9 Tips To Help Make Curling Short Hair A Breeze

Curls are curling their way into hair trends, from throwback faux perms in homage to the '80s to festival-inspired beach waves. When your hair is long or mid-length, it's easy to curl it for straightforward locks manipulated into waves or ringlets alike, but for those of us with short hair, the idea of obtaining curls, waves, or tightly bound spirals can seem like a curling pipe dream. Coming to the rescue are several tips for curling short hair with the same ease and assurance of perfect shapeshifting of your strands that hair of longer lengths experiences. 


Longer locks benefit from additional weight and the help of gravity, which leads strands to fall down the shoulders and back in straighter formations. In contrast, shorter hairstyles can appear chaotic as strands seemingly opt to style themselves in every direction. They naturally create random, uncontrollable aesthetics that can feel overwhelming to consider styling, especially if the hair contains a natural curl that makes strands appear spiky or unevenly distributed. Before fretting, know that styling shorter hair into controlled, fashionable, curled looks is possible and can even be easy and effortless! 

Caring for shorter hair in general, recommendations include satin pillowcases, minimizing product application, and air-drying locks to avoid exposure to excessive heat and the overly-voluminous effects of blowdrying. These practices enhance the mobility of styling short hair, thus making curling shorter strands hassle-free. Besides extra product tips, curling short hair can become your styling staple!


Select tool and learn proper techniques for short hair

Short hair demands adjustments to styling techniques than those needed for long hair, and vice versa. This is because they require different approaches. To curl shorter strands, you'll first want to select the appropriate curling tool for the look you aim to achieve. For the most part, shorter hairstyles require thinner, smaller hair tools since there is less hair to work with than when styling longer locks. Experts recommend using one of three styling tools for curling short hair: curling wands, flat irons, and curling irons. 


As you search for a hair tool for styling your short locks, look for options with narrow heated components such as thinner flat irons, smaller barrels, and hair wands of slimmer design when browsing the various options available for curling hair. If you choose to use a curling iron with barrels, you'll want to go with smaller barrels of an inch or an inch and a half. Conversely, avoid barrels of 2 inches or larger on short strands since the curling results won't be as effective on shorter hairstyles as they generally are on longer hair. Often, curling short hair is recommended to be conducted with barrels no larger than 1 inch, with some stylists suggesting using barrels measuring ¾ of an inch.


Safety measures are critical to prioritize

Before you begin curling short strands, the most important thing you can possibly do is prioritize safety measures and make certain that you're setting up space that will allow you to secure glamorous curls without injuring your scalp or any other area of your body which may come near the curling iron, including hands and face. With shorter strands, heated curling wands and other styling tools are more likely to be used in closer proximity to the scalp than is typical when styling longer hair. This fact occurs simply due to the limited length of shorter hair and the reduced space between the scalp and the ends of short locks. 


Always emphasize the need for caution when curling hair, regardless of length. Putting your phone away, refraining from watching media clips or using social media while performing this task, and focusing entirely on curling your hair is the safest and most mindful way to ensure fabulous curls without any injury to your body. The same process and protocols apply to utilizing flat irons and any other heat-based device for styling shorter manes. 

Detangling provides curl definition without knots

The consecutive steps of curling short hair are also built around proactive measures for making the curling process easier and smoother, ultimately crafting gorgeous curls. Since hair that becomes entangled can damage strands if the knots are forcibly torn apart, avoiding tangles as much as possible is the ultimate goal of caring for hair of any length. 


Before curling or styling short hair, you'll want to utilize a detangling product and comb hair thoroughly to guarantee that no tangles are present before commencing the curling process. In addition to hair protectant products, give the solutions enough time to absorb into strands before curling. Patience provides the best results in this scenario. 

Detangling products, including creams, sprays, and specialized detangling combs, can be used before and after curling short hair for optimal results. Investing in a detangling comb is a beneficial tip if you want to gently comb locks post-curling to give your curls the look of more natural aesthetics with voluminous bounce and soft waves instead of stringent, tight ringlets.


Heat protectants create barriers for hair health and safety

Since shorter hair means less to work with during styling, protecting strands is more important than ever. For this reason, applying a heat protectant before curling hair is paramount and a highly recommended process for keeping shorter manes in healthy, manageable shape. Heat protectants come in various solutions, from creams and gels to sprays, so try a few to find the heat protection you prefer. 


The essential benefits of applying a heat-protectant product to strands before styling include safeguarding against heat damage, everyday wear and tear, and external components like free radicals in the environment. Depending on the length of your short hairstyle, spraying the heat protectant midway down your locks and combing it through to the ends is advisable. 

However, you'll want to apply a heat protectant to any portion of your locks, which will be exposed directly to the heat of styling tools. This means that if you're starting from the roots and moving outward and away from your face to achieve curls on short hair, you'll want to ensure that heat protection is applied from the roots to the ends of your hair. 


Sectioning strands simplifies curling of short hair

After applying products like heat protectant and detangling options of your preference, followed by ensuring that your strands are tangle-free, the next step is to begin the curling process. To curl short hair as seamlessly as possible, having hair clips or styling pins nearby is best to group your hair into smaller sections.


A misconception about having short hair is that you can quickly and easily style your hair, crafting curls on different areas of your head simultaneously. However, attempting this myth is a nearly certain way to tangle your hair, make curling your strands frustrating, and prevent the curling results you desire from coming to fruition. Thus, sectioning hair and curling one portion at a time is the best method for taking unnecessary hassle and overwhelming emotions out of the process. 

As you style each section of your hair by holding up other groups of strands with pins or clips, ensure to apply a firming or holding product to each respective portion during the styling and curling process.

Firming products maintain shape and prolong curls

Firming strands effectively emphasize hair form crafted through styling. Given that short locks have more inherent character than long lengths — referencing the ofttimes poof-like appearance short hair can produce first thing in the morning or if left untouched for a while. The secret to controlling the naturally busy form of short hair to create the curling aesthetic of your styling goals is to use a firming product as you go about styling strands. 


When curling shorter strands of hair, you'll want to be mindful of how tame and controlled a curl-focused style you aim for and use certain products accordingly. To keep curls in place, firming products are highly recommended to hold the form of curls and keep hair in a coiled fashion for as long as possible. For example, this can be achieved by applying hair spray to locks as you curl your strands section-by-section. 

Mousse, firming or holding sprays, and other curl-holding products can be best applied intentionally to hair sections, ensuring each portion of your locks is covered. Using holding products while sectioning hair to curl strands is a method of styling fusion that brings about spectacular results instantly adore!


Reverse technique by commencing at roots

When hair is longer, the typical curling methods focus on attaching a heated curling iron to the ends of the hair, and curling upward for the desired waves, loose curls, or tight ringlets. For short hair, curling methods are flipped upside down, and it's advisable to begin curling at the root of strands rather than the ends since shorter strands don't provide the same length to work with. 


By starting at the root of the hair, you can ensure maximum curling manipulation is achieved. The most important consideration when applying this curling method is to always be mindful of your scalp, especially when working with a heated curling device, because a burn can ruin the experience of a curled hairstyle. 

Style away from your face and curl outwards by beginning the curling process at the root of your hair and moving the curling wand or flat iron outward in a motion that pulls strands away from your head, which is again the reverse technique than what is employed when styling longer locks.

Texturize and tousle after curling for aesthetic look

To capstone your curling journey, finish the process by spritzing texturizing spray, or spray designed for dual texture and volume, across your locks for the cherry on top of your curling efforts. Texturizing short hair is a fantastic way to emphasize curls, especially on shorter hair lengths. Spraying a texture product on your freshly curled locks can create a visible appearance of the exuberant natural expression short hair frequently gives off, otherwise known as its chaotic poof-like aesthetic. However, it does so in a controlled, tamed manner, elevating the look to a chic, vogue style emanating from the precision of intentional styling. 


Tousling hair can loosen freshly-formed curls and give shorter hair a more voluminous, free-spirited aesthetic, giving the appearance of more natural, bouncy curls. Tousling coupled with texture spray can benefit locks post-curling. However, spray texturizing products several inches from locks and use minimal amounts, as common gaffes involve utilizing too much and spraying too close to strands.

Overnight curling methods without hassle or heat

If you dislike heated styling tools or have an aversion to the hassle of styling individual strands with devices like curling wands and flat irons, then an effective option for curling short hair without heat is using overnight curling accessories. This calls for bendable satin curlers or pin curling methods with bobby pins. As TikToker, @marshmollo9 demonstrates, these heatless techniques secure short strands into the shapes of curls while you sleep. When you wake up the next morning and remove the items used to adhere curls, you'll be pleasantly surprised by the ease and appearance of all-around curls on your short hair. 


Use overnight heatless curlers for many reasons. These include the ease of passive curling techniques without individually curling each strand or section of hair, avoiding potential injury caused by heated devices, and the fun, enjoyable aesthetic that overnight hair curlers can produce on shorter locks.

The products you'll want to use to get the most out of heatless overnight curling techniques for short hair include blow dry cream, which should be applied to damp locks before wrapping hair into pin curls and securing it with bobby pins or satin curlers. You'll also need detangling cream or spray to thoroughly comb hair and rid any knots before styling overnight curls.