Best Curling Irons

Best Curling Iron for Short Hair

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Styling Short Hair

Check out these great options for the best curling iron for short hair!

Styling short hair can be unfairly difficult. It usually takes less time than longer hair, but the trade off is that you have to use full-sized devices in close proximity to your scalp. When styling, it can be difficult to maneuver the devices, and more often then not, you end up burning your ears.

There are travel sized and mini options available, but these don’t always have the full functionality of their counterparts. Their good alternatives, but not for everyone, and not for all situations.

If you’re looking for a curling iron to style short hair, here are a few suggestions for what to look out for, and which products to buy.

Features to Look Out for

If you’re looking to use a heated styling tool for you hair, there’s a few features that you may want to pay attention to. Each of these can help you buy a device that will work for you and your particular hair length.

Barrel Length

Don’t believe that all barrel lengths are the same. The information can be difficult to access because it’s not always listed, but there are some models that will tell you. In this case, shorter is obviously better, so try to find models that are visibly shorter, or that list their length under six inches.

Barrel Width

I find that with shorter hair, barrel width impacts the styling differently. The wider widths just don’t work since I can’t get my hair around them as much. Even for waves, it’s difficult. You don’t have to stick to tight curls only, but something mid-range is as far as I would go.

Barrel Type

Tapered or Conical barrels give you more options no matter your hair length. Because the top is narrower than the bottom, you can get different curl widths with the same device. The top would work for your hair while it’s short, and the wider bottom means it can still be used even if you decide to grow out your hair. These barrel types also tend to run shorter than their cylindrical counterparts.


Mini or travel sized options may seem like your best bet for really short cuts, but that’s not always the case. Most sacrifice functionality for their size, particularly when it comes to temperature. You may only have a low and high temperature settings, and some don’t even have that. Usually, you’re stuck with whatever the max temperature is, so pay attention when purchasing.


Keeping short hair healthy is a priority. If you’re growing out your hair, you want to keep it healthy and minimize split ends and heat damage. If you plan on keeping it short, you have less hair to work with, and you won’t be able to cut off as much to cover up split ends or burnt hair. With this in mind, make sure you stick to materials that heat evenly, and are good for your hair.


With short hair, you’re going to be styling in some tight spots close to your scalp, so you don’t want something that’s not going to move around easily. Pay attention to cable length, and whether or not it will swivel.

Top Picks

With all of those features in mind, my standard was a fully functional device, with a shorter barrel. I also looked at the percentage of good reviews, and the price range.


Xtava Twist Curl Curling Wand - 1 to 1.5 Inch Professional Hair Wand with Ceramic Barrel Cool Tip and Auto Shut Off - Dual Voltage Travel Curling Iron for Long & Short Hair with Heat Resistant Glove


  • Conical barrels are 5 3/4 inches in length.
  • Max temperature of 410 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Ceramic Tourmaline Barrel
  • LCD temperature display
  • 22 Heat settings
  • 96 inch 360 degree swivel cord
  • 60 minute auto shut-off


  • Heat resistant glove


With the tapered, conical barrel, you should be able to get use out of this device, no matter you hair length. However, it’s shorter lengths for the conical barrels, at under six inches, should work perfectly for short to medium length hair. Particularly with the length swivel cord, which should provide extra maneuverability.

I also like the materials for this device, as tourmaline ceramic is good for multiple hair types.

Overall Thoughts

I think this devices makes a smart purchase. While it doesn’t have any particularly outstanding features, overall, it comes together as a worthy option. The barrel length, type, and materials are all suitable for almost any need.

Buyer’s Notes:

  • There are multiple width options available.
  • There are two different barrel types, cylindrical and conical, so be careful when buying.


BaBylissPRO Nano Titanium Spring Curling Iron, 3/4 Inch



  • Nano-Titanium/ Ceramic Barrel
  • Infrared Heat
  • Turbo Heat function
  • 96 inch tangle free cord
  • Max heat of 450 degrees Fahrenheit
  • 50 temperature settings.


This device was a tough choice. I wanted to include an iron with a clip, however finding a shorter barrel with a clip comes with a bit of a trade off. Only the wider barrels for this device are shorter, which is an issue because wider barrels and short hair don’t always go together. That said, it’s still a good option, and as long as you don’t go too wide with your selection, it should still work. At the very least, you’ll be able to achieve some nice beach waves.

With over 50 temperature settings on this device, you won’t have to worry much about finding a temperature that suits you. There’s also a button you can push to activate turbo heat, which automatically heats the device to the maximum temperature. (While this is useful for getting a good hold on your curls, it can be very damaging. Use it sparingly, if you have to use it at all.)

The barrel is made out of Nano-titanium and ceramic, which basically means you get even, infrared heating. Infrared is good because it heats hair from the inside out. This may sounds worse, but actually helps preserve hair’s moisture. While I don’t prefer titanium,  it is more durable than ceramic. It’s possible that that the titanium ceramic combination will help the device last longer than a typical ceramic one.

Overall Thoughts

The majority of the reviews on the device are very positive, however there are some that raise serious concerns.

There were a few reviews (more than I was used to seeing) that said the device burnt off their hair. If you have fine hair, I would avoid this device. For any hair type, if you do purchase it, I would avoid the max temperature, as well as the turbo button. Any heated styling tool has the potential to burn your hair, but since it came up repeatedly in the reviews, it’s important to be extra cautious with this device. While high heat can help give coarse, thick hair a really good hold, it doesn’t work for all hair types, so buy accordingly.

Buyers Notes:

  • There are multiple barrel widths available, say pay attention to your selection when buying.

Travel Sized Options

If your hair is really short, or if you prefer a mini or travel sized option, here are some that I found worth checking out.


VAV Curling Iron Mini Hair Curler, With PTC Heater Heat Up Quickly, Protable Travel Size
This device comes with two temperature options: high and low, with a max temperature of 400 degrees Fahrenheit. That max temperature actually works for most hair types with out issue, although people with very thick or coarse hair may prefer something a little hotter. The barrel is made of ceramic, and the cord is 70 inches. That’s a good length for a travel iron.


AmoVee 2 in 1 Mini Flat Iron Curling Iron Travel Hair Straightener with Ceramic Tourmaline Coated, Dual Voltage, 1 inch, Carry Bag Included, White
This is an interesting choice, because it’s actually a two-in-one! The ceramic tourmaline material makes up both a curling iron when closed, and a flat iron when open. However, it heats to 420 degrees Fahrenheit, which might be too hot for fine hair.

Final Thoughts

If you have short hair, you don’t have to sacrifice functionality for size. There are plenty of options outside of travel and mini devices, although, those work as well.

When shopping, focus on the barrel. Even with full size devices there’s variation in barrel length, and even switching up the barrel types can make a larger device usable for a wide range of hair cuts.

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