A top-quality curling iron is a smart investment, especially if you weren't gifted with natural volume and curls. Picking one out seems simple enough, but when factoring in barrel size, design, and brand quality, the search becomes overwhelming. Of the utmost importance is selecting a curling iron that's compatible with your hair length, particularly if it's short.
While short hair may seem more difficult to style than longer hair, that's not the case with the right hair tool on hand. Those with lobs and bobs will want a curling iron with a barrel that has a smaller width (no more than 1 1/2-inches). Not only will the tighter curls it creates add more body to your hair, but the style will last far longer than one made with a thicker barrel. You'll also want to take into account whether you're dealing with fine, thick, coarse, or damaged hair. Not every curling iron will work the same across all hair types.
Relying on the opinions of others with similar hair as yours can be the best way to find your perfect product, so we went ahead and scoured the internet for the highest-rated curling irons for short hair from shoppers like yourself. Whether you're on a budget or looking to splurge, there's a curling iron that's right for you.
These are the eight best curling irons for short hair:
- Best Overall: Hot Tools Professional 24K Gold 1-Inch Curling Iron/Wand
- Best Drugstore: Remington CI9538 Pro Pearl Ceramic Conical Curling Wand
- Best High-End: GHD Curve Creative Curl Wand
- Best for Thick Strands: Chi 1'' Volcanic Lava Ceramic Pro Spin and Curl
- Best for Fine Strands: InfinitiPro By Conair Nano Tourmaline Ceramic Curling Iron
- Best for Beach Waves: Bed Head Rock N' Roller Curling Wand
- Best for Tight Ringlets: Conair Double Ceramic 1-Inch Curling Iron
- Best Versatility: Xtava Professional Curling Iron and Wand Set
Best Overall: Hot Tools Professional 24K Gold 1-Inch Curling Iron/Wand
This Hot Tools curling iron has over 8,000 perfect ratings from professionals and beginners alike. Whether you want loose waves or more defined curls, shoppers with varying hair textures say the iron outperforms higher-priced options they’ve tried. Plus, its swivel cord is a nice feature.
Best Drugstore: Remington CI9538 Pro 1″-1.5″ Pearl Ceramic Conical Curling Wand
Hair won’t hold a curl? Shoppers say the affordably priced Remington Pearl Ceramic Conical Curling Wand is the solution. Not only is it fool-proof, but reviewers claim your stick-straight hair will be “curled into submission” — and stay that way for as long as three days.
Best High-End: GHD Curve Creative Curl Wand
GHD Curve Creative Curl WandIf you’re willing to spend a little, the GHD Curve Creative Curl Wand is worth every penny. The tapered wand can hold hair of all lengths, but the true appeal is its advanced technological features. Not only does the styling temperature adjust based on how much hair the tool is curling, but it automatically shuts off after 30 minutes of inactivity.
Best for Thick Strands: Chi 1” Volcanic Lava Ceramic Pro Spin and Curl
This 1-inch rotating barrel curling iron has three adjustable heat settings that can easily accommodate all kinds of hair textures, including thick, coarse hair. If you’re prone to burning your fingers during the curling process, the iron’s protective curling chamber is ideal for you. Ulta shoppers say this Chi iron is incredibly easy to use and holds perfect spirals in your hair until your next shampoo.
Best for Fine Strands: InfinitiPro By Conair Nano Tourmaline Ceramic Curling Iron
Searching for a curling wand for fine hair? The InfinitiPro By Conair is many people’s go-to because it keeps heat damage to a minimum. It has five adjustable heat settings that shoppers say curl their strands in a matter of seconds, meaning less time spent on the barrel. In fact, one reviewer claims their hair is done in just four minutes every time they use it.
Best for Beach Waves: Bed Head Rock N’ Roller Curling Wand
If loose waves are all you’re after, look no further than the Bed Head Rock N’ Roller Curling Wand. While it doesn’t look like your traditional barrel, shoppers say it’s still incredibly easy to use on short hair. Simply wrap your hair around the base of the wand and release after several seconds for an effortlessly beachy look.
Best for Tight Ringlets: Conair Double Ceramic 1-Inch Curling Iron
At the low price of just $11, this 1-inch curling wand is a steal. It has nearly 2,000 five-star ratings from Amazon shoppers who say the small barrel is a godsend for creating tight, cute curls in their short hair. You’ll find your fresh hairdo will stay put for up to five days after, too, according to reviewers.
Best Versatility: Xtava Professional Curling Iron and Wand Set
With this 5-in-1 curling iron set, the styling options are practically endless. Whether you plan to keep your hair short for the foreseeable future or want a curling set that can adapt to your future growth, the Xtava Professional range will carry you through for years to come. Its tourmaline ceramic technology seals in your hair’s moisture, protects follicles, and minimizes frizz.
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