Short and bouncy hair is sometimes difficult to achieve. If you have fine hair and it is neck-length or shorter, not being able to spruce it up with curls can leave your hair with little or no body to it, and then you just have a whole lot of flat hair.
The right curling irons for short hair can help with these problems. It is an easy fix for a new look and the most convenient way to achieve waves, curls, and a short head of hair full of body and texture.
- Sultra-The Bombshell Rod Curling Iron – 1 inch
- Remington® T|Studio™ Pink Silk Slim Wand
- BaBylissPRO Nano Titanium Conicurl Iron
- Hot Tools Spring Curling Iron 24K Gold 5/8 Inch
- Helen of Troy 1/2 Inch Professional Brush Iron
Choosing The Right Cooling Iron
When you look for a curling iron that suits your needs, here are the things to look for:
Barrels Make A Difference
Curling irons offer a wide array of barrels to choose from for different reasons. Some of the barrels have gemstone material to disperse heat in a more even manner, while others are made of a ceramic material that may give out more infrared rays for greater heat and long-lasting curl.
Though most barrels are round, some vary with more tapered barrels for greater ease in winding larger amounts of hair around the barrel without the worry of entanglement and no curl.
Cone Shaped Wands
They come with one end smaller and the other thicker. Depending on the product this could be the base or the other end. This lets you create much more precise thick or thin curls.
T most common barrel. Curls will have a more uniformed shape—especially for coiled or ringlet curls.
Ridged or ribboned to act as a guide for your hair to remain in place as you curl it.
Pearled along the barrel to create a more natural-looking curl without a specific style.
Double Or Triple Barrels
Multiple barrels working together that act like fingers running through your hair and create waves instead of curls. Works best on longer hair.
Just as it states, the barrel is not round and works well with short hair to get a straighter, sleeker look.
Many curling irons come in various sizes for each product so that the manufacturer can cater to all hair lengths and styling needs.
The shorter the barrel, the more equipped the iron will be to create larger curls that will last longer, while the longer and slimmer the barrel, the more adaptable the iron is for shorter hair.
Curling irons range from a 3/8 barrel all the way to a 2” width. Each size barrel will create a different curl size. So, if you have short hair, the size of the curls will differ only slightly. There are a couple of things to consider:
Benefits Of A Smaller Barrel
• Thin hair that tends to be flatter works best with smaller barreled irons. If you use a smaller barrel, you will create smaller tighter curls that may lose some shape but will retain most of their curl throughout the entire day. If you have very short hair, it is wise to stick with the smaller barrels for this reason.
• With shoulder-length hair, if you try to use a larger barrel to create loose curls, the curls will more than likely not last if your hair is fine. Smaller barrels, in general, tend to work better on hair that is no longer than shoulder-width or less.
• Additionally, if you already have curly hair, then the smaller barrels work very well with this hair type. This way, you can smooth out any frizzy, errant-looking curls that aren’t quite fitting in with the rest of the smoothly curled style that you are trying to achieve.
• You can go as tight as a curl as you like with a smaller barrel. You can go for the springy curl with the 3/8” and up to 5/8” size, or go with the 3/4” barrel for the more specific vintage-looking style. If your hair is very straight, you will get better results with a smaller barrel. The curls will keep their shape for a much longer period of time.
• If you are new to using a curling iron, 1” barrels are best for any length of hair in terms of ease of use.
Benefits Of A Larger Barrel
• If you have thicker hair that keeps its shape much more easily, then you will be safe in choosing a larger barreled curling iron.
• Also, larger barrels for creating looser curls work well on thicker hair.
• For shorter hair, it is not recommended that you buy a curling iron that is larger than 1”—anything larger is meant to be used on medium to long hair only.
Heating Unit Quality Is Essential
Many of the irons achieve the salon industry standard of 410 Fahrenheit, but others top out at 360 Fahrenheit. This is dependent upon how the curling iron is designed to be used and by whom.
Many manufacturers specifically design their curling irons to meet the needs of a professional stylist, so they ensure that their iron meets the industry standards. This shows the price as well.
The hotter a curling iron is able to achieve usually results in the product costing a bit more. Also, each unit varies in the number of heat settings that are available which can be anywhere from 3 to 30 for different types of hair.
• Thick hair does best with higher heat
• Thin or fine hair should be at a heat setting of no more than 300 degrees or damage will be an issue.
• If curling large amounts of hair at a time, then use a higher heat setting
• Try staying at a setting of no more than 340 degrees for any type of hair; professionals know best how to use irons and style hair at heat settings between 350-400 degrees.
Benefits Of A Curling Iron VS. A Curling Wand
The difference between a curling iron and a curling wand is that irons are designed with a spring-load clip in order to hold your hair in place and are more common. Curling wands do not have a clip or clamp, so when you use them, you have to curl your hair around the wand yourself.
Curling Iron Benefits:
• A clamp to hold the hair in place
• Larger variety of barrel sizes
• Quicker styling process with less manual work to achieve it
Curling Wand Benefits:
• Get closer to the roots with manual curling
• Achieve better results for beach curls
• Reduces split ends by wrapping the ends last
• No unwanted kinks or creases in the hair
Special Material And Technology Gives Different Curling Results
Many curling irons have patented technology that serves different needs of the consumer. For example, the Sultra Bombshell Rod has a no-clip design that is engineered to create softer curls.
While the Hot Tools Spring has a 24K gold barrel finish that was created to give the user the ultimate shine in their hair. The same result occurs with the BabyBliss Pro’s titanium barrel for a maximum shine result.
The Remington TStudio has actually silk woven into the barrel to reduce static and allow for a sleeker, shinier result as well.
Finally, the Revlon Nutrifusion iron gives you oils that you can infuse into the barrel of the iron as you use it to moisturize and condition your hair as you curl it.
Ceramic And Tourmaline
Designed for repeated use. They maintain more of a consistent temperature over the barrel. Good for smoothing hair out and getting rid of fizziness.
Best for thicker, less manageable hair that might have difficulty with holding a curl. Also good for reducing frizzy hair.
Chrome And Gold Barrels
They heat up quickly but do not fight frizzy hair very well. The chrome versions also are known to damage hair or uneven barrel heat distribution.
Metal Steam Barrels
Best to use with thinner hair that has difficulty curling. The steam helps to moisturize the hair and hold the curl much better.
Top 5 Curling Irons And Wands
Sultra-The Bombshell Rod Curling Iron – 1 inch
This product can give you professional-style curls. It has a 1” round barrel and a unique no-clip design, so you can create soft-looking curls without worrying about crimping the ends or having ridges.
It has an advanced care ceramic technology that elicits more infrared rays than most curling irons for shinier and smoother hair and any style will last longer.
It achieves a maximum heat of 360 degrees Fahrenheit and comes with a styling glove and iron pad.
- Works great on ultra-fine hair
- Holds curls into the next day
- Adds shine to duller hair
- 2-year manufacturer warranty
- 9-ft. swivel cord may tangle
- Pay a bit more for accessories that you may never use
Remington® T|Studio™ Pink Silk Slim Wand
The slim wand gives professional-style waves and curls and has a patented t/Studio SILK Ceramic wand that is infused with actual silk fibers. This will give you the ability to achieve the silkiest smoothness to your hair that you can.
It has a cone-shaped design to offer many styling dimensions depending on your hair length and the style you are looking for with 30 different settings to choose from.
It has digital controls and heats to a 410 Fahrenheit which is a standard in the salon industry and heats up in no more than 30 seconds for optimal use.
- Variety of Settings
- Features for professional use
- Versatile for tight or loose curls
- Holds curls all-day
- Silk fibers add smoothness to hair
- Wand style may need more skill to manipulate
- Plastic material allows some finer hair to slip while curling
BaBylissPRO Nano Titanium Conicurl Iron
This iron lets you work with small or large sections to really customize to the style you want. It is a clipless iron and is easy to handle at less than 14 ounces.
It has a titanium barrel to maximize the shine to your hair, and you don’t have to worry about tangled hair with the tapered barrel design.
It works well to add a few curls here and there or for curling their entire head in just about ten minutes because it heats up so fast and curls so quickly. The quality of the iron was excellent for the nominal price.
- Fast heat for quick use
- Works well on all hair types
- 3/4″ barrel great for short hair
- Works well with processed hair
- Narrow to wide barrel may be uncomfortable
- Recommend that a styling glove be used to operate
Hot Tools Spring Curling Iron 24K Gold 5/8 Inch
This iron has a 24K gold-plated barrel to achieve maximum shine and smoothness in your hair. It has a patented technology called Pulse that lets the barrel stay hotter for a longer period of time at its maximum heat for an optimum curl that lasts all day long and into the evening.
Temperatures on this iron will reach up to 430 Fahrenheit but are customized from fragile hair, (280 degrees) to thick (430 degrees). The handle is a comfortable soft-grip texture, so for anyone styling hair for a living, this is easy to handle over a long period of time.
- 24 Karat surface distributes heat evenly
- Customized heat settings
- Great for curl-resistant hair
- Professional-grade features
- 1/2” barrel works well for short hair
- Heats up quickly-need to use safety stand
- An extra-long handle may be uncomfortable
- 8 ft. swivel cord may tangle
Helen of Troy 1/2 Inch Professional Brush Iron
It has some unique features to it like ball-tipped plastic bristles to grip your hair without tearing it out or scratching your scalp no matter how you are styling it. It has a quick, dual heat setting, and a life-time warranty on the heating element component.
The barrel is only 0.5” wide and 11” long. Because of its compact design, it can be very versatile when used with shorter hair and creates a shine to lackluster hair as well as creates long-lasting wavy curls or tight, spiral ones.
It offers both a high and a low heat setting as well. The plastic comb part can also be removed and to be cleaned with soap and warm water.
- Made for shorter hair and bangs
- Designed for professional-grade styling
- 1-year manufacturer’s warranty
- Lightweight for all-day use
- Triple-plated chrome for heat distribution quality
- Cool tip for safer handling
- Ink on the handle will come off easily and rub out the “On/Off “ switches
- Not as good for creating a sleek look as for curling or waves
The best iron based on the features, durability, and performance would seem to be the BabyBliss Pro since it is considered great for short hair with its 3/4″ barrel size, and it is lightweight and easiest to handle of the other choices because of its clip-less design.
It boasts a quick heating component that works well with all types of hair. The tapered barrel design allows for tangle-less styling as well. All of these features can be bought for a comparable price to most other professionally-graded irons.