How to Curl Short Hair

When I cut my hair short a few years ago, I realized that I had no idea how to curl it. For some reason the shorter length intimidated me and whenever I tried,  it was an epic fail. It was easy with long hair but I felt lost with my new ‘do. So I looked up a few Youtube videos, invested in a new product that changed the game, and now I’m a real pro. Ok fine, not quite a pro but I can curl my hair in under 10 minutes and it looks halfway decent so I’m gonna go ahead and count that as #winning.

After countless requests to share how I do it, today is the day. My photographer happened to be standing near me while I was getting ready for last week’s shoot and snapped these pics. It wasn’t styled, and my outfit isn’t cute, but I figured if I don’t post it now, it may never happen!

This process can be used for any hair length from short to long:

1. Invest in a curling wand. Now that I’m into the wand, I can’t imagine ever using a curling iron again.  This t3 wand made the whole process so much easier, and it only took 2-3 times to master it. It’s pricey for sure but I promise it’s worth it.

2. Start with dry shampoo. Cover your scalp with a light dusting of dry shampoo (I like this one from Living Proof but there are a lot of great ones and it doesn’t really matter). Brush and shake out your head to remove excess. This will give your hair a little bit of texture and help it to hold a curl.

3. Divide your hair into two sections, left and right. Tie up one section and focus on the other. For now let’s say you’ll start on the left side which is the easier side for right-handed people. I’m a lefty so I always start on the right. On the left side, you’ll hold the wand in your right hand and use your left hand to wrap the hair. On the right side, you’ll do the opposite.

4. Back to front. Start in the back of your head and curl 1-inch pieces of hair until you reach the front. For each piece, hold the wand in your right hand and point it towards the ground. Wrap the piece of hair around the wand and hold it there for about 10 seconds. Make sure that every piece you curl is being curled away from your face not towards it.

5. Post-curl hold. This trick is what made the biggest difference for me so listen closely! After each piece of hair is curled, slowly pull out the wand and hold the curl up next to your head for about five seconds, then let it drop. Do that for each piece from the back to the front of your head.

6. Spray. After you finish the whole side, give it a spritz of hair spray (I like this one because it doesn’t make it sticky or crunchy), then move to the other side of your head.

7. Repeat on the other side. For the side where you’re not using your dominate hand, it will feel really awkward at first. After a few times of doing this, it will get easier I promise.

8. Shake it out. When you’re done, shake out your head to loosen the curls and look around for any pieces of hair you may have missed.

That’s it! It will take 15-20 minutes the first few times and then 5-10 going forward. I have a ton of hair and even with that I can breeze through it. Let me know if I missed anything or if you have questions. I hope this was helpful!

I’m pretty much the worst with beauty but if you have any other ideas for easy tutorials, let me know.

Drapey ShirtCurling Wand

Photos by Carter Fish.

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  1. Ryann Carter said:

    Please do a video too! I’ve talking my husband into getting a mom haircut when we have kids (getting a husband on bored with something makes life soooo much easier), and so I’ll need this then.
    http://www.holycitylife.com

    2.12.18 · Reply
  2. Carly said:

    Curious what hairspray you use. It’s so hard to find one that gives a great hold without being to heavy or sticky … or crunchy!

    2.12.18 · Reply
  3. Samantha Valadez said:

    What size wand do you use?

    2.12.18 · Reply
    • It’s the 1 inch wand and it makes the perfect curls!

      2.12.18 · Reply
  4. Emily said:

    I struggle the most with getting (usually missing) the bottom layer of hair. Any tips?

    2.12.18 · Reply
    • I usually just do what I can see then when I go back over it for a final look I catch anything that I missed. I’m not very methodical about it but probably should be 🙂

      2.12.18 · Reply
  5. Allie said:

    I haven’t even done the post curl hold yet and I can tell it’s going to be a game changer. I’m currently deciding whether to cut my hair, and seeing how cute you look with this do is really motivating me to make a change! xAllie http://www.theallthatglittersblog.com

    2.12.18 · Reply
    • It makes a huge difference… And I have no idea why!

      2.12.18 · Reply
  6. Lillie said:

    Leave the coincidence of this post. Yesterday I was showing my mom pictures of hair that I wanted, and yours was part of the group. I have a beach waver so it has a teeny tiny class, so I think that maybe I need to do this upside down compared to what you said. But, I love your hair I love it when you braid it I love it always.

    2.12.18 · Reply
    • Oh wow I’m so honored!!! As far as washing my hair, I try to do it every three days but if I work out then it ends up being every other day. Have you tried a silk pillow case and/or sleeping with your hair pulled back at the nape of your neck? It might help with the bed head!

      2.12.18 · Reply
      • Lillie said:

        I need to try a silk pillowcase! My hair is more chin length so I can’t pull it back sadly. What product(s) do you use before you curl (wet, I’m thinking) other than dry shampoo.

        2.13.18 · Reply