Tips & Tricks: How to Curl Short Hair

Are you tired of the same straight hair look as your short hair? If you are looking for some change in your hairstyle, then curling your hair would be one of them.

My personal hairdressing experience tells me that it can add volume to your hair, create a creative element to your face, and as a result, can change the whole look of your face and even your style in general.

Hair stylists know that curled hair adds versatility, requires little maintenance, and is very attractive. Ways to curl hair are widely discussed on creative online platforms by industry experts, such as (35 Curled Hairstyles at

Also, although it sounds ridiculous and I’ve experienced it first hand, curled hair does keep your head warm in bad weather. Sound cool? If you want to try this style and wonder how to do it and get it right, then you’ve come to the right place. You’ll learn step by step how to curl short hair.

 how to curl short hair
You can curl your hair either with a curler or a hair straightener or flat iron (Straightener vs. Flat Iron on The best way is to curl around a wand to a full revolution when it comes to curling short hair. It is easier and quicker too. It adds to the freshness and makes you look extra cute. You can curl your hair overnight with pin curls and knots. You can pick the one that suits your need and time.

If you want to make your hair stay in place and not go wild, you can use a wide tooth comb or bobby pins. You can also use a headband that is light and easy to wear when going out. It helps with the volume of your hair and looks stylish too. One more thing that you should do before leaving for work is moisturize your hair a little bit. This will make it look healthy and shiny.

Things You Need

  • Volumizing Mousse or Cream
  • Dry Shampoo
  • Curling Iron/Flat iron
  • Teasing comb
  • Hair Spray

How to Curl Short Hair: Pre-Preparation

  • Hair wash – Washing your hair is the first and preliminary step. Clean hair gives fuller and bouncier locks. A clean hair appears nourished and adds to volume.
  • Apply Volumizing mousse or cream – After hair wash, apply a little of volumizing cream/mousse to add volume to your hair.
  • Blow-dry – Your hair should be at least 90 percent dry. Ensure you blow-dry at the hair roots to get some lift.
  • Add texture – After you dry your hair, you can add some texture to your hair. This can be done by spraying dry shampoo at the hair roots. After this rub the spray in and tease comb that hair. This way overall hair volume is enhanced.

How to Curl Short Hair with a Flat Iron: Step by Step Instructions

This multi-functional heat styling tool can give you amazing curls and very quickly too. Ensure the flat iron has plates that are not very wide.

Once you are done washing and blow-drying properly, proceed to the below steps:

1. Strands preparation. When using a heat styling tool, it is essential to shield your hair using a heat protectant (more info about heat protectant on This will essentially calm your hair frizz, offer lock protection, and seal in the hair shine from the heat styling tool. Apply the mist of heat protection over the hair strands from the hair root to the hair tip.

2. Divide your hair into sections. Make use of a rattail comb and split your hair into a section of 1″ in size. Clip the remaining hair leaving this section as it is.

3. Begin curling. Take your flat iron and hold it downward. Clamp the top hair section and twist the iron away or off the head. Hold the iron for a couple of seconds. Gradually drag the iron down to the end. Now release it for an immediate curl.

4. Repeat the process. Repeat the above process by splitting the hair section and curl. Do it section after section until the whole hair is curled up. Alternate the hair twist each time to blend in the curls to offer you a natural look.

How to Curl Short Hair with a Flat Iron

More information about How to Curl Short Hair with a Flat Iron here.

How to Curl Short Hair With a Curling Iron

Some hairdressers, although I’m not one of them, prefer the old-fashioned curling iron. In this case, curling irons are the best tool for short hair (Pros & Cons of curling iron on A smaller-sized curling iron would be the best option.

Once you are done washing and blow-drying properly, proceed to the below steps:

1. Ensure the right curling iron’s temperature. Set the curling iron to the right temperature. You do not want too hot or very little heat on your curling iron. You can carry a strand test by curling a little. Adjust the iron temperature to that setting and you are ready to start.

2. Hold the curling iron in your hand, positioned so that the handle is at about a 45-degree angle to your wrist and arm. Position your hair to the left of your face, with the front section around 3 inches from the roots.

3. Section your hair. Divide your hair into a 1-inch section while clipping the rest away. Clamp the iron lightly at the hair root and slide the iron to the end of the hair. Close completely.

4. Carefully bring the curling iron handle down to the top of your hair and angle it into a U shape so that the curl starts at the base of the hair. Hold for 20 seconds, then release or gently slide out of your hair without pulling on it and allow to cool before brushing out any knots or tangles. Your curl is ready right away. This is where you can try out different methods of curling (21 Extremely Useful Curling Iron Tricks on You can wrap your hair around the barrel for loose curls. You will have to take bigger sections to curl your hair. It looks good on short hair.

5. Repeat. You need to do curling on your hair section by section. Split the hair and curl and repeat. Once you are done, you can mist a spray for the stronghold of curls intact.

How to Curl Short Hair With a Curling Iron

More information about How to Curl Short Hair With a Curling Iron here.

Curling Very Short Hair

Here is a really quick tutorial on how to do the super curly cute little curls from completely straight hair. It’s just so nice to be able to look like you have some volume in the hair! If you’re wondering how on earth you can cope with this shortest hair, here is the way! Get a hair straightener. It’s great because it is small enough and thin enough for you to be able to get your hair around it. And because it is so small, you can carry it around with you everywhere in a cute little travel bag.
And the only other product you’re going to be using for your hair is the care and protecting spray. Use a little bit of it and don’t douse your head, because your hair is so short.
Start from the back sections, just because it’s easier, and curl them towards the front. Continue that on going around your head. Just fiddle around a little bit and you’ll get these cute little curls. That’s great about having such short hair and curling it! Even if your hair is a bit messy, no one’s going to notice it. If you like, have the curls coming forwards. You can also spin them a little bit inside and pull them down.
If you want a looser curl, you can pick up a larger amount of hair, and then it will be wavier. If you want a more prominent curl then obviously you need the smaller sections and the curls will be tighter.

Video: How I Curl My Short Pixie Cut | TINIETASHAA

Main Mistakes You’re Making When Curling Your Hair

I often see women make mistakes at home when creating curls. As a result, the curls may not last long or be firm enough. Here I’ve put together some tips on how to avoid mistakes when building curls.

1. Curl the hair directly after washing it You know the thing that curls hold longer with dirty hair. That is true because if your hair is super soft, it doesn’t want to curl and holds for like five minutes. You can wash your hair the night before and then curl it in the morning. Probably, you shouldn’t wash your hair every day.
2. Curl wet hair Always make sure your hair is completely dry before you start curling with a hot curling iron. Wet or even damp hair is extremely fragile, so blasting it with heat will cause damage and breakage. It’s not worth cutting corners and styling wet hair. Never start curling hair until it is 100% dry.
3. Wrong use of heat protectant Heat protectants bring a great benefit and really save your hair from the damaging effect of hot tools. But do not try and curl your hair if it’s still damp from the heat protector, because it literally forces the dampness of the water to go out that fries your hair. Let your hair dry.
4. The wrong sized barrel Without a doubt, using a flat or curling iron, each of you dreams of beautiful and long-lasting curls. Do you know that this depends on the size of your hot tool? It’s true because each size gives different curls and holding periods. Get the correct size according to your hair length: for short hair – 19 mm barrel; for medium length- the 25 mm barrel; for long – the 32 mm barrel.
5. Your barrel is too short If you are a happy owner of the extra-long hair, the extra-long-sized barrel is for you! You need the curling tool with a 50 mm barrel. This size can be useful not only for long but for medium and even short hair. It makes the curling process easier; you can really control what you’re doing and reach the back sections of hair.
6. You’re using too much heat Every morning you’re short of time but want to look great, so you blow-drying and curling your hair with too much heat. This damages and stresses out your hair! Moreover, you should know that every hair type requires its own range of temperature. It’s recommended: for fine hair – 270-300 degrees; for regular hair – 300-350; for coarse hair – 350-400 degrees. The curling process will take a bit longer, but it’ll bring invaluable benefits to your hair!
7. You’re often getting burned If you constantly burn your hands while curling, get gloves. At least at first. When you gain experience, you can opt-out of them, if you want.
8. You’re holding your iron wrong That’s important! Keep the barrel angled down! If you don’t plan on setting the curl or you used to curl your hair in a different way and it’s working for you, then you can hold the barrel pointed up. If you are not one of them – keep the barrel pointed down!
9. You’re taking too big of sections If you take a big section, your curls will be damp and sluggish, because the heat hardly manages with this volume. The width of each hair section should be not any wider than an inch. When curling, work your way from the bottom up to the top.
10. You’re curling towards your face Curl your hair away from your face and your hairstyle will be more voluminous, your face will be open and you will generally look confident and ambitious. You can curl towards their face only If you’d like to have a more frivolous look. But remember one general rule – never curl the hair towards your face, covering it. With an open face, you show off a confident attitude.
11. You’re not setting your curls If you chose the right size barrel, your curling process is quite easy – keep your curls between five and ten seconds (but more than 15 seconds!) and you’ll get a great hairstyle for a couple more days!
12. You’re brushing your curls out too fast Don’t touch your curls until they are cooled. Then use a wide-toothed comb or just your fingers to relax the curls. But do not hurry up and separate them gently.
13. You’re wrapping your hair in the wrong way Wrap each hair section around the barrel, holding at its section end at the barrel’s base. Curl your hair a considerable length away from your face and try to avoid wrapping hair sections at the tip or center of the barrel.
14. You’re avoiding texture spray Everybody dreams of voluminous hair. The texture sprays help to get this result. There are plenty of these sprays on the market. You should take the time to find the one that is right for you. Another way – get the layered haircut. Layers always give richness to the hair. You don’t need to cut length, just a few layers.
15. You’re using hairspray If you don’t want to fry your hair or spoil the finish of your iron, never use hairspray while curling! But if your hair is thin and you need hairspray to fix your curls, spray it lightly only when the curls have absolutely cooled.
16. You’re not cleaning your barrels It’s a crucial point! Every time you use the iron, its barrel is covered with product build-up that leads to the damage of the hair and even to the breakage of the tool. Clean the barrel right after it becomes cool enough with a wet washcloth, removing any product. Do not use any solvents otherwise you can harm the finish.

 A simple volume advice from master stylist Ona Diaz-Santin, Top 200 Salon Winner 2022: To add volume, clap your hands between your curls.

Flip your hair upside down, then clap your hands quickly a few times between your curls. This gives just the right amount of added volume without shaking the curls or causing frizz.

How to Curl Short Hair Overnight

Many of my clients prefer to get effortless curls. If you are looking for overnight curls without using any heating tools, then you can do it in the following three ways:

Pin-curls. You get stunning curls using pin curls. But, since it has no heat associated with the process, you need to leave it overnight. You need to use these curls on damp hair. By creating hair sections of 1″ each, tuck each hair sectional hair around your finger and roll up from the end to the root. Secure the rolled hair using a bobby pin. Repeat with each hair section until all the hair is done. Wrap a silk scarf on your rolled hair. Leave the rolls overnight. In the morning, gradually eliminate all your bobby pins, and your stunning curl falls over the shoulder bouncing away.


Hair rollers. The procedure of using hair rollers is all the same as for pin curls. Here you can apply some curling mousse to your hair before rolling your hair onto the roller. Once you roll your hair onto the hair roller, secure it with the bobby pins and cover it with a scarf over your head. In the morning, your curls are all set.

I also have prepared you a list of some of the best hair rollers in our Best Hair Rollers – TOP 5!

Hair rollers

Bantu knots.This isn’t a time-efficient way to get curls, but it guarantees the permanence of the resulting curls.

If you have a couple of free hands and plenty of time, you can do it. So, create sections of hair 1 or 2 inches long, twist your hair and form a bun. Secure it with a hair tie. Repeat until all hair is styled. Cover your hair with a scarf. In the morning, undo the knots one at a time and add hairspray.

Bantu knots


You see, and my personal experience as a hair stylist proves it, it’s not difficult to curl short hair to make changes to your look. The curling hold in place depending on your hair type and other factors (more about hair types on It is essential not to use styling products in large amounts as they weigh down your hair. This way your curls may not hold long. By following the steps appropriately, you can get bouncy curls and make yourself look vibrant and attractive. You will enjoy the change as much as the people looking at you!
You can learn more on the theme:
  1. Best Conditioner for Oily Hair – Buyer’s Guide
  2. Best Professional Hair Color to Cover Gray – Buyer’s Guide
  3. Hair Dye Types: Complete Guide