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Shopping for a curling iron should be pretty straightforward. Except for most of us, it's not. With constantly evolving technology, shapes, and sizes, it can be difficult to keep track of what's hype, what's not, and what's actually worth spending your money on. (Especially since some of the best curling irons come in at a hefty dollar value.) That being said, there are some truly great rods and wands out there—especially if you're looking for an iteration to pair beautifully with shorter locks.
So after doing some research, reading countless reviews, and yes, asking around Byrdie HQ, we curated an all-star lineup of the best curling irons for short hair. Curious to see which magic wands made the cut?
Keep reading for the best curling irons for short hair Byrdie editors (and the internet) love most.
Best Overall: NuMe Classic Pearl Bubble Curling Wand
Okay, within the curling iron realm, this oddly shaped, pearl-inspired wand from NuMe has already become somewhat of a legend. And while it works beautifully on hair of any length, it's especially great for those with a shorter chop. Made with pure tourmaline (cheers to less damage), the unique pearl shape encourages bouncy texture and full-bodied waves and curls. It's also wonderful for every kind of texture, from ultra-thick to baby-fine.
Best Budget: Hot Tools 24K Gold Curling Iron
Okay, we're just going to say it: This curling iron from Hot Tools might just be one of the most popular, effective, and budget-friendly curling irons of all time—especially if you have short hair. The 24K surface creates long-lasting and ultra-defined hair looks, while innovative pulse technology (which gets hot and stays hot without a moment's hesitation) chops styling time by 50 percent.
Best Titanium: L'ange Ondulé Curling Wand Blush
Truth: When it comes to the best curling irons for short hair, this one is about as demure as they come. (It's the perfect shade of baby pink—if you're into that kind of thing.) However, it also has the reviews and technology to back up its good looks. The soft-touch handle makes it easy to grip, and its pure titanium build with an advanced heat mechanism (never exceeding 410 degrees F) ensures minimal styling damage.
Best Titanium, Runner-Up: Foxybae Wanderlux Rose Gold Curling Wand
Sleek, rose-gold packaging aside (but seriously, who wouldn't want to display this on their vanity?), this one-inch wand by Foxybae consistently receives five-star reviews on sites like Ulta and is applauded for its habit of inducing impeccable shine and hold—sans spray.
Best Ceramic: Sultra The Bombshell Rod Curling Iron
This cult-favorite one-inch wand is great for any hair length (take it from someone who's proved to be ever the chameleon over the years) but is especially handy for short hair. Plus, it's also probably one of the least damaging in the bunch. Featuring the brand's exclusive Advanced Care Ceramic technology (which simultaneously repairs the hair as you style), it's safe for color-treated, dry, and yes, even damaged strands. Also—it's fast.
Best Splurge: T3 Micro Whirl Trio Interchangeable Styling Wand
Okay, before you balk with sticker shock, hear us out. Because essentially, you're getting four different curling irons in one with this ingenious set from T3. Travel-friendly and with the ability to create unique and head-turning curls (the barrels are really just that good), this handsome foursome is worth every penny. According to the brand, undone waves can be achieved with the one-inch straight barrel, tousled waves with the traditional tapered (seen right), cascading waves with the reversed tapered (middle left), and loose with the 1.25-inch straight. Oh, and the base also boasts five different adjustable heat settings, auto world voltage, and a one-hour automatic shutoff, so you'll never waste a day wondering did I or didn't I? again.
Best Tapered Rod: ghd Curve Creative Curl Wand
According to the brand's helpful product comparison guide, this is one of the best Ghd curling irons for short hair, and if the stellar reviews have anything to say about it, they're not lying to us. Ever so slightly tapered at the end, the wand boasts cutting-edge tri-zone technology to ensure even and consistent temperature for healthier, long-lasting results. Yes, this one's an investment. But if our personal stash of Ghd tools (some of which have lasted us for five years and beyond) gives us a hint, it's a worthy one.
Best Rotating Rod: Drybar The 3-Day Bender Digital Curling Iron
Aesthetically, Drybar's signature bright yellow iron is a winner, but so is its amazing technology and curl payoff for those with shorter strands. Great for all hair types—from tightly coiled curls to pin-straight, this iron boasts a rotating clamp (cutting your get-ready time in half) in addition to dual ceramic heaters, infrared heating technology, and a handy digital temperature reader.
Best Rotating Rod, Runner-Up: Beachwaver Co. S1 Rotating Curling Iron
The Beachwaver Co. has been making waves within the industry for a while now, and honestly, it's for good reason. Case in point: It rotates at two different speeds (fast or slow, take your pick), boasts ceramic technology for decreased damage, and allows you to create every iteration of curl for your short hair—from intricate and defined to loose and beachy.
Best Cone-Shaped Rod: Paul Mitchell Neuro Angle Rod Curling Iron
Full disclaimer: When this curling wand first came across our desks, we were skeptical. Would an angling iron actually prove useful? Or would it just be a liability where unsightly ear, neck, and chin burns are concerned? Thankfully, however, we were proven wrong. With four different rod positions, this universally flattering one-inch wand allows you to position your iron wherever you need to without distressing your biceps, shoulders, or neck in the process. Plus, it heats up to 450 degrees Fahrenheit in record time—we're talking just a matter of seconds, folks.