The Best Curling Irons for Short Fine Hair

Short, fine hair needs a smaller curling iron with a low temperature.

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With a flattering cut and the right hair products, styling short, fine hair is usually a breeze. It can be as easy as a quick blow dry and a finishing spray. If you want volume and extra sassy style, too, it's a little more complicated. When choosing the best curling irons for your silky strands, consider the size, material and temperature of the barrel.

Barrel Length

When it comes to the size of your barrel, you’ll want to consider the length and diameter. If you have short hair, you can use a curling iron of any length. Since you don’t have long or thick hair, you won’t need as long a barrel to hold your strands. But a long barrel won’t hurt, either -- it will just give you more than enough room to wrap your hair. However, a short curling iron barrel might be easier to work with.

Barrel Diameter

The barrel diameter does make a difference. For precise curls, you’ll need an iron with a smaller diameter. The ideal curling iron for short, fine hair has a barrel diameter of 5/8 inch to 1 1/4 inch. A smaller diameter will give you springy spiral curls, while the larger diameter will give you looser, natural curls. If your hair falls to your shoulders, you can use a slightly larger curling iron barrel up to 1 1/2 inch.


Curling irons are available in a variety of materials. Curling irons plated in metal tend to be harsh for fine hair. These irons get very hot very quickly, risking damage to your already delicate strands. To protect your silky locks, choose a ceramic or tourmaline curling iron. These heat up slowly, letting your hair adapt to the temperature changes. Ceramic and tourmaline also generate negative ions, which seal moisture into the hair shaft -- a major benefit whether your hair is short and fine or long and thick.


When your hair is fine, high temperatures will damage your delicate strands quickly. Look for a device with multiple temperatures. Some of the more basic curling irons offer just low, medium or high temperatures, which makes it difficult to personalize your temperature. When curling your short, fine strands, begin at or below 180 degrees. If curls aren’t forming properly, add a little heat and try again.

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