How to Use a Curling Iron for Short Hair

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Using a curling iron on short hair can be tricky. It may feel too short to get anything but small, tight curls. Fortunately, there is a whole range of styling and haircare products that can help you give your short hair anything from a mass of curls to a slight wave to dress it up. It all depends on the products you use to treat it and the size of the curling iron barrel you use. It may take a little practice, but you can transform your whole look by adding curls to your short, convenient hairstyle.

Things You'll Need

  • Root booster
  • Curling iron
  • Hair spray
  • Hair pick

Spray root booster directly at the root of your hair while it is still damp from being washed. Work it in with your fingers. Root booster will help give your hair more body at the root, which provides a better base for a curl. If you have naturally very thick hair already, you can skip this step.

Blow dry your hair as normal but pay particular attention to the roots to make sure they are completely dry before styling with the curling iron.

Section out a one to two inch section of hair and starting at the root, wrap it around the barrel of the pre-heated curling iron (apply a medium heat setting). When you determine which size of curling iron to use, keep in mind that the smaller the barrel, the smaller the curl. A one inch barrel will work best if you have very short hair and just want to put some wave in it. However, if you have short to medium length hair you should consider a larger barrel to producer loose curls.

Release the hair from the iron and move on to the next section. Do not touch any finished curl again until it is completely cool so you don't cause it to frizz.

Once you have curled all of your hair, spray it with a light mist of flexible hold hairspray to set the curl. Use a pick or your fingers to separate the curls and style as usual.

Tips & Warnings

  • When curling short hair, the hot barrel of the curling iron will be closer to your scalp for longer, so take care not to burn yourself.

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