The Best Curling Irons for Short Hair, Whether You Want Loose Waves or Spiral Curls

by Caroline Harris

The Best Curling Irons for Short Hair, Whether You Want Loose Waves or Spiral Curls
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When it comes to short hair with beautiful waves, Margot Robbie is officially our hair goals. The 29-year-old Australian actress looks striking with a textured long bob tousled just so. For loose curls like Margot Robbie’s, you have to really commit to the cause. That means scooping up one of the best curling irons for short hair and getting to work.



Maybe you already have short hair. Maybe you’re about to take the plunge to chop off your tresses. Either way, it’s important to note that using a curling iron on short hair is a whole new ball game. Because you have less hair to work with, it’s harder to achieve dramatic looks  and easier to burn yourself.


Before jumping into heat styling, repair damaged hair with a hair mask and refresh dirty hair with a spritz of dry shampoo. Unwashed hair tends to be harder to style, so make sure you’re working with a shampooed and conditioned mane. If you’re a blonde or a brunette, these purple and blue shampoos work wonderfully.


Once you’re ready for your hair transformation, work in sections. Wind your locks around the curling iron, remembering that tighter coils will create tighter curls while a curling iron with a larger barrel is ideal for creating loose curls or beachy waves. Avoid burning your hair by leaving the curling iron in place for only a few seconds. Afterwards, apply an extra-hold hairspray, like Moroccanoil’s Luminous Strong Finish, and run your fingers through your hair for a lived-in look like Margot Robbie’s. You can follow along with this tutorial to get beachy waves for short hair in just five minutes.



Keep scrolling for the best curling irons for waves, spiral curls and every other hairstyle you can imagine. Spring is a perfect time to switch up your style by experimenting with a new ’do. Below, discover the 15 best curling irons for short hair.



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Bed Head Curlipops Curling Wand for Loose Curls


This curling iron is only $25, which is a serious steal in the world of beauty electronics. The high heat goes up to 400 degrees and the ceramic technology helps combat frizz. The curling iron also comes with a helpful heat protective glove so you don’t have to worry about burning yourself.

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Best Cheap Curling Iron for Short Hair

Marquee Beauty Professional Salon Curling Iron


When you’re new to curling your hair, you may want to sample many different styles before settling on a look you love. This curling iron includes five interchangeable barrels so you can try out beachy waves, loose curls and more. As an added win, this curling iron is $100 off right now.

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Best Curling Iron for Beginners

Conair Double Ceramic 1.5 Inch Curling Iron


For looser waves, opt for a larger barrel. This 1.5-inch option includes 30 heating settings for a range of long-lasting styles. There’s an auto off feature, so there’s no need to panic if you forget to unplug your curling iron when you leave your house.

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Best Curling Iron for Loose Curls

T3 SinglePass Curl 1” Professional Curling Iron


Small barrels get you tight curls or even ringlets, if that’s your style. This 1-inch curling iron caters to every hair type and texture, delivering an even heat and a shiny finish.

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Best Curling Iron for Tight Curls

Hoson ¾ Inch Professional Curling Iron


Ceramic curling irons provide more even heat distribution to minimize the amount of time it takes you to do your hair. This curling iron heats fast for instant styling on busy mornings where you don’t have time to fuss over your hair.

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Best Ceramic Curling Iron for Short Hair

HSI Professional Glider Hair Straightening and Curling Iron


If you crave instant gratification, reach for this Amazon bestseller. Eight micro-sensors and HeatBalance technology offer speedy curling results so you can be out the door in a flash. This product straightens, flips and curls hair for versatile styling results.

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Fastest Curling Iron for Short Hair

Revlon Perfect Hair Ceramic Curling Iron ¾ Inch


This Revlon tool has a triple ceramic coating to reduce hair damage as you create the beautiful waves of your dreams. There are 30 heat settings to choose from depending on your hair type. If you have thin, fine hair, go for a low heat. Meanwhile, ladies with coarse hair should crank up the temperature.

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Best Curling Iron for Damaged Hair

Conair Instant Heat 1-Inch Curling Iron


Conair is a super popular choice in the hair world because of its affordable, high-quality products. Amazon shoppers are buzzing about this Conair curling iron, saying “it’s perfect for giving volume to short hair” because of its adjustable barrel size and stabilized heat.

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Best Conair Curling Iron for Short Hair

Hot Tools Signature Series Gold Curling Iron


This Amazon curling iron is another fan favorite because of its comfortable grip and useful temperature control. Reviewers with fine hair love this option due to the slip-free barrel. Plus, the cute pink accents will liven up your vanity.

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Best Curling Iron for Fine Hair

Conair Instant Heat Spiral Curling Iron ¾ Inch


For spiral curls, reach for this Conair curling iron and prepare to be amazed. The small barrel size and high heat team up to create high-definition curls. Amazon shoppers say this is “the best spiral curling iron ever” because it “heats up in seconds” and the curls “last all day.”

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Best Curling Iron for Spiral Curls

Bed Head A-Wave-We-Go Adjustable Waver for Multiple Styles


This styling tool allows you to out every wave you could possibly want, including tight, defined, loose and tousled styles. The curling iron has an adjustable waver barrel so you can tweak the dial when you’re craving a new look.

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Best Adjustable Curling Iron for Short Hair

Drybar 3-Day Bender 1.25-Inch Rotating Digital Curling Iron


This curling iron features a rotating clamp for voluminous curls in a fraction of the time you’re used to. Clamp your hair around the barrel and hold the curling iron in place as the styling magic happens. This product is perfect for putting in minimal effort but still getting salon-quality results.

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Best Rotating Curling Iron for Short Hair

Blow Pro Wave Maker Titanium Curling Iron


Don’t like stepping out in the same look twice? Snag a wave maker to create classic curls, S-shape waves and anything else your imagination conjures up. One reviewer loves how “it works just great on my bobbed hair” because of its 1.5 inch barrel and wide temperature range.

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Most Versatile Curling Iron for Short Hair

T3 White & Rose Gold BodyWaver


If you have some money to burn, grab a curling iron that promises to get you hairstyles that are red carpet worthy. The hollow-barrel design supports you as you create blowouts, loose waves and more. Plus, the white and red gold design is so trendy.

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Best Splurge Curling Iron for Short Hair

Bio Ionic Curl Expert Pro Curling Iron 1-Inch


It’s no fun to go through all the effort of curling your hair, only to have the style fade by lunch. That’s why you need this curling iron. The bioceramic heaters create max staying power, so you can show off your style all day long.