We may earn a commission from links on our website, but this doesn't influence the opinions of our editors.

How to Curl Short Hair in 5 Easy Steps

Last Updated: October 12, 2021

Though it’s great to keep your hair short in the summer heat, it can be hard to know how to style it. Curling is always a good option, giving your short locks bouncy waves that are both playful and comfortable. 

However, when curling your short hair, it’s important to keep a few things in mind. Keep reading to find the easiest ways for how to curl short hair. 

Tools to Curl Short Hair

To curl your short hair, you can either use a curling iron, a flat iron, or a curling wand. Each tool will yield slightly different results––decide what’s right for you based on the look you’re hoping to achieve:

  • A curling iron will give you a structured coil. Remember, the smaller the barrel, the tighter the curls. For instance, use a .75 inch barrel if you want compact ringlets and a 1 or 1 ¼ inch barrel if you want looser waves. 
  • If you’re simply hoping to add a bit of texture to your short hair, a flat iron will do the trick. This will result in modern-looking beach waves
  • A curling wand, preferably with a one-inch barrel for best results, will yield loose, natural-looking curls

How to Curl Short Hair

Step 1: Apply Heat Protectant

No matter the tool you’re using, this should always be your first step. 

A heat protectant will ensure that the curling wand or flat iron does not damage or dry your hair. Spray on first before styling

Step 2: Section Off Your Hair

Next, use hair ties or clips (whatever you have on hand) to section off the front part of your hair. 

Sectioning your locks into smaller areas will not only make your curls look more natural but will also give your hair volume. Plus, it’ll help you make sure you don’t miss any sections of hair!

Step 3: Curl Front Section

Now that you’ve sectioned off the front of your hair, start by curling this section. It can be helpful to spray a bit of mousse onto the region if your hair is particularly straight. 

  • If using a curling iron, clamp your hair through the barrel starting at the root. Spin gently away from your face, holding the iron in place for a few seconds after each spin to make sure the curl sticks. 
  • When using a flat iron, make sure your hair is clamped between the iron starting at the roots. Turn the straightener away from your head and slowly move down. Leave the ends of your hair out of the curl––this way your waves will wind up looking more natural. 
  • With a curling wand, wrap the hair around the barrel (there is no clamp to feed it through) starting at the roots. Like with the flat iron, leave about an inch of the end of your hair out of the curl for a more natural finish. 

Step 4: Repeat for Each Section

The thicker your hair, the more portioned-off sections you should have. Repeat the previous steps with other sections once you’ve completed curling the front portion. 

Pro tip: If using a curling iron, try curling towards your face (rather than away from your face) every-other section. This will result in more natural-looking waves. 

Step 5: Apply Texture Spray

You’re almost done! After curling, apply hairspray to lock in your look all-day.

If you’re simply hoping for a wind-swept finish, apply your favorite texture spray or hair pomade instead.

RELATED: How to Detangle Hair – Easy & Painless Methods

To Wrap It Up . . .

Looking to add some bounce to your bob? Curling tools are a great way to style your short hair!

Whether you’re looking for loose beach waves or tight ringlets, it’s easy to try out new styles with these 5 quick steps. 

Here’s a video to give you a look into how it’s done: