If you love the look of bouncy curls, the best automatic hair curlers for short hair have a maximum barrel size of 1 inch, so you can easily create curls in hair that falls above your shoulders. Plus, they can do it with less effort than traditional curling irons. With several styles to choose from and a bunch of cool features, there are curl-creating tools to help you achieve your desired look.
What To Look For In A Curler For Short Hair
There are several types of automatic curling irons, and one of the main ways they’re varied is how they hold the hair against the barrel. Your choice depends on what’s easiest for you. Some automatic curling irons use a clamp (similar to traditional curling irons), and these may be the simplest to use. However, if you’re open to a bit of a learning curve, you might like chamber or prong curling irons. Chamber curling irons feature a rotating barrel inside an enclosed chamber that heats hair from all sides, which helps to protect your skin against burns. If these feel intimidating to use, look for a chamber curling iron that will automatically pause if you try to curl too much hair at once. Alternatively, curling irons with prongs gently hold the hair against an open rotating barrel, so while the hair can be harder to keep in place, you can easily create relaxed curls or tighter ringlets, depending on what you’re looking for.
When it comes to short hair, your strands should be able to wrap around the curling iron fully, so look for a barrel size between 0.75 inches and 1 inch. A smaller barrel will give you tighter curls, so your choice depends on your desired style. If you’re on the fence, a 1-inch barrel will provide you with the versatility to create multiple looks.
Heat Settings & Barrel Material
Also, most curling irons offer multiple heat settings so you can choose the one that’s best for your hair type. For example, temperatures up to 250 degrees Fahrenheit are recommended for fine hair, while temps up to 400 degrees Fahrenheit are suggested for thicker hair. Finally, you have a choice between three barrel materials: ceramic (recommended for fine hair), tourmaline ceramic (recommended for dull and/or frizzy hair), and titanium (recommended for coarse hair).
With this in mind, check out the following reviewer-favorite automatic curling irons for short hair on Amazon.
1. This Rotating Curling Iron With An Easy-To-Use Clamp
- 11 heat settings from 250 — 450 degrees Fahrenheit
- Dual voltage for international use
- Comes with a heat-resistant glove and two hair clips
- Some reviewers find the buttons hard to use
If the idea of an automatic curling iron seems a little intimidating, this rotating curling iron with a clamp offers ease and control while delivering effortless curls. The titanium barrel heats up to 450 degrees Fahrenheit, helps with shine and to reduce frizz, and is controlled by two bi-directional buttons. The iron features a 60-minute auto shut-off for peace of mind and comes with an insulated glove and two clips.
A rave review: “This is by far the best curling iron ever invented. I am absolutely atrocious at doing my hair and have tried all types of gadgets. This is the ONLY thing that works. It’s so easy. The buttons let you adjust where to stop. It holds onto the hair great. I get perfect results every time. AND to top it off the curl holds really well.”
Barrel Size: 1 inch | Type: Clamp | Material: Titanium
2. This Highly Rated Curling Iron With 25,000+ Reviews
- Features three heat settings
- Closed chamber design protects your skin from heat
- Dual voltage
- Comes in six colors
- Curling large sections of hair can jam the barrel
Over 18,000 Amazon reviewers have given this chamber-style CHI automatic curling iron a perfect five-star rating. It’s specifically made for hair that’s 6 to 16 inches long and features temperature presets according to hair type, ranging from 370 to 410 degrees Fahrenheit. It also features a 1-inch ceramic barrel, two curl direction controls, three timer options, and a one-hour automatic shut-off. To use, simply place a section of hair (up to 1 inch) through the opening at a 90-degree angle, hold down the curl direction button, and the hair will be automatically curled into the chamber. You’ll know it’s time to remove the strand when the iron beeps four times. For safety, the tool will beep and stop spinning if you try to curl too much hair at once, and it also automatically shuts off after 60 minutes.
A rave review: “I have rather short hair and was hesitant about buying this product as a result. However, this is a fabulous tool and I absolutely love my perfect, flawless curls it provides. What’s best about this product is not only its ease of use, but its safety. Burns on my neck and face are a thing of the past with the with the Spin N Curl and I definitely recommend it!”
Barrel size: 1 inch | Type: Chamber | Material: Ceramic
3. This Award-Winning Curling Iron With Anti-Tangle Prongs
- The rotating curl dial uses prongs to automatically pick up sections of hair
- Two-way rotation
- Easy to customize your curls, depending on how much hair you allow to wrap around the barrel
- Might have a bit of a learning curve
- Single voltage
This prong-style automatic curling iron features a patented curl dial with ridges that help smooth and guide hair around the barrel. It boasts a 1-inch ceramic barrel and has low and high heat settings that reach up to 420 degrees Fahrenheit, though the specific temperature for the low setting isn’t listed. To use, simply lift a section of hair, place the barrel vertically near the root, and press the button to begin rotating the barrel in one of two directions. Once the curl is set and the Instawave beeps, just guide the barrel down to release your hair.
According to reviewers, this tool can create both tight curls and loose waves. And though there’s a bit of a learning curve, one reviewer wrote, “Once you figure out the best way to place the hair and how to hold the iron your results will get better.” Plus, it comes with a two-year limited warranty and features 90-minute auto shut-off.
A rave review: “I have a below the chin bob, and have always worn it straight. I finally decided to get on board with the newer hair curling trends. […] This thing heats up faster than anything I’ve ever had, like 20 seconds, not only does the light turn green but it makes a pleasant noise alerting you. There are two heat settings, and two buttons to push depending on which way you want the curl. When the curl is done, it beeps. You can start the curl high, low, in the middle, wherever you want. Do not be worried it will get stuck in your hair. It won’t and I tried pretty hard to see if it would.”
Barrel size: 1 inch | Type: Clamp-free wand with prongs | Material: Ceramic
4. This Automatic Curling Iron With Interchangeable Barrels
- Three barrel sizes to choose from
- Comes with a bunch of accessories
- Dual voltage
- Some reviewers find the beeping too loud
For the versatility to create a bunch of different styles, this clamp-style, automatic curling iron comes with 0.75-, 1-, and 1.25-inch barrels and can accommodate all lengths of hair. The barrel is made of smoothing tourmaline ceramic, has four different temperatures to choose from (ranging between 320 and 430 degrees Fahrenheit), and allows you to choose from three heat times — eight, 10, or 12 seconds. The dual-voltage iron is especially convenient when traveling internationally, and the kit comes with several accessories: a heat protective glove, 24 butterfly clips, three long hair clips, and a comb. Plus, it automatically turns off after 60 minutes.
A rave review: “This has got to be one of my favorite new products that I have tried out. I used to have several different curling irons in my bathroom depending on how I was styling my hair. Not any more! With this one product, I was able to get rid of 3 wands taking up a ton of room and get it down to one. This heats up quickly with all three of the different sizes. I also love that it does the curling for me. This product is an absolute lifesaver. I would definitely recommend this product.”
Barrel size: 0.75, 1, and 1.25 inches | Type: Clamp | Material: Tourmaline ceramic
5. A Tried-And-True Automatic Curling Iron
- Has a long-lasting brushless motor
- Features a safety sensor to ensure tangle-free curls
- Comes in three colors
- If you decide to grow your hair out, some reviewers note the short barrel makes this curling iron difficult to use on longer hair
- Single voltage
Great for creating medium to tight curls, this Conair automatic curling iron features a 1-inch tourmaline ceramic barrel inside a chamber that works to heat strands from all angles. It has two heat levels (up to 400 degrees Fahrenheit, but the low-temperature setting isn’t listed), three timer settings (eight, 10, and 12 seconds), and can curl sections up to 1-inch thick. The V-shaped hair guide in the center of the curling chamber helps position hair for curling, and according to a reviewer, it will automatically stop if you try to curl too much hair at once. Plus, the iron is made with a brushless motor that’s designed to have an extra-long life. Also great: It comes with a cleaning tool, has an auto shut-off feature (but the time isn’t specified), and is available in three colors to choose from.
A rave review: “An absolute must for short hair!! When my hair was long, I used to curl it every day with a curling wand. I was so used to doing it that way and had perfected the technique. But ever since cutting my hair into a bob right above my shoulders….I haven’t been able to get good looking curls with anything. I tried the curling wand, curling iron, and using a straightener to curl it. But they all looked bad. I finally saw this, watched a few videos and decided to buy it. Boy am I happy I did!! It gives me perfect curls every single time. I’m so beyond happy with it!!”
Barrel size: 1 inch | Type: Chamber | Material: Tourmaline ceramic
6. A Chamber Curling Iron That Can Curl Larger Sections Of Hair
- Can accommodate larger sections of hair
- Has four temperature settings and three timers for a customized curl
- Smart magnetic induction motor stops if it senses tension
- Dual voltage
- Comes in two colors
- Might have a learning curve
This chamber-style automatic curling iron is designed with a U-shaped slot to accommodate larger sections of hair and features a 1-inch barrel with a keratin coating that helps reduce breakage. It has four temperature settings ranging from 325 to 430 degrees Fahrenheit, three timer options (eight, 12, and 16 seconds), and two curl direction options. In addition, this iron boasts a magnetic induction motor that will stop if it senses too much tension on the hair, and the dual-voltage capability makes it a great option when traveling internationally. It also automatically shuts off after 45 minutes.
A rave review: “This has completely changed my hair-game! It took about 25 minutes to curl my whole head, and I have super thick hair and layers. It has 4 different heat settings, which help when going for a certain look!”
Barrel size: 1 inch | Type: Chamber | Material: Ceramic, according to a reviewer
7. A Cult-Favorite Automatic Curler With A 3/4-Inch Barrel
- Smaller 0.75-inch barrel makes tighter curls
- Dual voltage
- A bit pricey
Beachwaver curling irons are the OG in automatic curling irons and are known for their durable quality and beautiful curl-producing capabilities. This particular automatic curling iron is really great for short hair or for extra-tight curls because of its thin, 0.75-inch barrel. According to the brand website, this iron features bi-directional curling, adjustable heat between 290 and 410 degrees Fahrenheit, and a 30-minute auto shut-off. It also features a ceramic barrel, LED display, and dual voltage capabilities for use internationally (although a plug adapter is still required if traveling abroad).
A rave review: “Love this product, it’s very easy to use.”
Barrel size: 0.75 inches | Type: Clamp | Material: Ceramic
8. This Small & Cordless Automatic Curler
- Cordless design provides 60 minutes of runtime
- Recommends only curling 1/2-inch sections of hair at a time
This mini automatic curling iron is the perfect size to stash away in your bag or when you just don’t want to take up much space in your bathroom. It features three heat and four timer settings, two curl direction settings, a ceramic coated barrel, and anti-tangle protection. It comes with a micro USB cord for charging, can provide up to 60 minutes of curling power on a full charge, and according to a reviewer, has temperature settings for 320, 360, and 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Plus, the 15-minute auto shut-off will help conserve battery life if you forget to turn it off.
A rave review: “This takes away 50% of the work, but creates the perfect curl 100% of the time so it’s completely worth it. I was worried about how it would look with short hair but I was more than pleasantly surprised. 10000/10. Takes a long time to charge but that’s fine, just gotta plan ahead.”
Barrel size: Approximately 1 inch, according to a reviewer | Type: Chamber | Material: Ceramic