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Insights | Hair | Styles | May 24, 2024

How to curl short hair

If you’ve recently gone for a dramatic chop, then creating gorgeous curls or waves may seem daunting. But with the right method and a little practice you can master the technique.

To help create effortless looks with a professional finish, enjoy our step-by-step guide to curling short hair.

Two pictures of a model with short hair facing the camera. On one side she has a straight bob, on the other side she has a wavy pixie cut.

Ten steps to curling short hair with the Dyson Airwrap™

First, creating bouncy loose waves on short hair requires the right tools.

You’ll need:

  • Dyson Airwrap™ multi-styler and dryer
  • 30mm Airwrap™ barrel
  • 20mm Airwrap™ barrel
  • Dyson-designed Detangling comb
  • Round volumising brush
  • Firm smoothing brush
  • Dyson hair clips

Step 1 – Wash your hair

Starting with clean hair is always best when styling. Wash your hair before styling to ensure it’s free of any dirt or build up that could otherwise impede your efforts. If you find your hair is particularly dry and lifeless, try a nourishing deep conditioner to thoroughly hydrate your hair while you wash.

Step 2 – Comb mid-lengths and ends

Use the Dyson-designed Detangling comb to comb through mid-lengths and ends. Remove any knots in your hair.

Step 3 – Pre-dry with the Coanda smoothing dryer

To prepare for styling, pre-dry with this multi-functional attachment until your hair is slightly damp to touch. Select Drying mode then choose high speed and high heat.

For naturally curly hair, we recommend using the Firm smoothing brush to control unwanted frizz when drying. This will help create a smooth foundation of hair before curling.

Step 4 – Divide hair into sections

To help make styling easier, section your hair into top and bottom sections, using the Dyson hair clips. The wide opening angle allows you to gather large amounts of hair at once.

Step 5 – Attach the 30mm barrel

This attachment creates voluminous curls and waves in both directions. Start at high speed and high heat. When ready, introduce a bottom section of hair as you switch the machine on.

Move the barrel closer to your head and let it wrap a small piece of hair from the bottom section, leaving out the ends.

Hold for 15 seconds or until completely dry to achieve a bouncy curl.

A model looking at the camera while using the Dyson Airwrap multi-styler and dryer on her short hair.

Step 6 – Use the Cold shot

Don’t let go yet! Set the curl with the Cold shot for 5-10 seconds. Then switch off and slowly release.

This will help to extend your style for longer without the need for crunchy hairspray.

Step 7 – Repeat on the next piece

Change airflow direction and repeat on the next piece of hair, focusing on the bottom sections. Switching airflow direction between curls helps to create a natural look.

Step 8 – Repeat around your head

Release the top section of your hair and repeat the process until every section is curled.

Again, change airflow direction on each piece.

While it might feel tempting, resist brushing through your curls until the end.

Step 9 – Style your fringe

If you have a fringe, wrap the 20mm barrel around these short pieces then set with the Cold shot for 5-10 seconds. Alternatively, use the Round volumising brush to create volume when drying your hair from damp in step 3.

Step 10 – Separate curls

It’s now time to comb through with the Dyson-designed Detangling comb. For even looser curls, use the Round volumising brush or separate curls with your fingers.

A model looking at camera while using the Dyson Corrale hair straightener on her short hair.

Five steps to curling short hair with the Dyson Corrale™ hair straightener

If you prefer using straighteners to curl your hair, then follow our guide below.

You’ll need:

  • Dyson Corrale™ hair straightener
  • Dyson-designed Detangling comb
  • Dyson hair clips

Step 1 – Detangle and section hair

Use the Dyson-designed Detangling comb to comb through mid-lengths and ends. Then, use the Dyson hair clips to secure your hair into sections, ready for styling. Sectioning hair is also important for creating texture.

Step 2 – Set the temperature

For thick hair with a natural curl, set the temperature to 210˚C – the highest setting of the Dyson Corrale™. If you have Type 1 hair, which is typically finer or flatter, a lower temperature of 185˚C should suffice for curling. Whichever heat setting you opt for, the machine’s intelligent heat control will regulate temperature 100 times per second to ensure your selected temperature isn’t exceeded.

Step 3 – Rotate 360° and glide downwards

Keeping the hair straighteners horizontal, rotate them 360° while gliding through your hair slowly and evenly. As the plates glide, there’s no need to apply extra pressure.

Step 4 – Repeat around your head

Repeat this action first on the bottom sections of your hair and then on the top. Alternate the direction of curls for a more natural look.

Experiment with section size to see what suits your hair best. For thicker hair, try taking smaller sections. And for finer hair, try larger ones. In any case, the smaller the section, the tighter the curls will be.

Step 5 – Separate curls

Comb through with the Dyson-designed Detangling comb or loosen with your fingers. This will help to make your bob or pixie cut messier and fuller, rather than flat.

Figuring out how to curl short hair can be intimidating, especially as shorter cuts mean there’s less length to work with. But by using the right styling tools and following these easy styling steps you can create perfect curls and waves.

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