How to Curl Short Hair

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Charlize Theron shows off her short curled tresses on the red carpet.
Charlize Theron shows off her short curled tresses on the red carpet. (Image: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images)

Lobs, bobs and choppy, short textures give hair a beautiful structure that plays up facial features and grabs attention. However, if you have a shorter hairstyle, curling your strands can feel like a distant dream without luxurious length to twist and fluff. Short-haired mavens in search of curls simply needs to repurpose the array of styling tools at your disposal -- the result is a wavy, total-texture transformation.

Flat Iron Curls

Thick hair, from long bob to super-short pixie, reacts well to the flat-iron curling technique, which smooths the strands while also shaping them into sleek curls. If you have just washed your hair, blow it dry and ensure you have no leftover moisture in your tresses. Apply a heat-protectant spray to your entire head of hair. Heat up a 1-inch flat iron and separate a 2-inch section of hair.

Clamp the flat iron down on this section just below the root. Immediately twist the flat iron away from your face as you slowly pull the iron down the length of the locks. Keep twisting the iron as you move down the tresses to create the curled shape. Repeat this process with the rest of your hair and tousle lightly with a styling paste for playful volume.

Hot Roller Haven

Women with fine hair cut into slightly longer bobs with at least 3 inches of length should turn to the slow power of hot rollers for healthy, curly volume. Wash and towel-dry your hair to remove excess moisture. Spritz with a heat-protectant spray and gently blow-dry your strands until they are only very slightly damp.

Allow the hot rollers to heat up completely. Separate a 2-inch section of hair and wrap your strands away from your face from tips to roots. Clip the roller in place on your head and repeat with the remaining sections of hair. Allow the rollers to set for about 20 minutes before gently removing them and gently tousling your hair. To keep the curls in place, apply a lightweight hairspray; alternatively, apply a smoothing serum to strands for sleek curls.

Iron in the Fire

Classic 1-inch curling irons curl shorter bobs and shaggy pixies in a fraction of the time of hot rollers or flat irons. Apply a dime-sized amount of heat-protectant serum or cream to your washed-and-dried strands. Heat up your curling iron -- look for an iron with gold or ceramic plating for longer, healthier hold.

Separate a 2-inch section of hair and clamp the iron around the ends of the section. Roll the curling iron up toward your scalp and away from your face. Hold the iron in place for about 5 seconds and release gently. Allow the curls to cool, lightly run your fingers through your strands and spritz with a lightweight hairspray.

Beach Wave Wonder

Attain textured, beach-worthy tresses that look effortless. Wash and condition your hair with volumizing shampoo and conditioner. Towel-dry your strands and spritz with a heat-protectant. Follow up with a sea salt spray near the roots for added texture. Flip your hair over and scrunch your strands while you blow-dry your tresses with a diffuser attachment until they are virtually dry.

Heat up a 1-inch curling iron. Separate random 1-inch sections of hair and curl these sections with your iron. After curling, roll each fresh, hot curl into a tidy jellyroll and bobby pin onto your head until they are cool. Release the jellyrolls and tousle your strands with your fingers, blending them with the hair that was left free for a natural look. Apply a tiny bit of styling putty to your strands to build a bit of extra volume and texture for fine hair.

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