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30 Ways to Wear Short Curly Hair

Looking for short curly hair options for women? Don’t worry – we’ve got you covered! Keep reading to see dozens of ways to wear trendy, curly styles in our photo guide.

Looking for Short Curly Hair Inspo?

Short curly hair depicted in a graphic with an explainer of what the hairstyle is

Short curly hairstyles are definitely trending, and we see why – there are so many ways to wear shorter styles with curls! Whether you’re working with natural curls that have a mind of their own or recently got a perm, it helps to know a few different style options. 

You don’t have to default to the same style every day! Short, curly locks are full of possibilities and can be styled in so many ways. So we found some of the best hairstyles for curly, short hair.

There are examples for every hair type, texture, and color, so you’re sure to find a style that’ll suit you perfectly. Once you take a look at these gorgeous options, you’ll be excited to try something new with your ‘do! Let’s get started. 

30 Ways to Wear Short Curly Hair

If your hair is short and your strands are curly, any of these styles could be your new go-to. These looks all feature curls front and center. You’ll see dozens of ways to wear your short curls in these photos. Let the good hair days begin! 

Rose Gold Crop

Rose Gold Crop on a short curly haired woman

Bagus Production/Shutterstock

Pinkish bronze metallic color really sets off the tight curls here, and the volume is concentrated up top. That means this style won’t create any unnecessary roundness – an instantly slimmer face! 

Shoulder Length Dark Blonde Curls

Woman with Shoulder Length Dark Blonde Curls short curly hair

Cookie Studio/Shutterstock

If you’re looking for an everyday wearable style that is lower maintenance than white blonde, this is it! A deeper shade of blonde lends a little warmth and light to these big, roller-style curls. 

Sassy Stacked Bob

Lady with Sassy Stacked Bob hairstyle

Subbotina Anna/Shutterstock

This is such a unique and flirty look to try on curly hair! “Stacking” the hair by layering gives this style tons of body and volume, and the little flicks of curly ends popping out are so fun and feminine. 

Voluminous Coils

Chipper black african american woman holding her chin and rocking short curly hair

Sirtravelalot/Shutterstock

If your hair is type 4 (coily/kinky), don’t waste time and money trying to tame it down. Let it do its thing! A good curl cream and plenty of moisture will have your curls popping all day long in this free-form style. 

Chin Length Wavy Bob

Lady with a chin length wavy bob haircut wearing a red polka dot dress

Roman Samborskyi/Shutterstock

This low-maintenance style will look great on any bob length, but we especially love it at chin level. Just part your hair with a deep side part, add some curl cream or mousse, let it dry, and you’re ready to go! 

The Hepburn Crop

Lady with short curly hair in a Hepburn style holds her arms over her head and grins

Yuri Shevtsov/Shutterstock

Channel your inner Audrey Hepburn with this adorable, vintage crop. It would work with straight locks too, but there’s something about the curves in these curls that really set it off. 

Ear-Length Bob With Curly Fringe

Ear-Length Bob With Curly Fringe hair inspiration

Alexandry Logel/Shutterstock

One of our favorite ways to show off gorgeous curls is a good heavy fringe. It puts the curls front and center so they can really steal the show! Scrunch your curls with your favorite curl product and make a side part to try this style. 

Formal Barrel Curls

Pretty young and thin woman with Formal Barrel Curls

Irina Bg/Shutterstock

Get ready to break out the curling iron for this one! This is a beautiful, formal look that only takes a few minutes on short hair. Curl sections away from your face and secure with pins if needed. 

Shoulder Length Glamour Waves

Shoulder Length Glamour Waves for an example of short curly hair

Sofia Zhuravetc/Shutterstock

To switch up your look, you can try these pretty mega waves. Use a waving iron or curling iron to create the look, allow the curls to cool completely (this is important!), then brush through them to get this softer look. 

Layered Bob

Woman who has a layered bob stands with her hair over her face and smiles big

Andrei Park/Shutterstock

Layers have to be done properly on curly hair to avoid cutting curls at unflattering angles. When they’re done right, the effect is beautiful! Here, giant curls are done all over the head to create lots of body. 

Natural Coily Quiff

Meditating woman holding her hands in an O and wearing a short curly hairstyle

Bagus Production/Shutterstock

No relaxer needed – just a short crop around the sides and back with more length left on top. This creates a quiff in the front that can be styled any way you want.

Green Curly Pixie

Woman with green short curly hair puts her finger up to her lips in a shush motion

IvaFoto/Shutterstock

Everyone will be green with envy when you sport this cute curly style. It’s a modified pixie cut that leaves the front/top longer. This gives the curls plenty of room to curve and bend up front. 

Copper Auburn Curls

Woman with short curly hair wearing a blue dress

AntonMaltsev/Shutterstock

Shoulder-length locks look stunning in a bright and shimmery copper-auburn tone. The way the light hits these curls really shows off the vivid hair color! 

Girl Next Door Curls

Pretty young woman with girl next door short curly hair

Africa Studio/Shutterstock

You’ll never look sweeter or more innocent than you will with these wholesome girl next door curls. Part your hair to the side and use your favorite volumizing products to give it some extra body. 

Blonde Chin-Length Bob

Blonde Chin-Length Bob on a taylor sift-esque model

Sofia Zhuravetc/Shutterstock

Blonde hair is always pretty with curls, and we love that these curls are somewhat flat and structured more like waves. Copy this look by doing curls with a flat iron or curling wand. 

Middle Part Curly Chop

Lady wearing a middle part with curly chop hairstyle and suspenders

MR.Yanukit/Shutterstock

You can switch up the look of your curls by directing them toward or away from the face. Here, the curls flow away from the face to leave the face open and clear. This is a great everyday look! 

Laid-Back Ginger Curls

Lady with short curly brown hair that is somewhat long for this style holds a chocolate bar up to her chin

All Kind of People/Shutterstock

If you hate styles that look too “done,” you’ll enjoy a laid-back, casual style like this. All you need is a little curl cream and a couple of hours to air dry (or dry quickly with a diffuser) to get this look. 

Tapered Shoulder Length Coils

Black woman in a striped shirt has Tapered Shoulder Length Coils hair

Wavebreakmedia/Shutterstock

Coily hair is coarse and thick, so it can be hot even in cooler temperatures. Try a smart, tapered style like this to keep the weight out of the ends for a lighter, bouncier style that feels nice and cool. 

Precision Curls

Lady wearing precision curls on short curly hairstyle

Jihan Nafiaa Zahri/Shutterstock

If you like symmetry in your styles, you don’t mind spending a little extra time ensuring your curls are precisely styled and set. Starting with natural curls, you can run through with a large-barreled curling iron to perfect each one. 

Boho Curls With Headband

Fair skinned woman wears boho curls with a headband in a white lacey dress

Andrey Nastsenko/Shutterstock

This style works really well for women with fine or thin curly hair. Adding a boho-chic headband that wraps around the head is the perfect final touch. 

Shoulder Length Coils With a Middle Part

Shoulder Length Coils With a Middle Part on a black woman smiling big

NeonShot/Shutterstock

Try a middle part with your coils for a different look that is very much on-trend right now. Keeping the ends thick without tapering gives this style a full look, so it works best for oval or heart-shaped faces. 

Natural Curly Mop Top

Natural Curly Mop Top

Olga Ekaterincheva/Shutterstock

Let your pretty natural curls do the heavy lifting with a free-form style like this! Adding in a little fringe up front breaks up the lines and keeps this style looking laid-back. 

Deep Auburn Bob

Lady with a deep auburn bob haircut wears a black sleeveless dress

PushAnn/Shutterstock

Tight curls are the focal point of this gorgeous red bob, but the beautiful deep color is definitely on everyone’s mind! Auburn is a great color choice for short curls because it reflects the light so well. 

Bodacious Brunette Lob

Lady that has a Bodacious Brunette Lob turns away from the camera and looks at a black wall

PushAnn/Shutterstock

A pretty shade of deep chestnut brown is the canvas for these voluminous, bouncy curls. With this shoulder-length long bob, the curls have plenty of room to “play.” 

Strawberry Blonde Ombre

Pretty woman with a Strawberry Blonde Ombre short curly haircut holds her glasses and her head with the other hand

HBRH/Shutterstock

Ombre hair color that starts as deep auburn and fades into a golden strawberry blonde is absolutely gorgeous. Pair it with a middle part (and we love those curtain bangs) for a modern look.  

Curly Chop With Blunt Bangs

Woman has a Curly Chop With Blunt Bangs haircut

Kseniia Perminova/Shutterstock

Raven-haired beauties, here’s a nice way to wear your curls at a shorter length! This chin-length bob has tons of volume thanks to natural curls, and the blunt bangs perfectly frame the face. 

Kinky Side Part

Lady with a kinky side part smiles and shrugs her shoulders while wearing a strappy string bikini

Olena Zaskochenko/Shutterstock

Let your kinky hair take a walk on the wild side with a deep side part. This stacks the curls on one side for an asymmetrical look that is trendy and modern. 

Wavy Chin-Length Bob

Woman in yellow pants wears a Wavy Chin-Length Bob on her head while standing in front of a blue wall

Roman Samborskyi/Shutterstock

If your curls are wavier than ringlets, a low-key style like this is perfect. You can let your hair air dry and use a few spritzes of a sea salt spray or mousse to help set your waves so they won’t fall flat. 

Stacked and Side Swept Bob

Woman with a Stacked and Side Swept Bob

Dean Drobot/Shutterstock

This bob is layered and stacked in the back for extra volume, and the curls take it to the next level. With a wispy fringe in the front, this style looks casual and fun. 

Chaotic Coils

Woman with Chaotic Coils stands and smiles with hipster glasses and a black leather jacket

Mark Nazh/Shutterstock

If you have curly or coily hair, you’re essentially a chaos coordinator. This style gives you the chance to wrangle your curls with some lightweight products while still allowing them to have a mind of their own! 

Wearing Short Curly Hairstyles 

Making short curly hairstyles look good starts with knowing a few basics. Rock your best short and curly look with these tips and tricks! 

  • What length looks best on you? Your face shape is the best factor to determine just how short your curly hairstyle should be. Oval faces can pull off any short length, from shaved to shoulder-length. Heart-shaped faces should opt for short styles that are chin-length to shoulder-length. This adds volume in the jaw and chin area. Round and square faces don’t need any extra volume around the sides, so go above the ears or have your hair thinned a bit if it’ll reach your ear level or below. Learn how to identify your face shape here
  • How defined are your curls? Some styles rely on the thickness, shape, and definition of curls to hold them up. Afro styles and quiffs are a great example. If your curls are borderline waves, or if your curls are very big and bouncy without much structure, do a test run to make sure the style you want will work on your ringlets.
  • Thinning your hair could make styling easier. Curly hair can be amazingly thick and dense, especially if you have coarse hair. For some short curly styles, you don’t want too much weight or thickness in the bottom to prevent having that triangle hair look. Thinning the hair at the ends can help. But it takes skill. And it won’t look great on everyone, so make sure you talk to your stylist about it. Don’t attempt to thin your hair out at home! 
  • Get your hair cut by a curl expert. Some hair stylists specialize in cutting, coloring, and styling curly hair. If your stylist doesn’t, find one who does! Curly hair has to be cut differently to avoid messing up the curl pattern. Starting off with a fresh haircut that perfectly defines your curls will make any short curly style you try look even better. 
  • Find your go-to curly products. Every woman (and man!) with curly hair needs an arsenal of trusted products that make their curls look their absolute best. If you’re not loving what your current products do for your curls or feel like you need some extra help, check out our complete list of the best products for curly hair

Rocking short curly hair can be as low or high-maintenance as you want. If you love low-maintenance styles, make sure you have a good mousse, gel, or curl cream to use. These products will do a lot of the styling “work” for you, so you can either air dry or diffuse and be on your way. 

If you don’t mind spending more time styling each day, a curling iron, curling wand, or even flat iron can help you perfect each individual ringlet for more polished styles.

Don’t forget to use a good heat protectant all over your locks before applying any kind of heat! Whether you choose an easy-breezy style or something a little more glamorous, short curly hair is a great foundation to build from.

With so many options out there, you can switch up your look daily if you want. As long as your curls are moisturized and defined, any style you try is going to look *chef’s kiss*!