used in either left or right directions
  • Automatically curls the hair; your hand never touches the barrel
  • Has an automatic shutoff feature when not in use for 90 minutes
  • Ridges that act as combs detangle your hair for smooth, perfect curls
  • Ceramic moisturizes and hydrates the hair, preventing any chance of breakage


  • Can be a bit bulky
  • Trouble catching thick hair in the clip
  • Can take some time to learn how to use it as it works automatically

What Recent Buyers Report

Users are highly impressed with the automatic feature as it gives natural and effortless curls. It gives quick curls and is easy to use once you get the hang of it. Users who are habitual of leaving their iron turned on after heading out the door found it to be worth their purchase as it turns off automatically when not in use.

Why it Stands Out to Us

We find this to be one of the top products on the market at the unbeatable price it comes at. Its innovative technology makes it safe to use, without having to touch the wand when it’s hot. The technology also makes it really easy to curl your hair smoothly, giving you bouncy, tousled waves that last longer than those with most curling irons.

Who Will Use This Most

With low temperature settings, this tool is best for people with fragile hair. Users with hair straight as a stick also praised it for the longevity of their curls. Moreover, once you learn how to use it, it is great for people who have just started styling their hair and are beginners.

Bottom Line

This is a great tool for curling short hair. It’s safe, easy to use, and does not damage the hair and keeps it hydrated and smooth in contrast to other curling irons that usually dry out the hair. If you have fragile, brittle hair, Kiss Products Instawave curling iron has low temperature settings to suit your short hair perfectly!

Best for the Money:
Bed Head Curlipops Curling Wand for Loose Curls, 1 Inch

Bed Head Curlipops Curling Wand, Loose Curls, 1 IN


  • Easy to travel with
  • Has a foldable stand to protect countertop surfaces
  • Heats up really quickly and curls stubborn hair as well
  • Heat protective gloves offer safety to prevent burning
  • Tourmaline, ceramic technology gives shiny, frizz-free hair


  • Does not come with a clamp
  • High temperature can damage hair greatly
  • No variations in heat settings; only has an on and off button

What Recent Buyers Report

Buyers find this to be the best value for their money. The wand heats up really quickly, saving time, and the high temperature straightens even the most stubborn, straight hair, allowing the curls to last for many hours. One user even said no other wand has been able to achieve the natural, wavy curls for her, but the Bed Head Curlipops surely did.

Why it Stands Out to Us

We love the fact that one can buy this wand at such a low price, especially for what it offers. With this, you get a heat protective glove to prevent you from burning your hand and a high temperature setting to give long-lasting curls. The 1-inch size is great for natural curls, and the ceramic technology ensures your hair remains smooth and shiny.

Who Will Use This Most

Whether you have short, frizzy hair or strictly straight hair, this wand is great for everyone. Do not sleep on this one, especially if you’re on a budget. The Bed Head Curlipops will curl your hair effortlessly and safely in no time!

Bottom Line

You can’t go wrong with this wand; it’s safe to use and creates luscious curls on short hair. You needn’t worry about your hair drying out; with its tourmaline, ceramic technology, your hair will remain hydrated and shiny. This is a great affordable option for you, so don’t think any further!

Best Curling Iron for Beachy Waves Short Hair:
Chopstick Styler Hero Curling Wand Iron

CHOPSTICK STYLER Heroine Professional Curling Wand, 3/8 Super Skinny Rectangular Ceramic Barrel for Tight, Natural, Ringlet Long Lasting Chopstick Curls - Curler for Long & Short Hair with Heat Glove


  • Safe to use with gloves or cool tip
  • Helps achieve beach waves on all hair types
  • The barrel size (3/8 inches) is perfect for short hair
  • Variable temperature settings, ranging from 250°F to 410°F
  • Has an automatic shutoff feature in case you forget to turn it off


  • Does not come with a clamp
  • Issues in turning it on have been reported
  • Can burn brittle hair at high temperatures

What Recent Buyers Report

Users report this to be the best curling tool they’ve used to achieve the most ideal beach waves. Their curls last at least a few days after using this and remain springy. It works on all types of hair, whether straight or frizzy, and the best part is that it’s safe to use.

Why it Stands Out to Us

We love how this curler offers so many features. It comes in different sized barrels, but this one is perfect for beach waves. It is safe and easy to use and comes with four different temperature settings for brittle and thick hair alike.

Who Will Use This Most

If you’re looking to curl every inch of your hair for that beach hair vibe, the Chopstick Styler Hero is the way to go. It works on weak hair as well with low temperature settings and guarantees professional-looking curls in no time.

Bottom Line

Convenient and easy to use, the Chopstick Styler Hero is the perfect tool for beach waves. It comes with an automatic shutoff feature, so if you’re in a hurry and forget to switch your iron off, it’ll do the job for you! With multiple other features, this is the perfect tool you’re looking for.

Best Curling Iron for Short Fine Hair:
Remington Pro ½”-1” Pearl Ceramic Conical Curling Wand

REMINGTON Pro ½”-1” Pearl Ceramic Conical Curling Wand, Digital Controls + 10 Heat Settings, Black/Pink, CI95AC4


  • Heats up really quickly (in 30 seconds)
  • Wide range of heat settings with digital control
  • Pearl Ceramic Technology gives smooth, frizz-free hair
  • Conical shape allows for natural-looking, wavy curls
  • Lightweight and handy, making it easy to travel with


  • Does not work at 220 volts
  • Only good for natural-looking waves
  • Curls may not last as long as with other types of curling irons

What Recent Buyers Report

The conical-shaped barrel really stands out to buyers. It allows them to achieve tousled waves, making it look like they have naturally curly hair. It gets hot very quickly, so it saves some time for many users. One user also claimed it made her hair look more voluminous and effortless.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The Remington Pro Pearl Ceramic Conical Wand is the perfect tool for short, fine hair. With a digital dial, the wand can heat up at any temperature up to 410°F. Its Pearl Ceramic technology (with real crushed pearls in the wand) gives the hair a natural shine, eliminating any chance of frizz.

Who Will Use This Most

The tool can be used by anyone with short or long hair, frizzy or sleek straight hair, but is particularly recommended for people with fine or brittle hair. This is because it does not damage the hair due to the crushed pearls in it, and it gives the hair some volume, making it look natural and healthy.

Bottom Line

If you have short, limp hair and wish to add some life in it with some tousled, natural-looking waves, look no further. The conical shape of this Remington wand can help you achieve what you’re looking for, with minimal damage and added shine. Plus, you get all of this at a very reasonable cost!

6. FHI Heat Platform Tourmaline Ceramic Professional Curling Iron

FHI HEAT Platform Tourmaline Ceramic Professional Curling Iron, ¾ Inch


  • Lightweight construction
  • Non-static and creates silky smooth curls
  • Comes in 4 different sizes and has reliable quality
  • Ergonomically designed handle to facilitate usage 
  • Tourmaline ceramic design for long-lasting and voluminous curls 


  • Paint from the curler can chip off after one or two years

What Recent Buyers Report

Buyers claim that this is an excellent product that is well worth the price. They said that the curlers did not create any static and were incredible in creating silky and effortless curls. They especially liked that the curler came in four different sizes so they could pick a size according to the curls they wanted to achieve. 

Why it Stands Out to Us

The FHI Heat Platform Tourmaline Ceramic Professional Curling Iron is an amazing curling tool. If you are looking for a safe curling iron for your hair which creates long-lasting curls, then this should be right up your alley. It works with any volume or length, but it’s especially recommended for short hair for almost any kind of curl style you want to incorporate, be it beachy waves or soft curls.  

It comes in four different sizes with an ergonomic body construction that is made to fit easily in your hands. It has an edge-to-edge professional-grade ceramic heater that is lightweight and heats up incredibly fast. All in all, with such reliable quality and performance, it is great for daily use or on special occasions. 

Bottom Line

This curling iron will last you a long time, so you won’t have to worry about going to the salon anytime a big event comes up. It will give you professional quality curls at the comfort of your home, all while corroborating a great price point. 

What Do I Need to Know Before Buying?

You now have a clear idea of the curling wand you’d like to use and have a brief idea of what’s available on the market. There are a few more considerations to keep in mind, so let’s just give them a brief overview:

Type of Curling Iron 

As elaborated in the beginning, the type of curling iron should be your main priority. For short hair, a narrower barrel works better, whereas a thicker barrel would give loose waves. The material and temperature also play an important role.

Type of Hair

Fine hair is easier to burn and damage, so it’s important to buy a tool that not only offers low temperature settings but also does the job. Other than that, of course, you need to keep your hair clean and detangled to get the maximum results.


Needless to say, buying a curling iron is an investment, and you’d want for your tool to last as long as possible. Even if you’re on a budget, you’d want a tool that’d give you your money’s worth. Therefore, if you survey the market, you’ll be surprised at the brilliant options you’ll discover at great prices.

Survey the Market

Last but not least, do your research thoroughly. Read up on what kind of tool would best suit your hair and budget and look into reviews, so you know you’re spending your money in a good place.

How to Curl Short Hair With a Curling Iron

You’ve bought your curling iron. But now you have no clue how to use it. Fret not! This step-by-step guide will help you through the process.

  1. Before you actually start curling your hair, make sure it is clean and detangled. Avoid using heat on wet hair. It is wise to use a heat protectant at this point. 

  2. Use a hair clip to section your hair. The thicker your hair, the more partitions you’re advised to make. If your hair is cut in layers, section your hair layer-wise and start with curling the hair closest to the neck. And if your hair is really short, you don’t really have to section it.

  3. Grab a section of your hair and place the wand in front or behind the section, depending on whether you want to curl inwards or outwards. Wrap the piece of hair around the wand carefully (wear a heat protectant glove) and hold for at least 10-15 seconds (any more can burn the hair).

  4. Release the hair. 

  5. Once you’re done curling, run your fingers through your curls for a more effortless look.

Note that the temperature settings depend on whether your hair is fine or coarse. Experiment with different temperature settings and hold the barrel in different directions to get your optimum curl.

The video below can help you with a more in-depth and visual explanation and provide more clarity. 


Like with everything else in life, purchasing a good curling iron depends on smart choices. Do your research to see what best suits your style, and you will not regret your choice. If you’ve gone through this article, you’re already halfway there! 

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Hi I'm Emilia! I like to think of myself as the "crash-test-dummy" of the hair world. Whether that means testing out the newest curling iron or going with fresh hair styles. I like to mix it up. I share my thoughts on Caffe Hair based on my first hand experience!