Looking for loose curls, tight curls, or bouncy waves for short tresses? We’ve rounded up the best curlers for short hair to fit a variety of styles; let’s get to it!
What Are the Best Curlers?
The best curlers can do a bit of everything. You can get loose waves, tight ringlets, or an in-between variation. They shouldn’t cause much heat damage thanks to evolving technology, and you should be able to use them easily.
For short hair lengths, it’s more challenging to get curls that’ll stay put if you’re struggling to grip it and wrap it around the curler. We’ve tested the following curlers for design, usability, and performance and separated them into various “best for” categories.
Our Top 7 Picks for the Best Short Hair Curlers:
- Best Overall: GHD Creative Curl Wand
- Best Cordless: BaByliss 9000 Curling Tong
- Best Splurge: T3 Whirl Trio
- Best for Tight Curls: GHD Curve Thin Curl Wand
- Best Value: Terviix Bubble Curling Wand
- Best for Voluminous Curls: CHI Textured Curl Wand
- Most Versatile: Bionic 3-in-1 Curling Wand
Though every curler on this list is suitable for short hair, our favorite is the GHD Creative Curl Wand. We’ll dive into the specifics below while presenting other options that may better address your needs.
Why You Need a Hair Curler
Sometimes you get tired of having straight hair and want that extra body and bounce that comes from using curlers on your hair. When you have a shorter length, it can be trickier trying to achieve certain styles, so you’ll need a tool that can deliver results.
Curlers allow for versatility while styling and can add body to limp hair that could use a boost. All kinds of curlers on the market for short hair can create various curl types.
For example, they can produce tight spiral curls, soft waves, and big bouncy curls. It depends on what you’re going for, your hair length.
Our list features different curlers that suit various budgets and preferences. Hopefully, you will find the perfect curling tool to add to your arsenal!
Best Curlers for Short Hair: Top 7 Picks
To select the best curlers for short hair, we spent countless hours researching, using personal experience, and scouring the web for consumer reviews.
We’ve concluded that these brands have manufactured the most durable, stylish, and beginner-friendly curlers.
1. Best Overall: GHD Creative Curl Wand
- Tri-zone technology for consistent optimal temperature
- Features a cool tip to make styling easier
- Can't adjust the temperature
GHD is a reputable brand that receives high consumer marks with this versatile curling wand. Those with short hair attest that it can create tight curls if you wrap the hair around near the tip and looser, larger curls by wrapping hair around the bottom of the barrel.
You get beautiful results with minimal frizz. The ceramic-coated wand features tri-zone technology, ensuring that your hair gets consistent heat levels when used.
The glove and mat with the curler help prevent burn injuries and protect the surface you sit the tool on. It’s a little expensive, and you can’t adjust the temperature, but the GHD Creative Curl Wand is easy to use and works quickly.
2. Best Cordless: BaBylissPRO MiraCurl
- The automatic curler can create various types of curls and waves
- It makes hair shiny and smooth
- It comes with three heat settings
- Hair can get stuck in the machine
- Not optimal for very short hair lengths
The BaBylissPRO Nano Titanium MiraCurl aims to make curling easier. Even those with short hair have mentioned that it’s one of the best ways to achieve uniform curls with little effort.
All you have to do is place the section of hair near the machine’s entrance; it gets drawn in, held there a few seconds while heating up, and voilà! You let go of the button and get lush curls or waves each time.
It also curls the hair in three different directions and has these heat levels. Your hair will be shinier and more defined, and it works for all hair types.
3. Best Splurge: T3 Whirl Trio
- Creates shiny, bouncy curls and waves
- Three barrels with one base create various styles
- Digital heat settings
- It doesn't create the tightest curls
- Very expensive
T3 is known for producing luxury hair styling tools, and the Whirl Trio is a sleek, high-quality curler, albeit expensive. You won’t necessarily get the tightest curls, but you’ll get your choice between large bouncy curls, beach waves, tousled waves, and more.
You’ll have to purchase the barrels separately to build your arsenal, but you start with three and one base. The digital display makes it easy to use, offers even heating, and has been deemed worth it by many who have taken the plunge on this gem.
4. Best for Tight Curls: Conair ½ in Curling Iron
- Creates tight curls
- 30 heat settings
- Automatic shutoff
- It can get too hot in certain places
- The cord can get in the way
The Conair Double Ceramic curling iron has a very slim barrel measuring just 0.5 all the way around. You’ll like this nifty curler that gives the tightest, bounciest spiral curls if you have very short hair.
The temperature goes to 375°F, but there are plenty of choices below to obtain the perfect curl.
It also has an automatic shutoff feature, a safety stand, and a long swivel cord for convenience. It takes longer to style your hair with this curler because you can use such small sections, but the results are long-lasting.
5. Best Value: Terviiix Bubble Curl Wand
- 360° swivel core for easy mobility during use
- Ceramic-coated barrel
- Various temperature settings
- It doesn't create tight curls
- It can get too hot
The Terviix Bubble Curling Wand makes it easy to get gorgeous curls in minutes. Consumers with fine, straight hair were astounded at how easily they created spiral curls that gradually fell throughout the day to produce soft ringlets.
The curling wand does get very hot, so it’s essential to use the glove provided.
This tool is perfect for beginners, and the pattern allows you to wrap the hair between the curves for curls or over the curve for large waves. You can’t get the tightest curls, but if you’re going for a looser look, this is one of the best options.
6. Best for Voluminous Curls: CHI Textured Curl Wand
- Flash quick heating
- Tapered barrel for various styles
- Reduces frizz
- Tapered design is not for everyone
- The curls may be too small for some people
CHI is a brand that represents excellence, and its textured curl wand is no exception. Many consumers feel it’s easy to use, especially with the smooth glide barrel.
It’s the optimal size for short hair, and you get natural-looking, frizz-free curls in an hour or less. Additionally, the tourmaline ceramic technology makes hair smooth and shiny.
Everyone doesn’t prefer the tapered design, and the curls may be too small, even for those with short hair, but if you want super tight curls, this is the way to go.
7. Most Versatile: Bionic 3-in-1 Curling Wand
- Space-saving design
- Replenishes moisture in the hair
- Curls and straightens hair
- The large barrel may not work on really short hair
- Flat iron can burn hair if too hot
Although the barrel is relatively large for curling shorter hair, the Bionic Curling Wand comes with a clamp to secure and hold every strand of hair in place. There’s also a cool tip to prevent burns, and it has a non-slip grip. For the best results, you should use a dryer brush before use.
This curler also has Nanolonic MX Technology, an infused mineral complex designed to hydrate your hair with each pass for softer and smoother hair.
With the Bionic Curler, you get a curling wand with a flat iron all in one. The design allows users to style bouncy curls and create sleek styles with just one tool.
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Finding the Best Hair Curler for Your Short Hair
Finding the ideal curling wand for your specific styling needs can be challenging. That’s why we’ve taken the liberty of compiling a list of the essential attributes that the best curlers for short hair should have.
The barrel size is the first thing to consider when shopping for the best curlers for your short hair. If the barrel is too big, your hair will be incapable of wrapping around it.
However, if you relegate yourself to the smallest size, you’ll only be able to curl tight curls. If you have short hair, the best barrel size falls between 19mm to 24mm.
A real challenge that rears its head with short hair is heat damage is more difficult to hide than with long hair. You should use heat protection spray in conjunction with curlers that cater to different hair textures and types.
Some tools with only one heat setting can be tricky because everyone can’t tolerate the same heat levels. It’s better to get a tool that has multiple heat settings unless the curler stays at a low heat level optimal to prevent damage.
In addition to this, heat protectant sprays work very well, so be sure to always use one when using hot tool, especially if you have brittle or fine hair.
Wand vs. Tong
Curlers usually belong to one of two categories: tong/iron with a clip or a wand. This is the best way to achieve natural-looking curls if your hair is long enough to get wrapped around a wand.
However, if your hair is too short, curling your hair with a wand will prove to be difficult — a tong with a clasp will give you much better control. In the end, it will ultimately depend on your personal preference.
When selecting a curling iron, the material that’s made is essential to consider. Your hair type will dictate which material is best to buy for your hair.
- Very fast heating
- For all hair types
- Temperature consistent throughout the barrel – crucial to facilitate a smooth glide
- Optimal material for fine hair
- Produces professional results at low temperatures
- Creates smooth hair cuticles and removes frizz, making your hair look shiny and smooth by releasing negative ions
- Most durable and lightweight material
- Very efficient — capable of curling the coarsest hair easily and quickly
- Uniform and fast heating features the highest temperature settings
- Perfect surface for coarse and thick natural hair
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are the answers to the most commonly asked questions concerning curlers for short hair:
What’s better, a curling wand or tongs?
Curling wands are the ideal tool that you can use to create the coveted tousled beachy wave look. However, if you are looking for a more perfect and polished curl, tongs will be a better choice.
What size curling wand do I need for short hair?
Mini curling irons are lightweight and small — an excellent option for people with short hair who want a curly look. Also, any curling iron with a smaller barrel, such as one inch, will get the job done.
Should I get a 1 or 1.25 curling iron?
Use the one-inch barrel curling iron if you have medium to short-length hair. However, if you have shoulder-length or even longer, it is best to go with the 1.25-inch curling iron.
Which curler brand is best?
Some of the best curlers brands on the market are GHD, BaByliss, CHI, and a few others. These reputable brands also produce high-quality hair tools such as flat irons, blow dryers, and more.
Is it bad to curl your hair a lot?
Although using a curling iron can lead to damage and breakage, tools have improved over time to maintain a steady temperature of 365 degrees F, or the temperature is adjustable so that you can adjust the specific temperature that works for your hair type.
Hair Curlers for Short Hair: Final Thoughts
The best curlers for short hair will depend on the type of curls you want, the precise length of your hair, your budget, and which style of curling tool you want.
Every option on the list is an excellent choice, but GHD Creative Curl Wand is our top pick for the best all-around curler. However, we’ve also include 6 other curlers that are also worthy of your consideration.