How to Curl Short Hair with a Curling Iron

One of the most popular posts on this website is my no-clamp curling iron tutorial, which leads to one of the most frequently asked questions: how can I curl shorter hair with a curling iron?

Obviously I’m not an expert due to my loooong hair, but boy have I found one for you!

Meet Kristen.


I recently met Kristen in Chicago and let’s face it, her hair rocks. Luckily for us, she graciously accepted my request to film a video tutorial of how she achieves this look.

Before watching, take note of these important tips.

1. For this hair length, you need to use a 1/2-inch curling iron. The shorter the hair, the smaller the barrel…the longer the hair, the larger the barrel. (Hot Tools Curling Irons are my favorites, and I actually prefer the less expensive gold ones over the ceramic ones.)

2. Don’t pull the last 1/2-inch of your ends through the clamp to prevent the dreaded “clamp crimp”.

3. You should curl the hair right up to the scalp for best hold and volume.

4. This style, with a couple of touch ups, works great the next day. Just add hairspray and a bobby pin and you’re good to go.

Short Hair from Kristen Seymour on Vimeo.

Products used in this video:

1. Aussie Opposites Attract Strong Hold Mousse on wet hair, dried upside down with a large round brush
2. Bed Head Superstar Volumizing Hairspray before curling and after for any curls losing hold
3. Bed Head Hard Head Hard Hold Hairspray for final spray
4. Profound Beauty Hair Matte Hold to define ends and give bangs extra hold

Thanks for this great tutorial, Kristen!

  1. Jen

    August 13, 2009 at 10:52 am

    Thanks for posting this tutorial! My hair is very similar to Kristin’s right now, and I’m dying to try a new look as it continues to grow out. This seems easy enough, even for someone as inept as I am with a curling iron. :)
    .-= Jen´s last blog ..Sick, teeth, help =-.

  2. Kaleigha

    August 16, 2009 at 8:18 pm

    That’s my curly hair secret!
    .-= Kaleigha´s last blog ..Fall Fashion. =-.